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How To Make Ebay Work For You - for beadmakers



 
 
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  #1  
Old February 13th 04, 01:45 AM
Kandice Seeber
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default How To Make Ebay Work For You - for beadmakers

I just posted this over on WetCanvas, due to the amount of email I have had
asking for this advice. I thought I'd post it here as well, in case anyone
would like to read it.

"Okay, now that I have vented on the Beaders' Liberation thread, and gotten
lots of curious, positive and qustioning PM's, it's time for me to get
serious and answer some questions posed to me in the last couple of days.
What follows are my own personal tips for success as a beadmaker on ebay.
Please keep in mind that these are my own views, what works for me. They are
not intended to be Ebay Gospel, nor are they intended to put down the way
anyone else does business. My intent here is just to let people know what
works for me, in case they need some help and want some advice. However, I
am not going to sugar coat anything. Comments and questions are certainly
welcome.

I have been making beads for a year and a half. I have been a member on ebay
for something like 6 years - and before I sold beads on ebay, I sold
handmade jewelry. Those of you who sell jewelry on ebay now have a much
tougher road ahead than when I did. Also, selling beads on ebay is much
easier than selling jewelry in my opinion, so keep that in mind if selling
jewelry is your main intent. These tips may work well for beadmakers but may
not work for anyone else. Okay, so now that the disclaimers have all been
posted, here goes.

I sell only my best beads. I constantly work to improve my technique and
designs so that what I put up for sale is my best work. If I have beads that
are not my best work ("seconds"), I label them as such, so my customers do
not get confused when they see something selling at a much lower price. But
for the most part, all my beads are of the highest quality I can possibly
do. That means even dot placement, even shapes, smooth, puckered holes (no
jokes, now! ), matching sizes (as much as I can, anyway) and all that.

Art is of course subjective, but I find that the better my technique is, the
more my beads will sell for, and the happier my customers are. Plus, I feel
good and proud of the accomplishment. If you're new or haven't mastered
certain techniques, you cannot assume you are going to get high prices. If
you're okay with that, then great. However, I have seen some beads posted on
ebay that have crooked bumps, pointy holes, lumpy shapes, etc, and then the
seller will post complaints about how their beads are not selling. I've seen
this in other forums and on newsgroups, not just here.

So basically, the very first thing you need to look at when sales are not
going well is your own quality and workmanship. Work to improve that while
working to improve other aspects such as auction layout. A good way to check
quality is to do a search on ebay for the highest priced annealed lampwork.
Look at these beads in terms of quality and workmanship. I am not talking
about design or artistic expression - purely about craftsmanship.

The second thing I think needs to be addressed here is auction photography.
First off, do not use ebay's picture uploading as your sole picture host.
Their picture loading software SUCKS. It turns your decent pics into crap,
and I am not kidding here. Find another photo host and use HTML to reference
the pics in your auction description. If you need something that's free, I
recommend PictureTrail.com. I use my web host - I get 50MB of space for my
website, and that is more than enough, so I use some of the space for
auction pics.

Learn to take decent pictures. If you use a scanner and that works for you,
great. But by and large, most of the auctions I see that use digital images
look much better in my opinion. I use a digital camera that I got a year ago
for about $300. I know that seems like a lot, but it's so worth it. The pics
are clear, crisp and detailed, and show true color. There are tips and
tricks on photography everywhere - use them. There are threads in tthis very
forum - go look at them. Here's a link with some information as well:
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soo...tml#Photography
Also, the ebay community web boards have tons of information on photography
and other things. Use that as well. And stop taking pics with a regular
camera that has no macro - these are not close enough or true enough to see
your artwork unless you are a professional.

Get picture enhancing software and use it. I use Paint Shop Pro 7. I have no
idea what a lot of the features do, but what I do know works really well. I
can get completely true color when I enhance a pic with PSP. No, I don't
make the beads look more colorful or better than they look in person. I make
the pics look more realistic. For instance, Moretti amethyst photographs
much pinker/browner under normal lighting even with a digital camera. PSP
can make it look much more like it does in person by using the Hue Map,
Color Balance, and Levels features on the Color Menu. PSP is the only image
software I have ever used, but there are more out there that are great as
well, so I have heard.

The next issue at hand is using ebay's features to your advantage. Always,
always use the gallery pic option. It's only 25 cents, and most people in
the Handmade Lampwork category use it, so if you don't you may be skipped
over. Many customers have posted everywhere that they only look at the
gallery view on auctions. If you don't use this option, you are missing out
on a lot of customer traffic, and that means fewer bids and lower sales.
Sometimes, it may bring more traffic if you use the Featured Plus on one
auction and then have several other auctions going at the same time. Using
the subtitle feature on a couple of auctions, or the bold feature can also
help. Use sparingly, though, because those get pricey if you do them all the
time.

