Saturday, April 11, 2009

ETSY

There are a number of internet sales sites and I have tried several of them. The best that I have found so far is ETSY. This is a site that you list your work of art or handcraft and it is offered for sale to the thousands and thousands of buyers who know and visit Etsy regularly.

Setting up a shop on Etsy is easy. You register first as a buyer and then convert your account to a selling account. There is no fee to register and it is free to have a shop on the site. You pay a 20 cent fee for each listing you create. The listing will remain for four months for that one 20 cents fee. When the item sells you pay Etsy a very small percentage. Buyers may pay through your Paypal merchants account or you could just accept checks or money orders. Etsy is an international site but all sales are transacted as US Dollars.

This is not an auction site such as Ebay. You set a price for your item, list how much the shipping will cost for that item and it sells for the amount that you have specified.

Of course, the greatest question is do shops make sales on Etsy? The answer is yes. I cannot say that for other sites that I have tried that are similar. Are sales guaranteed? Of course not! But if you make an effort to get your shop and your items noticed you have a very good chance of making sales.

On Etsy promotion is key to success. You can open a shop, list items, and walk away and wait and you will not make any sales. If you work at getting found you will make sales. The simplest and free way to do this is to use the forums that Etsy provides to both buyers and sellers. The promotions forum is the place to start with forum threads calling attention to what is in shops for sale. The promo forum can move fast on some days and at certain times. The secret to using this fforum successfully is to start a thread with a title that will not only get buyers to look but that will also get other sellers to add thier listings to that thread. This is OK because that thread will stick around for a while on the first forum page and each time someone clicks on that thread YUOR item is at the top and is the first thing that is seen.

Other Etsy forums will bring you attention as well. Answering questions, adding your opinions, aksing questions will get those on the site to notice you, look in your shop and maybe make a sale. Participating in the forums is FREE advertising!

Of course, as with all sites and venues, Etsy has its drawbacks. There are not only thousands of buyers, but there are hundreds of thousands of sellers. Now, often sellers are buyers too so that is ok, but with that many sellers you can figure out how many things for sale there are at any given moment. Shop design is very limited to one standard Etsy template with no way to modify that.There is no way to rearrange the order of your items in your shop - they remain visible in the order they were listed. This is something that has been requested over and over again, but the Etsy administration has yet to change that. The checkout process on Etsy is lacking in that it reaures two buttons to be found and clicked to complete a purchase all the way to payment through Paypal. This is a stumbling block for many first time and even experienced buyers and will result in lack of payment that requires the seller to contact the buyer and explain the remaining process so that the item is acutally paid for. Etsy claims to be working on this.

Does Etsy work? Yes! Have I made sales? Yes! I cannot say that for other sales sites that I have used.

If you would like to see two different examples of Etsy shops come and take a look at
Past Perfect and Q Branch Ltd.

3 comments:

Leah said...

Happy selling with Etsy, I love it!

Piggy said...

Totally agree with you! I love Etsy and I have made sales! Promotion and marketing is definitely a really important for all online business. :) And Etsy offers alot of resources and options... like showcases, forums, treasuries etc :)

Anna Kay Creations said...

I love Etsy!