OUR mission statement

MADE ON THE LEFT was founded in 2008 by independent designers to support Western Australian creative talent. We hold bi-annual handmade craft markets to showcase local designers.

Being on the left hand side of Australia no longer

means you'll be at a disadvantage.

Our aim is to support all creative designers and events showcasing independent labels. MOTL is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organisation. You may wonder why we promote other markets besides MOTL; it’s because it’s not about us, its about you; the buyers and sellers of indie wares. Here at the blog, you’ll discover up to date information about our latest market, the low-down on some of Perth’s emerging talents, other opportunities for artists and designers and a little bit of fun stuff too. It’s all right here… welcome!

Wednesday, June 3

Top 8 Buying Regrets - Learn from our mistakes

I find the buying mistakes hurt the most. As someone who does designing/the indie scene full time, money is very precious. After a little bit of research, I worked out and felt a little bit relieved that there are many others with the same 'regrets' as mine. Sure, they are learning curves, but who would complain bypassing some of them? I thought I would compile a list of the top 8.

1. Buying the minimal of supplies to save money can backfire. If it is unique, handmade, from overseas and/or the exchange rate is good, please consider buying it bulk. The same goes for staple supplies as well, such as wire for a jeweller and thread for a seamstress.
  • WHY? Unique and handmade supplies are generally limited, and once they are gone, they are gone for good in some cases. Buying from overseas generally can be expensive shipping/postage wise and exchange rate wise, if AUD is doing poorly.
2. As soon as you work out your perfect business name, buy your domains ASAP. Even if you do not plan on having a website for awhile, it would be even more of a problem when the time comes for you to build a website and someone else has bought your domain.
  • WHY? Branding is very important - so having a matching domain to your business name looks more professional and makes your business name easier to remember.
3. Cheap markets/shows doesn't always mean cheap markets/shows, in fact, they can work out more expensive, depending on your products.
  • WHY? These markets generally attract buyers who are after cheap things, and if you do not fit in the criteria, you are better off investing in a dearer one.
4. If you selling online and post/ship your items, saving your money by not buying a scale might not be the best idea. I bought a small digital one from Woolworths for $10, and if you sell bigger things, you could try a human scale (I believe they are $20).
  • WHY? You don't want to undersell your self.
5. Unless you sell affordable everyday items, consider buying fewer good quality and/or unique supplies rather than a high quantity of perhaps lower quality and un-unique supplies.
  • WHY? The supplies you use play a big part in the wow factor your work has.
6. Even if you are just a hobbyist, book-keeping is very important and it is easier to start it in the beginning. Stop procrastinating today! =P
  • WHY? It is not only important when it comes to tax time, but it makes it easier to price your creations, and working out if you should register your business and set up an ABN account.
7. Before you decide on investing big in a market/show or home party display, make your own display and do at least a few markets first.
  • WHY? Firstly, markets/shows might not be for you. Secondly, there is no such thing as perfect display, especially for your first one. Doing at least a few markets before you decide investing big is good because generally only personal experience is the way to work it out. (even if you THINK you already know)
8. When buying online, if you can, do your research on the supplier. See if you can find any reviews on them and check their return policy. With things on the pricier side it might be worthwhile to only get a few first. You should always never feel bad to ask the supplier questions.
  • WHY? Buying online can generally be so much cheaper, but photos can be deceiving, even if not on purpose. You do not want to be stuck with # amount of things that you can't use.

Please feel free to share your buying regrets and useful advice on this subject!

Talk later,

1 comment:

helena said...

some pretty handy tips renee, thanks for sharing!

I find that when operating a small business, we always learn from our mistakes each time!

And it's ok if once in awhile we make a lost at markets or buy some supplies that we regret..just learn from those mistakes!