I am not sure what is in the air these days. More and more online shopkeepers seem dissatisfied with their sales, some are good friends. I can only speak about them and myself...I see lots of complaining out there.
You have to work your shop... You have to search out your customers. That means work the internet. The ones I am thinking about, just don't work their shops. (Facebook, Pinterest, Stumble, Indieshops, Handmade, Twitter etc). They "don't like" to be on those sites or they "don't have time". None of us have the time- we make time for it. You have to...it is sometimes a parttime job to promote yourself online.
Lots of explaining why not, but they also have a hard time getting sales. I am my own example. I don't work my other etsy shop ( Homespun Tales) very much, and it shows. I just hit 50 sales. And I have had the shop 2+yrs. My goal this year is to work that shop more.
Just because a family member/friend bought something you made-- for an outrageous price-- does not mean that is what you should charge for it. Family and good Friends are always kind and not necessarily representative of the buying public.
(How many times do you hear-- you should charge more for that item? I hear it ... but they are not the ones selling the item. You have to play around to find your price point.)
Look at your item and honestly decide if you would pay $200. for say-a Baby Quilt..... if you wouldn't--- then probably not a lot of others would either. And if it costs you that much to make a baby quilt-- then you are paying way too much for your fabric.
And yes, I know there are some out there who do charge a lot for things and are happy to get that one sale- they just made a 200% profit.. but do they sell again? The ones I see, are not. I would rather have sales.
Be realistic in your prices. Competition is fierce.
Certainly pay yourself for your time and your materials. But you don't have to overcharge.
I know some who pay themselves $25.00-$30.00/hr and more... Now really-- who gets paid $25.00-$30.00/hr in the world? Yes, we all know some-- they are doing a job that takes a college degree. They are not painting a piece of wood or making a pair of earrings or sewing an apron etc.
I have a friend who pays herself over $25.00/hr because if she was working at the job her degree is for- she would get that much... but she is not.. and she has less than 20 sales for a 3yr old shop. She makes nice items, but there is competition and others who make what similar and they pay themselves more like $12/hr.
I guess decide why you are making and selling your items.. If you need the money to pay the mortgage-- then maybe you should get a "real" job in an office or store or something. Would you still make what you do even if you never got paid for it ??
( I would--but it is sure a lot more fun to get paid for it!!)
And seriously... stop complaining online-- do something about it!! Please Stop bad mouthing. It is just not nice.
Have a wonderful night... and good luck with your sales!