Peace on Earth

Peace on Earth

Monday, September 5, 2011

Razzle Dazzle!

It has been a while since I posted here. I have posted more recently here. Also here. (for those of you wondering, the first link is for fiction I write, and the second is for political cartoons and the like.While this blog is for autobiographical "essays" primarily about my life as an artist and more primarily as a greeting card designer.) Be that as it may, I have been pretty busy in the greeting card business. (using terms like that always reminds me of Chandler asking Joey how long he's been in the "out-of-work-actor" business.) I primarily post on Etsy now. I am also beginning to post on Zazzle, and more on Cafepress in addition to the tee shirts you could always get here.
When last we met, I was just going into the brick & mortar card business. That is an awesome experience, but alas, my dreams of selling directly to a store being my saving grace have proved fraught with obstacles. I thought that I would have a bigger chunk of the profits, which I do. But ink is very expensive and I think I'm actually losing money. I tried raising the price (I tried to be tricky about it by delivering an invoice with the price increase already on it. This didn't work. It was noticed and not appreciated by the proprietor, who was nice enough to commission me to make the cards in the first place. The initial negotiations at the beginning of the venture were informal, so I mistakenly thought it wouldn't be a big deal. Plus corporations always have that clause; "prices subject to change without notice"... well I'm not a corporation.) Anyway, it was suggested that I reduce ink costs by making the cards slightly smaller. I will also design them to have more white space or something. form follows function, I guess. Smaller cards means more work because now I will have to trim the cards because the card stock isn't sold at the size the owner wants them. Ah well, that's life in the big city.
Meanwhile, as soon as I joined Etsy, I made a HUGE sale! Really! I got an email from a client that said she wanted to buy a painting, and she would send me a certified check and after I received the check, I could courier her the painting. Oh, you've heard this one. Yeah. So the check arrives, and it's like for $1,000 more than the cost of the painting. (like I could cash a check like that.) Well, that was a tip off. (that and the fact that my girlfriend and my mom both knew it was a scam before I did). Anyway, suffice to say, now I only accept sales actually through Etsy. (don't worry, I never sent the painting, so the only damage was to my ego)
Since Joining Etsy, I've taken to making linocuts because most things on Etsy are handmade and I feel like computer prints are outside the norm. Most of my sales have been computer printed cards, though. I'm in several circles and treasuries, which means when someone is looking to see what other people like my stuff will pop up here and there. I'm on a few teams which means like minded people selling like minded stuff (like Friends of Bill on Etsy)

I've decided that if my focus was on in store merchandise, I'd want to be in as many stores as possible; so likewise as an online seller, I want to have my products on as many sites as possible. this is why I've joined. Zazzle and expanded on cafe press. Both stores offter better terms than GreetingcardUniverse, which requires approval of designs and only offers $.50 a card. (I have yet to get a check from them as the minimum amount they will send out is $25, which is 50 cards. On Etsy, I get paid every time someone buys something.) Cafe press and Zazzle also only pay over $25 worth of earnings, but it is much easier to reach these numbers as you control how much you make per sale. Plus, your designs don't have to be approved like some grade schooler.

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