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or, learn
HTML to create your own layout. However, don't go overboard. The customer is
there to see your beads, not all the bells and whistles of your auction
layout. Go easy on the images, and stay away from anything that blinks,
plays music (PLEASE!!!) or creates a trailing cursor. Some of that stuff can
actually crash a customer's system, and then you can be sure they will never
come back. Keep any images that are not your beads small and fast loading.
If you have a logo, make it small or short so that the customer does not
have to scroll a huge long way to get to your bead pics. This is what works
for me, and what I am drawn to when looking at auctions.

The next issue is a touchy subject for many of us. But one that really needs
to be addressed, IMO. Market Research and understanding your target
audience. In this case, you are looking for people to buy your beads on
ebay. So you need to listen to what people want. There's a happy medium
between total artistic individuality and giving the customer what they want.
Here's a trade secret for you. I make what I like. But I also pay a lot of
attention to what the customer likes. If pink is in (it is right now, in
case you haven't noticed), I incorporate the color into my work. I pair it
with colors I think look great with pink. I experiment with colors I might
not normally put with pink just to see what's cookin'.

Research, all the time!! If your market is the jewelry artist, check and see
what people are wearing on TV. Check to see what your friends and family
like to wear. Look at bead - craft - art magazines, fashion ads, awards
shows. If your main market is the bead collector, check to see what shapes
and colors are hot right now for the collector. Then, incorporate that
knowledge into your own artistic expression. For instance, I don't like
making lentils. But they are hot hot hot right now. But I still am not going
to make them. So I check to see what other shapes might be hot, and go with
those. Shapes in general are doing well right now. So I love to make cubes,
so I make cubes!

Hang out where your customers hang out. Get to know them. You'll gain
knowledge and comraderie at the same time. Here, artists hang out. Some of
them are customers, but most of them are your competition. That's good, but
also go places online where your competition may not be but the customers
really are.

Here are a couple of examples:
The ebay commmunity Jewelry category board. I read there from time to time,
to check the current "pulse". I have **never** seen another lampworker post
there. So I post on occasion just to let them know I am around. We post
auctions in the Jewelry category - doesn't it make sense to see what people
are up to there? There are a surprising number of potential customers who
read and post to that board. It's main discussions are about gemstones, but
a lot of them seem to really like pretty sparkly things, and when they
notice what I do, they comment about it!

Also, the rec.crafts.beads newsgroup. Some of you already hang out there.
That group is **hugely** populated with people who adore beads. And they
will let you know what they like in a heartbeat (and what they don't like!).
If ever you needed opinions from a customer's point of view, that's the
place to get them. Don't have a newsgroup reader? Go to groups.google.com
and enter rec.crafts.beads into the search. Who knows - you may make a few
more friends while you're at it.

I know a lot of people frown on making beads that other people want you to
make, and instead wish to make only what you like. This is fine. But please
don't complain about sales if you aren't willing to consider your customers'
desires. There is a happy medium. You can do what you want *and* do what
they want. You can take risks and still have high sales.

Another touchy subject is that of talent and design. These cannot be taught,
IMO. They have to already be there. You can bring them out by observing your
surroundings and finding beauty. But if you have no eye for color or design,
you may not be able to make a whole lot of money in this business. Of
course, this art is not always about business or making money. You have to
really love what you're doing. If you're totally in love with glass, fire
and color, it will show in your work. And you will have higher sales. If you
are just doing it for money, I don't believe you will really succeed. Move
on to something you love. Life is too short!

Be prepared to pay money for some of the things I have mentioned above. I
paid for premium glass colors, tools, equipment, web hosting, a decent
digital camera, lighting, photo software, gallery pics in the auctions, etc.
You don't have to spend a fortune, but spending a little can be really worth
it in the end. If you aren't willing or cannot spend a little money on your
business, you will probably not do as well. If you can't afford the
necessary tools to do this art safely and properly, you shouldn't really be
doing it, IMO.

One last and very important point - Ebay is not impossible. But be prepared
to work your hiney off. You cannot go into this with the attitude that you
can make quick and easy money. It doesn't work that way, and if you look at
ebay often, you will see tons of evidence of that. As a matter of fact, you
*should* look at ebay often if you are trying to sell there. Look at your
competition. Of course, don't copy their beads (IMO!!!), but look at what
sells and more importantly, look at what does *not* sell. Think about why
some sellers continuously have a hard time. Think about why some sellers
seem to have unlimited success.

