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Bob Coyle

Selling anything on Etsy?

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Heidi K    2

I would like to get some feedback on selling ceramics on Etsy. How is it working out for you?

 

 

For me, it's not really working out. I think there are too many other choices and I feel like my stuff just gets lost in the shuffle. I probably have an average of 10 sales a year on there, and they're mostly for teeny inexpensive bowls.

I've often wondered if I posted things every day or did some paid advertisement if that would boost sales on there...I see other pottery etsy shops that have daily sales and I wonder if I could change anything (besides my work) to improve my sales? I wonder if people just don't favor my work, or if I'm not doing the right marketing (which is a given - I hardly do any marketing!).

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Ceramista    0

I would like to get some feedback on selling ceramics on Etsy. How is it working out for you?

 

 

I'm selling as long as I keep going with treasuries and promoting on social media. Etsy is a great page but you must put a lot of effort to it and read all their advices.

Do you want to share your link here and maybe we can give you more input?

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Personally I don't have a shop on Etsy, but I bought several ceramic pieces from other potters via Etsy, so I can give you the view of a customer:

 

Goods very clearly arranged

good search function

methods of payment sufficient

I payed through paypal - everything correct

I got the ordered pieces within 1 week (from the US to Switzerland)

I'am a 100% satisfied Etsy customer

 

Since there are online shops that aren't as good as Etsy, I think you would benefit from selling your ceramics via Etsy. Looking forward to see your ceramics there.

 

Evelyne

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Chris Campbell    1,081

I set up an Etsy shop just to go through the process and see what it was like. So, my disclaimer is that it was too much work and I shut it down.

BUT ..

That was because it was one more area of marketing that I did not have time to learn to do well.

From what I have been told, if you take the time to learn the process and tricks, if you have great images, good prices and service ... And have time to post new products and keep your store stocked ... It can work. I don't know anyone who uses it as their sole source of revenue though. I do know there is a lot of advice out there on how to up your chances of success.

It also helps if you have another way to direct people to your Etsy shop ... Cards at shows, link from your own site ...etc. it's difficult to keep people on your page at Etsy since the choices draw people away like a sieve so you have to have it set up well enough to keep them interested.

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Jay Wiese    0

Definitely recommend Etsy if you're just starting out. It is a lot of work to set up and maintain, but Etsy is *the* go-to place for people looking for "undiscovered" designer-makers online. Just make sure you've got at least 100 listings with good photographs, and don't expect to sell a lot of pots your first few weeks.


Cheers,
Jay
 

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Nancy S.    21

I've sold a whopping 4 things on there, but I don't have a lot to offer since this is a part-time/just for fun thing for me.

 

What I've found that works: keeping your store in the forefront by listing things every day or two, and having a ton of keywords that guide people to your site.

 

Even better if you can get something from your shop added to someone's "treasury."

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Etsy is definitely a fun community to be a part of. I signed up a few months back and found that I didn't get a lot of traffic until I became much more active.
So far that means creating treasury list of objects that I find interesting - this directs a portion of those people to your shop and if they like your work,
they can either fav your shop or like an item, which will in turn show up on their page. Be sure to include very descriptive tags of your objects.
A large selection is important (something that I def need to work on)

Cheers
 

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oldlady    1,323

I have so many better venuses so it has zero interest. My almost retired fellow ceramics folks who live out in the boonies sell about 50 items per year.Its a bit of extra income.

You can see they cone 11 work here.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/ClayFantaSea

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

their pots look good but fifty-seven sales since 2009????? why bother? which is the point of this whole discussion.

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There's a decent community on Etsy. I see a lot of ceramicists selling their things for exorbent prices and they've only sold a few things. I'm mostly speaking to people who do small cups and dishes with minimal expression for exorbent prices.
I started last summer sometime on Etsy and I sold two drawings immediately, then later on I sold a set of herb pots I made and a vase. Not bad for next to no self promotion over a six month course I feel.
If you have some things that haven't been selling well outside of fairs, its also a good place to put some things to try out selling it.
I've been looking at storeenvy.com because its actually free (no listing/sales price) and I feel there might be more ceramicists there, but my current research shows me that there's a lot of reselling of commercial and novelty mugs more than ceramicists so I thought of skipping out on that community. We'll see though, I'd like to give it a try.

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nancylee    30

Hi,

I am on etsy, and don't sell much, but I am newer and don't have a lot of pottery on there yet. I belong to the etsy mud team, and there are some people on there who make their living from etsy. I think it is a LOT of work, both creating and marketing, and seems harder to break into the older etsy it.

 

Here is a list of the top sellers/best value sellers in pottery:

http://www.craftcount.com/category.php?cat=3&subcat=24

 

As you can see, some prepainted crap, and some nice work. 

 

Best,

Nancy

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Bob Coyle    113

Thanks for the link Nancy.

 

I looked at some of the artists at random. Looks like pretty much production pottery. functional ware and some gee-jaws.

 

Some of the real handmade stuff looks pretty expensive. $45 for a four inch, ordinary looking, floating blue cream pitcher????

 

Anyway. My stuff is more single piece "art" pottery that takes a lot of time and technique to do and would be costlier than most of the stuff or the same size. I'm not sure that it would translate as such. But then again... if you can get $45 for a ordinary cream pitcher...

