Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Sigh...I Flaked Again by Karen McGovern

Last week I swore that I was going to get back on track and post on time. LIAR!!! I am sitting in front of my computer frantically typing at 8:00 pm because I JUST REMEMBERED I AM SUPPOSE TO POST TOMORROW. Crap.

In my defense, I've been busy. I mentioned last week I HAVE A NEW STUDIO SPACE and moved my tonnage of jewelry gear to a free standing building of my very own. That has been such a dream come true, and also a slap in the face regarding ALL THE STUFF I HAVE ACCUMULATED over the years during my journey as a jewelry artist. Which has lead me to the next chapter, MY FIRST DESTASH SALE which will be held this coming Friday (Oct 2) thru Sunday (Oct 4). If you are interested in piles of cool beads, art supplies, mixed media stuff (so many glass and silver framed lockets) and finished works, then this sale is for you. I am donating proceeds to the Rare Species Conservatory Foundation (where I live and work) in support of our wildlife conservation programs. This will be a fun sale. I plan to do some GIVEAWAYS and have silly contests and stuff along with some MAJOR BARGAINS. And did I mention all sales proceeds will support WILDLIFE CONSERVATION????? Win/win for reals! 

Buy beads and art supplies to help save us!!! That's what these
baby bongo antelope are saying.....seriously.

I've never held a sale like this before. I've watched and participated in other artist's sales and marvel at how organized and well run the sales have been. Cross your fingers, folks, I'm not the most organized person. But I do like to have fun, so this will either be hilarious and successful, or go up in spectacular flame. Either way, it will be INTERESTING.

Just a fraction of the piles of stuff I have for the sale. Beads, cabochons, art supplies and finished works. 

In the meantime and on a completely different topic, many of my artist friends have been chatting away about the looming AMAZON HANDMADE site. Many of us (myself included) have been invited to open shops. Initially we all were like, "WOW! I will have a shop on AMAZON? AMAZEBALLS!" Now, reality has begun to set in in the form of a series of emails Amazon has sent out to all prospective shop owners detailing how it all works. This is AMAZON, people. The giant megalodon of online retail sales. The fine print has intimidated many artists and many have decided not to sell on the site. I am on the fence and have not made my final decision yet. Basically because I have not had enough time to freaking read all the fine print, and believe me, there is A LOT OF FINE PRINT which is in no way surprising.

From what I have been hearing many are nervous about the fact that your images and shops sort of remain on the site forever, whether your shop is live or not. In other words, just like every other website you publish images on, Amazon can use those images in perpetuity (FOREVER, GIRL) and in any way shape or form that they wish. So, you could close your shop, but Amazon can use any image you posted to continue to promote and sell other stuff on their platform. They can also direct folks that visit your shop to go to other shops that sell similar items. You know, like every other online selling platform that fills the bottom of your screen with "People who purchase this also purchased....(insert images of similar stuff being sold by other shops). 

While all of this is important to understand fully, it should in no way be surprising. Etsy does the EXACT SAME THING. All large online portals do. It's not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, we'd all love it if Amazon would embrace us as a handmade community that doesn't want to feel ripped off, taken advantage of or used but as I said before....THIS IS AMAZON. The fact that they are even considering working with independent artists is kind of mind boggling to begin with. In my humble opinion, it's a total crap shoot. I might give it a whirl. What's the worst that can happen? I close my shop and 50 years from now they are still using my photos to sell jewelry? Maybe somebody will see that photo and search me out whether I am on Amazon or not. I have done that--seen an incredible image of artwork and scoured the 'Net to find the original source. I discover artists like that quite often. So, the idea of my images being out there doesn't upset me one way or another. The Internet is forever, dears. Bottom line for me is can I sell enough to justify the fees? Isn't that everyone's real bottom line? We get a freebie trial....I'm considering going for it. I'll let you know.....I would love to hear from other artists out there that are considering joining Amazon. What's your take on all this???

Anyhoooo, sorry for the lame-ish post. Come check out my destash this weekend, Buy some beads and stuff and have fun and SUPPORT AN AMAZING WILDLIFE CONSERVATION ORGANIZATION! What could be better? Beads, jewelry, art supplies and saving the planet. SCORE!!!

Finally, one more shameless self-promotion...If you have a chance, grab the fall issue of Jewelry Affaire Magazine. My sugar skull pendants are featured along with a step by step tutorial explaining how to make them! Perfect for the season.

Now, go make something AMAZING!


Anonymous said...

You crack me up!!! I'm going to pass on Amazon Handmade...I don't think it's a good fit more me personally. I like the one-on-one and personal interaction through facebook, blogging, and my website, and feel that having a giant (Amazon) between me and my clients would kinda defeat the purpose of why I do what I do. But that's just me. I know if you decided to give it a go, you will do fabulously!!! <3
PS - I am so excited to see my feather headpin used in your sugarskull pendant!!! SO AWESOME!!!!
@ Azteca Designs Boutique

Anonymous said...

Since I have closed my Artfire shop and have been thinking about where I might set up online this fall, I have been paying attention to friends who are embracing Amazon. I went there to check out the application form but was put off by the fact that only a certain percentage of the items you sell has to be hand made. Hmmmm.....so I did a search for handmade jewelry and got a TON of images of things that were in no way hand made! I realize that their handmade community is not up and running as yet, but I am wondering just how it is going to work and how much benefit one will get from paying those high fees.

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