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Author Topic: [Fund Me] Help me save Home Part 2!! War Again!! {{ Emergency Fund-raiser }}  (Read 5688 times)
J. Wilhelm
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« on: November 12, 2013, 07:13:32 am »

UPDATE Wednesday Noon Dec 18:

Report  Tuesday Noon Dec 18: The 2nd Battle for Minas Tirith is won! An elf by the name of Legolas, and emissary sent by Elrond is credited with killing the 2nd and 3rd Orcs in command.  The Orc army is in full retreat!


I'm afraid the Orcs have attacked Minas Tirith again, dear ladies and gents.  In less-than-predictable fashion a key ally in the battle has retreated (one of my customers has failed to pay her account in full this December).  However we have a slight advantage over last month in that I have over 1/2 of the money now at the start of the second defence campaign.  

(Please read page 2 of thread for details) or click:

Tuesday Dec. 10  http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,41621.msg881333.html#msg881333

Wednesday Dec. 11:http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,41621.msg881466.html#msg881466

Sunday December 15: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,41621.msg881928.html#msg881928

Last details Tuesday 17: http://brassgoggles.co.uk/forum/index.php/topic,41621.msg882200.html#msg882200

~ ~ ~
Original Message, November 12


Dear ladies and gentlemen:

I come in severe distress at the moment, as I'm in a situation where I might lose my habitation and roof over my head very soon within the week.  I currently rent a two story apartment which I share with a roommate in two bedrooms and 3 baths.  The nice thing about this living arrangement is that the living quarters are upstairs, while the kitchen and living room are downstairs.  What is so special about the living room is that it is very large and has an imitation wood vinyl-covered cement floor, which allows me to combine my shop with my living quarters (very easy to sweep, you see? Especially since I mostly carve and not use power tools other ha a Dremel - the heaviest work I do is soldering and brazing with a torch).  And these living arrangements are absolutely necessary during the Winter months.

As you all know, I depend entirely on my income from Steampunk sales.  I have 3 Etsy shops, an eBay shop, my personal webpage, a BigCartel shop, and an eCrater shop, with the last 3 not producing any measurable revenue:

www.etsy.com/shop/VictorianSteamEtsy
http://www.ebay.com/usr/victoriansteampunk
http://baroquestone.com
http://victoriansteamaustin.bigcartel.com/ just an extension of my webpage
http://victoriansteamaustin.ecrater.com/

What happened:

After facing a brief health scare with my mother in San Diego this October, I found that the sales on this side of the Atlantic have dropped to zero, and in the last two months I have suffered the cancellation of 3 large custom orders.  Luckily, I didn't spend money on any of them as that would have run into many hundreds!  Nevertheless the loss of sales was substantial at $1500 in 3 orders on October (a MacBook Pro case all American)  and an $800 commission for an iMac case from Germany.  That is very significant, and worse at a a time of the year when sales are meant to triple ($800 average low month, $1200 average high - over $2000 from October through December) - so far ZERO sales in the first 1/3 November).

I very much suspect that a "one-two" political punch has shaken the confidence of the American buying public.  First one side of politics threatened to halt the Government, and managed to stop government work for millions of people over two weeks to drive their political point.  Then the other political side unwittingly  drove the final blow when it was discovered that health care insurance costs would cause the cancellation of insurance premiums and require higher rates for at least 3 million people (and growing), since the law was enacted.

Politics aside, the American public is scared out of it's senses, and they simply do not want to spend a dime. And now the merchant is left to bear the brunt of the drop in sales this holiday season.  I have never seen anything like it, since 2008.  Our British and European friends who are battle-hardened don't show the same reluctance as our domestic clientèle this holiday season, apparently

American sales are practically gone, and the only movement is all British, German, Australian and New Zealander at the time.  I am very grateful for the international sales, but unfortunately international sales, while substantial occupy only about 1/3 of my net sales annually - simply not enough to keep me alive.  I am approaching the problem by focusing on promotion toward Australia, the UK, and Germany who are the countries which buy the most outside the US.  To a lesser extent I also have a Russian following and several cases to deliver to Mother Russia this month.

