So, today I read an article on the CBC about the surging Loonie. It’s now worth $1.05!
This is incredible, as growing up Canadian meant our dollar was always worth much less than the American Greenback. And even as recently as 2007 I was earning $1.25 CAD on every $1.00 USD when I transferred it from Paypal into my bank account. Those days are long gone and gone with them is the ability to price items for sale similarly to what my American friends and artists are pricing their items at.
Supplies and shipping costs are more expensive in Canada than what they are in the USA. And with the shipping and duty charges ordering supplies from the USA in the smaller amounts that I need, isn’t worth it at times. I do try to support both Canadian and US based businesses as possible when purchasing supplies and do scour the internet to be able to do so without decreasing the quality of my items. In fact, from whence I opened my shop in late 2007 to now I’ve actually increased substantially the quality of both the materials and packaging used on all the products I produce. That is what creates value.
I think I’ve hit the point though where I don’t even try to compete with other sellers on Etsy. I can’t fathom how people are able to sell an 11 x 14 inch print for $6.00 and still turn a profit to put back into their business. I can’t even buy the archival printing ink, fine art paper and packaging for that price. But good on them if it’s works for them. The only thing that comes to mind is that they are reselling prints from somewhere else that mass produces them which isn’t allowed on Etsy per the TOU or they are running a promotion. But that is another story for another time.
In late May my prices will be going up again on Etsy. I may switch over to selling in CAD on Etsy if the Canadian dollar continues to surge as I suspect it will. HandmadeCloud will be closing during the next month too as I make way for an exciting new venue that I’m developing where only digital products will be available for download. These digital downloads are going to be the coolest thing since sliced bread! Well, maybe not, but they’ll be priced in such a way that everyone with a few extra dollars will be able to afford them and freely use them on as many personal projects as you want. Commercial licenses will be available too at fair rates. So in the end I’ll have the Etsy shop for tangible goods and the digital shop for well, digital goods.
Both my fixed living costs and business related costs have dramatically risen this year. I did raise prices by 15% about one month ago and after doing my taxes scared the crap out of myself and thus will be raising prices again next month as previously mentioned.
You will never see my prices go down on tangible real life goods such as prints or original artworks. And that is where the green and earth friendly digital goods will come into play. You need to earn a certain amount from each sale that you make. You should never be eating shipping, materials, handling, tax, fees, hosting and other online and offline related costs associated with running your business unless it’s promotion or you are wealthy and can afford to donate your time, money and product to your customers.
I’m not a multi-million dollar corporation. And sadly, people don’t even realize the tricks big companies are playing on us so that they earn more money on less product. Our food stuffs packaging for instance, is getting ingeniously redesigned year after year and smaller in size while the price is at the same time rising. Yet, no one complains. Ever notice how many bottles now have a concave groove on the bottom or are taller and skinnier?
I couldn’t imagine selling ACEO’s and trimming them down to 2.4 by 3.4 inches from the standard 2.5 by 3.5 inches. That would be a lie unless I wrote out and stated within the listing that what you are purchasing has changed in size for whatever reason.
And while skinny jeans are all the rage at the moment just think of how much money the manufacturers are saving on fabric costs as wide legs take a back seat and fill the racks at your local second hand store. I wonder if the disappearance of wide leg jeans and bell bottoms correlate to slumping economies?
And why people buy pre-grated cheese is beyond me! You are being ripped off unless you are fully aware of how much extra you are paying for the convenience of buying pre-grated cheese. For goodness sake, a cheese grater costs only a few dollars and it takes mere minutes to grate enough cheese for a pizza.