Friday, August 11, 2006

As much as I enjoy making things in SL, and as much as I appreciate and am flattered by every purchase, I confess that the market can occasionally be very frustrating for me. It's not so much because my stuff doesn't sell enormously well -- though that doesn't help -- but because the market just makes no sense to me. Sometimes I think I understand what's going on -- word of mouth, dedicated fan bases, and so on -- but then something throws me for a loop, and I realize I don't. Not really.

My shoes haven't sold very well. Only one of the handful of people who bought the demo bought an actual copy. I sent a reviewer a free copy, to blog about if she liked them, and she usually gushes about my stuff, but... nada. I'm not ragging on her for not liking them -- there's plenty of stuff in the SL fashion world I don't like! -- but I don't understand why they've been so unpopular. I know they're hardly the best shoes out there, and not to everyone's taste, but I think they're pretty good, and not too specialized. Is the name misleading? Is the brown leather not to everyone's taste? Are they too simple? Is the snap putting people off? Are the textures not up to snuff? I don't get it.

I don't understand why some of my products sell better than others. I thought Dancer would do horribly, but it's exceeded my expectations. I thought Mirror, Mirror would do marginally better than it has. I thought Shangri-La would do better. I'd hoped Ladybird would do better, and I was surprised when the plain gold version proved to be the most popular (which is to say, I've sold a whole two or three individual copies of it).

I don't understand why some designers do so much better than others -- not just in terms of revenue, but it terms of praise -- when I don't see a huge difference in quality or content between them and some less popular (but still well off) merchants. I don't begrudge other designers their success. Is their stuff good? Of course! But I don't understand why so many people think it's so much better than the other things out there.

I shouldn't be complaining, I suppose. My business is doing better than it used to, I've collaborated with some wonderful and talented people, and I'm producing work that I'm happy with. But I really wish I understood what makes other people happy with that work, and what doesn't.


Blogger Elikapeka Tiramisu said...

Once you've figured that out...please let me know. The market is a very tricky tricky thing. Personally, it seems that the things that I am "meh" about sell the best. And the things that I'm most excited about and take my sweet time with end up tanking. It's really hard to appeal to market that is ever changing and like you's really frustrating.

I just try to do my own thing and not worry about the market as much. I just create and cross my fingers that someone else can appreciate it.

August 11, 2006 6:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, if these are the Cutie Pie shoes you just recently released, I'd say that it's because of market saturation. Those shoes have been made by a lot of people, or rather shoes that look just like them.

So I don't think that it's because there's anything wrong with the shoes. I just don't think they immediately grab attention as 'wow, cool shoes!'

Have you thought about changing the texture on the circular ankle strap? Maybe turning it into a chain? Or part of it into a chain? Adding an accent (like a flower or a star or something)? They're very plain, as it stands.

August 11, 2006 7:34 PM  
Blogger Miriel Enfield said...

Elika, good to hear I'm not alone in this. Well, not really good, I suppose, since nonsensical markets aren't really fun. ;)

Anonymous, thanks for the comment. :) Yep, those are the shoes, and you might be right. I'll keep that in mind, though right now, I'm mostly interested in making simple shoes. Shoes are still very hard for me, so if I'm going to make some, I want it to be something I can get a lot of use out of.

August 12, 2006 1:16 AM  
Blogger JackalE said...

Yes, the market is very unpredictable and difficult to understand. Like Elikapeka, I'm surprised again and again at what finds customer's appreciation - too often it's the items I find "too special" or just not that interesting that sell like hotcakes.

I don't know about adding "fluff" to the shoes - in my experience, it's the most basic ones that sell best. But then, the SL shoe market is pretty saturated :/

August 14, 2006 4:33 AM  
Blogger Willow said...

I love them, sure there are many shoes that have the same style but they are all different in their own ways, I like the simplicity of them, keep on rocking, Miriel <3

August 15, 2006 9:09 AM  
Blogger Miriel Enfield said...

Thanks for the comments, everyone. :)

My next shoe -- if I ever manage to texture it -- has a few more bells and whistles, but is still pretty simple.

August 15, 2006 6:02 PM  

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