I normally spend about $600 in rent and utilities, but I find myself right now fighting eviction this week, with my own father refusing help  today Monday (it's a long story - he didn't raise me, - my grandparents did - he is horribly bitter toward my mother and my grandparents, and unfortunately I happen to share his name - which one day I will change perhaps to Wilhelm).

Being at my wit's end and quadrupling my efforts in Facebook / Twitter and elsewhere, I have opted to copy Mr. Ian Finch-Feld (Skins n' Hidez) and establish a fundraiser at GoFundMe.com

Being of the self sufficient type, and noting I have never applied for government assistance - ever, I can't help but feel a deep sense of shame for coming with my hat in hand asking for help like this, but I feel that if the general public appreciates what I make, the they will perhaps give me a lending hand.

This is my campaign fund.  I have yet to establish "rewards" and the like as I have just started this campaign.  There is no minimum contribution and sometimes the best way to help is to simply spread the word and make as much noise as possible, and so ladies and gentlemen, I ask for your consideration and your grace in spreading the word.

The amount I established as a goal for the campaign is really arbitrary.  I chose $1200, because that is the net monthly cost for the apartment assuming I had no roommate - or alternatively two months worth of rent.  Really what I need at the moment, as a minimum is half that amount.  I will most likely close the campaign at the end of this week after the immediate emergency has passed.

The campaign address is: http://www.gofundme.com/56bbkg

I thank you for your attention, may God bless you  and I remain your humble servant.

John Dunn (<-- remind me to change my name) AKA Adm. Johnannes Wilhelm
USAS Orca
« Last Edit: December 18, 2013, 08:48:35 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged

Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2013, 07:54:14 am »

Dear Admiral,

Oh, no, this should not happen to you again, not again!  And at Christmas.  I wish I could commission some of your outstanding work, and do not ever feel you have to humble yourself.  Most of us have been there, and you are an educated and talented and splendid fellow whose worth must be recognized in currency one of these days.  Meanwhile we shall ransack our reticules, notecases, sporrans, etc; and rummage in the cushions of our dirigibles, and do the best we can to help.  Will you keep a meter toward your goal?

Do not give up hope!

Arabella

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Elle a des idees au-dessus de sa gare.'
Kenneth: 'Idiot.  It's not that kind of station.'

Terence Rattigan 'French Without Tears.'
Major Willoughby Chase
Guest
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2013, 07:23:51 pm »

Wish I could help, but I'm facing similar problems myself and am currently selling everything I own (barring clothes, books and furniture - as I'd only get pennies for the latter two), to try and afford an enforced move coming in March.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #3 on: November 12, 2013, 08:10:09 pm »

Thank you dear Arabella and Major Chase.  I'm keeping my chin up!  And the campaign has already started yielding today (I won't reveal names unless I have permission).

That already helps me as I do have accounts receivable from one customer in Australia, and if I finish an existing project, as I got an extension until Friday morning at my apartment complex.  I'm thinking that if the customer is able to pay and I can ship to Australia, then I'll be able to collect part -maybe 1/2 of the funds I need - we'll see (I worked on a 60% retainer 40% balance basis - the balance is coming on an iMac case).  I still don't know if my customer will be able to, but I will contact her as soon as Australia sees the light of day.

Many thanks!

J. "Wilhelm"
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 08:14:38 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
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09madasafish
« Reply #4 on: November 12, 2013, 11:50:49 pm »

Would love to contribute, but am in a similar position to both your good self and the Major (as you're probably aware thanks to my contributions on the GAHHH!!!! thread), albeit not as severe.

'Thankfully' for me I at least have my parents to fall back on, and they're happy enough to keep a roof over my head for the time being, as guilty as having to rely on their handouts makes me feel (tbh they're the only reason I'm not in the EXACT same position as you and the Major since I've got *maybe* £7,000 to my name, including my hard assets).
« Last Edit: November 12, 2013, 11:54:23 pm by Madasasteamfish » Logged

I made a note in my diary on the way over here. Simply says; "Bugger!"

