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Gifts.

I will add my voice to the chorus: don't buy nothing today.

Buy local. Buy handmade. Buy art.

Buy things where the money you're spending actually goes to the person who created it. Trust me, it could make or break them, or at least help them regain the belief that it's at all possible to scrape by on such an outmoded, impractical thing as one's creative spirit.

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queenofhalves
Nov. 26th, 2005 05:07 pm (UTC)
because the overhead in work for such a small item is ridiculous

really? depends on how many you expect to sell, i guess. (you know you don't even have to go to the post office now for priority mail? you can go to usps, pay postage with a credit card, print out the postage thing on your printer, and then have your local postal carrier pick it up, as long as you're not asking them to take 20 lbs of stuff. and for media mail, you can just mark the envelope "media mail," stick the right amount of stamps on the thing and drop it in the mailbox, as long as it's not over a pound.) but i wouldn't underestimate the benefits of having people sending your cards all over the place to other pagan/magickal folk, especially if you've got your website listed on the back. it's not cards you'd be selling, primarily, it's effective advertising. i really don't think you'd end up spending more than half an hour a day on packaging things up -- and if you did, that would mean you were making quite a bit of cash, in which case, why complain? (incidentally, i sell stuff online pretty regularly, so i'm not just talking out my ass.) just consider how much your packaging-up time is worth and set the price accordingly.

i also don't think the audience is as small as you think -- pagans would definitely like to buy your stuff, it's just that most of them don't have money for paintings. if you want to sell paintings, you have to ferret out the few that do, which means you need all the exposure you can get -- and selling cards to a self-selecting pagan audience is a good way to do that.

i mentioned cafepress.com to andrei regarding your b&w designs. i don't recommend it specifically -- have heard conflicting things about quality -- but there are other places that will put your designs on mugs, mousepads, t-shirts, etc. and take care of all the shipping and payment for you. not sure how big a cut they take, though.

calendars are also a popular item, especially around the holidays. probably there isn't time to make those, but i'd think about them for next year.

i would also make it more obvious that you're selling stuff on your site. i clicked all over it yesterday and somehow managed not to notice the little paypal buttons -- probably because i wasn't specifically looking to buy, but if there had been a "store" option from the front page, or even just a "paypal, we take credit cards" notice, it probably would have primed me to approach your site differently. as it was, i was approaching it more like a gallery -- and i don't buy things from galleries, i'm poor! (but i do buy notecards and calendars, you see... and i think there are a lot more folks like me out there.)
queenofhalves
Nov. 26th, 2005 05:09 pm (UTC)
oh, also, i meant you should sell sets of cards, not single cards. 6 for $20 plus shipping is pretty usual. not sure how much profit that would net you. (incidentally, making friends with people who work at kinko's or other printing shops can be a really, really good idea.)
jnanacandra
Nov. 26th, 2005 06:49 pm (UTC)
Huh. It had never occurred to me that the 'buy' buttons weren't obvious - I had spent a fair bit of time trying to make them less annoying! Goes to show how un-objective I am towards it, I guess.

The problem as far as packaging/shipping goes is more of an internal brain issue for me. I get terribly flustered and unhappy when trying to make logistical foo work. (Feel free to ask Andrei for details - it's not pretty.) I have, after much trial, gotten a process down for making, packaging, and shipping prints, but I guess I'm reluctant to go through that again for something different.

You make a good case for reasons to get cards out there, though. I had just been looking at it from the 'low-price-point-item' point of view, not thinking about the additional exposure it might generate. So it might be worth it for multi-packs. I'll consider that.

Unfortunately none of my current designs are really holiday-appropriate. I had designed a solstice card a few years ago, but couldn't round up a way to get it printed, and then lost the design.... (par for the course with me).
queenofhalves
Nov. 26th, 2005 10:07 pm (UTC)
:)

i am a logistical-foo whiz, but sadly it is hard to help with that from 3000 miles away, except in the form of brainstorming. sorry i cannot be of more assistance!

it looks like print-on-demand stuff off the internet has gotten way cheaper, though. one of my artist friends is selling her prints here, and then she doesn't have to deal with any of the printing, packaging, or shipping. there may be something similar out there for cards.

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firesea: self-portrait
jnanacandra
Heather Keith Freeman
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