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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Etsy Shop - Should It Stay or Should It Go?

{Thank you all for your comments and e-mails! You all gave me something to think about!}

Last fall I opened an Etsy Shop along with a few thousand crafters. I had no plans, other than I did not want to have another year go by and regret that I did not just do it. A couple of months after I opened the shop I started formulating some goals and ideas started to take shape...then all of a sudden I discovered that the stable life I thought I was living was not stable at all.  I had to re-evaluate everything that matters the most in the past few months. Etsy shop, blog? I did not even give them a second thought. 

Six months later I feel that the past needs to be put behind me and life needs to go on. Others noticed the change too, since I keep hearing the same question:

What about your shop?

I still avoided answering the question. What made me sit down to write a blog post about it was that I realized I spent about an hour editing pictures of 3 new reversible bags I made and was going to list . And I had to figure out what to charge for them. And for the first time in my life I followed the formula I found on Etsy Success:

Cost Price (Labor + Materials Cost) x 2 = Your Wholesale Price
Wholesale Price x 2 = Retail Price

Once I added it all up I started laughing.
Really? Who would pay that much for a handmade bag? I thought my original estimate of $40-$55 was fair. I was not even close to what actual retail price should be. It also made me realize that I was not valuing my time. And that's when I sat down to think.

Should the shop stay or should it go?

I am going to be honest with you. If I added up the time and energy I spent on my is a HUGE loss. Not worth it at all.  Of course not enough time and energy was put into it to make it more successful. Now that I would have the energy and time to concentrate on it again, I am not sure that I want to anymore since it would be a lot of work, just to barely get even. 

I had fun and it has been a great distraction. But is it worth it? No, not if we are talking about cold hard $. 
I know my prices are low, but that was my choice. 

I am still not sure if the shop is overall worth it. I am happy I tried it. I learned a lot. But if you have no business plan, how are you ever going to succeed?  And is it worth it to keep it around for just fun and experience? 

I want to hear your thoughts. Do you have a shop? Do you have goals, a business plan?
Are you doing it just for fun? 

I did not include any links to my shop in this post, because this is not a gimmick to get people to visit. I am honestly trying to decide what to do.