Sunday, February 7, 2010

Have you discovered Etsy yet?


blue etsyIf you’re asking… “What is Etsy?”…I’m guessing you haven’t found your way there yet.  If that’s the case, you really need to check it out.  Whether you’re looking to BUY something…or looking for a venue to SELL your creations, it’s the perfect place. 

Let’s start with BUYING.  Whether you are looking for a gift, something vintage, something for yourself  or supplies for your hobby, Etsy is the place to go.  Why?  Well, for starters, there is a huge, huge, HUGE selection of items for sale.  Things you would never see in your local stores…especially if you live out in the middle of nowhere like I do!  Plus, there’s always the advantage of shopping when you want to and in the comfort of your jammies. 

So, what exactly can be found on Etsy?  Jewelry.  Vintage items.  Paper Crafts.  Bags.  Clothing.  Craft supplies.  Yarn.  Wedding.  Pottery.  Candles.  Soaps.  Fabric.  Art.  Scrapbooks (of course!).  And SO much more.  Here’s a little sampling of some awesome finds…

designsbycathy thecraftpantry nostalgiqueart
Designs by Cathy The Craft Pantry Nostalgique Art
5dollarfrenchmarket lilcubby verbenacustomblends
5 Dollar French Market Lil Cubby Verbena Custom Blends
pinktwilight terrabellaspun sassyapron
Pink Twilight Terra Bella Spun Sassy Apron

Great stuff, huh?  :)   Don’t ya love shopping without dealing with traffic?

So, what if you’re looking to SELL some of the treasures you create?  Well, Etsy is the perfect place for that too.  No more waiting around for a local craft show…hoping you don’t freeze or sweat to death or get rained on.  No more taking your creations to a consignment store where there is limited exposure.  On Etsy you can list as much as you want, as often as you want…YOU are in control.  And, it WILL be seen by the masses!

I’ve been selling in my Etsy shop now for just over 2 years.  Actually, for the first year and a half I didn’t put much into it.  It took me awhile to settle into a product line and to figure out exactly what I wanted to do with the shop.  Like most small businesses, it took time to evolve.   Last summer I finally hit a bit of a groove.  Now instead of experimenting with lots of different product lines, I’ve been sticking pretty closely to just the paper bag scrapbooks.  There are a few other things thrown in here and there but for the most part I’ve narrowed my focus. 

So, what are the advantages of selling on Etsy?  Well, for starters, there’s no need to re-invent the wheel.  Etsy’s got all the wheels together…you just have to jump on!  Listing is pretty painless.  It’s a simple 5 step process that includes writing your description, picking your categories, and uploading your photos.  Managing your sales is just as easy.  All the ‘checkout’ stuff has been completed by the time you receive notification of the sale.  Need a way to connect to your buyers?  Conversations (Convos) are the way to go.  Want feedback on your shop?  They’ve got that covered too.   Etsy also includes a very active community of fellow crafters.  The forums are a busy place and you can connect with others as well as figure out what’s going on within the world of Etsy

A big part of business (even a SMALL business) is marketing.  Etsy provides the tools you need to integrate your shop into your website, your facebook page or your blog.   Of course, every time you list a new item, it’s like a little marketing campaign since your NEW item shows up on the front page of Etsy!

The greatest thing, I think, about Etsy is that while you’re part of a large community of crafters, it’s still YOUR business.  You can run it the way you want.  If you want to just list a few items and putter along…you can.  If you want to make it a full time business…you can do that too!  In fact, Quit Your Day Job success stories will tell you exactly how others have been able to earn a living exclusively from their Etsy shop.  We can all dream!  :)

While sales in my Etsy shop have not yet reached my ultimate goals, I am pleased with my progress.  Since I spend 11 hours per day (including commute time), 5 days per week at my “real” job, the hours I’m able to devote to all things Etsy are somewhat limited….and that’s fine for now.  Afterall, there are only so many hours in a day!


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