"DON'T THINK OF IT AS DYING, JUST THINK OF IT AS LEAVING EARLY TO AVOID THE RUSH."
J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2013, 01:04:07 am »

Would love to contribute, but am in a similar position to both your good self and the Major (as you're probably aware thanks to my contributions on the GAHHH!!!! thread), albeit not as severe.

'Thankfully' for me I at least have my parents to fall back on, and they're happy enough to keep a roof over my head for the time being, as guilty as having to rely on their handouts makes me feel (tbh they're the only reason I'm not in the EXACT same position as you and the Major since I've got *maybe* £7,000 to my name, including my hard assets).

Having a good family is paramount.  I'm feeling a tad old at the time, but I realise that after my grandparents I only have my mother and no one else, so at age 44 (45 later this month), I am seriously thinking I may need to make my own family.  

Hard yes but not impossible.  I'm blessed with a genetically much-slowed biological clock, and I'm the same age my grandfather was when my mother brought me to Mexico City.  I was a second family for my grandparents.  And let me tell you, older parents make better parents.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 05:56:52 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Camellia Wingnut
Snr. Officer
****
United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands


Take my camel, dear. . . .


« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2013, 09:06:52 am »

My Dear Admiral!
Oh, to be a philanthropist! How delightful it would be to have the means, not only to be safe oneself, but to offer safety to others.
It is apparent that many of us share your insecurity and penury, and struggle with fears and crises like yours. We can only hope to face them as bravely and with such style as you.
I have cudgelled my brains to think of something to help you; however, I know too well that in these dire straits it is always a matter of money, pure and simple - or rather, impure and fiendishly complicated.
The Admiral's Fund
I should like to ask if you might stoop to accept really small commissions, for embarrassingly, pitifully inadequate cost, twenty or thirty dollars, provided, of course, that your emergency situation is relieved and you have wits and facilities a little longer. I had thought of asking you to make a modest Steampunk USB flash drive, 8 GB?, for dear Arabella. Please do not be offended if the request seems cheeky to one of your artistry.
Perhaps that could be a fund-raiser. Just a commercial wooden one (AliExpress?) varnished darkly with a Brass Goggles logo, plate, or a paltry cog or two? Indeed, could you perhaps make a batch of such flash drives to offer threadbare Brass Gogglers who wish to contribute to
The Admiral's Fund? Rather like buying a poppy for Remembrance.
E.g.
In any case, you have my best wishes, dear adoptive Great-Nephew,
Yr. Affct. Gt.-Aunt,
Camellia

  
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 09:19:56 am by Camellia Wingnut » Logged

Take my camel, dear, said my aunt Camellia, climbing down from that animal on her return from high mass. The camel, a white Arabian Dhalur (single hump) from the famous herd of the Ruola tribe, had been a parting present, its saddle-bags stuffed with low-carat [sic] gold and flashy orient gems, from a rich desert tycoon. . . .
J. Wilhelm
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2013, 10:17:08 am »

My Dear Admiral!
Oh, to be a philanthropist! How delightful it would be to have the means, not only to be safe oneself, but to offer safety to others.
It is apparent that many of us share your insecurity and penury, and struggle with fears and crises like yours. We can only hope to face them as bravely and with such style as you.
I have cudgelled my brains to think of something to help you; however, I know too well that in these dire straits it is always a matter of money, pure and simple - or rather, impure and fiendishly complicated.
The Admiral's Fund
I should like to ask if you might stoop to accept really small commissions, for embarrassingly, pitifully inadequate cost, twenty or thirty dollars, provided, of course, that your emergency situation is relieved and you have wits and facilities a little longer. I had thought of asking you to make a modest Steampunk USB flash drive, 8 GB?, for dear Arabella. Please do not be offended if the request seems cheeky to one of your artistry.
Perhaps that could be a fund-raiser. Just a commercial wooden one (AliExpress?) varnished darkly with a Brass Goggles logo, plate, or a paltry cog or two? Indeed, could you perhaps make a batch of such flash drives to offer threadbare Brass Gogglers who wish to contribute to
The Admiral's Fund? Rather like buying a poppy for Remembrance.
E.g.
In any case, you have my best wishes, dear adoptive Great-Nephew,
Yr. Affct. Gt.-Aunt,
Camellia

