Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Promotion: 3 Day Halloween Pre-Season Sale Starts Friday

On Friday, July 29, every item in my Halloween section will be marked down 15%. Why? Because I don't do post-season sales, that's why. This weekend is your one and only chance to score a discount on my handmade Halloween merchandise. 

Here's how it works. I used an Etsy tool to schedule the sale. It runs from 12AM EST on July 29 to 12AM EST on August 1. The price is automatically knocked down 15% on every item in that section. If you dig around Regretsy or HalloweenForum, you'll find a coupon code that can be stacked on top of this to bring Halloween merchandise down by 23.5%. If you don't buy it this weekend, you pay full retail.

If you want to read the TL:DR version of why I'm really doing this sale, jump down below.

Monday, July 25, 2011

About April's Army

April's Army is a group of crafters, artists, vintage sellers, and shoppers on Etsy. We work together to raise money for artists in need through a big charity sale each month. We have all banded together because of a mutual love for the website Regretsy and a desire to help others. We are now one of the largest teams on Etsy and have raised over $7000 in the past few months for individual Etsy sellers. The amazing part about that: we're only open one week every month. 7 days to buy crazy crafts inspired by the whimsicle* Regretsy.

This month's proceeds go to help April's Army team leader Mary (who makes amazing soaps that you should buy right now). Unfortunately, I had a migraine earlier today when I meant to post this link to the April's Army store. They've practically sold out. There are only two pages of listings left and that's nothing compared to the roughly 300 items that were available when the shop opened at 12PM EST today.

Order now from the April's Army Shop. Share the link with your friends, family, and followers. Consider joining the army and submitting items for charity. Every sale counts and every little bit helps.

I would encourage you to focus your efforts on this listing. It's my photograph inspired by the shop's theme "Nature" for July. It's a 4x6 print for $5 where all the money goes to charity. It's also adorable.

*intentional misspelling. It's a Regretsy meme. Yes, we're big enough to have memes.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Treasury: The Myth of Jack of the Lantern: A Treasury Horror Story

So did you know there's a reason why we carve pumpkins around Halloween? Oh yes. A very real reason. A dark and looming threat that no one but the devil can explain.
One night, Jack decided to go out drinking. He ran into a man who wanted to speak to him. He offered Jack a pint of spiced ale and walked him behind the bar. The man turned out to be the devil, ready to collect Jack's soul for a lifetime of lies.
Jack was not ready to die. He bet the devil that he could beat him in a drinking contest. If Jack won, he would gain 10 more years of life. Being a sporting man, the devil agreed.
Jack, however, decided to cheat. He trapped the devil within a coin made of pure silver and held him hostage against a cross in his pocket. Jack would not let the devil go until he granted him eternal life. The devil agreed.
The devil led Jack into the woods behind the bar. He started a fire and began to chant. Jack was freezing. His body locked up and a strange light began to pulse inside him. The light burst out of his eyes, blinding him. Jack could only feel the light of his soul placed inside a large lantern made of a pumpkin.
The devil had granted Jack's wish for eternal life. Jack could never die until the devil forgave him for the trick. Only when Jack received his key to the afterlife could he know the sweet bliss of death.
He wanders still to this day, searching for an end to his accursed fate, longing for the warm smell of a spiced ale and the rattling of the keys to life. The only way to ward him off from searching for his next pint in your home is to scare his soul off with your own jack'o'lantern. Happy dreams.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Playing a Number Game: The Logic Behind Numbers in Pricing

You ever wander into a store and wonder why merchandise is priced the way it is? Why this item is $X.99 and the item right next to it is $X.97? Wisebread published a great article on the psychology of pricing back in April. I believe there are applications for this information in the context of selling on Etsy.

For me, I can't ever see myself pricing a hand-made craft at $9.99 when I could just round up to $10. This comes from my experience selling at fairs and conventions. I am not walking around with coins in the cashbox and handing back pennies if I can avoid it. But it might be worth looking into if you want to pull in a certain kind of online audience.

It's almost like you have to play a game with pricing until you get it just right.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why I Craft: RJGOriginals Edition

I hope to start rolling out interviews with some really cool crafters and artists next week. I'll start by writing just a little bit about my own experience with crafting.

I was born into a crafting family. My mother has run a ceramic business longer than I've been alive. When I was an infant, my mother would hold me on her lap while she ran classes in the basement. By the age of 5, I was pouring molds, cleaning greenware, painting bisque, and teaching other children at birthday parties. I actually made my first sale at the age of 4 when my mother sold a glittery dinosaur I had just finished painting to a family at a craft fair. I was hooked.

I wound up splitting my interests very far throughout my public education. I did music, writing, acting, and a slew of sports that never clicked. By high school, I only had time for music, writing, and acting. Crafting fell by the wayside unless I was hard up on cash. Then I'd whip out the paint brushes and get to work on gifts and crafts to sell out of my locker.

Friday, July 15, 2011

What Hustle & Flow Teaches Us About Treasuries

For the past week, I have been experimenting with treasuries on Etsy. I'm trying to break down what actually makes a hit treasury a hit treasury and how trends actually work on Etsy.

Yesterday, I had a bit of an epiphany: it's all about the pimping.

Think about it for a second. You only get 16 slots in a treasury. Etsy wants you to not include yourself (boo hiss) and not to repeat sellers. It's a rare day that I see all 16 featured sellers even comment on a treasury while there's a chance of it hitting the top of the hotness charts. Rarer still that a treasury with no promotion beyond creation goes anywhere.

So what does this have with the seminal Academy Award winning film about pimping, drug trafficking, and rapping? Everything.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

What's Happening This Week?

First, let me introduce myself. My name is Robert and I run the arts and crafts business RJGOriginals for my family. I also work as a freelance/ghost writer with a main business hub at the media blog Sketchy Details. But this isn't about me.

This is about you, your interest in arts and crafts, and your web-based business.

This week, a really exciting project managed to get funded in just under 3 days through The April's Army Tarot Project is an international effort to design and print a full (78 card) size tarot deck inspired by the website Regretsy.

Despite what you may have heard, Regretsy is actually a strong arts and crafts community filled with artists, crafters, shoppers, and humor enthusiasts who agree that not every hand-crafted item is automatically worthy of praise. There's a place for a swift dose of reality in the art world and Regretsy is not afraid to deliver it. Simply put: if you believe your work is above criticism, you shouldn't try to sell it because you will never win over everyone with anything you produce. Lighten up and remember that art is not life or death; it's just art.

However, beyond the snarky exterior, Regretsy has turned into a tight community of similarly-minded people.