If you’re self employed in the UK and want the tax office to work out your tax you have to get your form in by the end of October. As I started my Etsy shop last year I had two businesses to work out so employed the services of an accountant to help me.

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Well I’ve had a severe talking to. When I embarked on my Etsy shop I had no clue as to how to price things. I worked out how much the materials had cost me and looked at what other people were selling their items for and priced my items somewhere in between. It was only reading the forums and critiques of other shops that I realised what the correct formula was.

So for those who don’t know – though I suspect most do-  it is this:

Cost of materials + (TIME TAKEN x HOURLY RATE) = Wholesale rate x 2 = your shop price

The bit I was forgetting was to charge for my time – as I loved making the items. So often my items were sold at the wholesale or even less than the wholesale rate – no wonder I made a loss last year! I also got a lot of requests from online shops who asked what my wholesale rate expecting me to knit a child’s jumper for half of the price quoted in my shop – which, of course, wouldn’t have covered the price of the yarn!

Traditionally the wholesale price is the price offered to galleries or shops wishing to sell the work on your behalf – they then add 100% mark up on the items for sale in their shop. Doing the same for your online shop allows you to be able to offer discounts, free shipping, etc.

So I now have a snazzy spreadsheet with lots of columns covering cost of materials, hours worked, labour cost, admin costs, wholesale price, discount and actual price – it also allows me to work out how much was earned in labour and how much – if any –  was earned as profit. Which should make the whole tax thing easier next year!

This has also prompted me to double check the exchange rate and alter my prices accordingly. It would be so much easier if I could just put the £ value into my Etsy listing and the Buyer could see it or its equivalent in whatever currency they are shopping in.

As a result a lot of my prices have changed today – most up, some down and some have stayed the same. Looking at other items on Etsy I can’t believe how others make their items so cheaply – either they get their materials for free or they, like I was, aren’t factoring THEIR PRECIOUS TIME into the piece.

So from now until the end of Monday 2nd November I’m offering free shipping on all my items in my Etsy shop – just put ‘Stitching Adventures’ in the message to seller at checkout and I will refund the postage via paypal.

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It probably hasn’t been the best time to start an online shop but I’ve learnt a lot over the last year and met some great online freinds. The best bit is that people have actually bought from my shop and loved their purchases. I’ve discovered that I enjoy picking up a piece of wool or fabric and creating something to my own design.

So to celebrate the shop now has this announcement:

****It’s our Etsyversary this week from now until 12 noon GMT on Fri 25th Sept we’re offering 10% off in the shop – just mention the etsyversary sale in the message to seller at check out and we’ll refund you via PayPal *****

and if you don’t know the address already it’s: http://RhodesAnnalsDesigns.etsy.com

Etsy Twitter Team: Shop of the Week: Tamara Garvey

Tamara does lovely illustrations with pen and ink. You can read her full interview by clicking on the link above. Here are a couple of my favorites from her shop.

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The Etsy Twitter team have another shop of the week.

This week it is Jewel Craft Designs and here are a couple of my favorites:

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You can find out more here.

I’m very excited as I’m part of a new etsy promotion team and we’re running a ‘shop’ of the week. I have a slot in April – which I’m sure I’ll blog about. Please visit the blog and view this week’s shop of the week.
http://etsytwitter.blogspot.com/

 

 

 

In a bid to make more of my etsy shop I’ve had to bring in a new model – please welcome the beautiful Doris!

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She’s modelling my latest creation made with yarn that I bought from this shop on etsy.

Here are a few others I’ve made since Christmas:

 

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Happy 2009. Phew Christmas was a blur … well, did I finish it all in time?

Finishing a cowl in 4ply (seemed like a good idea at the time) – finished Dec 23rd

making fingerless gloves and hat to match a scarf already made for grandad – finished gloves at the cinema on the 23rd (13 yr old cousin was not impressed!) decided to leave the hat for now.

scarf in fun fashion wool – finished Christmas Day afternoon but went down well when it was opened on boxing day.

2 x hot water bottle covers (late special order) – after speed knitting in Christmas day my hands needed a 2 day rest so my sister had one to take home with her on the 30th. Waiting to hear if it is fit for purpose before sewing the other one up and posting it to her.

sewing up at least 2 of the 5 bags I’ve got cut out – I managed to do the 2 – finished the 2nd on Christmas eve.

sew up 2 tasselled hats (for adults!) – done.

finding and adding some pearl buttons to my mum’s present – didn’t get pearl but raided her button stash and got some that looked a bit like mother of pearl. She’s on the lookout for ones that she likes.

making a start on the none too small pile of editing I have to do ‘over the holiday’ – I’ve done a bit, well half.

write the last Christmas cards for the neighbours – delivered Christmas eve

make my traditional rum truffles (let alone the fudge I usually make but I’ve already decided not to) – finished Christmas eve, eaten by boxing day.

WRAP presents (buy the wrapping paper in the first place). Finally completed at 10pm on Christmas Eve (last year it was 3am Christmas morning so an improvement).

Since Christmas I’ve knitted 2 hot water bottle covers (though only sewn one up), made a pair of fingerless gloves for my aunt and I’m halfway through another cowl for my etsy shop.

For Christmas I was given lots of sewing cottons by my OH and yarn and knitting needles by my mum. My dad found some more ‘vintage’ knitting patterns and my sister bought me three knitting books. So I think I’ve got the family’s permission to keep on with this craft thing.

I managed to buy a lot of my presents on etsy and I hope to be showing you a few of them over the coming weeks.