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Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sharing What I've Learned...Etsy Etcetera


After a week of being an online seller,
I hardly have the huevos to come on here and issue a manifesto
on online selling. But I can share what I've learned,
just as the generous and thoughtful Adrienne of The Flying Bee
has done with me. Tirelessly answering question after question,
I'm not sure I would have had the courage to make the big leap
without all her help, but just as she gave freely,
I now pass her imparted wisdom on to you!

I've had six sales in as many days on my new Etsy Shop,
which is encouraging enough for me to soldier on
in this brave new (to me!) world of the online marketplace.

But first, a word from our sponsors....


Look at the cutie-patootie on sale in my Etsy Shop!

 

"In another life, this sad little bowl likely was used to hold onions,
which means she's lost her head...haven't we all though, at one time or another?
Repurposed, she's a fab little work of art called The Cry Baby Bowl!
Full of charm and attitude, this little treasure measures
4 1/2" wide by 4" long by 2 1'2" tall.
Deforest of California, Hand Painted. Embossed with date (1956) on back.
Give this sad little girl a home!"

It's a short list really, but I think a helpful one, if for no other reason
than you can gain the benefit of learning from my mistakes!

Tip #1: Have your ducks in a row before you list that first item. Make sure you have plenty of boxes, packing materials, a good postage scale, tape measure, quality photos...you get where I'm going. I only thought I was prepared, but countless trips to pick up lacking supplies prove otherwise.


Buy me HERE


 

Tip #2: A little creativity goes a long way. We bloggers are an imaginative bunch, so this isn't a problem for us. We have no trouble whatsoever imagining the re-purposing potential in something like the Cry Baby Bowl. But to the casual shopper who stumbles upon your Etsy or Ebay shop, it might not be as readily apparent. Give 'em a little help, open up their world to the wonder of upcycling. Spare no adjectives!

Tip #3: The art of the pretty package. A little oomph goes a long, long way. You don't have to go broke making your packages memorable for your customers. Here's what I'm doing this Holiday Season to foof up my outgoing orders...



 

You see these lush looking beauties?
Six for a dollar at Dollar Tree! I plan on tying one of these 
around each item after wrapping it in tissue paper. 
Cheap and easy, but looks like a million dollars.




I've also included a few peppermints inside an inexpensive organza bag with some of my orders, too.
Now I'm not advocating you go hog-wild with the freebies! The bottom line is now and always has been delivering a quality product at a good price. But if there's something cheap and easy you can do that will A) make your shop and brand stand out and B) make your customer feel special, why not do it?

Tip #4:  Become Besties with your friendly neighborhood post office staff.
Now I know that you can print postage online and do a lot of that stuff yourself from the comfort of your own home, but you never know when you're going to need some last minute bail-out assistance from a real live person.



Buy me HERE

 

Tip #5: This one is for booth or shop owners....if they're not coming to you, bring it to them.
Let me explain. I don't know how many times in the past couple of months I've whined to my husband about certain items in my booth just not budging. I've told him "Oh, if only all my bloggy friends could take a stroll through my booth, I'd be scrambling to keep stuff in stock"! Depending on where you live and sell, your way-cool chippy, peely, rusty treasure might sit collecting dust season after season. Which is why online selling is so fab for peeps like us. For example, Exhibit "A".


I know my local market well enough to know that the delicate oil painting above would likely be met with curious looks and be passed over for the ceramic rooster in the next booth over. They simply wouldn't appreciate its shabby, imperfect beauty, but I didn't let that deter me.
Listed on Etsy November 17th, sold one day later.
This isn't rocket science! If I can do it, you can, too!

Tip #6: Cross advertise. Post your Etsy address on your blog. Post your blog address on your Etsy shop. Have both printed on your business cards. Now is not  the time to be shy! Get your name and your brand out there!

And finally, and to my mind, most importantly...

Tip #7: Share freely what you've learned. Give unselfishly to anyone in need, set aside all competitive impulses. Call it karma or the golden rule, but always remember that what goes around, comes around. Play nice. Share your glue and crayons.

Fiona and Twig, over and out.


Buy me HERE

36 comments:

The Lone Dollier said...

Welcome to the world of Etsy!!! You've learned in a week what it's taken me six months to learn. LOL. Of course, I have a full time job that's unrelated to my Etsy, unlike you whose full time job is running a business. Plus, my mother is in Etsy with me and she's still stuck in the Ebay world (that dreaded 4-letter word) of auction versus sale. Daily battle, can I tell ya'.

Thanks for the great tips. I love the one about letting people know what something can be repurposed or used for AND the one about sending a freebie every now and again.

Tip from The Lone Dollier: Vista Print is AWESOME. Just got a ton of free business cards from them, free mini 2010 calendars to include in some packages, a free notebook to keep up with MSEsoteria store stuff in, and a free coffee mug. Going back soon and doing the same for my new Etsy store, Ghostly Treasures.

Oh, and DEFINITELY let me know about any more mannequin hands LOL. Still can't believe that one was "stolen" right out from under me. SOB LOL. Okay, being overly dramatic here.

