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CGALVIN3

Was: Etsy or Ebay? Now: When Should You Start Trying to Sell?

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CGALVIN3    6

I'm trying to expand my audience for selling my pottery.

I'm a 17 year old high schooler thats very interested in pottery and Ive been doing it for about a year now

and I was wondering if anyone has tried etsy or ebay and which one they have found more successful

any tips?

 

I decided to tryout Ebay

heres my listing if you want to check it out! :) (2 great mugs)

 

 

[links removed]

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voceramics    2

Your mugs look great and the photograph is excellent!

 

I've sold ceramics on both Etsy and Ebay. Ebay has higher fees, Etsy takes more work to get sales.

 

I have only listed and sold teapots on Ebay as there seems to be a lot of teapot collectors on there.

 

Etsy is a completely different animal. It's more like opening a store front which requires a full and varied shop, the shops that get the most consistent sales on there have at least a hundred pieces listed and continually add new items to their shop. Summer is the slow period on Etsy just like it is in retail stores and I use this slow period to get as many items made as possible, so that I'll have a few hundred pieces listed by October for the busy Christmas season.

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GEP    863

CGALVIN3,

 

I removed the links to your Ebay listing ... this forum does not permit you to advertise your work for sale.

 

Please continue to use the forum to discuss issues related to selling, but not for actual selling. For example, a discussion about Etsy vs. Ebay can continue, just without anybody attempting to advertise their own work.

 

Mea

moderator

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Chris Campbell    1,082

This is not the reply you want to hear, and it is only my opinion but here goes ....

 

If you achieve a career in clay you will have about 40 years to make work that has to sell in order to bring in money to pay the bills.

 

As a 17 year old you have about 8 years to learn to learn how to make good work without caring about sales. Pottery that weighs what it should, works well when used, has good glazes that fit the clay body .... AND satisfies your creative soul.

 

At this point in your life you should be learning ... soaking in every bit of info you can find .... you should be going out to see pots in museums and galleries ... you should be visiting craft fairs to see what others are making ... you should be trying everything without worrying about whether or not it will sell. It's your window of opportunity.

 

So don't waste your time ... Soon enough your world will be ruled by "Will it sell and at what price?"

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JBaymore    1,432

This is not the reply you want to hear, and it is only my opinion but here goes ....

 

If you achieve a career in clay you will have about 40 years to make work that has to sell in order to bring in money to pay the bills.

 

As a 17 year old you have about 8 years to learn to learn how to make good work without caring about sales. Pottery that weighs what it should, works well when used, has good glazes that fit the clay body .... AND satisfies your creative soul.

 

At this point in your life you should be learning ... soaking in every bit of info you can find .... you should be going out to see pots in museums and galleries ... you should be visiting craft fairs to see what others are making ... you should be trying everything without worrying about whether or not it will sell. It's your window of opportunity.

 

So don't waste your time ... Soon enough your world will be ruled by "Will it sell and at what price?"

 

 

 

 

You beat me to this Chris!!!!!!!! THANKS for saying it too. When I read the original posting before I scrolled down the thread... I was about to head in the exact same direction.

 

This general subject can be extended SO far beyond the idea of being a "high school student". Same is true of the person who is an older adult but has just started taking ceramics classes and is looking at the same kind of thing.

 

Just because something sells.... does not necessarly make it "good"....... the incesant TV infomercials prove that point ;) . Just because something can be done does not mean is should be done......... look at some of the GMO foodstuffs they are attempting to make :rolleyes: .

 

 

 

best,

 

...............john

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GEP    863

I'm with John and Chris on this too.

 

Lots of young artists look for feedback on the internet ... the problem is the internet will always provide someone who will tell you it's "great." It doesn't mean anything. Find someone to give you meaningful feedback in the real world.

 

Just to reinforce what Chris said, take advantage of the next 8 to 10 years to learn and grow and experience as much as you can, rather than trying to jump ahead to the selling part.

 

Mea

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Chris Campbell    1,082

It's hard to explain how debilitating the $$$$ and sales aspects can be.

Even for folks who just want a hobby ... the pressure to make a sellable product can suck the fun out of it.

The minute your friends hear you are making pottery they will ask where you are selling it or how much you are making from it. They only have one barometer to determine whether it's worth doing and nowadays the dollar seems to be it. Well how much can you sell them for? ... as if that were the only point to doing it.

They don't mean what we get from it, I'm sure ... They just can't think of another question to ask.

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GEP    863

I can remember a college student who was taking pottery classes for a few years. He could throw a decent pot, but not anything close to professional quality work. He was young, promising, and cute, and therefore a local gallery offered to carry his pots on consignment. Did it launch his career? No. He isn't even making pots today. This kind of early enabling isn't helpful. It creates false expectations. btw, the gallery went out of business too. It was having problems in general, I think it's clear the owner didn't really understand what she was doing.

