Sunday, August 3, 2008

Thoughts and Questions

When I started this little venture, I had an initial goal of contributing $500 towards my family's adoption expenses. If you know anything about adoption, you know this is just a drop in the bucket. Why is adoption so expensive? That's a whole different topic (read about my daughter's thoughts on the subject here).

Because Bags for Zaza (BFZ) was so well received and because Zaza's mamma, Zaza's grandma, my sister, and others started sewing - we've kept it going. To tell the truth, it's pretty much taken over my life. It's been amazing and fun and so rewarding.

But being a planner/worrier/analyst sort, I wonder about BFZ's long-term future (short term, it'll be bags on Monday as usual); I don't want to quit -- ever. I want to find a new Zaza to adopt. Or I want to dig a well for a Zaza's community. Or buy a goat for a Zaza's family. But I'll eventually have to change things a bit if I'm going to keep this going.

I was hoping to get some help from y'all by having you answer a few questions:
  1. Would you be more or less inclined to purchase a BFZ bag if it was sold via eBay?

  2. What attracts you to BFZ?

  3. Would it make a difference if only 80% of the purchase price was donated towards the cause and the rest was used to cover expenses? (i.e. fabric, thread, etc.)

  4. Any other comments/suggestions?
Please let me know what you think by commenting on this post (anonymous is fine) or emailing



Anonymous said...

Hi Jennie,
Have been waiting for the transformation of your site, change is progress. I would be less inclined to purchase through e-bay [poor experiences]. You have proven yourself to be honest,
creative, dedicated, eco-minded, fair, fun & of course so very talented. You now have fans. In order to continue, the earnings will need to be dedicated to overhead, earnings and/or charity, or some combination. Your endeavor will cease to exist without a revamp, you will simply wear out & taxes will become an issue. Hope my opinion is helpful.
Best of Luck

Becca said...

Hi Jennie,

To answer your questions:

1) Yes, I would be less inclined to purchase your bags from ebay - it's too impersonal for me and it takes more energy than just bookmarking your blog and checking it all too often to see if I've been outbid yet!

2) I love BFZ because of where the proceeds go, because I know there is love being put into these bags, because the starting bid is such a steal (even thought I always get outbid), and because the work/fabrics/design/etc is amazing.

3) I would be no less inclined to buy if I knew that only 80% was going to the adoption. You have to replace your supplies and you have to treat yourself to a starbucks every once in a while so you don't completely tire of making these masterpieces.

4) My only suggestion/comment is can you make 10 bags a week instead of just 5 :)

Thanks for your hard work and I hope that I'll win a bag one of these days!

Kimberly Vanderhorst said...

I avoid ebay at all costs. I like the set up you have here. More personal, somehow.

I think that some of the money should definitely go to covering your overhead - I'm amazed it doesn't already - wow!

I love the uniqueness of these bags. I love knowing they're supporting a worthy cause and still feel like we're getting pretty screamin' good deals here.

p.s. I'm an amateur template designer. If you ever want a blog facelift here I'll help you free of charge, okay?

Anonymous said...

Love this format, but do what's best for you. You might try a few on eBay, because I think you should be getting a lot more for these bags as a fund raiser than you've been getting!

I would definitely still buy if 80% or a certain $ amount went to cover costs.

Love everything you are trying to do!

Anonymous said...

Lots of competition on e-bay & people are shopping for deals.

Anonymous said...

True! And eBay takes a cut of money that could be going toward an orphan getting home.

Anonymous said...

1. I would not purchase bags from ebay - I like this method the way it is now.
2.What attracted me is the cause - but I do love the bad and I love to watch the bidding process!!
3. I think if 80% went to the cause that would be more than fair - you do need to buy additional supplies!It would not deter me at all!
4. Make more!! Woo hoo! More bags...i wish I could make some to, if I lived closer I would ask to join in!

tanya said...

I think that you HAVE to use funds to cover supplies to be able to keep it up. People understand that.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennie,
I absolutely love your site, your bags and most of all the way you put your heart into this project.

I would not even see these bags on e-bay as I would never think to look there. But, that said, others might. Maybe post here and some there?

I saw you on craigslist (Phoenix) and think you could post there more. Maybe make a "Custom one of a kind diaper bag" and sell for $50or more. Or I would be willing to post it for you every week, I live in Mesa.

As for using some of the money for overhead, I would still buy even if 50% went to overhead.

Please don't burn yourself out. You can make a contribution for years to come if you pace yourself. And maybe that means less bags per week but that's ok.

God bless,

Jennie C. said...

Hi Everyone,
The feedback is so helpful. And encouraging. Please keep it coming. Constructive criticism is allowed, too. Even though this is a little home grown fundraiser run by a family of Canadian-Americans, we do our best to be professional. I love how we've created a little community here.

Anonymous said...

Hi Jen - Mummy here.

I love the site the way it is. Ebay is too impersonal and difficult to navigate. I already have a donation of thread and notions from Karla and I have some as well. Most people have lots around - just never thought to include it.

Anonymous said...

I just came upon this site for the first time today! What a great way to raise money and what a wonderful reason!

I like this site and word of mouth (or type) is great! I agree with other posts -- e-bay seems too impersonal.

Have you heard of etsy? It's an alternative to e-bay for handmade things! It's more cozy and personal than e-bay is. I'm not sure about all the technicalities of selling with them, but definitely look into it if you want to supplement this site!

Diane Kristine Wild said...

I was going to recommend etsy too, and I think eBay is worth a try if you want to expand. Those sites have a bigger reach than an individual blog, plus a "secure" infrastructure behind them that makes some people more comfortable handing over money to a stranger.

And I can't imagine people objecting to using a cut for expenses!

Jennie C. said...

Thanks again everyone. We're generating great ideas here.

I've looked at Etsy and a search for "purses" gets more than 8000 hits. And I don't think we can auction. But if we continue to advertise via the blog community - it still might be worth it.

eBay seems to turn a lot of people off, but again, if the blog is our main way of advertising and we simply point people to our eBay shop, hmmm...

Keep the feedback coming...

Miss Denise said...

Hi Jennie,
*No to E-Bay...
*I love the purpose and vision for BFZ! Very noble!!!
*Check out Hadassah's Hope. They also raise money for international adoptions.
*I love the idea of continuing BFZ. Helping kids in need is a great cause. Your "homegrown" fundraiser could turn into a mighty ministry!
* 20% taken out for overhead wouldn't stop me from bidding on a bag EVER!
I can't wait to meet you ZAZA!!
Chasing Him 4 Kids,
Denise Snyder

She said...

Great bags! Great medium!
1. I'd be less inclined to buy from ebay. But you might get more money for them there. Maybe worthwhile to try a test on ebay?

2. Can't quite remember the question, but I think that the cause is great. I want to buy a bag, even though I'm just starting to fiddle with making my own. :-) If I knew you personally, I might donate some money without the bag purchase.

3. *Totally* use some of the proceeds to cover the costs of supplies. I'd actually feel better knowing that the person behind the bags was finding a way to raise funds for charity that also filled their passions. I'd even go so far as to collect *some* monies for time spend in creating. Depending on how much time you plan on devoting to the cause.

4. No suggestions... it looks great!