Friday, December 13, 2013

Item Tracking Your Products

If I learned anything from my days as an assistant manager, it was to measure turnover of your stock. We had some control over what we could order and I quickly learned hot sellers required more stock, something I might add needs to be taught today. Any manager worth his salt would be ashamed and possibly fired by the number of empty hooks in stores if any of my old district managers was around. You have to wonder how many sales are lost? Yet everyone seems busy putting stuff on the shelves. What ARE they stocking? Obviously not what people want. Those hooks and spaces are still empty.

Now I am faced with the same dilemma in my own Etsy store. I began tracking my items in October using a program on that itemizes your Etsy store and tells you views, items favored and ratios, giving you have a quick snapshot of items.  Once sold or expired though you lose those counts. Renewing an item however, restores the count so you can see what happened in the past up to the day it expired.

There are some items, after a few renewals, I am prepared to withdraw. That's easy. Obviously there is no interest and maybe it can be returned to the product mix and a new audience at a later time. If you've never seen it before it's new to you.

The dilemma though is what do you do with those items that have a high volume of views, are favored frequently but never sell? I have several items with near or over 600 views, a viewer to favored ratio of 4-8 yet remain unsold. Is the price too high? Too cheap? How do you find out?

Malcolm Gladwell's new book DAVID VS GOLIATH tells the tale of a new vintner. His wines were highly rated but sales languished.  At $10 a bottle they were a steal but sales were low.  With a suggestion he began playing with his pricing using $10, $20, and $30 price points. To his surprise his sweet spot was $20 a bottle.  He sold all that he had.

Everything has a price. My aunt ran the bakery for a food chain and would tell me the same thing. If an item appears to be too cheap people think it is. When she raised prices making obscene profits they would sell out.

However, I have single items. Pricing is always an issue. My newest birdhouse sold before I could track it. Perhaps I need to do some time tracking of my own to discover the amount of time involved and see if I can hit the sweet spot in pricing. It's an unusual way of tracking art and crafting but hey, you never know! It might be interesting to find what people are willing to pay for an original, one of a kind item and if some items are valued more than others.

There's still time to order.  Visit for original, hand painted fine art and unique crating gifts!

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