Friends not being friends

I'm aggrivated, to say the least.

I've been determined to work from home for two years. I got layed off from my job and now I have to because of the whole "downfall of the econimy" and having no jobs around where I live because of multipul plant closures.

So while I scower the surrounding area for a job pulling minimum wage and working bad hours and three times harder than any human should, I've been crafting, I've been blogging, and I've been attempting to sell things on etsy.

I've asked my dear friends to help me out by reading and commenting on my blog, by asking me to make a something for them and I'll just ask for cost of supplies and comments on etsy to make me not so new.

So far I have one follower on my blog, my dearest love who has no clue about crafting, and that's it. My friends who promiced to help me have not. And they've even fogotten to comment/rate or even pay for anything I've made for them.

I'm irritated and aggrivated and mostly just angry. I'm making no money and I've even had random strangers message me on etsy asking me how to make the things I have on sale.

I'm at my wits end here and I just want to scream, but my apartment has way to thin of walls.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post
8 replies since 27th January 2011 • Last reply 27th January 2011

eeek. I'm sorry! I don't have the courage to attempt selling things online.

But times really are hard. I'd ignore the people asking you how to make things. Say, if you really want to know... Then buy it!

You can't really force your friends into doing something they don't want to do. Just hang in there and keep trying. Just try your hardest to get yourself out there!

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Arg - annoying! Post your links on their Facebook pages and ask them nicely again. They might remember when it's more public ;)

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

ha ha I have the opposite problem where I can't keep up with the requests for things that people want me to make. It's gotten frustrating for me because I sew for my enjoyment and all the joy kind of goes out of it when I feel like have to do it. I also love sharing what I do so I'm always posting tutorials on how to make this that and the other.

So what I would recommend you do is start getting your blog out there to more than just your circle of friends. I have a crafting blog- I haven't told any of my friends about it and am happy that I'm nearly on my 40th follower. Considering that I haven't been keeping the blog long and have done minimal advertisement for it- I'm happy.

How do you advertise your blog you might ask? Easy I reply. There are tons of crafting communities. Start joining them like crazy and posting your projects on those communities. Make sure you put a link to your blog as well as your etsy on all of your profiles. I keep a link to my blog on my CO+K profile and anyone who likes my stuff can go there and see tutorials that I don't post here I also tend to be a bit more detailed on my blog tutorials (oh look at that I just plugged my blog- so easy right?).

If you can add a signature to posts make sure to put the links for your blog and etsy as your signature. Don’t just rely on your friends to boost your revenue because friends tend to take friends for granted. And in today’s world- most people don’t have the first clue how important these things like payment and feedback are for artisans.

Next let’s tackle your problem on etsy of people asking you how to make your projects. This is a super easy fix. Make kits or patterns for your projects and sell them on etsy! This way people can purchase them and make them for themselves and you still get paid. If you’re worried about people taking your ideas and selling them put a patent on it and make sure that your buyers are aware of that patent by placing it with the kits.

As for your friends who already have items but haven’t paid them. Send them the bill via post. That way they know you mean business. It’s important for them to know that while they are your friends you are running an established business and are keeping the two separate. Don’t post it on facebook, don’t call them up and ask for the money. DON’T make it into a friendship issue. It’s not a friendship issue- it’s a business issue.

Best of luck!

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Thank you very much for the advice, honestly much more than I expected. ^^ I'm happy that I joined this community.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

hi, well I make things for people all the time as gifts, but when they request, they always buy.

I know people try to take advantage.

any craft fairs or flea markets? I always make a killing at those

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Making stuff, and making a living from it, is very difficult. I spent the whole of last year doing it as a business (with a part time job to help) and don't think I even managed to cover my costs by the end.

The important thing is to get your stuff known. Twitter, facebook, myspace - be prepared to bore the ass off your friends with news about your creations! If they are friends they'll understand Happy Also, don't just rely on Etsy, have a look at this link, 15 alternatives to etsy http://hubpages.com/hub/Great-Alternatives-to-Etsy Many of them are low fee or no fee and some are even no commission.

Also, do you have craft fairs/markets near you? Or near enough to travel to? They are a great way to get known.

Lastly, it's the bugbear of all craftsters - pricing. Most hand-made goods are underpriced, which makes it really hard for people who are trying to make a living at it. Start with your materials costs, and double them. Then work out how long each item is taking you IN TOTAL timewise. You want to charge that at a decent hourly rate - we ain't on min wage here ok, we're worth more than that! Now count the hours you do marketing and selling the items, and add a percentage of that (same hourly rate) to the price.

Done all that? Now look at the figure and scream...

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

Thankfuly I have a couple of fleemarkets near me, and this may be a good idea. I know I can stock up now and have stuff to sell then. There are some craft faires during the summer and other things.

I generally have been pricing things along the same lines as everyone else just as long as it's not under the price of materials. Thank you for the pricing advice though, it does help me if I were to sell outside of etsy.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post

The pricing advice I gave was what I was told I should be using by a business consultant, if I actually wanted to make any sort of profits. If it's a hobby you can get away with much less (which is why a lot of items are underpriced) but for an income, that list is the minimum you should be charging. A lot of people also underprice because they don't really believe their things are worth that much. Unfortunately, this all means it's very difficult to actually make a living, especially as a sole source of income.

Edit Delete
Moderate: Hide this post


Reply