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Selling anything on Etsy?


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#41 nancylee

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 04:58 PM

And make sure you have good content, not just SEO buzzwords, but from what I have been reading, most of the hits on my shop come from inside etsy, not Google. So I buy search ads. And make what people want. Research what sells, and make it.

I am so weary of putting names on mugs, but I sold a couple of thousand dollars of them in the past month. Never thought that would happen! But people like that. They like useable, good prices, lovely work. It's not a place for original art, in my experience, although many people have excellent solid work there. There is also a price point to consider. One lady makes lovely mugs, but at close to $50, they don't sell. I sell my mugs at $22 to $25.
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#42 JBaymore

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 07:40 PM

This lady just posted on Facebook that she just hit 5000 total sales on Etsy.  But looking at the shop info, that one was founded in Nov. of 2009.  So that is 5000 sales in 14 years.  If the average price of a sale for her is $40 (seems reasonable given her pricing listed) that is a total of about $200,000.  Nothing to sneeze at.  But divide that by 14 years, and you get about $14,285 average a year, for the GROSS income.  Take out COGS, overhead, and other such business expenses maybe less than $10,000 a year, pretax. 

 

http://www.etsy.com/...o_sales_leftnav

 

These days $10,000 is not a lot of money.

 

best,

 

.....................john


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#43 bciskepottery

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:01 PM

John, not to be picky, but how about 4 years (2013 - 2009 = 4).  Yeah, that new math stuff really gives me trouble, too.  Any case, that's a boatload of yarn bowls.



#44 JBaymore

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 08:09 PM

Picky, picky, picky. 

 

Oops... brain fa%$.  :rolleyes:  :blink:  :unsure:   Yeah..... that new math is a bear.

 

That is more like $50,000 a year.  So an Etsy success story.

 

Wonder if it is sole proprieotorship or if there are employees?  Also if there are other retail and whol;esale sales, or is this the whole enchilada?

 

best,

 

.....................john


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#45 Mark C.

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Posted 23 December 2013 - 09:23 PM

I'm still not selling anything on Etsy-

I have been selling a boatload of potttery just not online.

$10,ooo per year-just the shipping/wrapping gives me pause at 40$ per sale.Glad its not me.That can be done in a 3 day weekend without 250 UPS shipments at a good show.

I ship enough without looking for more shipping-

Buy it now .com works best for me at my booth.Its worked for over 40 years even before the web.

When I'm to old to pack pots around I may and I say may half heartedly try my own online cart. Not etsy.That name feels like my back is itching?

I already have my own customer base-Thats what you need to work on to make selling pottery work.

My glazes are always different-thats reduction firing. Its also why folks like the pottery.

Mark


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#46 Stephen

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 12:39 PM

Wouldn't you have to admit though that even with shows you handle all the pottery a number of times as you move the pieces through a show and unsold back to your studio.

 

The labels from online would/should be automated and plucking, wrapping and boxing to a certain degree would be done in both venues. There are things in both that would be exclusive but if someone did a lot of online and was extremely organized couldn't they also pack and ship 250 pieces in the same 3-5 days you would spend on the 3 day show?



#47 Mark C.

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Posted 24 December 2013 - 02:53 PM

I'll grant you it could be done as in its possible -Amazon does it  every nano second but on etsy-250 pieces bought in the same 3 days?maybe a $5 dollar item? and thats a BIG maybe.

Yes I handle pottery a lot of times and thats a fact but its part of the job-its keeps me in shape at 60-clay has always kept me in shape.

Some folks think moving pots is a hassle for me its all part of the whole.

The larger question is can you make a living selling on etsy what do you think?

As I know I can with my other outlets. I feel etsy is a very much supplemental income source that all it can be or will be.

 

One last note if you do not like handling your ceramics many times then maybe rethink clay as its all about handling the same things many many times-there is no other way. no matter how you market them.

Throwing trimming sponging bisquing handbuilding sanding waxing glazing loading firing and we have yet to get to selling wait you need to unload them-price them pack them sell or ship them take them to shows or galleries repack take home take somewhere else? it all adds up to handling them many many times.

For me as I said its all part of a single process making a good living with clay.

On etsy you are one in 850,000 sellers or less as I think the number has growen what are the odds?

Mark


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#48 Stephen

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 01:12 PM

Hi Mark,

 

Love to move the stuff at every stage of the game, I was disappointed when we started buying pre-mixed clay because It was fun starting with a bunch of bags of dirt and turning it into clay first :-) 

 

If I understood your post as intended, you were saying the shipping is a nightmare and you can move 250 pieces through a show and not have to deal with shipping it.

