Why underselling is bad....

Undersell: To sell (something) at a price less than the actual value.

A few posts ago I mentioned having a copycat. And while the fact that she copies me and others bothers me greatly, what bothers me more is that she drastically undersells. How do I know she is underselling? Easy, her products are similar to mine and friends of mine who sell on Etsy. I know what they cost to make and I know that we all have the same fees and dues to pay and the ridiculously low prices that the CC sells them at hurt us all.

Consider this a little FYI for Etsy buyers only, who may not understand why they shouldn't jump on the cheapest deal.

Many of us on Etsy use our Etsy bucks (AKA money earned from sales on Etsy) for real needs in our lives. For example, I am a full time stay at home mom. Other than my son, wife, home duties...Etsy is my job. Since my husband does very well at paying all of our "real" bills I use my Etsy bucks for surprise bills, treats, supplies and extras. Amazingly (aka "Thanks God") there are always enough Etsy bucks for the need that arises. Still others depend on Etsy bucks for the "real" bills...gas, water, electric, etc. What does this have to do with underselling?

When people undersell at ridiculously low prices it makes it almost impossible for anyone to make a profit because the average buyer is not going to think "Hmm this seller is way underpricing...I bet this hurts other sellers who use Etsy as a source of income...I am going to go buy from a seller who has prices within the normal range"...nope, they don't think like that...they buy they cheap item and think what a great deal they got. I don't blame them....I have shopped at Wal-mart... (however much less since viewing a documentary on how Wal-mart has forced many companies out of business because of their push for the LOWEST price).

Underselling aka selling at 50% or less of what you should be selling it for does lots of damage...This could FORCE those selling for profit (imagine that!) to lower their prices (even if the price is really fair to begin with )to the point of hurting themselves...possibly forcing them out of business. But the normal sellers are forced to compete with the under seller who apparently doesn't care to make a profit, only to make a sale.

This is NOT about me or other sellers being greedy and wanting to jack up prices...I am not talking about overpricing, I am talking about pricing things at a reasonable price...a competitive price and giving a crap about what you are doing to the hundreds of Etsy sellers who are living their dream (like me) of making a wage from something they love.

(steps off of soapbox).

1 comment:

Sarah Epstein said...

Here Here! I couldn't agree more.

Having had a regular copycat on eBay who creates VERY BAD copies of my work and sells them for rockbottom prices, I completely know where you are coming from.

I am sick of here-one-minute-gone-the-next under-sellers taking the competitiveness out of the creative industry!

ps: your work is lovely by the way :o)

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