A month or so ago, I decided to create my own website to sell my products. This morning, I got the affirmation that I made the correct decision.
Etsy use to be for all handmade items and vintage items, but, with policy changes today, Handmade Artists (I'm not talking just about jewelry artists) will be and have been competing with manufacturers from overseas and in the US. Yep, prior to the policy change, those manufacturers were there. I think they changed the policy because so many of us were complaining about the manufacturers. The almighty dollar rules.
We Handmade Artists are Mom/Pop stores that take great pride in what we produce for you the customer. I know that I look for quality cabochons and gemstones at an affordable price so you, the customer, can have a beautiful work of art to wear or to gift to someone. I once tried, less expensive stones so my prices could be lower. It was waste of money as I couldn't pass those stones onto you, the customer. Now, they are decorations around candles. Looks pretty so maybe it wasn't a waste of money.
I was once told I was expensive. She said, "you make it at home!" Take a look at some of my gemstones. Can you buy those from jewelry stores at my prices? If I get a gemstone or cabochon on sale, I use the sale price in calculating my price to you. So I do try to pay it forward.
Silver and gold are a commodity, the prices change daily. When I get a new shipment of wire, I do the calculations down to the inch and use those prices in the pieces I make with it. So, yes, some items that look similar might be higher or lower based on cost to me.
You want to help the economy, buy USA goods, support the Mom and Pop stores and artists in your area and all over the USA. Spend your dollars at home.
I'll slowly back out of Etsy, as my items expire, I won't renew. I'm off my soapbox now.