  


As always you are very eloquent dear aunt Camellia!  I can always accept a small commission, as I always do - in fact before the crisis began I accepted a commission for such devices that you speak of (a USB flash drive), but I just don;t advertise them, customers come to me with special requests,  so I'm always open to inquiries regarding products of any size.

Alas, as you have smartly pointed out, I have not enough time to switch gears to small commissions at the moment on my shop due to the particularly severe time constraint (Friday) I face.  However, once this emergency has passed  You may send me a private message if you have a request.

I'm not giving up yet and I'm still alive holding the fort.  It shall be removed from here only when my lifeless body lies on the floor.  Otherwise I'm putting up a fight and as the colonists say, I'm making a stand.

AYS

J. Wilhelm
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Madasasteamfish
A clanger waiting to be dropped......
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09madasafish
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2013, 12:43:30 pm »

Having reviewed Camellia's suggestion, as much as I don't want to be contributing unnecessarily, I feel that such small commission based funding opportunity (once you have completed your current commission of course) might help provide you with a route out.

Although I understand that you usually (and may well prefer to) await a specific request for something small, such as a flash drive, perhaps offering a list of options (say one of 3-5 covering/styles, and the same number of designs and one or two optional extras) for potential customers might be a way of improving your financial problems.

What makes it worse is that having looked around your website, is that I would be more than happy to offer you a commission were I in a position to do so Sad
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 12:46:36 pm by Madasasteamfish » Logged
markf
Goggleologist
*****
United States United States



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« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2013, 01:42:41 pm »

I've checked your link but I've never used gofundme before.  When one pays by credit card, is it a direct cc charge, via PayPal, or ..?  markf 
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US ARMY-WORKING HARDER, NOT SMARTER. Steampunk Smart Car & Office Cubicle, Levitating Mossarium, Dive Pocket Watch; 1915 Wilson Goggles/Swing-Arm Monocular; Boiling Tube Lamp; Pocket Watch/Cell Phone; Air Kraken Augmentotron. http://sites.google.com/site/steampunkretrofuturedesignsmd
J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
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Sentisne fortunatum punkus? Veni. Diem meum comple


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« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2013, 05:34:38 pm »

I've checked your link but I've never used gofundme before.  When one pays by credit card, is it a direct cc charge, via PayPal, or ..?  markf  


Mark, the bank who handles the transactions is WePay (https://www.wepay.com/) , which is basically a PayPal clone.  There is a WePay widget within the GoFundMe website that acts like a "shopping cart" if you will and the donor fills in the amount he.she wishes to donate.  WePay will handle the card without giving me the donor's financial information, which is the same way PayPal works.  What I ignore is if they want to to create an account, but they will not charge you any fees to donate.  I suspect that like Paypal, it's not necessary to register at all, they just process the ATM charge and you get a receipt from WePay.  They charge me a 3% fee.  Basically, anyone can pay with any credit card or debit card, the only thing the y don't handle are physical checks and money order, if I understand correctly.  Outside the United States, GoFundMe campaigns use Paypal (I wish they did inside the US too - I guess it's a competition issue but most people know Paypal).

From GoFundMe website (in this case "customer" stands for the person establishing the campaign, NOT the donor)
http://support.gofundme.com/knowledgebase/topics/16138-donations-and-withdrawals

Let me see if I can find out if the donor needs to register or not by I doubt it.  It would turn people away IMHO.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 06:46:49 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2013, 06:45:33 pm »

Having reviewed Camellia's suggestion, as much as I don't want to be contributing unnecessarily, I feel that such small commission based funding opportunity (once you have completed your current commission of course) might help provide you with a route out.