 

I was mostly trying to point out that there are many hours involved in shows as well so If one is organized, shipping those same 250 pieces you mentioned moving through a 3 day show will not by definition take that many more cumulative hours to ship via UPS (over a longer time I'm sure). Based on previous experience with shipping other things if everything (boxes, padding etc) is just so and the labels are all automated then packing a box every 15 minutes seems doable, 4 an hour, especially since you are not doing it all at one time but a few a day tops. If the packages averaged a piece and a half that's 166 packages to move 250 items and that would be about 40 hours of packing spread out over however many days, weeks or months. I assume you agree that a three day show would take x number of hours as well so the difference may be closer than you think. I do get though that you enjoy shows and despise shipping boxes though :-)    

 

Anyway I don't have enough experience to be arguing with you. From what I can tell almost no one sells more than a few hundred items a year on-line and that takes some dedicated hours of specialized marketing to do. I think Etsy is a popular example to use in the discussion because how long a store has been up and how many sales they have had is right there for everyone to see.

 

On a different note, I Hope everyone had a nice holiday yesterday!



#49 Chris Campbell

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Posted 26 December 2013 - 04:38 PM

I like hearing the stories of how people are adapting etsy to their own personal business ... they don't care if the whole world sees it, they are just using it for the convenience if their customers ... They cannot be bothered dealing with online credit cards etc., so direct people to etsy and let them do it for a fee.

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#50 GEP

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:27 AM

Wouldn't you have to admit though that even with shows you handle all the pottery a number of times as you move the pieces through a show and unsold back to your studio.

 

The labels from online would/should be automated and plucking, wrapping and boxing to a certain degree would be done in both venues. There are things in both that would be exclusive but if someone did a lot of online and was extremely organized couldn't they also pack and ship 250 pieces in the same 3-5 days you would spend on the 3 day show?

 

(Sorry for my slow response to this ... I haven't been on the computer much during the holidays)

 

I don't do much online selling either, but right after my Open Studio (my last show of the year), I loaded up my online store and received a flurry of orders in two days. Remember I do a lot of wholesale so I have a very efficient setup for wrapping and packing boxes. I spent about 6 hours packing and shipping online orders. If I compare the gross sales represented by those 6 hours, to the gross sales of the 9 hours that my Open Studio was live, there is no comparison. Making sales at a show is far more efficient than packing online orders. Not to mention, my Open Studio took place during a sleet storm, could have been much better. Also not to mention, taking photographs, uploading them to the online store, writing descriptions, this all took several hours. About the same amount of time it takes to setup my display for any show. And I only listed about 25 pots online, at any show I can display hundreds of pots. Also not to mention the high volume of packing materials consumed, vs the wrapping/bags used at a show. It seems wasteful. 

 

The major difference is this ... at a show, the customer comes to you. They spend a lot more of their own energy making the purchase, especially transporting it back to their house. When customers are sitting at their computers, the potter needs to make up for this effort themselves. 

 

My thoughts on the example provided by John B ... it looks like this etsy store has really embraced the yarn bowl as a niche market. Their store offers dozens of items but just about all of their sales are yarn bowls. And in my opinion their yarn bowls are of a better design and quality than most of the yarn bowls I've seen. And it's the type of niche item where they probably couldn't find that many knitters at a time by doing shows. I do wonder if it requires an assistant to pack 5,000 orders. If so, that needs to be factored in as an expense. And I wonder how they feel about making only one item all the time. But if they have all of these things figured out, then they are doing something very smart. 


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#51 JBaymore

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 11:45 AM

Reading her Etsy profile, she has her husband helping .....but no mention of otehr employees.

 

She also mentions three distinct lines she has ......... the yarn bowls, museum/guift shop pieces, and one of a kind gallery type work.

 

"Thanks for visiting my pottery shop. All the work you see in my store is made by my two hands in my little studio in St. Paul, Minnesota. I throw my pieces on the potter's wheel and decorate and glaze them all by myself with my own glazes. The help of my husband David Smyth with customer service and packing/shipping allows me more time to sit on my wheel and create my pieces."

 

best,

 

....................john
 


John Baymore
Immediate Past President; Potters Council
Professor of Ceramics; New Hampshire Insitute of Art

http://www.JohnBaymore.com

#52 Chris Campbell

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Posted 01 January 2014 - 12:02 PM

I must be incredibly dense ... I knit but can't imagine adding extra weight by lugging a pottery bowl of yarn around ... I guess they all must knit in one spot ... and never bring the knitting with them to pass the time on a long car ride or such ... Of course the pottery 'yarn' bowl could come in handy for snacks.

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#53 MoKa Kath

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Posted 02 January 2014 - 02:38 PM

I have an Etsy store and it's there, as others have said, to be able to offer an online presence for those who enquire at show/fairs.

Having said that, I recently read a fair bit of the guidance on SEO and making your listings easier to be found, just as the xmas buying season was starting, made a few tweaks to my listings, and suddenly had a rash of online orders from both home and abroad. I'm not talking 'retirement' level orders, but given that I had a total of 4 sales in three years, and suddenly had 12 new sales in a two-month period, I guess there's something to it. I was being found in browse as well as search within Etsy; not much from google searches.