 

Mea

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Chris Campbell    1,082

I can remember a college student who was taking pottery classes for a few years. He could throw a decent pot, but not anything close to professional quality work. He was young, promising, and cute, and therefore a local gallery offered to carry his pots on consignment. Did it launch his career? No. He isn't even making pots today. This kind of early enabling isn't helpful. It creates false expectations. btw, the gallery went out of business too. It was having problems in general, I think it's clear the owner didn't really understand what she was doing.

 

Mea

 

 

... and there are a ton of well known potters who would love to get back all the bad pottery they sold when they were young!:P It's still out there doggin them.

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CGALVIN3    6

This is not the reply you want to hear, and it is only my opinion but here goes ....

 

If you achieve a career in clay you will have about 40 years to make work that has to sell in order to bring in money to pay the bills.

 

As a 17 year old you have about 8 years to learn to learn how to make good work without caring about sales. Pottery that weighs what it should, works well when used, has good glazes that fit the clay body .... AND satisfies your creative soul.

 

At this point in your life you should be learning ... soaking in every bit of info you can find .... you should be going out to see pots in museums and galleries ... you should be visiting craft fairs to see what others are making ... you should be trying everything without worrying about whether or not it will sell. It's your window of opportunity.

 

So don't waste your time ... Soon enough your world will be ruled by "Will it sell and at what price?"

 

 

 

 

You beat me to this Chris!!!!!!!! THANKS for saying it too. When I read the original posting before I scrolled down the thread... I was about to head in the exact same direction.

 

This general subject can be extended SO far beyond the idea of being a "high school student". Same is true of the person who is an older adult but has just started taking ceramics classes and is looking at the same kind of thing.

 

Just because something sells.... does not necessarly make it "good"....... the incesant TV infomercials prove that point ;) . Just because something can be done does not mean is should be done......... look at some of the GMO foodstuffs they are attempting to make :rolleyes: .

 

 

 

best,

 

...............john

 

 

 

Okay, I didn't know you guys would freak out so much about me advertising my pottery but I get the fact that you guys don't want advertising on here that's fine with me. I also get the fact that you guys believe that I shouldn't be worried about selling my work at such a young age. but that's not all I'm worried about at all. I've only sold a fraction of what I have made. I have a basement full of my work but I just can't keep letting it pile up. It's not like I have my own studio or storage I can put it in. I don't make the rules in my house. So therefor I sell my work. I don't do pottery for the money because if you guys don't know there is little money in making pottery and very few people have the talent to make a living off of it. I have gone to many craft sales, talked and taken classes with professional potters, been a volunteer at the OPA Showcase for 3 years and a lot of different galleries in Portland. I have learned alot from all these events and I've used tips to help make my pottery better.

 

And just because you've been doing pottery longer than someone doesn't make your stuff better or you better. I've seen people that have taken classes for many years and in college that there stuff isn't close to mine and even they agree. Just because someone has been doing something for a long time doesn't make them automatically "Good" and just because you have a potters wheel doesn't make you a potter.

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Chris Campbell    1,082

Hmmmm ... Well, I did say it was not what you wanted to hear.

 

The people who have answered here are ALL full time working potters who make good work and have been around a while ... we are just sharing honest advice. As in everything else in life, take what you want and leave the rest. We are not your parents and you don't have to do what we say. Sell whatever you want, everywhere and anywhere you want to.

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GEP    863

If storage space is a real problem, you can always give your work away. Lots of charities need donated artwork for their fundraising events. Start googling and you'll find them.

 

Mea

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CGALVIN3    6

If storage space is a real problem, you can always give your work away. Lots of charities need donated artwork for their fundraising events. Start googling and you'll find them.

 

Mea

 

 

 

I just donated a lot of stuff to the Empty bowls Foundation that I do every year. Thank you for the idea :)

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CGALVIN3    6

Follow your dreams

 

Follow your heart

 

Success lies within, not in the measure of others.

 

 

teardrop

 

 

Thanks Teardrop... As I said I've only been doing this a year and I'm just listening to my teacher ( who has an art degree ) and to a college art professor and several Oregon Potters assoc. members who have told me I do the work of someone who's been throwing for about 15 years... not my words theirs and the art gallery that asked to sell my work has had no problem selling it not that the fact it sells makes it good because beauty is in the I of the beholder . I've been a straight A student all my life and always being a 3 sport athlete.... now My focus has changed to pottery and I've been offer a scholarship to a amazing christian arts college.. Like I said, Money is not the reason i do pottery. I've donated to many auctions and empty bowls. I've given a lot of my pottery away for gifts but people keep on wanting to buy my stuff. and who am I to turn them down and say " Oh, sorry I can't sell my pottery until I have 8 years of experience.So all that said I must be doing something right and thanks again for the words of encouragement.

