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Members With Etsy Stores?

business etsy stores critiques

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#1 rayaldridge

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:11 PM

I recently set up an Etsy storefront, and I really would like to visit the etsy sites of other forum members, just to see how they have handled it.  I imagine it wouldn't be kosher to post URLs here, but I would be grateful if anyone wanted to message me with their etsy info, so I could take a peek.



#2 PRankin

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:23 PM

You may click on my profile then follow the link on the bottom to my etsy shop.

Paul

#3 Mark C.

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:23 PM

My friends have one and its called clayfantasea
http://www.clayfantasea.com/

mark
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#4 LeeU

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 03:47 PM

Paul--I notice that your store and most others that I have seen-including non-ceramic items--list each item as being the only one available. Do you just constantly add new single items, or do you actually have several/many in the same shape/glaze and just update the photo in that "slot" to fill additional orders that way? Another question....overall, would you say it is worth the "hassle" of the whole initial set-up? I read mixed reviews on the return for time/labor investment, yet it seems this "store" approach is a good one for online sales (vs. selling via the single artist web site.) 


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#5 Joseph F

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:15 PM

I have a friend who makes his entire living off selling jewelry on etsy. Makes 6 figures from home. Took him over 3 years of hard work to get there, but the main thing he said is that you need to list items. The more items you list the better off you are. Then as you start selling you will know what to make more of and what to make less of. Keep adapting and modifying pricing until you get the sweet spot where you get the amount of work your comfortable with. He didn't start hitting a lot of sales until he had over 200 items in his shop. Now he sales 30-40 pieces a day. Of course he makes jewelry with a machine that does 95% of the work, and the hand made part is his designs that he came up with. Etsy has changed its policies a lot lately on these things. The stock prices have been falling quickly because of the market place becoming machine made things that resemble hand made.

 

He said the main thing you need to do is streamline the process for the things your going to be listing. So find shapes that fit into the same size boxes, find out how much it cost to ship those boxes and start only with those shapes so that the shipping stuff doesn't become the kink in your operation. After you get that down you can expand onto other shapes, but it is expensive in the beginning to stock different sized boxes and things for different shaped objects. He also said make sure your packaging is nice. It is nice to open a nice box into a nice thing. Will make people happier.

 

His recommendation to me was to make anything that would fit into a box that would hold a single 16oz mug. So small bowls, small vases, spoon rest, sponge holders or anything else that would fit into that size box. Then once you have the materials and are selling those products to add another size box and all the things that go with it. His advice was the move into a box that would hold 4 mug boxes, so you could ship sets of 4 and what ever would go into that box. Big mixing bowls, platters etc etc.

 

Pictures are everything. You need to have a picture that shows the item nicely, another that displays it in its natural environment, one that shows the size compared to objects that it will be around, and one that shows the detail of the piece. Some of this can be done with a single picture depending on the object one is selling.

 

Beyond that he said its just finding out what people want to buy. The best price range is the 25 dollar price range. He said if you can get a product that you can sell for a good profit at 20-25 dollars that will be your best earner, but will require a lot of manual labor for pottery.

 

I have done my own research at the bigger pottery stores on etsy, there are a few who have a lot of sales. 

 

The number one things I have found that sell are: sponge holders, mugs, cereal bowls, spoon rest, bud vases, and yarn bowls. All of those things vary greatly in prices from 10 to 50 dollars depending on the amount of detail in the pot. 

 

Another thing he said was to make sure the first people buying from you are happy. Eventually Etsy will allow them to leave reviews on your shop on the item they purchased, you want those 5 stars. His other thing was 100% satisfaction guarantee. You don't want people giving you anything but 5 stars. No review is better than 4 stars he said. So make sure that if they are unhappy they know they can ship the item back and just lose the shipping cost and you refund their money. He said it was vital to his business. He has like 3K reviews almost all 5 stars.

