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  1. #1

    Default Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Hi everyone,

    I'm opening a little Etsy shop with my perfume & toiletries in a few months.
    I need to limit myself to 12 scents. I have so many different scents but I'm going for 5 all naturals and 7 that also contain synthetics.
    Here are my categories:

    FOODY/SWEET/FRUITY
    FEMININE/SEXY
    FRESH/GREEN/UNISEX
    WOODS/RESINS/SPICES

    Is there any kind of scent you would especially think people would like?
    The people that I sell to right now especially love very sweet and fruity scents. Myself tend to especially like light florals, citrus, resinous and amber scents, some vanillas too.

    Any input is appreciated
    Thank you!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    I guess you could add a chypre category too or is that going under fresh/ green/ unisex ? Good luck with your endeavors , I love Etsy .
    Last edited by Mimi Gardenia; 25th March 2010 at 09:21 AM. Reason: God help my spelling ...............
    http://www.basenotes.net/threads/370...o-Profumo-Onda
    For sale. Carnal Flower and Vero Profumo Onda.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    I'm a huge Etsy perfume buyer. But I've tried alot that seem like someone put a bunch of scents together, thought it smelled alright, then tried to figure out what it smelled like and at the end named it, or they're just rebottling fragrance oils from online wholesalers.

    I'd love to see something super fresh & clean, perhaps a la "CLEAN", or a unisex with vanilla. Orientals are another hit or miss on Etsy, too, but are super popular.

    Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    I like to see a selection of scents across the classic genres. I think you're in the right direction! 12 sounds like plenty - too many and it looks like you're churning things out. Too few and people wander off.

    Make sure you emphasis that these are your own blends and spend some time on honing really evocative fragrance descriptions. Good descriptions will help you stand out, especially if you can put some of your own style or personality in there. Basic branding, basically :)

    Good luck to you, and don't underprice!

  5. #5

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Pricing is a big issue. I'd be curious to hear what people think is a reasonable price range for original, high quality, handmade blends of the type that Irina proposes to sell.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Thank you all, I really appreciate it Working on my descriptions, here are some examples, please criticize?

    A long one:

    MS BOVARY
    The concept for this blend was born when re-reading one of my favorite classic books: Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert. It's a story of a passionate woman and her dark desires. One piece especially caught my eye and inspired me:

    "...and yet all this time she was conscious of the scent of Rodolphe's head by her side. This sweetness of sensation pierced through her old desires, and these, like grains of sand caught in a gust of wind, eddied to and fro in the subtle breath of the perfume which invaded her soul. She opened wide her nostrils several times to drink in the freshness of the ivy round the capitals."
    - Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary, Ch. 17, p. 104.

    I translated the archetype of the mistress consumed by passion and sexuality into a mixture of steamy animal musk, Indian agarwood and fiery cardamom. Ivy, kiwi and pear gave the blend a sophisticated freshness. And sexually stimulating patchouli and cinnamon rounded the magick spell of this sexy oriental.
    Awaken your passion!


    A short one:

    LUST: Need some magic in the bedroom? High heels and sexy lingerie can help only that much. Cover yourself in this scent of pure musky sensuality and lore him into your arms.


    I find it hard to set prices cos there is loads of competition mostly from US.
    Just a bit of research showed that 5 ml blends sell from $3.25 (?!!!) up to $125 (?!!!).
    I know for sure I couldn't let them go for under $12 for 5 ml and that would only cover material costs and very basic packaging. But being a newcomer and with the economical crisis, I don't know if I can afford to ask for more?

    Suggestions???

  7. #7

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    I like the long description - you're painting a picture for the prospective buyer and then providing them with a more factual statement on what the perfume contains. I know I'm more likely to buy something that gives both descriptions.

    One of my favourite Etsy perfumers, Wiggle Perfumes, has her 5ml listed for $11 which is, IMO, on the cheaper end of the scale. (Her 15ml are about $30, I think?) $15-18 is still affordable, especially if you plan to sell samples. If I fall in love with a fragrance, I'm more than happy to sell out a bit more $$ instead of buying blind. TBH, and this might sound silly, I won't buy something if it's less than, say $9, because I wonder why it's so cheap - cheap materials?

    Also, I find packaging to be a huge factor as to whether or not I'll be a return buyer. Wing and Prayer Perfumes is one of the best stores I've seen for packaging - it seemed more like a gift than a purchased order. One of my favourite things, and probably fairly cheap, is tissue paper to match your store. I know it's petty, but nice packaging makes me feel like the seller likes what they do and cares about their customers.
    Last edited by GoldenVenissa; 26th March 2010 at 02:13 PM. Reason: Grammar

  8. #8

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    The most basic 'by thumb' pricing for crafts is:

    Cost of Materials + Labor cost + Overhead costs = Wholesale price
    Wholesale price x 2 = Retail Price

    I've no idea how this compares to the way other small/niche perfumers price, but try it on your products and see if the result falls in your comfort zone.

    On Etsy you'll see a lot of people selling below retail and not paying themselves for their time. This is ok when it's a hobby, but gives you no way to expand if you're a small business. The above formula lets you repurchase materials, pays you for your time and gives you a profit which you can re-invest in the business, or (eventually) draw out yourself. If you're paying yourself a wage, and get too busy to cope (here's hoping!), then with the above pricing you'd be able to pay someone to help with orders if you ever needed to.

    It's also ok to adjust the formula. For example:

    (1.5 x Cost of Materials + Overhead costs) + Labor cost = Retail Price

    can work if you're intending to stay small and you're not intending to do much or any wholesale. Don't get too hung up on competing on price, but concentrate on quality of product and quality of customer service. It's always better to sell 1 thing at $25 than 2 at $12.

