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I need some help on my hand- made business please. Don't know where to start.

(6 Posts)
bumhead Sun 03-Feb-13 14:41:10

I make what is called 'artist bears'. Old style Mohair hand stitched bears. It is a big market really, there are a lot of adult collectors.
So I started last year and sold a couple on what I understand to be the main bear website, sold quite a few on ebay (but for literally half what I'd sold the others for) and a couple on etsy. All good. But all January not one sale. sad
Now I know from the forum on the bear website that others have sold lots this month and their bears sell for at least twice if not three times the price of mine.
I love what I do but feel a bit gutted that no-one seems interested any more and as it's fairly niche I don't know what to do next. I guess I could set up a little website but then I'd have to spend a fortune to get the google ad words so my website appears even slightly visible. I don't want to give up.
What do you do when you start losing confidence in what you do?

HeathRobinson Sun 03-Feb-13 14:52:57

Have you tried craft fairs?

You don't actually know that others have sold lots of bears, surely, you just know what they've told you?

bumhead Sun 03-Feb-13 15:42:03

Well they list items and they seem to go to 'sold' fairly quickly.
I've not sold one all month even after reducing my prices.
I don't know where to advertise daft as it sounds because it's such a niche thing.

ethelb Sun 03-Feb-13 15:48:37

Have you considered Not on the High Street? I sell there and have turned a £1k investment in my business into a proper business with loads of orders.

I think you need to start selling in more professional areas than ebay and etsy and maybe speak to shops you think may stock them.

If you are selling a luxurty item you need to sell it at a luxery price I have found. I increased the price of one of my products by 20% and doubled my orders.

You also don't need to spend loads on google adwords to get traffic. I have a website with a blog I update reguarly and have v good visability on Google and I have no adwords (yet). Regualr relevetn updates are all you really need to make a website visible. And maybe a bit of social media grin.

Maybe go over to the start-ups thread as there are loads of web designers over there who maybe able to help advise you on what you should have on your site.

DolomitesDonkey Sun 03-Feb-13 16:44:11

Have you considered not lowering your prices but actually raising them? You could be putting people off by them thinking you're "cheap and nasty"!

Getting good web traffic does not need to be a costly affair at all. By the very virtue of your product being niche then it would be easy to achieve good rankings relatively easily on the back of good content alone.

BoredEasily Tue 12-Feb-13 21:57:07

Not On The High Street is definitely a good channel to try especially around Christmas time - if you are accepted there is a fairly high one-off joining fee plus commission but it's better to have x% of a lot of sales that 100% of none as they say. I think it adds kudos to your brand too as it is well publicized that they only accept a small percentage of brands.

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