This is Ruth from Nice Day Designs, I originally posted a shortened version of the following article on my blog last week and it started some discussion, Purls thought it might be a pertinent read for the team since we are all in the same boat.
At the start of January I decided I was going to rejuvenate my Etsy shop, I've been selling there for 2 years, but I was never able to get sales moving consistantly. I started putting items in it other than my pocket mirrors, things like brooches, buttons rings and earrings. I love that my mirrors and badges sell well, but I wanted my items to reflect more of the crafts that I make. I spent time on improving my photos, as we all know quality pictures are key to selling on etsy and I've noticed the general quality of images has really improved since I started. I went to Maplin and bought a table top studio designed for taking quality images of small items. It's great as I can take pictures at night and not worry about lighting, which really frees up my schedule. I also thought about making my pictures more dynamic in an effort to get into more treasuries. I also took note of things like views and page visits on craftopolis , and even took out a one week ad. I shared more of my items on facebook, which is also linked to my twitter account. On top of that I've started blogging again which I'm sure helped a little too.
The results being that for February I double my etsy sales from an average taken for the previous few months, which is pretty good going since they were over xmas. I think a lot of that was down to the facebook badge I designed for Valentines, it was really popular and brought a lot of traffic to my shop. I also more than doubled the amount of unique visitors for the month.
For those of you starting out I don't want this article to come across as moany, I know I was baffled when reading in the forums why people were only giving out about 1 sale per week when I would have been delighted by that. Now that I'm a few years down the line I understand where they were coming from. I'm now doing this full time and I need to be more mercenary at how I divide up my work time. Even though I love etsy, and the community, the question needs to be asked 'does etsy pay me?'.
At the end of all this I'm still unsure if it's worth the effort, as these takings are still only a small portion compared with what I sell at the market. But I suppose in these 'interesting' times we are in at the moment the idea is to take whatever I can get, mush it all together and hopefully at the end it amounts to an income! It's satisfying to be able to make something at home, and within a half an hour I've taken photos and listed it online, ready for the open market. At the end of the day I want Etsy to be part of my business and I can't see myself closing my shops, but it's good now and then to take off the rose tinted glasses and really look at the reality.
How do the rest of you feel who are working/selling on etsy?