Etsy. From Dan to John, Now Here

I've decided to write this post after following a couple of posts out there on Dan Finnegan's blog and John Baunam's blog.

You can read those by visiting Dan's HERE and John's HERE.  Be sure to read the comments to come up to speed.

Thanks to Dan and John for the good discussion about Etsy.  I have found it to be a good platform for selling my work online, easier and cheaper than setting up a shopping cart on a website.

I point folks directly to my Etsy Shop by using Facebook, Facebook Fan page, this blog, email Newsletters and by putting my Shop URL on postcards and business cards.  I don't feel like people have to wade through all the stuff on Etsy if I can just point them right to my Shop.

Okay, so here's what I want to talk about.   I have been very disappointed with my sales on Etsy and I feel like I'm just doing something Wrong! I see other potters selling work there and I wonder what it is that makes them successful on Etsy and what I'm doing, or not doing that is holding me back.

Back in the Spring I had a consultation with a successful Etsy seller.  I paid her for information and she really helped me out with some good advice.  After implementing some of her ideas my sales went up, but it didn't last.   She looked at my Shop and gave me good feedback and  her thoughts on what I should do to increase my sales.  She didn't overcharge me for the info and I was happy to pay her for her experience and insight.

This Fall I felt like I really needed to increase my inventory and put out some of my best work.  I did that and promoted it like crazy on the web and via the email campaign for my Homesale and on my Homesale postcard.

That was on Nov. 11th and I haven't had a single sale on Etsy!  I've listed 30 brand new pots and not had one sale.

My mind automatically goes to price and making deals so that buyers will be more inclined to buy my pots. What I mean is that I wonder if my prices are too high? Too low? Should I offer some sort of discount? Free shipping? or something to get them to buy my work.  I feel like my pots are good and that my prices are fair (they are the same as my retail)  I don't think it's necessary to have some sort of 'deal' but it's where my mind goes when I get desperate.

I see what John means about telling a story and putting more info into the description of each listing.  That was advice that was given to me by the other person I talked to.  Maybe I  haven't done that well enough.  It is the place where you have the opportunity to 'talk' to the customer, much like you would at a craft show or opening.

I notice that John includes shipping in the cost of his items.  I think that is something that appeals to buyers, but to me seems complicated in as far as pricing goes.  If my cups retail  for $32, should I sell them on Etsy for $40 or $42 to cover my shipping costs  or a little less and take the loss??  Does doing that appeal to the customer and is it worth me taking that loss??   John, if you care to comment on that then I'd like to hear your thoughts.

I feel like I'm using all the tools Etsy gives me, I tag everything w. 14 tags, I use 5 photos, etc.

I also feel like I've got a pretty diverse inventory at this time.  Not a boring Store with one or two items.

Really, I'm frustrated.  It's been a slow year and I've wanted to break into this online selling thing for a couple years now.  I see others doing it and I know I can do it to, but I feel like I'm missing some key point.   I think selling online has such huge potential,  a Shop that is open to 24 hrs a day, everyday, worldwide is an amazing tool.

I've been needing to air this out for about a week now. So thanks to John and Dan for posting about this topic.   I have more pots to list in the upcoming week.  I'm not sure what else to do with my Shop other than keep putting it out there and taking whatever advice I  get from others who are having success on Etsy.

Thanks for reading.  I know most people who read this blog are potters so hopefully whatever we say and do on here can help us all.   Good luck with Sales this Season.  I'm feeling hit pretty hard by the economy right now, but I'm not giving up or slowing down.