Happy New Year!

I hope everyone had a good Christmas. I meant to post here during that time, but I was so swamped with orders and button-making that posting completely slipped my mind. But, I intend to change that in the new year. I will learn from my experiences this fall and hopefully become a better seller in the future. And one of the most important things I have learned is….holiday-themed buttons apparently do not sell well. At all. At least for me. I didn’t sell any Halloween buttons, sold only one Thanksgiving button (that was a surprise in itself), and only one Christmas button. And both the Thanksgiving and Christmas sales were Snoopy buttons. Frosty, Santa, the Nutcracker, snowmen, snow….none of those sold, although a lot of people looked at them. *sigh* So, note to self. Don’t put up many themed holiday buttons. I’ve made a couple of shamrock-themed ones for Saint Patrick’s Day, but that was really more because I love the shamrock. With my birthday being the day before, it only makes sense. I’ll list one or two of those and see how it works. I’ve put up some romantic buttons for Valentine’s Day but none of them are obviously Valentine’s Day-themed; maybe that will help. It’s too late to put up any new year buttons–I wish I had thought of that in September or October. Grrr. Anyway, in the new year I will post only one or two holiday-themed ones at a time and when/if those sell I will make and put up more.

In other news, I have fallen in love (again) with the minions from Despicable Me. I’m on the fence about making buttons with them on it and selling them; 1. I’m not sure how well they would sell, and 2. I am afraid of getting in trouble with people higher up on the chain. Disney hasn’t come after me yet for selling merchandise with their characters on it, but my best friend HAS received a “cease and desist” letter from Nintendo for selling Pokemon items. And I have known some other people who have been warned by other companies. I just want to play it safe, you know? I will make one button of the minions for myself–beyond that, I need to think. By the way, I would love to do some Pokemon buttons, but I don’t want to get the same letter.

I need to make some rabbit buttons for Easter…..should I do egg buttons too? Or just leave it with flowers and cute insects?

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4 Responses to Happy New Year!

  1. Lynn says:

    The issue of use of copyrighted characters is one which big companies fight over and leave confusion for the little ones. Tribute pictures which are basically advertising for the source image are probably ‘fair use’. Using those pictures in a way that doesn’t speak well of the source and is not humorous parody could cause problems, but that is not the kind of image you would make up anyway. Maybe a middle ground of button creation would be best. Make and sell a moderate number of good tasteful images which are not mutated from the original and credit to the source — after all the snoopy characters are all still copyrighted and they are frequently used. Depends alot on the aggressiveness of the copyright holder too. Many movie studios Love to have fan art supporting PR for their product.

    As for posting buttons on holiday themes — your program sounds good. Post the ones you like and see about the response. The Etsy market is sort of skewed in what buyers are seeking and what they want to actually purchase. Keep in mind that alot of the other Etsy crafters are being innundated with the same ‘make it-sell it’ time cycles you are and may not be shopping for items similar to what they themselves are pushing right then. This is not like a physical store where the owner has to buy a long time ahead, inventory, and then sell in a certain time frame. You can keep holiday images up any time you want — Xmas in July, for example.

    Your site is great.

    • Thank you for clearing that up about the copyright issues. I would only use good images, and I wasn’t planning on doing too many at a time anyway. I try to choose characters that I think are popular and will sell well, but not many of them have proven to be that way. I thought Iron Man would sell well last year with the movie, but he’s not been sold. Darth Vader is still waiting, along with a couple of the Disney princesses. Really, aside from a Snow White button and a Mickey button, I haven’t sold any Disney ones. Snoopy is my best character seller even though he is not the one I prefer. Anyway, I need to try to find a different way of picking characters, I think, otherwise I will just keep posting buttons that get a lot of notice but not sell.

      I had not considered that schedule conflict regarding other Etsy sellers. I was posting months in advance so that people would see them in time, but I never considered that the other sellers on Etsy would have the same idea at the same time. I will keep that in mind. Maybe I SHOULD leave some of the Halloween and Christmas buttons up all year long?

      Thank you for the compliment. ❤ You're awesome.

  2. Bernie says:

    I admire folks who can make buttons. I’m so bad at doing anything creative, anything I tell you.

    Love the feel of your blog. The bulletin board at the top is fun.

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