I feel an earthquake coming, so let me try to explain this as best I can. But in order to do so, I need to rewind the tape a little, so please bear with me.
When I first discovered hairsticks, many of you will recall Beatnik (sp?) and the clear Master, Gray Dog. Since I didn't have a clue what a hairstick was in the beginning, why not study the best? And by the way, I have never looked at another hairstick makers sticks since Gray Dog, as I don't want to be influenced by anyone other than him, and my lousy memory. Gray Dog had both an ETSY shop and an EBAY store, or whatever it was back in the day. We all saw it, he was a master at his craft, the best to this day, at least in my opinion. Well, he moved on in life as did I, and I haven't even thought about EBAY ever since, up until now.
Obviously the 5,000th stick was the motivator, as I had zero desire to otherwise even consider EBAY as an additional platform. Any artist that works and prices their art based upon their desired hourly wage is a fool. My typical stick takes anywhere from 3 to 7 hours to create, barring a single problem, and I've yet to meet that stick. Our prices have always been based on the stick's complexity and material only, not because I think I can get away with something. So here comes the 5,000th stick that took over 40 hours to create, and my problem was, how do I possibly price something like this in a fixed price system? The simple answer is that it's impossible, someone is going to come out on the short end of the stick, either you or us. Again, only a fool bases pricing on time spent, it's only worth what it's worth, not a penny more.
Well, I haven't been shy about the difficulties I've had trying to set all of the EBAY stuff up, and it was just for one lousy stick. I didn't have a choice once I decided to go forward with the 5k stick, and I had no clue how to price it, thus the reason I did the Sammi stick to artificially set the value.
So all of that was my motivation, but I'll be darned if I didn't start doing some thinking along the way. Kherome and I have been chatting about it, and I understand the push back, it's a pain, I get it. I don't like new things any more than any of you, but here's my thought process, and it seems to make sense to me, at least to me.
I'm going to preface this with, and I'm stating fact, not fiction, but a great number of our sales occur within the 1st 5 minutes of a stick being posted on ETSY, and while I don't get it, it's apparently true. Don't get me wrong, we love it when Erin's phone goes cha-ching, as we've got to eat and pay the bills all at the same time.
This is where my age comes in, because I have to believe that in many of these instances, the purchase was an impulse buy on the buyers part, and again, we've got to eat, so it's worked out handily over the years. There's that, and then there's the fact that whenever we post a stick, half of the world is asleep. Ladies, I work 18 hours a day and I suspect that all of you are asleep at least a couple of these hours, and if not, you're probably not clicking refresh every 15 minutes just in an effort to snag a stick in your spare time.
Regarding EBAY, irrespective of design, the opening price on any stick will be set at $100, which is less than we've sold anything for on ETSY in quite some time, excluding Friday Night Sales of course.
So, by my way of thinking, I've leveled the playing field to some degree. The auctions are going to be for 3 days, so time zones are no longer an issue. They are all at a set price of $100, and if they don't sell by day 3 we'll just re-list it at a lower price, thus eliminating Friday Night Sales, again, they're only worth whatever they're worth, we'll find the bottom eventually. And finally, going back to my age reference again, there's really nothing wrong about thinking about a purchase prior to actually making it, it gives you time to think about whether you really want it or not. I want you to purchase my sticks because you want them, not because of the rationale that 'If I don't buy it this very second, someone else will". That doesn't give my heart the warm fuzzies.
I recognize that irrespective of my rationale, you probably still don't like it, and that's fine. We're not closing the ETSY shop, nor are we cutting off customs, nor are we adding the fees back into the price (Kherome said that and I was shocked). Nothing about the way we do business is changing, other than adding an additional platform, shipping will be the same as it always has been, with the possible exception of the commemorative stick, it just depends on where the final bid ends up. If, after all of this, you're still vehemently opposed to the idea, just send me a note, and I'll put you on the custom list and the problem is solved. You do after all, have 5,000 previous designs to choose from :) (sorry, I couldn't resist).
At the end of the day, we've been on ETSY now since 2009. As of this writing, we've sold 5,007 sticks and have had 2,954 reviews, all of which were 100% positive. We've gotten to know you, and quite a few of you have gotten to know us on a personal level as well. Do any of you actually think that I'm trying to take advantage of anyone, or trying to falsely capitalize on this? I know the naysayers are out there, and there's likely nothing that I can say that will change your mind or your heart, there never has been. But for our friends (customers) that know us, and that we've come to love over the years, I hope you understand, we're just trying to do the right thing. I may be completely misguided on this, but I have it on a higher authority that I'm correct... so with that let's just say... 'nuff said.
Have a good night.