30 May 2011

PAX Prime 2011 Lanyards - Order now!

'Tis the season once again to gear up for PAX Prime in Seattle, WA. I'm doing things a little differently this year, so please read this entire post.

First off: All orders must be emailed to me by 11:59pm Pacific Time on July 6th. I'm sticking to a very hard deadline this year with the hopes of preventing burnout.

Second: I am only taking 50 lanyard orders. If the 50-mark is hit, I'll update the blog saying so.

If orders are cut off for either reason (deadline or hard cap), you can still find some lanyards on my Etsy store but I will NOT take custom orders.

Third: Unless you specify otherwise, all lanyards will be hand-delivered at PAX. Time and location TBD, once I get my [Enforcer] schedule.

A new feature of all my lanyards is that the badge clip is affixed to the neck strap with stainless steel, for extra durability. If you have an older lanyard that doesn't have this feature (yet) I'm announcing a soft recall. Find me at PAX during my delivery times and I will upgrade your lanyard for free.


Step One: Choose your colors.
There is a variety of colors to choose from. For $40 you can have one or two colors. Each additional color is an extra $5. If you want a 3-color lanyard, it's $45, 4-color is $50, etc. These lanyards are made of anodized aluminum. They are brightly colored, durable, lightweight and more often than not have zero negative effects on people with metal allergies. Other metals are available, but often times more costly (contact me for prices), less comfortable and have a tendency to tarnish and leave marks on the skin.

Colors below may vary slightly as I have no control over the anodizing process (think of it like a dye lot for yarn or cloth). Click on the images for the full size, courtesy TheRingLord.com. The second image is bright (silver) aluminum.

Step Two: Choose your stripes.
The lanyard can be given horizontal or vertical stripes. In the image below, you can see a solid (brass, on the left), vertical stripes (blue & yellow on the right) and horizontal stripes (black, purple and silver in the center). If nothing is specified, I will assume you want vertical stripes. Horizontal stripes will be equally sized unless otherwise requested.

Step Three: Contact Me!
I won't know what you want unless you let me know! To order a lanyard, please email me at jules@knittedsteel.net with the following information:

-- Write "PAX PRIME 2011 LANYARD" in the subject line

-- Name & Handle (nickname, gamertag, etc)
-- Your choice of colors and stripes
-- Any other questions or requests
-- Your payment option (paypal or cash)

Step Four: Pay Me Please.
Once I receive your order by email I will reply with your total and arrange payment. You will not receive your lanyard until I receive payment in full, no exceptions! I take PayPal in advance of the convention (preferred), or cash in person.

These lanyards are not exclusive to PAX! In fact, they are in no way affiliated except that I'll be there, enjoying the weekend with the PA community. If you want a lanyard for another event, let me know and I will ship it to you for an additional $3.

If your lanyard becomes damaged, minor repairs are free. If the clip breaks, if the lanyard becomes entangled on something and pulls apart, if a few rings become scratched, I will fix it!

03 May 2011

Etsy, Regretsy and Resellers

I've had my Etsy store for a few years now, and when I first joined I thought the company and community were fantastic. Handmade goodies everywhere, the admins and crafters were happy and nice, and I felt like I had a fighting chance at selling some of my stuff.

Now, my sales could be much better if I put some more effort into it (and I intend to), but I've noticed a startling trend of late - resellers are taking over. April Winchell aka Helen Killer over at Regretsy brought my attention to it in her fabulously snarky way. It's tough to compete with resellers. They buy cheap stuff from China, Tibet, etc. and jack up the prices until they're similar to (yet slightly lower than) many of the gorgeous handmade products that Etsy has to offer.

For the first time in months, I took a look at the front page Featured Treasury and noticed a familiar pocket watch. Last year I went shopping for Steampunk fob watches on eBay and discovered a multitude of cheap, mass-produced watches. I snatched one up for $5 and planned to someday spruce it up with a Knitted Steel watch chain and sell it as a complete piece on Etsy - focusing on the chain and using the watch as an accent. When I saw the watch in the Featured Treasury (April noticed it too) I decided to explore the seller.

Lo and Behold, I found my $5 fob watch... and again. Look at the prices. Look at the other watches in that shop. There are a LOT of shops like this. Buying cheap bulk items that look handmade and vintage, and reselling them, is against Etsy's terms of use. So why are they promoting this crap on the front page? Why aren't these shops being shut down? Why does Etsy punish those who notice rather than exile those who blatantly ignore the Terms? This community doesn't look so friendly anymore.

Image Credit: Helen Killer, Regretsy.com

Thank you, April, for bringing this to light in such a hilarious and simultaneously serious way. I was nervous to participate in the forums when I first joined Etsy. Now, I'm afraid. I love constructive criticism. I love having a sense of humor. Neither of those seem welcome in that community.

I do like my watch. It's nice, durable, and an excellent addition to any steampunk costume. But you can't have it; it's unique! If you'd like an identical, unique, handmade pocket watch, I've put together this lovely Treasury of my own for you to peruse. Please enjoy. I'll let you know if something happens to my store because of this.

If any of you dear readers out there know someone who knows how to make and maintain a secure online store, please contact me at jules (at) knittedsteel -dot- net. I can't offer much compensation other than product and promotions; perhaps some graphic design?