Does any of this make any sense? I hope so.
Am I giving you trade secrets? Well, no. This is all common sense, and came
from reading everything I possibly could on the subject. I've searched out
threads on just about every board I could find on these subjects, and taken
what worked for me and used it. My auctions do well. Almost every time. The
above is why. I hope some of these things will work for you."
--
Kandice Seeber
Air & Earth Designs
http://www.lampwork.net




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  #2  
Old February 13th 04, 02:19 AM
Debbie B
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kandice,
Thank you. That is an excellent post. I am printing it out for future
reference if I ever really sell stuff.

--
Debbie (New Mexico)
Life is too short


---
Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.580 / Virus Database: 367 - Release Date: 2/6/2004


  #3  
Old February 13th 04, 02:30 AM
Arondelle
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kandice Seeber wrote:

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or, learn
HTML to create your own layout.



I would LOVE to put my own HTML layouts in my auctions, but haven't
figured out how to do that.

Logos, links and font colors/sizes aren't a problem. Where do you start
the code that you paste in: at html, body, or what? Applying
background images, and tables? (I know that eBay won't allow
javascript, especially scripts that open new windows -- been there,
tried that.) I know this stuff can be done 'cause I've seen it, but I'm
completely be-fuzzled.

Note: I've been doing HTML since 1995. I detest websites with music,
flashing text, black or green backgrounds with red text and tons of
animated graphics. The occasional cursor toy is OK, but only on sites
otherwise devoid of the above violations of good taste, and meant
strictly for fun. Check out: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com for tips
on good HTML design.


Arondelle
--
================================================== =========
To email me, empty the pond with a net
Visit Arondelle's Dream Worlds at: http://www.arondelle.com
Read my Blog: http://www.angelfire.com/blog/arondelle/index.html

  #4  
Old February 13th 04, 02:39 AM
Mj
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Not only are you a glass artist, you have a sensible head on your shoulders.
I agree with every point you made - including the bit about the lentils. I
detest them - period. LOL!! But seriously, if anyone wants to be
successful on eBay, they need to know the basics: quality and customer
service. And part of customer service is offering what the customers want.
I don't particularly care for cat's eye beads, but some of my customers love
them and have bought them from me for five years. Why in the world would I
quit carrying them on aesthetic grounds because they offend my artistic
sensibilities??

You are successful on eBay because you've put the time into learning what
sells and what doesn't. Anyone who expects instant success is deluding
themselves. eBay is the greatest example of a free marketplace ever
conceived and those who put some time into learning what works will always
do well. I'll have to mosey on over to lurk at WC to see what the reaction
to your eminently sensible essay is!

Mj

---
=================================
Marjean Cline
Halsey Trading Company
eBay ID: ladymorgause
http://www.stores.ebay.com/id=1146230?refid=store
http://cgi6.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dl...ladymor gause
=================================


"Kandice Seeber" wrote in message
...
I just posted this over on WetCanvas, due to the amount of email I have

had
asking for this advice. I thought I'd post it here as well, in case

anyone
would like to read it.



  #5  
Old February 13th 04, 06:44 AM
Christina Peterson
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

My brain is too full right now to take this in, so I'm saving it.

Having read your advise on marketting before, I will strongly recommend it
to everyone here, even before reading it.

Thank you. (Maybe you should sell this to a beading magazine).

Tina


"Kandice Seeber" wrote in message
...
I just posted this over on WetCanvas, due to the amount of email I have

had
asking for this advice. I thought I'd post it here as well, in case

anyone
would like to read it.

"Okay, now that I have vented on the Beaders' Liberation thread, and

gotten
lots of curious, positive and qustioning PM's, it's time for me to get
serious and answer some questions posed to me in the last couple of days.
What follows are my own personal tips for success as a beadmaker on ebay.
Please keep in mind that these are my own views, what works for me. They

are
not intended to be Ebay Gospel, nor are they intended to put down the way
anyone else does business. My intent here is just to let people know what
works for me, in case they need some help and want some advice. However, I
am not going to sugar coat anything. Comments and questions are certainly
welcome.

I have been making beads for a year and a half. I have been a member on

ebay
for something like 6 years - and before I sold beads on ebay, I sold
handmade jewelry. Those of you who sell jewelry on ebay now have a much
tougher road ahead than when I did. Also, selling beads on ebay is much
easier than selling jewelry in my opinion, so keep that in mind if selling
jewelry is your main intent. These tips may work well for beadmakers but

may
not work for anyone else. Okay, so now that the disclaimers have all been
posted, here goes.

I sell only my best beads. I constantly work to improve my technique and
designs so that what I put up for sale is my best work. If I have beads

that
are not my best work ("seconds"), I label them as such, so my customers do
not get confused when they see something selling at a much lower price.

