Author Topic: The Etsy Thread!  (Read 13647 times)

cheesecat

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Re: The Etsy Thread!
« Reply #50 on: December 18, 2016, 03:57:38 PM »
Posting to follow, and since I've had an Etsy store for a year or so I'll add my experience:

If you don't have the time/energy for marketing, it helps to have something people search for, or targeted towards a specific niche. I started out with printables, but only made a couple sales, so didn't re-post them when the listings ran out. I started making coaster gift sets last year, and I've found some success with them thankfully! The ones that sell the best are the ones geared towards dog-lovers, wine-lovers, cat-lovers. I only have six listings (planning more for next year), and I actually make most of my coaster sales through Amazon FBA, but Etsy is wonderful for connecting with customers (and the percentage is better than Amazon). Every time I ship out an Etsy order I feel happy that someone wanted my creation :)

I do approximately zero marketing these days, because most of my attempts (Facebook ads, offering coupon codes, etc) have failed miserably. The coasters just sell or don't, and I think the ones that sell are because people are specifically searching for them. They search for "wine lover gift" and see my coasters, and it solves a problem for them (they need a gift for someone who loves wine). The more "general" coasters don't sell nearly as much.

I did sell a bunch last year on Etsy when a Buzzfeed gift list miraculously included my wine coasters (oddly it was the UK version of Etsy; I don't ship outside the US so I'm not sure why they included me, but I'm glad some people liked them enough to find my US listing!), but that wasn't because of anything I did. Going forward, I do plan on trying to reach out to bloggers to see if my coasters are a good fit for their own holiday gift lists. Thankfully Etsy offers affiliate money, so I'm hoping that might help bloggers feature me.

My feeling on social media is that it doesn't make a difference unless you already have a large following. Posting periodic updates about your designs/shop helps show interested buyers that you consistently produce and are a real business, but I doubt anyone follows me for my coasters, and no coupon code I've posted on social media has ever actually been used. The only way social media 'works' is if someone big mentions you. So next year I'm going to focus on designs that people are searching for, instead of the 'pretty but general' ones that I might personally prefer.

Anyway, I wrote too much. Looking forward to connecting with other Etsy creators!

Tris Prior

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Re: The Etsy Thread!
« Reply #51 on: December 19, 2016, 10:51:32 AM »
I agree with you, cheesecat - after a couple years of declining sales I've reached the conclusion that it's very likely that people just do not want what I make. I'm not quite sure what to do about that, other than completely changing my craft. Jewelry-wise, it seems that most people around here are into the very minimalistic metalsmithed jewelry - like, a simple gold bar on a cable chain. Not my over-the-top handwoven chainmail stuff that has skulls and bats and TARDISes hanging from it.

I'm not sure I have the energy to learn a completely new skill that I likely won't enjoy. I have taken a metalsmithing class and didn't really like it. And then go through all the branding and marketing and such to try and get it seen and make it successful, ugh. I mean, if I'm going to have a side hustle doing something I don't enjoy, I may as well get an actual side job with a guaranteed paycheck, right?

My fandom-related stuff is definitely niche and does well at shows, but that's not allowed on Etsy. (They've already spanked me twice for it so I don't dare put it up there again.)  I have it on my website but when you have a website there's no built-in search so you have to drive traffic to your site yourself.

And I have the same issue as you; as far as I am aware, no social media effort has actually resulted in sales for me (other than sales to friends). Any time I put up a coupon code, it's hardly ever used. Any time I run a sale, no one buys anything until after the sale is over. (WTF?)

I do have one item that's doing great on Amazon Handmade, where I do absolutely no advertising and rarely even promote it on social media. I mostly just promote my Etsy and my website. Yet, this one item sells over and over on Amazon at this time of year (it is a holiday item). My best guess is, like you said, people are searching for it. Also, I believe on Amazon, the more an item sells, the higher it ranks in search, so sales beget more sales. I am not certain whether it's the same for Etsy. Could be.

Cpa Cat

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Re: The Etsy Thread!
« Reply #52 on: December 19, 2016, 11:19:03 AM »
I'm an Etsy buyer, not an Etsy seller. I just thought I'd share a little of my mentality.

I buy all my purses/bags on Etsy. I like certain imagery, so for example, I might search for "bird purse" - and I get almost 20,000 results. The first four are discretely sponsored.

Ok, so that's a lot of purses - so I'll narrow my search to include only $25-$100. Note, I've already eliminated purses that are priced too low. I assume these purses are low quality or have unattractive designs. And I won't spend more than $100 on a purse. I'm down to 5000 results now. I'll probably get through the first 10-20 pages (out of 112 pages) and open things that catch my eye in a new tab. Size is an issue - there are a lot of tiny purses. Maybe I should try "bird shoulder bag". Hmm.. maybe now I'm getting results that are a little too big - but I might make it through the first 5 pages of results before giving up on this new search and it has less than 1000 results.

When I open a tab on a purse that I like, I browse their store if they have other non-bird eye catching designs. Generally, when I buy purses, I buy three at a time, so browsing the stores that I find through my original search is usually how I find new ideas. I'll often make it through 2-3 pages of a store before I get bored, so it definitely benefits the seller to have a variety of items. Also, if the first 8 previews (on the right hand side of an item page) aren't attractive, then I'm unlikely to look further. However, too many items is overwhelming. Too many too-similar items makes me less likely to browse. The photo must be good - the photo is the thing that grabs me. I don't investigate items if the photo doesn't make me click.

Hope that's helpful.

Now I want to buy a new purse...
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 11:22:24 AM by Cpa Cat »

rachael talcott

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Re: The Etsy Thread!
« Reply #53 on: December 21, 2016, 03:56:15 PM »
Cheesecat, that's helpful.  I know that you can use google adwords to track what people are searching for, at least in google.  I make light boxes for orchids (to supply the right amount of light to get them to rebloom) and I suspect that not many people search for them.