Thursday, July 16, 2009

All Over the PLace

here are just some general updates to let you know that I'm not just out there floatin' in the Black with Jubal Early:

I've been watching the first complete month with Cafe Press' new pricing policy. And from what I can tell, their prices are higher than mine on practically every item. Seriously.

How this now works is something like this; If you go directly to my shop and find a design that you like- say the Evil Laugh one - and want to buy a mini poster print of it, you will pay $6.99. Of that, I would get $2.00 which helps pay to keep my shop on the site. Thank you very much!

Now, if you start at the main cafe press site and do a search on say "Browncoat" and the Evil Laugh design comes up and you buy a mini poster print, you will pay $8.00, of which I will get 80¢. This also helps pay to keep my shop on the site, but at three times slower a rate. Even if you are in the general market place and click on the link to "show all designs by Firefly Cargo Bay" etc, those sales still count as being from the marketplace and not my shop.

Having said all that, there are some items they have on sale from time to time, which make them cheaper there than directly in my shop. By all means- save yourself some cashy money wherever you can! I'd advise searching the main site and then if you see a design you like, and it happens to be one of mine, open up a new window in your browser. Pull up my shop directly on that one (go ahead, you can bookmark it) and compare the price.

That way- YOU get the best deal and I get to keep flyin'!

Now, I Hear You Ask- "So, are you leaving Cafe press then?"

In short- no.

Over the last few years they've changed a lot of things and I've watched my commission drop, pretty much on a regular basis. This is even though sales have remained fairly steady (and I thank you shiny people for that!) They changed the volume bonus program and I got less money. They pulled my most popular shops for various reasons and I got less money. Now they've introduced this new pricing plan and I'm getting less money. I will not be surprised when they phase out the shopkeeper price setting all together- I know it's coming.

But I will stay! When I started this experiment 4 years ago, I said I would keep the shop open as long as it paid for itself. It still continues to do that (again- thanks to you!) Cafe Press has the best marketing and circulation and internet reach out there that I've found. That certainly helps me. I have a Zazzle site but I never go there any more (it's harder to get the designs on the site and I haven't even put it on the new items) I've investigated other sites as well, but none have the shop potential that Cafe Press already has.

So the Firefly Cargo Bay at Cafe Press is staying put. I'm not abandoning ship, either. I've just placed my attention elsewhere for a while. I will get back to it again.

After all, there's always a ton of more ideas for designs floating in this head! Just gotta find time to get them out there in the 'Verse!

"So What HAVE You Been Doing?" I'm glad you asked!

The Firefly Cargo Bay has recently acquired a new-to-me button machine system! (see it right there behind Jayne's work out bench?) Squee! I have been trying out designs and papers and the like to see which of what works best. (This has left me with a big bag full of less than perfect test buttons which will be showing up on freebie tables at any conventions I attend!)

I've been having so much excitement from this little device it's unreal. My first line of designs will show up as a free give away in Ma Cobb's Hat Shoppe. She's thinking of making them her August promotion, so keep an eye out for that.

After that, sometime they- along with other button designs- will appear in the Secret Stash of the Firefly Cargo Bay. And Speaking of the Secret Stash...

I've been taking some product out of the web site, adding some in and assessing the others. The layout of the site has not changed yet- BUT IT WILL. (Someone at DucKon even said to me "your web site sucks." *insert big frowny face*)

I do want the new layout before year's end, but we'll see how that goes. It's going to have drop down menus to divide the product up better. Categories such as "flags", "jewelry", "toys and novelties" and "costume and decor" are some of what I'm thinking. That should make the product page load time a lot shorter!

And, since I have you here, just a note about ordering from the secret stash. I hate the fact that the Allied Postal System charges so much to get your shinys to you. This is why with EVERY ORDER I add some little thank you freebies in the package. These are constantly changing- due to whatever I have on hand or what will fit in the box, but will always be included. So check out the site and know you'll be getting some extra Browncoaty Goodness in every box!

After all, I am a business (wo)man with roots in the community!

Until next time:
"I may not be a fancy gentleman like yourself, with your very fine hat, but I do business. I'm here for business"

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