But
for the most part, all my beads are of the highest quality I can possibly
do. That means even dot placement, even shapes, smooth, puckered holes (no
jokes, now! ), matching sizes (as much as I can, anyway) and all that.

Art is of course subjective, but I find that the better my technique is,

the
more my beads will sell for, and the happier my customers are. Plus, I

feel
good and proud of the accomplishment. If you're new or haven't mastered
certain techniques, you cannot assume you are going to get high prices. If
you're okay with that, then great. However, I have seen some beads posted

on
ebay that have crooked bumps, pointy holes, lumpy shapes, etc, and then

the
seller will post complaints about how their beads are not selling. I've

seen
this in other forums and on newsgroups, not just here.

So basically, the very first thing you need to look at when sales are not
going well is your own quality and workmanship. Work to improve that while
working to improve other aspects such as auction layout. A good way to

check
quality is to do a search on ebay for the highest priced annealed

lampwork.
Look at these beads in terms of quality and workmanship. I am not talking
about design or artistic expression - purely about craftsmanship.

The second thing I think needs to be addressed here is auction

photography.
First off, do not use ebay's picture uploading as your sole picture host.
Their picture loading software SUCKS. It turns your decent pics into crap,
and I am not kidding here. Find another photo host and use HTML to

reference
the pics in your auction description. If you need something that's free, I
recommend PictureTrail.com. I use my web host - I get 50MB of space for my
website, and that is more than enough, so I use some of the space for
auction pics.

Learn to take decent pictures. If you use a scanner and that works for

you,
great. But by and large, most of the auctions I see that use digital

images
look much better in my opinion. I use a digital camera that I got a year

ago
for about $300. I know that seems like a lot, but it's so worth it. The

pics
are clear, crisp and detailed, and show true color. There are tips and
tricks on photography everywhere - use them. There are threads in tthis

very
forum - go look at them. Here's a link with some information as well:
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soo...tml#Photography
Also, the ebay community web boards have tons of information on

photography
and other things. Use that as well. And stop taking pics with a regular
camera that has no macro - these are not close enough or true enough to

see
your artwork unless you are a professional.

Get picture enhancing software and use it. I use Paint Shop Pro 7. I have

no
idea what a lot of the features do, but what I do know works really well.

I
can get completely true color when I enhance a pic with PSP. No, I don't
make the beads look more colorful or better than they look in person. I

make
the pics look more realistic. For instance, Moretti amethyst photographs
much pinker/browner under normal lighting even with a digital camera. PSP
can make it look much more like it does in person by using the Hue Map,
Color Balance, and Levels features on the Color Menu. PSP is the only

image
software I have ever used, but there are more out there that are great as
well, so I have heard.

The next issue at hand is using ebay's features to your advantage. Always,
always use the gallery pic option. It's only 25 cents, and most people in
the Handmade Lampwork category use it, so if you don't you may be skipped
over. Many customers have posted everywhere that they only look at the
gallery view on auctions. If you don't use this option, you are missing

out
on a lot of customer traffic, and that means fewer bids and lower sales.
Sometimes, it may bring more traffic if you use the Featured Plus on one
auction and then have several other auctions going at the same time. Using
the subtitle feature on a couple of auctions, or the bold feature can also
help. Use sparingly, though, because those get pricey if you do them all

the
time.

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or,

learn
HTML to create your own layout. However, don't go overboard. The customer

is
there to see your beads, not all the bells and whistles of your auction
layout. Go easy on the images, and stay away from anything that blinks,
plays music (PLEASE!!!) or creates a trailing cursor. Some of that stuff

can
actually crash a customer's system, and then you can be sure they will

never
come back. Keep any images that are not your beads small and fast loading.
If you have a logo, make it small or short so that the customer does not
have to scroll a huge long way to get to your bead pics. This is what

works
for me, and what I am drawn to when looking at auctions.

The next issue is a touchy subject for many of us. But one that really

needs
to be addressed, IMO. Market Research and understanding your target
audience. In this case, you are looking for people to buy your beads on
ebay. So you need to listen to what people want. There's a happy medium
between total artistic individuality and giving the customer what they

want.
Here's a trade secret for you. I make what I like. But I also pay a lot of
attention to what the customer likes. If pink is in (it is right now, in
case you haven't noticed), I incorporate the color into my work. I pair it
with colors I think look great with pink. I experiment with colors I might
not normally put with pink just to see what's cookin'.

