in Commentary

Most Frequent Word on John McCain’s Blog? “Obama”

John Schwenkler created neat WORDLE illustrations (I’ve been playing with it as well…here’s Vladimir Nabakov’s PNIN ) using the text from the candidates’ websites :

’nuff said.

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  1. here. Yes, there is an art and quality innreeht in many higher end, for Etsy, items in both the handmade and vintage categories. I do acknowledge and realize, as a buyer, that for the most part, the pricier items are generally nicer. In other words, you usually pay for what you get on Etsy. That being said, great photography, a cool image and lots of press don’t always equal a great or quality product, as I’ve also realized buying on Etsy.On the other hand, I want to support artisans and vintage sellers like myself and I try to, but as a 20-something freelancer, I simply can’t afford to do it all the time. Like someone else said, I buy a mix of Target (don’t do Wal-Mart), vintage, handmade, and also designer/mall stuff for a lot of my belongings. I have to pick and choose where I want to spend my money and most young people shop this way. The only way I generally spend more then $25 on Etsy is if the shop’s presentation is super nice, the seller is responsive, they have good reviews and most importantly, I LOVE the item and have to have it. I’ve been disappointed with so many vintage and handmade purchases from Etsy and honestly don’t want to invest in something I may not like or may not fit in person. I factor all of this in when pricing my own garments. I think it helps to have been a buyer on etsy first before being a seller in this way. I make an effort to keep my prices in the moderate range because my customers tend to be girls like myself who aren’t going to be buying a really expensive couture vintage gown. I make sure to keep my overhead low and if I see something I like at a thrift/garage sale but feel I won’t make a profit on it, I simply don’t buy it thereby keeping my costs down. Basically, I don’t think the customer is the problem or that they don’t appreciate handmade or unique things. I think consumers are generally intelligent and they have to pick and choose what to spend on, if a handmade headband is not it, so be it.What many people don’t realize is that creative does not mean business savvy. You can have the most lovely handmade pottery in the world but if it’s not something people want and will pay for, it’s not going to sell. There’s a fine line between valuing your work and not being smart and honest about your business, in my opinion. It doesn’t matter how much you value your own work when it comes to the bottom line. People have to love your product and be willing to shell out for it. The most successful sellers on Etsy, that I’ve seen, have a variety of price points in their shops and have consciously made an effort to do so. They make a lower priced version of one of their more expensive items with different materials for example to make sales and not exclude or alienate buyers. This is not pandering to the masses. It’s being smart about remaining competitive and relevant in the marketplace. It’s also a means to be able to afford to make their higher end items. There will always be a market for both and that’s fine.I know about 3-4 ladies around my age who’ve started Etsy shops and closed them because of lack of sales. With the exception of one who is a vintage seller like myself, the others were simply charging too much for items that people are not willing to pay for. In an ideal world, every cool girl is willing to shell out $150 for a snood but most aren’t going to. And the ones who are are probably not going to do it on Etsy with a not very established seller when there are a million other shops that sell the same stuff, do it better or charge less. That sounds harsh but it’s true. Vintage is a bit different because most things are unique by nature, I guess.

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