Although I understand that you usually (and may well prefer to) await a specific request for something small, such as a flash drive, perhaps offering a list of options (say one of 3-5 covering/styles, and the same number of designs and one or two optional extras) for potential customers might be a way of improving your financial problems.

What makes it worse is that having looked around your website, is that I would be more than happy to offer you a commission were I in a position to do so Sad

In that sense I do agree.  I need to enact some pretty drastic changes right now, among them changing what I sell.  My problem now is time... and competition.

I'm keeping my chin up, and as soon as this passes, I will probably follow through with drastic changes. The only thing I worry about is visibility.

It is extremely difficult to gain visibility in Etsy because it's inundated with cheap makers from all parts of the world, especially since they just relaxed their requirements for hand-made stuff only (now you can have a "network" helping with the manufacture - which has opened the floodgate to sweatshops in Asia (as in "Hand-made" ...inside a factory that is).

Calling attention and being preferred over the Chinese made stuff is very hard at the $50 and below level.   Generally my big ticket items never sell, but they are very effective at reeling the customer in.  So in any case I have to keep the large flashy items and then offer smaller items.  
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 07:17:05 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2013, 07:18:16 pm »

Having reviewed Camellia's suggestion, as much as I don't want to be contributing unnecessarily, I feel that such small commission based funding opportunity (once you have completed your current commission of course) might help provide you with a route out.



How does this look?

A key chain kraken is the smallest Item I sell right now.  I used to sell it for $8, but eventually increased the price to $20 due to the cost of brass, copper and solder.  I could lower the prices on this guy, but the original price of $8 is now approximating the actual cost of the raw materials, unfortunately.

Baby Crowned Pigmy Kraken keyring $20 (see http://www.etsy.com/listing/166578113/crowned-pigmy-kraken-ver-1-baby-kraken)

There are simply too many people.  I feel that BigCartel, ArtFire, Folksy or DaWanda may offer much better markets for smaller stuff.  The USB flash drives are really inundated with wanna-be steampuinks and I imagine Will Rockwell and Steamworks will offer a better opinion on the state of the Flash USB market - I gave up a long long time ago before I started with the iPhone cases. 

However, I still do offer the same flash drive I built back then (admittedly overpriced - but at some point I realised I would never sell it.  http://www.etsy.com/listing/166244663/crowned-pigmy-kraken-ver1-steampunk-usb )


I have never seen a holiday season approach with no sales.  It is very disturbing.  I got approached yesterday by a gentlemen who wants an iPhone case, and I'm waiting for a customer for another phone case, but looks like the customer has waited over a month, even though continuously messaging me back that he will proceed with the transaction.  It's as if the price point is no longr acceptable after 3 years of selling at the same price.

May I suggest a lump of coal for the members of out beloved Congress?  Never have I seen such an effective bunch of Grinches in my life.
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Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #13 on: November 13, 2013, 07:30:22 pm »

I may well see about ordering one but I'll have to try and factor in shipping and taxes.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2013, 07:55:14 pm »

I may well see about ordering one but I'll have to try and factor in shipping and taxes.

Many thanks! The most inexpensive shipping I ever figured out internationally is United States Postal Service Flat Rate (as listed). Now they charge the same for a flat rate padded envelope or a flat rate small box...
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 08:11:54 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Madasasteamfish
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09madasafish
« Reply #15 on: November 13, 2013, 09:04:40 pm »

I may well see about ordering one but I'll have to try and factor in shipping and taxes.

Many thanks! The most inexpensive shipping I ever figured out internationally is United States Postal Service Flat Rate (as listed). Now they charge the same for a flat rate padded envelope or a flat rate small box...

Oh, well that does explain a bit since according to etsy the shipping would cost more than the actual item Huh (thankfully though according to the bumf from customs it would be exempt from import taxes). As nice as the item is, and as much as I DO want it, I really can't justify spending twice the value of the actual item just to be able to get my hands on it.