Give it a while and you'll be like me, opening a second Etsy store, or like Jill over at Gypsy Brocante who has THREE.

Smiles!
Marilyn

PS. LOVE the onion holder, uh I mean Cry Baby Bowl.

north pal said...

EXCELLENT! anne, how nice of you to take the time to write out your suggestions. very generous. this is mean't in a good way, but you crack me up. you are so discriptive. you sell,girl. Bestest,Denise

Anne~fiona and twig said...

Hi Marilyn!
I *WISH* my full-time job was running a business! I work full-time as a respiratory therapist in a hospital setting. Can you say "caffiene"?

I agree Vista Print is great! They did my buiness cards and banner.

Keeping an eye for another hand for ya!
Anne

Garden Antqs Vintage said...

Anne, I love all your pointers and think they are great, but sadly not every one will be a free to help as you are. I agree with you that it'll come back to them too! You'll be blessed for your generosity in the end, is what I believe.

Sophee-a Laroo Bijoux and Sheri too said...

Oh yes..I do agree.

I have found though...the popular bloggers can sell stuff in their sleep~lol

Peeps like me...have to work a bit harder at it.

To be honest most of my sales do not come from blog buddies...but I know some that the minute they list an item...some blogging buddy snatches it up.

And I totally know the booth thing..I say it all the time....people do not get my doll heads~or altered art.

The #1 thing that I totally agree with is to share your knowledge. I have had 2 gals really open up and share with me and I love them to pieces. One, is Lynn from The Vintage Nest. She has a very successful online business and a heart of gold. She was giving me tips all the time.

Part of the reason I am doing my Flea market is to HELP promote the other talented gals out there.

Kudos to you on your selling success!

kimmcl said...

Wow, this was such a helpful post to me. I can't believe you sold so many things already. I've sold a few things in a month. Slowly but surely! Thanks! Kim

Vintage Junky said...

Wow! Congrats on all the sales! I am still learning on this etsy thing too, so thanks for all the advice!

Smiles ~ Michelle

Junk Exchange said...

love the tips - but just a thought on the candy - be aware of where your package is going - candy melted on a pretty scarf makes for an angry customer - believe me - i know - long story, but lesson learned - then there was the time i got a lecture for sending candy to a diabetic - like i knew - but we love our customers - :) - love your shop and your blog - oh, and you!
troy

trash talk said...

All good advice. I believe we all need mentors in any new undertaking and must be a willing student to listen to any and all help they give. It's amazing how many are generous with their time and wisdom.
Debbie

Halo Hill said...

Great tips, thank you! And truly, I'm with you on #4 all the way. I think that is true of everything in life. If you do something nice for someone, it will come back to you ten-fold.

Hugs,
Sheila

Queenie said...

Congratulations on your new Etsy Shop!
Those are Great tips too...Best wishes on your shop, I wish you much sucess...you are off to a great start!
Big Hugs,
Queenie

Tattered Goods said...

Hello there, thanks so much for the helpful hints. I am to opening an etsy store, and I love any help I can get. I love your blog and can tell you are a real sweetie ;) I hope you have a great rest of the week.

SMILES,
Sheila

*The Beautiful Life* said...

Great stuff, Anne. I have definitely found the whole demographics thing to be true. Things that I can't keep in stock online wouldn't sell AT ALL right here where I live... Hmm... maybe I should move.... :)

Great, helpful post!!

Ruth

Yaya' s Changing World said...

And you are selling me my cry-baby for how much? She SO has my expression *nailed*.

I love your blog on accounta' you are such a caring, sharing sort. Thanks for all of it and Congratulations on your success... EVERYWHERE!

~ Yaya
Yaya's Home

Ticking and Toile said...

Hi Anne,
I so love you & your blog!! I am very grateful that you are sharing so much about your etsy experience! I keep coming back & seeing what you're writing about! As you know I have ONE (1) item for sale on Etsy...I really wasn't ready, but had a bloggy friend (Cori @ Starview Sonnet...who is awesome...) who wanted to purchase a pillow if I "every sold them" so of course I had to make some! Anyway, I'm slowly getting geared up, taking pic's of little treasures & sewing more pillows AND you've been sooo helpful & inspiring! Thank you!

p.s. and secretly....I so want to have a booth somewhere....oh, a major dream....:o)

Shellagh

stefanie said...

i have bought stuff on etsy's but haven't really sold there, i am with lolli shops...are your sales from bloggers who now know you have an etsy shop or from strangers who happen apon your shop while browsing thru etsy's?

KarenSue said...

Thank you-Thank you-Thank you! I'm thinking of starting an Etsy shop and you have really encouraged me. The packaging is one of my questions and you have helped me there. I might be calling on you for more advise. Great day to you.

Theresa said...

Girl, you have been busy! Your Etsy shop is gonna be a big hit with all of us bloggers. Have a blessed day and thanks for all the tips. Who knows, perhaps Etsy in my future? hehe

Jennifer said...

Fantastic tips!! And you are proof they work... you are selling SO well! Congratulations! :)

Denise said...