I really like that quote and will have to start using it more often.

 

God Bless

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Chris Campbell    1,082

Just one last comment if I may ...

No one wrote that you could not sell your work until you had eight years experience.

The eight years I was referring to was the potential 4 years BFA undergrad and another 4 MFA since I assumed you would be training for your career.

 

The only advice I read from all of us was to make the most of this time in your pottery life when you do not have to make marketable work in order to pay the bills.

I don't understand why the message came across negatively but that's what happens sometimes on the Internet.

I hope you have a long and rewarding career in pottery.

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Mark C.    1,797

My 2 cents as one who learned to throw in High school and went ahead and got the art degree and has been making pots full time since-(that was 39 years ago)

I would continue with clay and keep in school and get that degree(your choice of which ) while making pots.

You will only improve and more eduction is what really will help you in this field-soak it all up-learn it all from glaze making to kiln building as throwing is just one small part.

as far as which venue to sell your work I cannot say as I do not use either-They both work.

Good luck and keep at it.

Mark

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CGALVIN3    6

My 2 cents as one who learned to throw in High school and went ahead and got the art degree and has been making pots full time since-(that was 39 years ago)

I would continue with clay and keep in school and get that degree(your choice of which ) while making pots.

You will only improve and more eduction is what really will help you in this field-soak it all up-learn it all from glaze making to kiln building as throwing is just one small part.

as far as which venue to sell your work I cannot say as I do not use either-They both work.

Good luck and keep at it.

Mark

 

 

Thanks for the support Mark!

I got a scholarship for art and Im probably gonna do studio then I'm gonna get an engineering degree because that is what Im also interested in. so we'll see what happens

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teardrop    2

I don't know if anyone else took the time to check out Cody's Facebook page but..um...maybe you should.(?)

 

17? What were any of you making @ 17? Seriously? Were you at this level of pottin' after a year of exposure as a teen?

 

And Chris...since you asked...the negativity I see is that time and time again when people come here with enthusiasm they are reigned in (or rained on) by the same folks who tell them their work isn't "good" enough"....or that all they do as a noob is "bad pottery"...or that they just haven't spent enough time in Tuscany or in the company of __________ (insert newest/latest/greatest name of the potter who is riding the current hype and adolation here)

and that they are a fool for even having the idea that what they do has ANY merit at this point in time.

 

That's fookin negative to me no matter how you slice or dice it. It's also very narrow-minded to think that the path you took is the only path available or worthy to take... or that someone could in no way possess skills that far exceed the average person's skill level without putting in all of that time. Could it be that "pottery" is a dying Art becuase few are willing to change or approach it differently with a fresh face? What if the computer industry approached development in the same way? "You Must follow THIS code..." No deviation is allowed.... "We do it like THIS". Would such direction stifle..or drive the industry?

 

It blows me away to see talk here about pottery's overall >fade< in the importance of the Arts/daily life....and when the topic arises the blame almost always falls upon "mass produced work"... then when someone shows up with a new attitude...it is replaced by an old, tired, and self-fulfilling attitude of "Sorry...you work sucks and you just haven't taken up space long enough in this feild to be valued"...???? Gosh....I wonder why nobody wants to be a potter with such a grand support system?

 

After losing my son....I know now that "8 years" is a long time and that to wait for ANYTHING is a serious mistake. Take it all in....but never, never, never let anyone hold you back or tell you that because you aren't doing it like they did what you are doing is "wrong".

 

Face it, if they were THAT fabulous/skilled/educated/great/ at what they do.... their time would be too valuable to be typing on the net!

 

your plan sounds solid, Cody. I wish you well.

 

teardrop

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GEP    863

I don't know if anyone else took the time to check out Cody's Facebook page but..um...maybe you should.(?)

 

17? What were any of you making @ 17? Seriously? Were you at this level of pottin' after a year of exposure as a teen?

 

And Chris...since you asked...the negativity I see is that time and time again when people come here with enthusiasm they are reigned in (or rained on) by the same folks who tell them their work isn't "good" enough"....or that all they do as a noob is "bad pottery"...or that they just haven't spent enough time in Tuscany or in the company of __________ (insert newest/latest/greatest name of the potter who is riding the current hype and adolation here)

and that they are a fool for even having the idea that what they do has ANY merit at this point in time.

 

That's fookin negative to me no matter how you slice or dice it. It's also very narrow-minded to think that the path you took is the only path available or worthy to take... or that someone could in no way possess skills that far exceed the average person's skill level without putting in all of that time. Could it be that "pottery" is a dying Art becuase few are willing to change or approach it differently with a fresh face? What if the computer industry approached development in the same way? "You Must follow THIS code..." No deviation is allowed.... "We do it like THIS". Would such direction stifle..or drive the industry?

