Franciscan Jamoca Cup and Saucer Set 1

My first listings — and describing / pricing my Franciscan Pottery and Heath Ceramics

One of the most challenging thing to do once you’ve set up shop in Etsy is to figure out

  1. How to price your vintage objects
  2. The language and description to add to your item listing

Until I set up my Etsy store, I didn’t know that Heath Ceramics, based in Sausalito, California were highly collectible.  I bought the plates years ago because I liked the simple design, the look of the glaze and colors.

I also had many pieces from the Franciscan Pottery Company in the “Jamoca” line, as well as various plates and creamers from other Franciscan lines.  Initially, I did not know that they were Franciscan.  I just liked the colors and the shapes and picked up pieces here and there, over the years.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

If writing is not your thing (I’m so-so at it) or you find it difficult to be creative with your words (as I do), then searching within Etsy to see how others describe similar items should get you inspired to write up descriptions for your first listing.

I’ve visited stores with very minimal words in their listings and some with long, super detailed descriptions.

I like information, so I tend to want to add more, rather than less.

I also think it is best to give your potential customer as much information to accompany the photos —- and leave it to them if they want to read the nitty gritty.

Along with looking within Etsy for similar products, you can do a Google search or search within EBay for product listing descriptions.  If the company who made your product is still operating, then it is easy enough to get information  simply by visiting their website.

P1230458Based on the information I gathered, I listed my Heath Ceramics Sea and Sand plates with the following description:

Classic and durable Heath ceramic dinner plates in beautiful Sea and Sand glaze, coupe shape.

The Heath company was founded in 1948 in Sausalito, California. They are known for their simple yet thoughtfully designed table ware.

The design and durability stands the test of time — thus becoming family heirlooms.

Many of founder Edith Heath’s original pieces are housed in permanent collections of modern art museums (MOMA and LACMA).

I thought it was a good start!

Getting a bit of history on the company made writing a description more fun, and for me, was an interesting process.

Franciscan Jamoca Gravy Pitcher
Franciscan Pottery “Jamoca” line Gravy Pitcher

Next up were my Franciscan dinnerware items, and I posted this description:

love the Franciscan line of ceramic dinnerware in the “Jamoca” pattern.

The neutral, dark brown color can easily pair with your other tableware collection, and the golden yellow scrolls, filigree designs are very pretty.

Franciscan Ceramics started under California-based Gladding, Mcbean & Co., and was later purchased by Wedgwood, then the Waterford Glass Group.

Jamoca is a discontinued pattern.

Franciscan Dinner Plates Jamoca edges

The Etsy item listing manager allows you to “copy” an existing listing.

In the case of the Franciscan tableware, this was a great feature as I was able to just copy most of the listing for the dinner / salad plates / footed cups & saucers, with all the information and product tags I already created.

Very nice, and time-saving, especially if you have many pieces that you want to sell separately.

PRICING

For collectible and known / popular dining and table top items, the website that sells replacement pieces is a good resource to get an idea of market price (and their availability) for pieces you are listing to sell. It is a terrific starting point for pricing.

I then checked EBay to see how many other sellers have the same or similar item for sale… what is their price?

And within Etsy, how many sellers already have the same item?  What condition is it in?  Is mine in better condition or less so?

Once I have done my research, I then price the items based on

  • what is available on line to replace these items
  • how many other listings there are, both on EBay and Etsy

And based on the condition and availability (is it rare?) I establish a price that I think is reasonable and fair.

Your thoughts? If you have tips to add on how to price your items, or additional ideas, please do comment.


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