Research, all the time!! If your market is the jewelry artist, check and

see
what people are wearing on TV. Check to see what your friends and family
like to wear. Look at bead - craft - art magazines, fashion ads, awards
shows. If your main market is the bead collector, check to see what shapes
and colors are hot right now for the collector. Then, incorporate that
knowledge into your own artistic expression. For instance, I don't like
making lentils. But they are hot hot hot right now. But I still am not

going
to make them. So I check to see what other shapes might be hot, and go

with
those. Shapes in general are doing well right now. So I love to make

cubes,
so I make cubes!

Hang out where your customers hang out. Get to know them. You'll gain
knowledge and comraderie at the same time. Here, artists hang out. Some of
them are customers, but most of them are your competition. That's good,

but
also go places online where your competition may not be but the customers
really are.

Here are a couple of examples:
The ebay commmunity Jewelry category board. I read there from time to

time,
to check the current "pulse". I have **never** seen another lampworker

post
there. So I post on occasion just to let them know I am around. We post
auctions in the Jewelry category - doesn't it make sense to see what

people
are up to there? There are a surprising number of potential customers who
read and post to that board. It's main discussions are about gemstones,

but
a lot of them seem to really like pretty sparkly things, and when they
notice what I do, they comment about it!

Also, the rec.crafts.beads newsgroup. Some of you already hang out there.
That group is **hugely** populated with people who adore beads. And they
will let you know what they like in a heartbeat (and what they don't

like!).
If ever you needed opinions from a customer's point of view, that's the
place to get them. Don't have a newsgroup reader? Go to groups.google.com
and enter rec.crafts.beads into the search. Who knows - you may make a few
more friends while you're at it.

I know a lot of people frown on making beads that other people want you to
make, and instead wish to make only what you like. This is fine. But

please
don't complain about sales if you aren't willing to consider your

customers'
desires. There is a happy medium. You can do what you want *and* do what
they want. You can take risks and still have high sales.

Another touchy subject is that of talent and design. These cannot be

taught,
IMO. They have to already be there. You can bring them out by observing

your
surroundings and finding beauty. But if you have no eye for color or

design,
you may not be able to make a whole lot of money in this business. Of
course, this art is not always about business or making money. You have to
really love what you're doing. If you're totally in love with glass, fire
and color, it will show in your work. And you will have higher sales. If

you
are just doing it for money, I don't believe you will really succeed. Move
on to something you love. Life is too short!

Be prepared to pay money for some of the things I have mentioned above. I
paid for premium glass colors, tools, equipment, web hosting, a decent
digital camera, lighting, photo software, gallery pics in the auctions,

etc.
You don't have to spend a fortune, but spending a little can be really

worth
it in the end. If you aren't willing or cannot spend a little money on

your
business, you will probably not do as well. If you can't afford the
necessary tools to do this art safely and properly, you shouldn't really

be
doing it, IMO.

One last and very important point - Ebay is not impossible. But be

prepared
to work your hiney off. You cannot go into this with the attitude that you
can make quick and easy money. It doesn't work that way, and if you look

at
ebay often, you will see tons of evidence of that. As a matter of fact,

you
*should* look at ebay often if you are trying to sell there. Look at your
competition. Of course, don't copy their beads (IMO!!!), but look at what
sells and more importantly, look at what does *not* sell. Think about why
some sellers continuously have a hard time. Think about why some sellers
seem to have unlimited success.

Does any of this make any sense? I hope so.
Am I giving you trade secrets? Well, no. This is all common sense, and

came
from reading everything I possibly could on the subject. I've searched out
threads on just about every board I could find on these subjects, and

taken
what worked for me and used it. My auctions do well. Almost every time.

The
above is why. I hope some of these things will work for you."
--
Kandice Seeber
Air & Earth Designs
http://www.lampwork.net





  #6  
Old February 13th 04, 12:49 PM
Louis Cage
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Good thoughts, expressed well.
Thanks Kandice.
--
There are no mistakes, only unexplored techniques

"Kandice Seeber" wrote in message
...
I just posted this over on WetCanvas, due to the amount of email I have

had
asking for this advice. I thought I'd post it here as well, in case

anyone
would like to read it.

"Okay, now that I have vented on the Beaders' Liberation thread, and

gotten
lots of curious, positive and qustioning PM's, it's time for me to get
serious and answer some questions posed to me in the last couple of days.
What follows are my own personal tips for success as a beadmaker on ebay.
Please keep in mind that these are my own views, what works for me. They

are
not intended to be Ebay Gospel, nor are they intended to put down the way
anyone else does business. My intent here is just to let people know what
works for me, in case they need some help and want some advice. However, I
am not going to sugar coat anything. Comments and questions are certainly
welcome.