I suppose I may have to go digging in my wallet once I've had my Giro come through.
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Camellia Wingnut
Snr. Officer
****
United States Minor Outlying Islands United States Minor Outlying Islands


Take my camel, dear. . . .


« Reply #16 on: November 13, 2013, 09:10:33 pm »

My Dear Fellow,
I see I had the wrong end of the parasol. Oh, dear.
I blush to think that I actually suggested you should use Chinese components. I am utterly innocent of the warfare evidently going on between cheap Asian markets and struggling craftspeople. I hope you will forgive me; I was preoccupied by the (admittedly unfamiliar, indeed, loathly) process of trying to think like a business person (pause while I wash out my mouth with Eau de Cologne). I was also embarrassed at offering so minute a commission, and I thought that you might be less offended if I devised some way of it being quickly profitable to you, and small enough not to require a the facilities of a workshop. Again, I am sorry. Believe me when I say that it would be your unique modifications to it that would give the thing its intrinsic value to us.
However, (perking up a little), what about a fund based on the charming Kraken Keychain? A few dozen offered on ebay to those of us aware of your crisis, with a two/thirds markup, say, would go like hot Steamed sushi.
Carry On, dear boy.
Camellia
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 09:15:06 pm by Camellia Wingnut » Logged
Arabella Periscope
Zeppelin Captain
*****
United States United States


Edwardian summer


« Reply #17 on: November 13, 2013, 09:14:16 pm »

Oh, dear Admiral,

Let us have No talk of lifeless bodies on the floor!  And your problem of exposure for your commissions is not one of finding a market, you have one.  The thing is, when we look at your sites, we see the Rolls Royce of steam craftsmanship.  Having looked at your keyboards, etc., I instantly thought, 'Why is it that this beautiful sort of design, which drew me to Steampunk, is always way out of my league financially?'  If I had seen a key ring or a flash drive or anything smaller I would have leaped with enthusiasm to have it and probably started a collection.  Cannot afford an iPhone, let alone a cover.  But the wolf occasionally glances away from the door in a small way.  I thought you would raise a lofty brow and say "Ptui!" at trifling commissions.  So it seems you would not have to compete with the sweatshops of China via Etsy, but simply put up pictures on Trading here.  The internet is all about niche marketing.  I have looked for a flash drive on Etsy before and the only ones that were appealing were all from Brass Gogglers but were too costly for me.

Keep Calm and Carry On Splendidly!

Arabella
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J. Wilhelm
╬ Admiral und Luftschiffengel ╬
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« Reply #18 on: November 13, 2013, 09:17:06 pm »

My Dear Fellow,
I see I had the wrong end of the parasol. Oh, dear.
I blush to think that I actually suggested you should use Chinese components. I am utterly innocent of the warfare evidently going on between cheap Asian markets and struggling craftspeople. I hope you will forgive me; I was preoccupied by the (admittedly unfamiliar, indeed, loathly) process of trying to think like a business person (pause while I wash out my mouth with Eau de Cologne). I was also embarrassed at offering so minute a commission, and I thought that you might be less offended if I devised some way of it being quickly profitable to you, and small enough not to require a the facilities of a workshop. Again, I am sorry.
However, (perking up a little), what about a fund based on the charming Kraken Keychain? A few dozen offered on ebay to those of us aware of your crisis, with a two/thirds markup, say, would go like hot Steamed sushi.
Carry On, dear boy.
Camellia

Dear no, need to apologise!  your suggestion was quite logical, as a matter of fact.  The only problem is competition in that forum.  What I can do however, as you say is make use of the fact that international sales are still up.  I can use one Etsy shop to market overseas, and the other to market to America.  with substantially lower prices and a different content...  The little baby kraken is not necessarily a best seller, but it has sold a number of times and is always a favourite among buyers.

Perhaps a smaller version of the US Crowned Pigmy Kraken might be a workaround...  but I need to strategise such a change.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #19 on: November 13, 2013, 09:26:47 pm »

The thing is, when we look at your sites, we see the Rolls Royce of steam craftsmanship.  Having looked at your keyboards, etc., I instantly thought, 'Why is it that this beautiful sort of design, which drew me to Steampunk, is always way out of my league financially?'  