Congrats on Etsy! Your stuff is so cute! Love your foofooing packaging too! I just can't get over how much I love that painting that you now have for your header.......gorgeous!

The Feathered Nest said...

You are so precious Anne!!! I love it when information is shared!! So many folks will LOVE having all of these tips ~ another great one is on USPS.com you can order Priority Mail boxes, tape and labels, etc. and they will bring these supplies to your front door!! FREE! Free is such a good thing ~ I hope you're doing wonderful sweet friend, hugs and love, Dawn

myrepurposedlife.blogspot.com said...

Anne, Please don't take this wrong...but I have to tell you something!
Some blogs I follow because of pictures, I LOVE pictures. Rarely do I follow because of the written word. I remember the post that made me become a follower of yours. It was the "tree of life" (not sure if the wording is right, my mind is not what it used to be)
That is when I fell in love with your blog!
I love pictures, but yours is one of the rare times when I actually slow down and take it all in. I am not actually impartial, but I love the way you write, it just pulls me in.
I am a HUGE fan of the golden rule, so your last tip got to me. I was a pre-k teacher for 19 years so "play nice" "share your glue and crayons" .... well it just got to me!
I've rambled enough.
gail

Cassie said...

Anne, I'll be giggling at your last pic all day! Good pointers. I'm headed to your etsy shop right now!!

red.neck chic said...

Yay!!! and Congratulations!!! Although, I still have your booth on my "must go there immediately" list. LOL

Here's my tip: "renew" on Sundays! I read somewhere along the way that a lot of customers sit down on Sundays - to surf, to offer blog love and to see what is on Etsy that they must have! It holds true for me - most of my sales are on Sunday! (I'm shrugging) LOL

Gorgeousness - ALL of it!!! Love your packaging!!!

;-) Robelyn

elisabeth (bovagoods) said...

this thanksgiving i am thankful to have found you and your blog. i feel like you are living my life, a few years ahead of me. thanks for your tips. they are tucked away in a safe place. i can't wait to use them someday.

Diann said...

Quick learner! Good tips from a newbie to Etsy. Just be careful with the freebies...profit margin is pretty slim for a lot of things...and it's easy to add to shipping costs. Shipping costs are the most frustrating thing about doing business.

vintagesue said...

i'm with you. when i did ebay years ago, i always threw in extras. why not? and when i ship out my box treasures, i package everything really fun and include a soy tart in each order. i know i like added touches when i order something online, so i know my customers will too. thanks for the tips. etsy is A LOT of work, and you are doing great.
btw....the collage you like went out with one of my box treasures!! i may start putting them for sale soon on my blog shop. too busy right now though. life is crazy.
loving yor merchandise you are selling!! that onion is darling.
good luck
sue

Lynn@ The Vintage Nest said...

Excellent tips...every one of them. Your little holiday touch will be met with glee I am sure. On my White Wednesday jingle bell post where I said I love jingle bells..I really meant that. I include jingle bells on all the shop packages that ship out from now until New Years. I do admit some days a few tears are shed in the selling process but 99% of the time I love what I do and do what I love. If I can help you in any way let me know. I am just an email way. xo Lynn P.S. I am thinking about getting a place at a brick and mortar shop but I know what I love and what sells on line might not make it at a shop. Believe it or not there are still a ton of people who have never heard of shabby or know how to turn on a computer. I was amazed to find out how many antique shop owners don't utilize a computer. okay...now I have rambled on. lol..have a great day.

Cheryl ~ ZanyMayd said...

Great Post ~ Perfect for Me..... I have only listed 1 item on Etsy & it was NOT a Happy experience.... It was a mid size Dress form that I had re made & Sold, but after 10 days & No Response (No Payment) from Person who bought, I had to fight to get my fees back from Etsy....

I was very Disillusioned! Part of it all is I was not even sure, when it Sold in the first place if I needed to Invoice or What (like on eBay where it clearly shows what to do)

Anyway, I think you have made me want to Try Again..... Thanks for Your Lesson for the Day!
cheryl

Norma said...

thanks for not mentioning crazy canadian women pestering you to ship to them

Found Around said...

I have recently opened an Etsy acct, but have not added any items yet. You have inspired me to get it done. After so many shows lately, I am exhausted and ready to stay home and get some things done. Now is the right time to get the new "store" open. I have learned that sending a short hand written note to customers will have them coming back to see you!

Suzy said...

Breaker, breaker. You are so funny and I love your tips of the trade! Congrats on your sales and keeping your chin up! So positive and funny and sweet! YOU! Thanks for making my day!
Suzy

Suzy said...

Oh yeah, Over and out, Suzy!

Miss Mustard Seed said...

Great tips. I'm going to open my store soon, so it's nice to know some things you've learned. Thanks and I'm glad to hear about your success. It's encouraging to me as well.

The Flying Bee said...

I was more than happy to help you out, girlfriend! Congrats on all your Etsy success! Keep it up! Hopefully, I will get the rest of my items in my shop soon!

xo,
Adrienne

Six divided by two..... said...

I do not have an etsy shop... yet. ( I can't crochet quite that fast lol) But as always, Anne, I love reading your blog!!!

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