 

So all in all, it is a lot of work. But until you start getting sales, its just taking pictures and creating a listing, so I guess its not too much work until you start getting sales. If you can stream line your pictures to listing process and have some general templates built that you use for listing products it is pretty simple. I help my mother in law sell dog dresses on etsy. She has made over 7k selling dog dresses in 2 years. But she sells high end 80-90 dollar dog dresses. People are crazy.



#6 PRankin

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 04:38 PM

Lee, most of the items are one-of-a-kind. There are a few similarly carved and glazed items but not everything I have is listed. I mostly sell small mug-sized candle holders and a few bud vases/vases that are a little larger. I have only sold two pieces and my prices average about $25. The shipping charges average about $10 added to the cost of the item so I think most people are reluctant to spend that kind of money for pottery that they can't pick up, hold and touch.

The initial setup was somewhat time consuming but once its in place it's easy to copy a listing and modify it with new photos and a modified description. I knew I was never going to get rich selling on etsy but its just another outlet and serves as my current website for the time being.

Paul

#7 rayaldridge

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:46 PM

Thanks, folks.

 

Paul, that's a good idea.  I'll put a link to my etsy shop in my profile.  I'll spend some time tonight looking at the sites.



#8 rayaldridge

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 05:57 PM

grype, very good advice, I think.  Some of the pieces I have in the store are pretty expensive, but I plan to add pieces that aren't as costly.

 

It does take a fair amount of time to photograph and edit the pics, but practice is starting to make me a little more efficient.  I try to make myself feel better about the time by thinking how much more time it would take to pack and drag the pieces to shows, which is what I used to do.  I'm not sure I'm tough enough these days to do shows for a living.  Hope it doesn't come to that.



#9 Chris Campbell

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 06:52 PM

Success on etsy is HARD work ... A different kind of work than hauling to shows but very time consuming.
Note that the successful guy is making almost everything by machine to keep his price points low. It is very discouraging to sell against machine made goods be it pottery or jewelry.
With new listings hitting the site by the second, day and night ... It is hard to be noticed. There are clay groups there who could help you.
Read up on all their hints and tips to give yourself a good chance for success.
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#10 Mark C.

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 07:11 PM

It does take a fair amount of time to photograph and edit the pics, but practice is starting to make me a little more efficient. I try to make myself feel better about the time by thinking how much more time it would take to pack and drag the pieces to shows

all that time with photos and edits per pice how about wholesailing?
Mark
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#11 Joseph F

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 07:22 PM

These are the highest sales sites I have found on etsy for things that I would like to make for a living.

 

https://www.etsy.com...wistedRiverClay

 

https://www.etsy.com...blueroompottery

 

both have very nice pieces for general public and have worked hard to sell on etsy, if you go back to the beginning of their sales you can see how they slowly catered to what was selling. 

There are a few others with higher sales than these guys, but they sell 1-2 pieces every few days. Which isn't enough to maintain a fancy lifestyle, but added to regular sales I could see it helping.

 

What Chris said is very true. My friend worked very hard and invested a lot of money in machinery and took big risk while working 40 hours a week at another job over 3 years till he was able to live off his Etsy sales, and there is a huge difference between coming up with a design, then a machine making it, compared to us making every single piece. 

 

Etsy will continue to change now that it is public company, and I fear probably for the worse. I wish they had kept it only hand made objects like it was in the beginning, but you can't fault a company for wanting to make more money. 



#12 High Bridge Pottery

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Posted 28 June 2015 - 07:51 PM

I put a few things on etsy, somebody actually bought one :D Then I got annoyed because I didn't realise you had to keep paying for listings and let them all run out.

 

Going to go back one day once I have regular things I can list once instead of single items I have to keep listing and paying for. 


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#13 rayaldridge

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 11:19 AM

Mark, wholesaling is the main plan.  But I've been successful before, in pushing a product on the internet, and I find it interesting as a pursuit and a challenge.  I'm one of those weirdos who bought his first computer back in the late 70s, run Linux, and fix the neighbors' machines when they go south.  In other words, a geek.