I have been making beads for a year and a half. I have been a member on

ebay
for something like 6 years - and before I sold beads on ebay, I sold
handmade jewelry. Those of you who sell jewelry on ebay now have a much
tougher road ahead than when I did. Also, selling beads on ebay is much
easier than selling jewelry in my opinion, so keep that in mind if selling
jewelry is your main intent. These tips may work well for beadmakers but

may
not work for anyone else. Okay, so now that the disclaimers have all been
posted, here goes.

I sell only my best beads. I constantly work to improve my technique and
designs so that what I put up for sale is my best work. If I have beads

that
are not my best work ("seconds"), I label them as such, so my customers do
not get confused when they see something selling at a much lower price.

But
for the most part, all my beads are of the highest quality I can possibly
do. That means even dot placement, even shapes, smooth, puckered holes (no
jokes, now! ), matching sizes (as much as I can, anyway) and all that.

Art is of course subjective, but I find that the better my technique is,

the
more my beads will sell for, and the happier my customers are. Plus, I

feel
good and proud of the accomplishment. If you're new or haven't mastered
certain techniques, you cannot assume you are going to get high prices. If
you're okay with that, then great. However, I have seen some beads posted

on
ebay that have crooked bumps, pointy holes, lumpy shapes, etc, and then

the
seller will post complaints about how their beads are not selling. I've

seen
this in other forums and on newsgroups, not just here.

So basically, the very first thing you need to look at when sales are not
going well is your own quality and workmanship. Work to improve that while
working to improve other aspects such as auction layout. A good way to

check
quality is to do a search on ebay for the highest priced annealed

lampwork.
Look at these beads in terms of quality and workmanship. I am not talking
about design or artistic expression - purely about craftsmanship.

The second thing I think needs to be addressed here is auction

photography.
First off, do not use ebay's picture uploading as your sole picture host.
Their picture loading software SUCKS. It turns your decent pics into crap,
and I am not kidding here. Find another photo host and use HTML to

reference
the pics in your auction description. If you need something that's free, I
recommend PictureTrail.com. I use my web host - I get 50MB of space for my
website, and that is more than enough, so I use some of the space for
auction pics.

Learn to take decent pictures. If you use a scanner and that works for

you,
great. But by and large, most of the auctions I see that use digital

images
look much better in my opinion. I use a digital camera that I got a year

ago
for about $300. I know that seems like a lot, but it's so worth it. The

pics
are clear, crisp and detailed, and show true color. There are tips and
tricks on photography everywhere - use them. There are threads in tthis

very
forum - go look at them. Here's a link with some information as well:
http://airandearth.netfirms.com/soo...tml#Photography
Also, the ebay community web boards have tons of information on

photography
and other things. Use that as well. And stop taking pics with a regular
camera that has no macro - these are not close enough or true enough to

see
your artwork unless you are a professional.

Get picture enhancing software and use it. I use Paint Shop Pro 7. I have

no
idea what a lot of the features do, but what I do know works really well.

I
can get completely true color when I enhance a pic with PSP. No, I don't
make the beads look more colorful or better than they look in person. I

make
the pics look more realistic. For instance, Moretti amethyst photographs
much pinker/browner under normal lighting even with a digital camera. PSP
can make it look much more like it does in person by using the Hue Map,
Color Balance, and Levels features on the Color Menu. PSP is the only

image
software I have ever used, but there are more out there that are great as
well, so I have heard.

The next issue at hand is using ebay's features to your advantage. Always,
always use the gallery pic option. It's only 25 cents, and most people in
the Handmade Lampwork category use it, so if you don't you may be skipped
over. Many customers have posted everywhere that they only look at the
gallery view on auctions. If you don't use this option, you are missing

out
on a lot of customer traffic, and that means fewer bids and lower sales.
Sometimes, it may bring more traffic if you use the Featured Plus on one
auction and then have several other auctions going at the same time. Using
the subtitle feature on a couple of auctions, or the bold feature can also
help. Use sparingly, though, because those get pricey if you do them all

the
time.

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or,

learn
HTML to create your own layout. However, don't go overboard. The customer

is
there to see your beads, not all the bells and whistles of your auction
layout. Go easy on the images, and stay away from anything that blinks,
plays music (PLEASE!!!) or creates a trailing cursor. Some of that stuff

can
actually crash a customer's system, and then you can be sure they will

never
come back. Keep any images that are not your beads small and fast loading.
If you have a logo, make it small or short so that the customer does not
have to scroll a huge long way to get to your bead pics. This is what

works
for me, and what I am drawn to when looking at auctions.

The next issue is a touchy subject for many of us. But one that really

needs
to be addressed, IMO. Market Research and understanding your target
audience. In this case, you are looking for people to buy your beads on
ebay. So you need to listen to what people want. There's a happy medium
between total artistic individuality and giving the customer what they

want.
Here's a trade secret for you. I make what I like. But I also pay a lot of
attention to what the customer likes. If pink is in (it is right now, in
case you haven't noticed), I incorporate the color into my work. I pair it
with colors I think look great with pink. I experiment with colors I might
not normally put with pink just to see what's cookin'.