* snip *

I thought you would raise a lofty brow and say "Ptui!" at trifling commissions.  So it seems you would not have to compete with the sweatshops of China via Etsy, but simply put up pictures on Trading here.  The internet is all about niche marketing.  I have looked for a flash drive on Etsy before and the only ones that were appealing were all from Brass Gogglers but were too costly for me.

Keep Calm and Carry On Splendidly!

Arabella

Thank you dear Arabella: I actually never turn down a request, no matter how small (so never a "ptui" ever, much less to admiring patrons)!!  I only tailor the advertisement to what attracts attention in Etsy, then I reel the customers in -- they usually buy the lower priced items and only a few people buy the big ticket items. $100 is the psychological barrier I found for constant customers. Anything that slells regularly is lower, in jewelry the turnaround is too fast in their lists.  People who own an iPad have already paid much more than that, so they can afford the big ticket items of hundreds of dollars.  I only get a couple of those per month in the best month!  Normally one big item ($400) is what I can expect.  But everyone else stops at $100, give or take, and in normal circumstances, several a week will come.

You are correct, in that I can advertise right here at Brassgoggles.  But I learned to separate my social life from my business - having once been accused in BG for being too commercial  Undecided  So I chose to pursue friendship rather than pursue business...  I think I can find different venues for the smaller items, but in a sense it is a new business altogether,  definitely Etsy is too crowded for the smaller stuff.

In a sense I'm a victim of my own success.  When I started in Etsy in 2010, I was offering $15, $35 and $40 bracelets, plus the Crowned Pigmy Kraken USB flash disk (at a lower price back then)...

But in one year I had exactly zero sales!!  Then in 2011 during the summer I started offering iPhone and iPod cases, and I began to sell 2 or 3 per month, and in October 8 orders in a week!  That happened exactly just after when I was evicted from my apartment that time and exactly when Sony America called me inquiring about the commission (You remember my "Thank you note to BG".  I couldn't save the apartment because I had $800 and needed $1000 to stay at the time, but I had enough money to rent somewhere else!!).

So I learned that iPhone cases were far more marketable than jewellery, no because jewelry is less popular, but because it is much less visible in the Etsy forum -- Its too crowded!!!

Actually my first Steampunk sale was the tiny Crowned Pigmy Kraken keyring (shown above) that I sold to the lovely Miss Amanda Groves (she's well known right here in Brassgoggles!) for $8   (I never forget).
« Last Edit: November 13, 2013, 11:51:42 pm by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2013, 05:20:10 am »

Dear ladies and gentlemen:

Thank you for your support.  You deserve a progress report. I am not out of the woods yet, but nearly so.

I am only $70 - $45 away from saving our apartment!

The goal is to beat back the enemy by 3 PM GMT (9 AM CST)

IMPORTANT MESSAGE: At this late hour, donations will not make it in time for tomorrow due to bank transfer procedures. The last $25 of a total of $90 in donations coming in today will be pending not usable in the morrow, I believe.  However I will accept help directly through Paypal, for those willing to contribute to the final blow to the Orc army, as that service is instantaneous (I have a PayPal debit card - send me a private message for directions).  Later donations coming in through GoFundMe will apply in other ways so I encourage dialogue from donors.

How it happened:

The customer from Australia has pledged to pay her remaining $510 balance on her iMac case, and while the balance may not be available immediately, according to her own words she may take a few days, it was enough to guarantee payment for a loan from my uncle Hugo in Austin.By that time I had received $70 in donations from the campaign - ALL coming from Brassgoggles, and not Facebook, Twitter or the other groups.  This means a lot to me.

Then, today, I had a bit of high drama with an eBay transaction from Germany being held up as "I am not trustworthy yet" not being an avid eBay seller - it will take 21 days for them to release that money.  But a splendid Scottsman in Etsy came to the rescue to make up for the $120 loss.  Please note all transactions come from outside the USA, most unusual this time of year.

