Sunday 28 January 2018

The Diary of a Complete Pillock, part 68 - Back to Vague Visibility, (Probably) and The Gentle Art of Not Getting Caught Up In It All. . .

So after a period of experiencing what Americans refer to as 'tumbleweed' in my Etsy shop, I got two big orders in the space of one hour. One from the UK and one from the USA. Exciting stuff. . .

So what do I do? I carefully package the orders and send the UK order to the USA and the USA order to the UK. Brilliant.

What a pillock. . . (A mild semi-swearword that I have used often but never thought to look up the derivation of. Until now, thank you Wictionary -

"The origin of pillock is believed to go back to the 16th century meaning penis, from the Norwegian word pillicock, presumably akin to the slang dickhead meaning inept fool.")

Oh right, another knob related insult. Had to be really didn't it? ;-) So it's not some sort of cross between a pillow and a hillock after all, that's a shame. . .

Anyway, both bead sets are being sent back to me as soon as they arrive at their erroneous destinations, so I should be able to rectify the situation amicably, refunding various bits of postage, and paying for it all over again as I resend to the right customers. Might take a week or two though.

Oh well, these things happen. Bloody annoying when they do though, for everyone concerned.

But, the good thing about this occurrence is that it might well mean that I am at least somewhat visible to prospective customers. A conclusion backed up by a couple of smaller sales in the last few days. We shall see.

Facebook has been interesting, sales wise. I sold out of the small selection of new spikes I listed, with a couple of requests for made to order thrown in, but a subsequent listing session involving crusty, ancient type beads met with little interest and no sales. So it's a case of the usual swings and roundabouts of online retail stopping me from getting complacent.

It's impossible to second guess the reasons for these ups and downs, but that doesn't stop me trying. . . The beads may have been too expensive, or the right people just weren't checking that group that day, maybe my potential customers had spent all their cash on the spikes a few days before, or some better known bead artist has a showcase on another group and all the buyers are congregating there, throwing their money around, not even aware of the wonders lurking nearby, who knows?

These things are pretty much unknowable, so I shall just try again, with some different things and see what happens. I shall relax and let it be instead of endlessly going over the ways I might be doing it 'wrong'. If a pattern emerges over time, I may be in a position to draw some conclusions and work out a strategy to improve things, but until then, I shall stick to happily creating things and seeing if anyone likes them enough to buy them.

There is a down side to selling well. I don't actually like the fact that on the relatively rare occasions it happens, I start thinking "Those beads sold, I should make more like that," because when I do I often find that the spark goes out of the process somehow, and the results aren't as interesting.
Once I am aware that I am going through the motions rather than exploring, I have to stop and try something different. After all, the selling is just an afterthought to the making for me. It's great, but it's not what I do it for.
Fah! Bloody Artists!
Jon x


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Patty, that struggle does seem to be part of creative life for quite a few artists. . .

  2. I love your beads and today's post is full of eye candy! I haven't ventured in the world of online sales yet so I don't have any useful comment to make on that front, but I love what your explorations have led to.

  3. Well Jon - every artist stalls occasionally. Look at some of the world's most famous artists who didn't make a go of it until - after - they were dead. The world and its people - well it's a strange place with even stranger things happening in it.

    One thing a lot of artists forget is that January is the worst month ever to make sales of any sort. People are paying off Christmas expenses. When you ask around people say they have no money at this time. And that all makes sense.

    I look at January as my month to simply play. I couldn't care less about sales in January - I'd rather treat myself with learning something new and playing in my studio. I worked hard up until my Christmas sales ended. I deserve the time to explore! And that exploration will most likely lead to an increase in sales and a new look.

    May I make one suggestion after I pose a question? Is it possible to 'like' your Facebook page where you are posting your items for sale? If so - ask that people 'like' it. That way whenever you post your items they are notified right away and the right people get to see them! Voila!

    Or have people sign up for a mailing list where you post new items as well. It could be exclusive - they get to see what you have before anyone else and get the chance to buy. Temptation is a large carrot that people have a hard time resisting.

    The sales game is just that - a game. I've played it for over 50 years and it still amazes me how much is changes on a daily basis.

    I'm loving your new spikes btw! They are gorgeous!

    Chin up. It does get better after February!

    1. Thanks. For some odd reason last Jan and this were when I had a couple of big orders. After last Jan it all went a bit quiet. Probably partly Etsy search changing (AI based now, slowly sorting itself out, 'learning' on the job as AI is supposed to do) and partly me giving up on it a bit. Still, I seem to have some forward momentum going. I say 'seem' because any degree of certainty is hard to maintain. As for FB, I could post a heads up on my 'page' the day before I list stuff for sale and suggest that potential customers 'like' that page. That's kind of what I do only I do it after they are up fro sale. . . before is better ;-)