Research, all the time!! If your market is the jewelry artist, check and

see
what people are wearing on TV. Check to see what your friends and family
like to wear. Look at bead - craft - art magazines, fashion ads, awards
shows. If your main market is the bead collector, check to see what shapes
and colors are hot right now for the collector. Then, incorporate that
knowledge into your own artistic expression. For instance, I don't like
making lentils. But they are hot hot hot right now. But I still am not

going
to make them. So I check to see what other shapes might be hot, and go

with
those. Shapes in general are doing well right now. So I love to make

cubes,
so I make cubes!

Hang out where your customers hang out. Get to know them. You'll gain
knowledge and comraderie at the same time. Here, artists hang out. Some of
them are customers, but most of them are your competition. That's good,

but
also go places online where your competition may not be but the customers
really are.

Here are a couple of examples:
The ebay commmunity Jewelry category board. I read there from time to

time,
to check the current "pulse". I have **never** seen another lampworker

post
there. So I post on occasion just to let them know I am around. We post
auctions in the Jewelry category - doesn't it make sense to see what

people
are up to there? There are a surprising number of potential customers who
read and post to that board. It's main discussions are about gemstones,

but
a lot of them seem to really like pretty sparkly things, and when they
notice what I do, they comment about it!

Also, the rec.crafts.beads newsgroup. Some of you already hang out there.
That group is **hugely** populated with people who adore beads. And they
will let you know what they like in a heartbeat (and what they don't

like!).
If ever you needed opinions from a customer's point of view, that's the
place to get them. Don't have a newsgroup reader? Go to groups.google.com
and enter rec.crafts.beads into the search. Who knows - you may make a few
more friends while you're at it.

I know a lot of people frown on making beads that other people want you to
make, and instead wish to make only what you like. This is fine. But

please
don't complain about sales if you aren't willing to consider your

customers'
desires. There is a happy medium. You can do what you want *and* do what
they want. You can take risks and still have high sales.

Another touchy subject is that of talent and design. These cannot be

taught,
IMO. They have to already be there. You can bring them out by observing

your
surroundings and finding beauty. But if you have no eye for color or

design,
you may not be able to make a whole lot of money in this business. Of
course, this art is not always about business or making money. You have to
really love what you're doing. If you're totally in love with glass, fire
and color, it will show in your work. And you will have higher sales. If

you
are just doing it for money, I don't believe you will really succeed. Move
on to something you love. Life is too short!

Be prepared to pay money for some of the things I have mentioned above. I
paid for premium glass colors, tools, equipment, web hosting, a decent
digital camera, lighting, photo software, gallery pics in the auctions,

etc.
You don't have to spend a fortune, but spending a little can be really

worth
it in the end. If you aren't willing or cannot spend a little money on

your
business, you will probably not do as well. If you can't afford the
necessary tools to do this art safely and properly, you shouldn't really

be
doing it, IMO.

One last and very important point - Ebay is not impossible. But be

prepared
to work your hiney off. You cannot go into this with the attitude that you
can make quick and easy money. It doesn't work that way, and if you look

at
ebay often, you will see tons of evidence of that. As a matter of fact,

you
*should* look at ebay often if you are trying to sell there. Look at your
competition. Of course, don't copy their beads (IMO!!!), but look at what
sells and more importantly, look at what does *not* sell. Think about why
some sellers continuously have a hard time. Think about why some sellers
seem to have unlimited success.

Does any of this make any sense? I hope so.
Am I giving you trade secrets? Well, no. This is all common sense, and

came
from reading everything I possibly could on the subject. I've searched out
threads on just about every board I could find on these subjects, and

taken
what worked for me and used it. My auctions do well. Almost every time.

The
above is why. I hope some of these things will work for you."
--
Kandice Seeber
Air & Earth Designs
http://www.lampwork.net





  #7  
Old February 13th 04, 01:02 PM
Kandice Seeber
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I don't use the html or body tags, and I use a table in mine. It's
pretty much standard HTML. I view mine in Coffee Cup before posting it to
ebay so I can see what it looks like. The background needs to be started in
a table, otherwise it covers the whole page instead of just the description
and can screw up the text on the page. It took some teaking to get a layout
that worked for me. You just have to fiddle with it a bit.

--
Kandice Seeber
Air & Earth Designs
http://www.lampwork.net


If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or,

learn
HTML to create your own layout.