#14 Chris Campbell

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 12:24 PM

If working the Internet is fun for you and your aim is to wholesale to stores and galleries there, you might want to check out ...
www.wholesalecrafts.com
I wholesaled from there for ten years ... but left about seven years ago so I don't know prices or rules etc. I do know they try very hard to keep it "human made" but you would not believe how hard it is to keep it that way. Every craft has its own ideas of where the line is.
There used to be another group wholesale site but cannot remember the name right now. The Guild? Maybe.
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>TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT"

" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#15 karenk

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 02:26 PM

I keep a few things listed on Etsy just for fun and It's is an inexpensive way to have an online presence.

#16 Mark C.

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Posted 29 June 2015 - 10:59 PM

You can do 6 figures without all that shipping via Etsy by a mix of marketing-I know this to be true in my own life of selling pots.It's a lot of work that I will not sugar coat.Making pottery for a living will take a toll on your body-I know this from over 40 years of moving clay around by the ton and I mean lots of tons.
I wholesale a bit and consign a bit(same palces for 30 plus years) and do a bit of shows-direct marketing-shows are the most profit (as Mea Rae has already spelled out in another post)I;m down to 7 this year.
I'm not an etey fan as machine made anything is the norm now and hand made items in walmart do not do well.
Mark
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#17 Chris Campbell

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:47 AM

So true Mark ...

Hand/Human Made items cannot go toe to toe against imports/buy-sell ... whether in a live show, a shop or the Internet ... We just cannot beat them if we market in the same place to the same people. People who buy by price alone are not our customers.
People who don't care who made it are not our crowd either ... even though they will pay big bucks in mall chains for machine made goods supposedly touched somewhere along the line by a human.

I have heard stories about potters ... Friends of friends, someone knows this person etc. ... making a good living on etsy but have yet to meet this elusive person to find out exactly what they consider to be a good living $$$$$. Is it $100 a day before expenses or is it $20?

However, I do know lots of potters who are making their living with the hard work mix of retail, wholesale, live sales and teaching. Pick any three and go for it.
Chris Campbell Pottery
Contemporary Fine Colored Porcelain
http://ccpottery.com/

>TRY ... FAIL ... LEARN ... REPEAT"

" If a sufficient number of people are different, no one has to be normal "

Fredrick Bachman

#18 Joseph F

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Posted 30 June 2015 - 09:58 AM

@ Chris - Etsy shows the sales numbers, and I haven't found a single potter on etsy with a sales record that is anything like what show & whole sale potters sale. It is definitely not a place to only sell work and be done with it, unless your just doing it as a hobby or something. Even the top sellers only sale 1-2 items every few days(i have been corrected and don't want to misinform, see following post). And most of those items are 15-35 dollars. So if your happy with like 200 bucks a week, then I guess if your become a top pottery seller on etsy you could be happy. Don't get me wrong 200 bucks a week adds up to a decent amount per year to supplement other areas, but if you want to make a sole living on pottery, I think you have to do more than just etsy, things like you said. 

 

Just to make some realizations, my friend is constantly having to adjust prices and introduce new items or his sales rapidly decline. He says that as soon as he stops, competitors move in, create same items as his, mark down prices and start getting his sales. So he is constantly creating new pieces. So even though he makes good money, he is still working just as hard as he was when he first started. There is no such thing as easy money. He works Monday - Friday 6AM till 4PM every day, running his machines, boxing and shipping. It's a full time job for him and his wife.



#19 DirtRoads

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 12:25 AM

Grype:  Thank you for sharing your research and knowledge.   A very educational read.



#20 Stephen

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Posted 02 July 2015 - 03:54 PM

Would love to pull a few sales online but 6am-4pm every day adjusting machines and shipping does not fit in with my way over romanticized view of full time potting. 







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