Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Etsy Problem

After a bout of making and photographing, I was all set to open my etsy shop.  And indeed, if you look at my blog sidebar, there are a handful of listings.  I had two main reasons for opening my shop:  to give Genevieve a venue for selling her handmade potholders (so happy and colorful!), and because I had a friend who was successful on Etsy willing to go over my shop with me and give me advice.


But.

Now I am not sure what to do.  I was having problems with a listing, so I went to Etsy's forums to learn about the glitch, and I stumbled across a number of threads where sellers are explaining and complaining that Etsy is pulling strings behind the scenes in confusing ways and their sales are way down.  I had noticed a severe drop in my sales in 2015, and my theory was that Etsy was trying to force out shops like mine that were side-gigs that didn't shell out money for advertising or have slick marketing. 

I was poised to do the rest of the listings yesterday and today.  Now I'm not sure what to do.  I don't want to put time into a sinking ship, but I feel bad coaching Genevieve this far with no income to show for it. My husband shrugged and said, "Business."


So I'm recalibrating and hoping to find another venue for selling some handmades.  Discussions and advice welcome in the comments!

10 comments:

Rozy Lass said...

Margo, Look into http://www.bonanza.com/ as an alternative. I've found wonderful things there and looked at their selling policies and it seems to be better than etsy.

Polly said...

We must be on the same wavelength, as two weeks ago we opened my daughter's Etsy shop. She has already made a sale--of course it was a friend of mine from law school. ;) I had assumed all of her stuff would be sold by people we know anyhow, and wasn't thinking of needing to market to a broader audience. I'm sorry to hear about Etsy--I'm interested to see what others say about the issues you mentioned.

Good job, Genevieve!! :)

Tammy said...

I haven't done anything serious with Etsy in quite a while, and even then, I had never found my niche so I didn't make very many sales. I have read that Etsy opened up to people selling premade/factory items, which goes against the whole reason why Etsy was started in the first place. I don't know. I've seen people selling things on personal websites and Etsy via Instagram.

Rhonda said...

I'm sad to hear that about Etsy.
I have been buying a number of things on Mercari. It is sort of like EBay buy it now listings but I think it's easier to use.

Lynda said...

I considered Etsy...started to set up a shop...decided it was too complicated :)...so didn't do it! I do sell some of my handknits/crochets in a local shop. They take 1/3 commission, but I can put the price on that I want, and don't have the hassle of worrying about it. When I sell something they put the money into my bank account each month. Not making a fortune, but selling a few things.

Is there a local shop she/you could sell in?

Becky said...

I do know a few folks that sell via instagram instead of etsy. I tend to buy things at local shops and from a craft group that puts on regular events.

Little Homestead In Boise said...

Ive used eBay for selling various items. I was going to set up an Etsy account to sell an item that didn't sell on eBay. We'll see that works.

Zoë said...

I'm wondering if I'm having the same problem as you are. Etsy is doing SQUAT for me lately. I considered listing things for jada but didn't for the same reasons as you. Sorry I have no tips. All I'm doing is trying to find more local outlets!

sarah e blog said...

maybe just straight thru your blog with paypal, have other bloggers put out the word as well:)

jenny_o said...

Our farmer's market, flea market, craft groups and some local stores are outlets for not just adult-made crafts but also kid-made ones. Ask around; maybe a store or market just hasn't thought of it yet - and they might give you a better price on a table if it's for a child's crafts. Good luck! I admire Genevieve's dedication. Our daughter made dozens of beaded lizards back when she was young, and even though they didn't all sell at the flea market where I was taking my own things, she had fun doing them, even adapted the pattern to tiny beads and made pins from them. It was a learning process if nothing else :)

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