 

It blows me away to see talk here about pottery's overall >fade< in the importance of the Arts/daily life....and when the topic arises the blame almost always falls upon "mass produced work"... then when someone shows up with a new attitude...it is replaced by an old, tired, and self-fulfilling attitude of "Sorry...you work sucks and you just haven't taken up space long enough in this feild to be valued"...???? Gosh....I wonder why nobody wants to be a potter with such a grand support system?

 

After losing my son....I know now that "8 years" is a long time and that to wait for ANYTHING is a serious mistake. Take it all in....but never, never, never let anyone hold you back or tell you that because you aren't doing it like they did what you are doing is "wrong".

 

Face it, if they were THAT fabulous/skilled/educated/great/ at what they do.... their time would be too valuable to be typing on the net!

 

your plan sounds solid, Cody. I wish you well.

 

teardrop

 

 

 

 

 

teardrop,

 

Honestly.

 

Nobody here has ever treated you that way. Nobody is trying to STOP anyone from making pottery. Everyone here is only trying to help you become a better potter. Sometimes that requires advice that is critical. That doesn't make it negative. The negativity is coming from you. You interpret everything you hear in the most negative way possible. I hope that someday when you are an experienced potter, you will recognize the value of that.

 

Mea

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trina    20

Hi there,

 

 

I have to agree with teardrop here.... what a bunch of negativity. Young potters not only need to learn the skills of being a potter but MUST learn the business side as well. It is by far the hardest and in my opinion the most important part. Start figuring out what things cost, start a spread sheet, figure out where and who will give you the best deal when you try to sell your work, start making those contacts now while you have 8 years of the 'good student life'. Never ever give your work away... its like selling seconds yuk! Be proactive in what you want to be your career. Take the advice of was it 'Mark C'? make spoon rests to put yourself through school. If it works for him, it might work for you. Learn your trade, but learn your business even more and start now. I was lucky enough to see your mugs before the link was removed and thought they were great! T

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GEP    863

Cody,

 

My last thoughts for you ... you are clearly very talented, ambitious, and energetic, and those are qualities that you should not suppress. However, you also displayed some inconsistency here. To me, it looks like this thread is the first time anyone said anything discouraging to you, and you didn't handle it very well. You reacted with defensiveness, sarcasm, and perhaps a little exaggeration. As an artist of any kind, especially after you are no longer a student, you will be judged and criticized and doubted on a regular basis. Prepare yourself to handle it more maturely.

 

Here's another thing to remember ... every professional working artist was the best artist in their high school. After high school, the standards are much higher and everything is way more competitive.

 

Overall, I am far more impressed with you than with most 17 year olds. Congrats on the college scholarship. I also endorse your idea to study engineering. Ceramics and engineering have a lot in common.

 

Mea

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Chris Campbell    1,082

WOW ... I am totally blindsided here Teardrop.

 

I NEVER SAID OR WROTE any of the negative things you refer to.

 

I NEVER SAID he could not sell

I NEVER SAID his work was not good enough.

I NEVER SAID he had to study with anyone.

 

Where on earth are you pulling this from?

 

I will clearly state once more my original point ... A point of view anyone is free to take or discard.

 

Enjoy the freedom you have to experiment and learn before your work has to produce money to pay the bills.

I honestly cannot fathom how that can be taken negatively.

 

If you can find ANY posts here, on this forum, that put people down, tell them they are not good enough or discourage them from their love of clay please post the links here so we can see them.

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trina    20

WOW ... I am totally blindsided here Teardrop.

 

I NEVER SAID OR WROTE any of the negative things you refer to.

 

I NEVER SAID he could not sell

I NEVER SAID his work was not good enough.

I NEVER SAID he had to study with anyone.

 

Where on earth are you pulling this from?

 

I will clearly state once more my original point ... A point of view anyone is free to take or discard.

 

Enjoy the freedom you have to experiment and learn before your work has to produce money to pay the bills.

 

If you can find ANY posts here, on this forum, that put people down, tell them they are not good enough or discourage them from their love of clay please post the links here so we can see them.

 

 

Chris ( nothing personal here and i am writing in a nice voice) I guess the negativity comes Not from personal comments but apathy toward helping a youngster learn about business. Do you know why info commerical stuff sells? Because those people understand their business.

 

T

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Chris Campbell    1,082

Trina ..

Have you looked around this whole site?

This entire site is 100% dedicated to education, encouragement and opportunity.

 

Ceramic Arts Daily for more teaching than a person can absorb ... For FREE

Potters Council for bonding and opportunity and networking ... For a small membership fee.

This FREE forum where you can post any question and get an answer.

 

Apathy??? Really???

If you have suggestions for improving the site, volunteer to serve on a Potters Council committee ... there you would have a voice in a place where change happens. You and any other potter reading this are 100% encouraged to get involved and use your time to make it better. :D

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