The a final $25 donation came in.  May or may not be available in the morn, but it is most welcome.

And so it comes to being $45 to $70 short in the late night prior to the final battle.  I may plead with my uncle for further support or allow my mother in San Diego to try to help me with the last bit.  

It's very close, but I'm not safe yet.  I shall report in the morrow and tell you whether the army of Orcs has been beaten back finally.

Forever grateful, I remain your humble servant.

Admiral. J. Wilhelm
United States Airship Orca
« Last Edit: November 15, 2013, 09:59:26 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2013, 06:14:22 am »

My Dear J.
PM sent, please reply at your earliest.
yhs
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« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2013, 07:06:52 am »

Dear Prof Marvel:

Message received and replied!!

AYS

J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2013, 10:34:33 am »

My dear Admiral,
We await with bated breath the outcome of your battle.
It is a drama with which everyone is all too familiar. It is hard to endure the suspense and desperate financial improvisation (c.f. Shakespeare: Mark Antony's speech in defeat) to dodge and palter in the shifts of lowness. Dodging and paltering is the most exhausting effort in the world. Of course, when it is over, the relief is exquisite.
Hopefully, by tomorrow we will prepare to raise our teacups in that most Steampunk of toasts: "Mafeking is Relieved!"
(The Relief of Mafeking after a Boer siege of 217 days was greeted with such joy in England that the whole country partied.)
Chin up!
Yr. Affct. Gt.-Aunt,
Camellia
 
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« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2013, 06:51:16 pm »

My dear Admiral,
We await with bated breath the outcome of your battle.

Wait no longer my dear Lady Wingnut!  For the answer to your query has been revealed!

Report for November: read this post.  Report for December: Read page two on thread or click here:

Report from the battlefield, casualties and heroes, November 15, 2013 (First Battle of Minas Tirith)

I want to thank all of brassgoggles, and although I can't reveal names, I can say that there were 5 heroes in Brassgoggles and no casualties other than $730.69 in greenbacks used to pay the net bill. Those who helped, have my eternal gratitude.  My channels of communication are open to whoever wants to talk to me about it or has questions.

The contribution from members in Brassgoggles was significant.  A total of 5 people from Brassgoggles were involved with a net contribution of $245 out of which $95 were handled via GoFundMe, since the start of he campaign and the balance was donated privately via Paypal in the last 24 hrs.  So the battle was very close, right up to the last few hours before midnight CST.

The balance is being financed through a short term loan from my Uncle Hugo, based on accounts receivable and actual sales accomplished in the last 48 hrs, so the monies are guaranteed from actual work produced by the business.  The total amount spent in saving the apartment was $730, of which $536 was the original rent to be paid on the 3rd of the month - the rest are late fees, which show you the increasing difficulty in fighting the battle over time.  Approximately $100 remained at the end of the battle which are very close to the $90 that I had in my pocket when I first started my campaign (and actually dating back to the turn of the month).

There were no contributions made from other venues where the campaign was advertised such as several groups in Facebook, Twitter or The Steampunk Workshop.

In the near future:

I have yet to decide when to close the GoFundMe Campaign.  I will most likely do it now, although after rest I plan a meeting with the generals and the forces will be re-assembled to fend the city once again for the turn of the month.  A meeting of minds and change in strrategy is in order to make sure we don't find ourselves in this situation again.

ANY INPUT AND SUGGESTIONS BY OTHER BRASSGOGGLES MEMBERS IS APPRECIATED AND WELCOME.  FEEL FREE TO CONTACT ME!!

~ ~ ~

I will rest for a while and then contact out 5th hero, for I may want to stop for a chat today.  I doubt if  Mr. Arvis is reading this thread, but if he is, then Mr. Arvis: Friday would be a good time to meet at the Green Dragon Inn Tavern.

Thank You and may God Bless Us Everyone.

Adm.  J. Wilhelm.
United States Airship Orca
« Last Edit: December 11, 2013, 10:15:42 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
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