I do find that I get a lot of 'favourties' on one particular item (hand built Espresso cups) and I'm hoping longer term that these people might come back and purchase ('Add to cart' rather 'add to favourites').

I am at a point where I'm looking at technology to make my own commerce site, but I think I might keep Etsy too, as there's an in-built customer base that comes with it. It won't take me any longer to write copy or take photos for listings than for my own shop site, so other than paying a listing fee $0.20 and 3.5% selling fee, I'm not losing anything, if this is a sale I wouldn't have had otherwise.

I guess if you're not sure, it's a case of "suck it and see" but do a little bit of work to establish how best to write your listings, and you may be pleasantly surprised. It might as well be there, as not.

#54 Clay Tile Mom

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Posted 10 January 2014 - 12:01 AM

I had an etsy page, but like most everyone else is saying, it was a lot to maintain.  I mostly want a page for the few people who ask me if I sell online.  And, I occasionally get custom orders. So, I set up a square market page for myself.  It was very easy, and I can direct people to it using my own email list and social media.  I find it easier to manage (not as much tagging and verbiage needed for each piece.  And, I like the clean modern look.

Now when I get a custom order, I just create a listing, then email the link directly to the customer.  As soon as they pay, I complete the order.  2.75% for each transaction, and the sales all report with my square card reader sales.  no need to work through paypal anymore.  $ goes directly into my bank account.  



#55 MieksClayWorks

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Posted 13 February 2014 - 03:46 PM

We just opened our Etsy site.  We have had a few friends "successfully" sell on the site and are hoping to make some sales...  I would be happy with even 2 or 3 sales a month. 


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#56 SilverLiningCeramics

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Posted 14 February 2014 - 11:11 PM

Hello! Ive never posted on anything before but I thought I might share this. I was just the featured shop on the homepage of Etsy a few weeks ago and it has been amazing! Its my sole source of income right now! Im very excited.I will be doing some craft fairs this summer/winter but etsy is getting me by in the mean time. So I wanted to share my experience with etsy leading up to this happening.

Last March (so less than a year ago) I opened my etsy shop when I decided to get serious about selling my work. I looked at etsy a lot and thought about what caught my eye. The photographs are EXTREMELY important. I notice that a lot of the homepage items always have natural light with a soft white background highlighting the piece as the main focus. So I started with nice photograpjs hoping they would catch peoples eye.Then I decided to link my etsy shop to 4 different social media sites.I use my facebook page to highlight whats going on with shows and exciting news and events and when I list new items and so forth then I use tumblr just to showcase really nice photos of my work. Then I use instagram to show my process and let people view inside the studio and see what I am working on then I use pintrest to showcase what I have for sale. Other people seem to pin my work to interest too.I like pintrest becuase if its pinned directly from etsy it tells you the price and clicking the photo will take you right to the item on etsy. All 4 of these sites link everything back to my etsy shop. People who use these social media platforms share things like crazy. I do spend an hour in the evening or so a day doing social media stuff but I dont mind it. Its relaxing. The most time I spend on the computer is editing the photos so the pieces look like they do in life (my camera sucks). I like being able to show the whole process so people know I am a real person. I think the combination of nice photos and social media lead to being noticed by etsy. Im still not sure exactly how they found me but I am so thankful they did!  I think being specific with the tagging of listings is really helpful so people can find you too.I hope this is a little bit useful becuase thats what Ive done besides make pots :) and it seemed to work!

I work really hard in general there really isnt a substitute for hard work but I love being in the studio making things so its great. I also want to add that staying true to yourself in what you make and taking an artist approach over just doing this for money has perhaps given my work something unique. I dunno but I do like to make things haha

Katie



#57 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:27 PM

I must be incredibly dense ... I knit but can't imagine adding extra weight by lugging a pottery bowl of yarn around ... I guess they all must knit in one spot ... and never bring the knitting with them to pass the time on a long car ride or such ... Of course the pottery 'yarn' bowl could come in handy for snacks.

I crochet a lot- and sometimes go to a knitting group. The ladies want me to make yarn bowls for their living room end tables (to match) so they can plunk their yarn ball in it when sitting so to keep it from rolling on the floor or in pet hair.  I keep one that i made by my desk in my office if I am watching a youtube video I can start hooking.  I would never dream of taking one with me. I have however seen a pinterest "hack" where someone stuck a skein of yarn in the oatmeal cylinder with a hole in the lid - that seems lightweight and more "travel friendly". 


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#58 Rebekah Krieger

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Posted 21 February 2014 - 10:29 PM

thanks for sharing silver lining.  I just started using pinterest and instagram to promote my pottery as well! 


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