    Remember to add things like Etsy fees and PayPal fees into your overheads. You may also need a small amount as 'self insurance' to cover loss/damage in shipping.

    Most buyers on Etsy are from the US, so if you can keep your shipping low it helps, psychologically. You may have to absorb some of the shipping/packaging costs into your product. Being in the EU is a plus for EU buyers though - no import duty, wheee!

    I'd pay up to $30 from the EU for 5ml for something good. Who knows how much for something amazing! Probably not blind though, so a sample program would be important.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenVenissa View Post
    I like the long description - you're painting a picture for the prospective buyer and then providing them with a more factual statement on what the perfume contains. I know I'm more likely to buy something that gives both descriptions.

    One of my favourite Etsy perfumers, Wiggle Perfumes, has her 5ml listed for $11 which is, IMO, on the cheaper end of the scale. (Her 15ml are about $30, I think?) $15-18 is still affordable, especially if you plan to sell samples. If I fall in love with a fragrance, I'm more than happy to sell out a bit more $$ instead of buying blind. TBH, and this might sound silly, I won't buy something if it's less than, say $9, because I wonder why it's so cheap - cheap materials?

    Also, I find packaging to be a huge factor as to whether or not I'll be a return buyer. Wing and Prayer Perfumes is one of the best stores I've seen for packaging - it seemed more like a gift than a purchased order. One of my favourite things, and probably fairly cheap, is tissue paper to match your store. I know it's petty, but nice packaging makes me feel like the seller likes what they do and cares about their customers.
    Thank you so much for your suggestions and feedback, I greatly appreciate them!

    My prices can't compete with USA prices as raw materials are a lot more expensive here, especially as I prefer local sources and as much organic/fair trade materials I can afford. It helps that a high percentage of my perfume materials I make myself by using plants, herbs and flowers I grow or pick myself.
    I try to keep my carbon footprint as small as possible and something that gives me headaches is the packaging. I want to go with something that is pretty, protect my lovelies in transit but are also not too environmentally intrusive. What I do right now is recycle as much as I can from what I get from supplies like boxes, bubble wrap and other cushioning materials.

    I'll be also offering toiletries (shower creams, body oils etc.) that will be exclusively scented and I'm working on a plan to offer those in a manner that is hygienic, practical but also recyclable.

    I did a lot of research on perfume & toiletries trends and about 70% of all customers would prefer to buy 'green' products as a rule not as a trend.

    Taking all this into consideration will certainly reflect on my prices

  10. #10

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Petra Ichor View Post
    The most basic 'by thumb' pricing for crafts is:

    Cost of Materials + Labor cost + Overhead costs = Wholesale price
    Wholesale price x 2 = Retail Price

    I've no idea how this compares to the way other small/niche perfumers price, but try it on your products and see if the result falls in your comfort zone.

    On Etsy you'll see a lot of people selling below retail and not paying themselves for their time. This is ok when it's a hobby, but gives you no way to expand if you're a small business. The above formula lets you repurchase materials, pays you for your time and gives you a profit which you can re-invest in the business, or (eventually) draw out yourself. If you're paying yourself a wage, and get too busy to cope (here's hoping!), then with the above pricing you'd be able to pay someone to help with orders if you ever needed to.

    It's also ok to adjust the formula. For example:

    (1.5 x Cost of Materials + Overhead costs) + Labor cost = Retail Price

    can work if you're intending to stay small and you're not intending to do much or any wholesale. Don't get too hung up on competing on price, but concentrate on quality of product and quality of customer service. It's always better to sell 1 thing at $25 than 2 at $12.

    Remember to add things like Etsy fees and PayPal fees into your overheads. You may also need a small amount as 'self insurance' to cover loss/damage in shipping.

    Most buyers on Etsy are from the US, so if you can keep your shipping low it helps, psychologically. You may have to absorb some of the shipping/packaging costs into your product. Being in the EU is a plus for EU buyers though - no import duty, wheee!

    I'd pay up to $30 from the EU for 5ml for something good. Who knows how much for something amazing! Probably not blind though, so a sample program would be important.
    Thank you so much, Petra This is very valuable information. Calculating shipping costs is something that is very important. As a buyer I hate shipping fees What I especially like is an honest shipping price, it really ticks me off if I pay more shipping than postage especially if there are no details on what that includes and what not.

    I'll definitely do samples. Probably only for perfumes or something solid like soap/massage bars that can be made in small quantities without tons of packaging needed.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Quote Originally Posted by Irina View Post
    Taking all this into consideration will certainly reflect on my prices
    Absolutely! I didn't mean to imply you should compete with American prices, which are cheaper given the cost of supplies and etc... I hope I didn't offend. Being in Canada, we pay alot more than they do, and we're just across an imaginery line, being in Europe I'm guessing is still alot more than here. Given the info you just provided, I know as a consumer, I'd be willing to spend alot more, because I know some people charge $10 for simply mixing inexpensive perfume-type fragrance oils with Jojoba. I look forward to seeing your products and hopefully ordering some!

  12. #12

    Default Re: Opening on Etsy soon: some help please?

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldenVenissa View Post
    Absolutely! I didn't mean to imply you should compete with American prices, which are cheaper given the cost of supplies and etc... I hope I didn't offend. Being in Canada, we pay alot more than they do, and we're just across an imaginery line, being in Europe I'm guessing is still alot more than here. Given the info you just provided, I know as a consumer, I'd be willing to spend alot more, because I know some people charge $10 for simply mixing inexpensive perfume-type fragrance oils with Jojoba. I look forward to seeing your products and hopefully ordering some!
    You didn't offend me in any way, sweetie!
    Your questions and remarks are really valuable to me, they really help in writing my perfume selling policies and philosophy etc.
    So thank YOU

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