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Mark C.    1,797

Yes you can have your dogs name on your handmade mug-

But wait theres more-maybe uncle George needs a left handed personalized mustache mug 

but wait there more-you cat need a food dish with a name and a fish on it so he knows where to eat.

Yes I see lots of opportunity in this venue for thise willing to do the right work.Its just not my cup of tea.

Mark

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Benzine    609

Yes you can have your dogs name on your handmade mug-

But wait theres more-maybe uncle George needs a left handed personalized mustache mug 

but wait there more-you cat need a food dish with a name and a fish on it so he knows where to eat.

Yes I see lots of opportunity in this venue for thise willing to do the right work.Its just not my cup of tea.

Mark

Mark, from the looks of it, like in the topic you created, you've got your process down pretty well.

You make great work, and make a lot of it. 

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bciskepottery    925

I sell primarily at weekend craft fairs. I'm often asked by customers and lookers if I sell through my website; I don't. I've thought of using Etsy as a place where I can direct folks who want to buy items. I have no desire to spend inordinate amounts of time marketing to rack up large numbers of sales; rather it could be a place to allow those who want to buy additional pieces the opportunity to do so without adding a commerce element to my website (basically a Google blogger site). I sense that many potters may take a similar approach to using Etsy and see it as a means to sell to their customer base and not having to mess around with adding a commerce/Paypal-type function to their website.

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Mark C.    1,797

I sell primarily at weekend craft fairs. I'm often asked by customers and lookers if I sell through my website; I don't. I've thought of using Etsy as a place where I can direct folks who want to buy items. I have no desire to spend inordinate amounts of time marketing to rack up large numbers of sales; rather it could be a place to allow those who want to buy additional pieces the opportunity to do so without adding a commerce element to my website (basically a Google blogger site). I sense that many potters may take a similar approach to using Etsy and see it as a means to sell to their customer base and not having to mess around with adding a commerce/Paypal-type function to their website.

I to do not sell thru my web site directly (contact page) but I do a fair amount of shipping more pots to my existing customers. Its rare that a few weeks goes by without UPS picking up a box here and there.I incude a business card in each bag no matter what they buy at the show and that card has my info on it. I started my web site so I would not have to talk color on the phone. I dumbed my zillion glazes down to 6 color samples so we have a starting point when they order to talk about. I get contacted a lot thru the contact page and about 2/3 of the orders  start there-The rest are direct phone or e-mail contacts.

I really do not want any more shipping business as it slows me down money wise. For me selling larger volumes (fair customers) is more profitable than shipping small orders all over the place. That said I have pots going to China(spoonrests) this week (customer is taking them) and a few went to maine last week-dinnerware set to Long Island this fall-shipping seems to happen no matter how little I do not pursue it.

Feels great to have pots going to china. Seems so much comes this way from there.

Mark

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nancylee    30

Yes, there is a huge market on etsy for personalized pottery. They do seem to be the biggest sellers. Having said that, there are a number of top sellers on the etsy mud team who make very nice personalized work. A few of them are so busy, they keep raising their prices and extending their production times (I think it's 5 weeks for them now) to try to slow down their orders, to no avail. Lesson for me: never underestimate the power of narcissism!

 

Another big seller on etsy is personalized wedding doodads, such as ring dishes and the such, with names and dates. Forme, I would like to have a wedding registry, and make dinnerware and canisters, etc. for new couples, not all the knick knacks. I think there would be great satisfaction in helping a young couple start their lives together with handmade pottery. That's one of my goals when I get better at all of this.

Nancy

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GEP    863

My online store has become exactly what bciske is contemplating ... a way for people who saw my work at a festival to buy something later. I am using the free version of BigCartel, not Etsy, so I am only allowed to list five items at a time. But it doesn't matter, most online customers will not purchase from those five items, instead they will send a note asking for a specific item, then I will use PayPal to get their payment and shipping info, and send the item out. It has worked out really well, it has lead to some meaty sales that I would otherwise have missed. Such as, someone sees my dinnerware at a show, thinks about it for a few days, then decides to buy placesettings for 4 or 8. It's really more of an extension to my festivals, I doubt it would generate much income if I wasn't doing a lot of shows.

 

And I agree with Mark that I really don't want to do any more pack+ship orders than I do now. It really is a lot of time and material spent for one order, compared to the volume of a show, where you only have to wrap+bag.

 

Another worthy benefit of having the online store ... it has given me a graceful response to what I think is The Most Annoying Question that I often hear at festivals. When people ask for my hometown, I provide it, they then ask "Do you have a store there?" I've heard this question so many times, I want to hiss in response "A. if I had a store, why would I have dragged all this pottery out here? And B. how do you like it when total strangers try to invite themselves to YOUR house?" But now I just smile and say "No but I have an online store" while handing them a card. I've also learned that anyone who asks this question is not going to buy any pottery anyways, so there's no need to spend any more time than that. The people who will actually use the online store will show interest in specific pieces of pottery first, before they ever get to the question "can I think about this for a few days and contact you later?"

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Mark C.    1,797

Mea

When asked about my store I just say buy it now dot com and I can bag it now as well.

I just say my site is an info site not a click and in the cart site so they think hey we should get some now.

Mark

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GEP    863

Haha! I'm going to try the "buy it now dot com" response!

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