I would LOVE to put my own HTML layouts in my auctions, but haven't
figured out how to do that.

Logos, links and font colors/sizes aren't a problem. Where do you start
the code that you paste in: at html, body, or what? Applying
background images, and tables? (I know that eBay won't allow
javascript, especially scripts that open new windows -- been there,
tried that.) I know this stuff can be done 'cause I've seen it, but I'm
completely be-fuzzled.

Note: I've been doing HTML since 1995. I detest websites with music,
flashing text, black or green backgrounds with red text and tons of
animated graphics. The occasional cursor toy is OK, but only on sites
otherwise devoid of the above violations of good taste, and meant
strictly for fun. Check out: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com for tips
on good HTML design.


Arondelle
--
================================================== =========
To email me, empty the pond with a net
Visit Arondelle's Dream Worlds at: http://www.arondelle.com
Read my Blog: http://www.angelfire.com/blog/arondelle/index.html



  #8  
Old February 13th 04, 02:29 PM
Barbara Forbes-Lyons
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I lay out the page in Adobe GoLive (my web dev. tool), the cut/paste the
source code into the auction description.

--

Barbara
www.penguintrax.com

eBay: pnguintrax
Justbeadsenguintrax

0
/O\


Need web hosting? Check out http://www.lyonshost.com


"Arondelle" wrote in message
...
Kandice Seeber wrote:

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's. They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or,

learn
HTML to create your own layout.



I would LOVE to put my own HTML layouts in my auctions, but haven't
figured out how to do that.

Logos, links and font colors/sizes aren't a problem. Where do you start
the code that you paste in: at html, body, or what? Applying
background images, and tables? (I know that eBay won't allow
javascript, especially scripts that open new windows -- been there,
tried that.) I know this stuff can be done 'cause I've seen it, but I'm
completely be-fuzzled.

Note: I've been doing HTML since 1995. I detest websites with music,
flashing text, black or green backgrounds with red text and tons of
animated graphics. The occasional cursor toy is OK, but only on sites
otherwise devoid of the above violations of good taste, and meant
strictly for fun. Check out: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com for tips
on good HTML design.


Arondelle
--
================================================== =========
To email me, empty the pond with a net
Visit Arondelle's Dream Worlds at: http://www.arondelle.com
Read my Blog: http://www.angelfire.com/blog/arondelle/index.html



  #9  
Old February 13th 04, 02:46 PM
Karen_AZ
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

I did the same thing, but with Netscape Composer (free and easy to use IMO).
I have it down to a "fill in the blanks" template that lives in Turbo Lister
and a simple text file for Justbeads. A few quick entries, and it's all cut
and pasted in. Takes me about 10 minutes to load 6 auctions on Justbeads,
after the writing is done. All my auctions look the same, and look very
similar to my website, so I'm "all me."

KarenK

"Barbara Forbes-Lyons" wrote in message
...
I lay out the page in Adobe GoLive (my web dev. tool), the cut/paste the
source code into the auction description.

--

Barbara
www.penguintrax.com

eBay: pnguintrax
Justbeadsenguintrax

0
/O\


Need web hosting? Check out http://www.lyonshost.com


"Arondelle" wrote in message
...
Kandice Seeber wrote:

If you haven't created your own auction layout, use one of ebay's.

They
aren't bad, and having some sort of visual layout is a huge plus. Or,

learn
HTML to create your own layout.



I would LOVE to put my own HTML layouts in my auctions, but haven't
figured out how to do that.

Logos, links and font colors/sizes aren't a problem. Where do you start
the code that you paste in: at html, body, or what? Applying
background images, and tables? (I know that eBay won't allow
javascript, especially scripts that open new windows -- been there,
tried that.) I know this stuff can be done 'cause I've seen it, but I'm
completely be-fuzzled.

Note: I've been doing HTML since 1995. I detest websites with music,
flashing text, black or green backgrounds with red text and tons of
animated graphics. The occasional cursor toy is OK, but only on sites
otherwise devoid of the above violations of good taste, and meant
strictly for fun. Check out: http://www.webpagesthatsuck.com for tips
on good HTML design.


Arondelle
--
================================================== =========
To email me, empty the pond with a net
Visit Arondelle's Dream Worlds at: http://www.arondelle.com
Read my Blog: http://www.angelfire.com/blog/arondelle/index.html





  #10  
Old February 13th 04, 04:19 PM
DreamBeadr
external usenet poster
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Kandice,

I think it is wonderful that you took this time out of your day to share this
wealth of information with whomever should happen upon it.
It is a wonderful contribution to the bead community.
I think you should also include it on your website....tips for success.

I would also like to applaud your advice, it all sounds great!

Beki
http://www.whimbeads.com

 




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