ETSY: Making a Profit

These last couple of months have been tighter for my family and I, expecting another new addition to the family (another boy, we have a four year old Carl) in July. At first I was thinking to myself, how in the world is this going to be possible. I was a little afraid I may have to walk away if I couldn’t afford to bring people to my shop to at least pay the bill for the month. But then somehow the lightbulb went off and I realized… you know let’s just try to “promote on a low-budget”….

~*~ Cut the Renewing. It’s so easy to just go and click renew. To me renewing is almost like playing the slots in Vegas, you may get a few views, and once in a while a jackpot (item sold) but in reality after all the renewals how much are you really cutting into your profits? I was cutting too much into them. Being in the jewelry category I learned “renew to be seen or you’ll be buried”. I believe instead in good pictures, good tags, and good networking. I spend a lot of time continuing to improve my pictures, look at my tagging, and Im always trying to meet new people through Facebook, twitter, and my blog https://naturalamber.wordpress.com

~*~ Network Correctly. Twitter really can be a good thing for your business as well as Facebook (sometimes it doesn’t work for some, but there is no harm in trying) I have met a lot of wonderful people on twitter, and many of them will retweet some of my links to my work to their twitter contacts, and posting the new listing on my Facebook has really gotten more of my friends, family, and people from the past stopping in and buying. As long as you don’t spam, and have it personal the links once in a while they will be happy to see. If they think all you care about is buy from me they may just eliminate you completely from their page

 ~*~ Pitch Yourself. There is no harm in trying to pitch yourself to popular blogs, craft magazines, local tv stations, and other free places of advertising. The worst that could happen is they say no or don’t respond… the best thing that could happen is they want to feature you and they have a huge audience. You’ll never know unless you ask.

 ~*~ Aiming for Repeat Business. Repeat customers are hard to come by sometimes that’s why each and every transaction should be a way to really show your customers that you care. Respond to their questions, ship promptly, add something extra, have great packaging, and great follow-thru! Keep posting new items so they want to come back and see what else they can buy. Customers love fresh shops! Create a mailing list and create a newsletter geared towards customers, offer them specials, let them know what’s new with your business.

 ~*~ Keep Creating. Don’t let your shop get boring. Instead of spending 20 cents to renew something old bring something new in your shop. I try to at least add new items to my shop 3 times a week. I love to have a big inventory and I love to keep looking for new and unique items which is why I buy mainly on ETSY. I know I am bound to find a unique supply. It’s very important to keep yourself looking fresh. Why use your potential profits renewing the same items, when you can add a new treasure to your store. Have fun, get creative! Being creative artists we should thrive on finding creative ways (and budget nice ways) to get our name out there.

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ETSY 101: The 4 P’s to Selling

Persistance: Even when sales were slow and I felt like giving up I kept pushing forward. determination is what kept me from closing shop on ETSY. I had this false expectation that just setting up shop would mean sales, now I have learned its determination, promoting, and marketing that gets customers to your shop.

Patience: I had to learn that patience was key to success. It’s so easy to get caught up and compare yourself to many other shops on here. Once I learned to be patient I started to not get so down on lack of sales or views during slower times.

Perfection: There is no such thing and your shop always has room for improvement. This weekend I will be working on my new spring line, and the pictures that I have taken are better then the ones I have in my shop now… but I always know that you can improve on that. Never fear setting up construction in your shop.

Projects: Keep on crafting. Thats what brought you here. You’ll find yourself more happy that your continuing your art, and you’ll find customers love the freshness of new items in your shop!

Direct Link to the forum post this was inspired by: http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6444980

ETSY Trial and Error: Best Time to List Your Items

Polymer and Quartz

Polymer and Quartz

 

The blessing of listing at the right time, to the right person, and at the right price is hard to master, especially in the world of ETSY (or any other large selling marketplace). So how do you know that are listing items that are being viewed and viewed alot?  This is really a talent created from error. You would be surprised if you saw my bill, especially from renewing items, but through my overspending I have found that their are simply better times to list. Yes, ETSY is a worldwide marketplace so anytime is virtually a good time, but I find that there are two different really good times during the week, and two really good days to list. Granted, this is a new trade that needs to be learned with every season, but for the next six weeks this oughta be useful.

1. Monday thru Thursday. I have found through much trial and error (and my habit of wanting to renew all day long) that the best times to list, for me, have been around 6am-8am PST, and 4pm-8pm PST. I have been getting alot of hits during these times. Also not just from item listings, but also when I am in the forums. I gain many more harts during those times, because there are alot of people looking to make new friends and new networking buddies! (now Friday is not included simply because it seems the morning hours is the only good time)

 

2. Wednesday and Sunday.  I have generated the most hearts, the most views, and the most successful threads on these days and this really does not surprise me. Many studies have been done on shoppers and the “retail experience” and these are the busiest shopping days for retailers, both conventional and online. I can say online traffic is definitely higher these days, I get the most blog hits to my blog on these two days, by quite a few more. If you have a budget I would stress listing and renewing most of your items these two days.

Just remember online selling, marketing, advertising, and even product itself is all about trial and error. What works for me may not work for you, and vice versa but all we can do is learn from our errors, and keep on keeping on. Mistakes are the best thing to make sometimes, because often times it will put you on the road to success.

Please come see my ETSY shop at: http://naturalamber.etsy.com

ETSY 101: Study Your Views

Fall Earrings

Fall Earrings

This post is inspired by a thread I read on the ETSY Forums, and a useful tip I have taken and have started to apply to my own brand new ETSY shop. “The Logic Behind Views”, views are essentially interested buyers looking at individual items in your shop. The more views you have for an item, the more popular the item is with ETSY “browsers”. So how do you take that information and turn it into sales?  By creating similar items. If I got a lot of views on the item, and it is deemed popular in views, then how come no one is buying?
1. The potential buyer does not like the color.  This is a very common problem and I have actually gotten several conversations from potential ETSY buyers that they love my work, but don’t like the colors. Great, then what you need is create an assortment, different colors that will attract different people. Some people may not even click on the item to view, even though they do like the style simply because they know they won’t look good in that color.
2. It’s End of Season.  With it being the end of summer, and everyone is returning to school many customers are already forgetting about adding more summer items to their collection, they are now on the hunt for cute fall items to add to their wardrobe! Take that as a hint, if the item you have is summery, make the same item in fall colors, fall metals, and see if that changes your sales.
3. Customer Prefers A Certain Metal.  My mom and I are prime examples of that. I love silver jewelry, and every item in my shop is made with silver metal, silver wire……my mom prefers gold. I recently have started experimenting with the antique and gold metals. Have not added any to my shop yet, but I know in my heart I will be exposing myself to more customers by offering different pieces made with different metals.
Just remember if you are constantly renewing at getting low hits on certain items, perhaps people are not looking for that kind of item right now. You may want to keep it in your shop or put it on inactive. Regardless, pay attention to views, and learn what customers are looking at. You may suddenly see an increase in sales.