I’ve been frequenting a site called Tophatter.com. It is a live auction website where the sellers and buyers are in a forum-like chat room selling and bidding in real time. It is a great idea, however it saddens me to see the kinds of things that the public is used to seeing and buying. No one cares that many pieces are obviously made in China, and are silver and gold plated. They don’t seem to mind that the same exact pieces keep coming up for sale in nearly every auction, meaning that they are mass produced.
I understand supply and demand, and world economies but it is still frustrating. I wish people would save their money and buy a few nicer things than something that the plating will wear off of in a year. And then there is the ethical side of where those pieces come from, by whose hands they were made. We cannot see them, and they are half a world away. I don’t trust that they were made ethically, without stripping people of their human rights.
I sometimes put things up for sale there, and a few pieces have brought in about half of what I think they should have sold for at retail. Every once in a while they have a “High End” auction, but they are few and far between. It’s is a great website, but the only way I seem to be able to utilize it is to just list things there at the price I want, and let people view it. I know they won’t bid my lot into the auction, but maybe they will see the quality of my work and materials and think about it for the future.
It is a slippery slope to lower your prices to meet with competition. I value what I do, and the ways that I work. There is valor and honor in it. I value myself and my time. I know there are people out there who can afford pay for what my work is worth, and I only need to reach enough of them on a consistent basis, to keep my life going and to grow.
So that leaves my marketing up to Me, Facebook and Etsy. It has gone pretty well, with 5 online sales since January 22nd and 101 Facebook ‘likes’ since March 1st (just six months!). If you are reading this and you haven’t liked my FB page here it is, and please share it with all of your friends, you can even just send them the link to the post you are reading.
And here is my Etsy shop where you can buy directly:
And now for a nice collection of stimulating images…
Young Dassanech Girl Wears a Leather Skirt, Metal Bracelets, Amulets and Bead Necklaces, Ethiopia by John Warburton-lee Item #: 6221848
Bronze PmC verdigris earrings from Christina Nicole
This woman is making tea. This woman is making tea in a tent. This woman is making tea, in a tent, in the desert, on rugs. So beautiful. From a Taschen book, that you can get here.
This is a crazy beautiful handpainted Rhinestone necklace (made by a lawyer!) from the etsy shop PureEssentia
I can’t get enough of these African interior spaces.
I love her striped shirt, her knotted belt, and, of course, her necklace (s?).
Scicli– a Baroque town in Southern Sicily
From the book Natural Fashion: Tribal Decoration from Africa by Hans Silvester