When I first opened my shop on Etsy.com I was filled with wonder at the idea that someone might take my hobby of embroidery seriously. I had been sewing for friends and family for a couple of years and enjoying the limelight of their praise. But hey, they have to like my stuff cause they are my peeps! Now it was a little different, I was cast into a pool of thousands of other crafters and I needed to swim with the big fishes or drown at the bottom with some of the others floating around.
The first thing I did was read everything I could on selling on Etsy. I read the rules, the forums, the blogs, everything that might help me figure out what to do so that I could be up on the front pages of Etsy. Truthfully, it’s been almost 2 years, I have still never made it to the front page. But that’s ok, because I have found a great pace that I can keep up with, met some incredible new friends, sold my zombies and monsters around the world, and I still come to my studios each day happy to be there.
In this series ” Taking back Etsy ” we have been talking about resellers and some of the negatives that have come along with Etsy.com. Daily I spot a few more of these resellers posting their items and sitting back waiting for the sales to come in, and they do. Often a reseller will see hundreds of sales within weeks of opening up. They have to work fast because other resellers will likely be the first to report them, not because they are going against the morals of Etsy’s guidelines, but because they are direct competition. Resellers set up shop, already prepped with photos usually stolen from the manufacturing company. They won’t last long, they know it. But not to worry, they will simply close down one shop and open another. Over and over they repeat this routine and manage to get under the radar of Etsy’s moderators.
When looking for a true artist here are a few tips on getting exactly what you want.
Make contact with the Artist before your purchase. Don’t be shy! Ask some questions before you make your purchase. Do they offer custom color changes? Do they have any suggestions for helping you decide on which item fits your needs? Buying something as a gift? Ask if they offer gift wrapping or direct shipping to your special someone. Making contact with a seller is the easiest way to make sure you are staying away from the dreaded resellers. Resellers won’t be able to make custom changes for you and often won’t want to answer your questions. As an Indie Artist, I love meeting my customers on a more personal level. I enjoy hearing about the babies, the co-worker’s baby shower, and often the best reward for me is when a customer comes back with a photo with my item being worn.
Look through all of the photos and ask if they have others. As a seller we only get 4 photo slots to show you what we are selling. We want you to be able to see our best shot, make our items look great, give you detail, and maybe even give you and idea what else we could pair this with. However we all are faced with the reality of having a limited amount of time each day to work on our shops, make our craft, and spend time with our families. So sometimes the photos aren’t always studio quality. We might actually have a few photos that we took that are off-center but actually might answer the question you desired. If you want to see more, ask us! I get this question all the time and I do my best. Even if it means I have to sew something out that day in order to take a better photo, I am happy to do so.
Do some investigating Don’t just skim through the ad with the best photo. Read the About section, store policies, check out other items in the shop, look them up on Facebook or their blog. How long have they been selling? What’s the feedback from other shoppers? Do they work in a sweat shop with 50 other chain-smoking “artists” filled with cats? You don’t want to get your item home and find that it has a funky smell that won’t ever come out of your baby’s new blanket. In my About section I make sure people know that I work with my dog, Wynter. I want people to know that if they have a dog allergy that they need to let me know so I can take her out of the room, thoroughly clean every area, double tape ( I use tape to clean off stray threads, lint, ect. ) and make sure your item is perfect for your baby.
We want you to have the best experience on Etsy.com, we want you to come back! One step at a time, we are taking back Etsy and bringing it back to the fun, creative, place it was once.
Have any other tips? Let’s talk about it here!