Friday, January 11, 2013

Clicking My Needles

Photo above - my handmade felt "Welcome Bear" goes up on my front door ever Christmas.
Okay, blogger is going to give me headaches so guess I'll just have to work around it until they find and fix the problem (or until I pick up a new browser such as Firefox).   I have uploaded photos from my PC to Picasa Web Albums and then I've uploaded them from there to here. Sort of like going around the block twice to get to your next door neighbor's house. :D
Christmas was an enjoyable time at our house as Wendi, our daughter in New York, came down and spent a couple of weeks with us. It was wonderful to have her here and I hated to see her go. I also did not have to worry about filling Christmas orders from my etsy shop Almost Precious as for the months of Nov - Dec  I only had one order for each month, both were for a pair of my Christmas earrings.
Photo of Candy Cane beaded earrings sold on Nov. 11th 2012
Can't say as I was swamped with business, LOL, but at least it allowed me to enjoy time with Wendi. 
Photo above of Holly Berries earrings sold the week before Christmas 2012
Also on a joyful note, the person who purchased the lovely Christmas "Holly Berries" earrings emailed me to let me know that the earrings arrived safely and were everything she hoped they would be. Her only down side she said, was that she would not be able to wear them all year long. :)
Over the past couple of months I've done more knitting and crochet work than making jewelry. This fuzzy scarf is so soft and warm that it almost makes me wish I lived in a cold climate . . . almost ! Wendi loved it and thinks it is adorable and as soft as a baby kitten.  Now I need to make one for her as this one is going into my etsy shop - guess if it doesn't sell then Wendi will have two "Lulu" scarves to keep her warm during NY winters.
Lulu?  Yes I named this scarf  Lulu.  How did I come up with the name "Lulu" ? Well most of you are far too young to remember a comic book character, of many ages gone by, called Lulu and the comic books were titled "Little Lulu". Little Lulu had her dark hair fixed in springy, coils and it was the spiraling fringe on this scarf that reminded me of Lulu's  hair-do.
Wendi and I think this fringe is both cute and novel. Hope others do too and that some sweet soul will purchase the scarf.   I have it listed on etsy but etsy has rapidly been getting a reputation of cheaply priced items - I've even heard people refer to it as "Etsy Yardsale" - "etsy-bay" and that etsy is just another version of Craig's List -  now I'm wondering if maybe my stuff is too expensive for those who shop on etsy?
I was recently on another site that had posted suggestions on where one could go online to sell their creations - the first site mentioned was, of course, etsy. It was eye opening to read so many comments that denigrated etsy. Several said that etsy was getting old; others said there were too many resellers and too many tacky craft items on etsy; a few bemoaned that etsy allowed venders to copy the creations of other venders and sell them as their own. I suppose when a site becomes as big as etsy is, it become hard, if not impossible to police things (though that never seemed to slow them down when it came to the forums and shutting down threads - LOL).
What is your opinion about etsy and do you think there are any other sites that are as good or even better than etsy ?


  1. My opinion on Etsy. Hmmm. Well I had a store there a few years ago and it did OK but I let it lapse when I was in the process of leaving my life in WA and moving back east. I find it a pain to list items on Etsy...very time consuming and I had to resize all my photos too. I was going to reopen it in Dec. but never pulled the trigger on it b/c I'm afraid i'll have no business b/c everyone seems to dislike Etsy now. But I don't know where else to sell online.

  2. Those earrings are wonderful! Such lovely colors! Glad they went to a good home.

    Etsy does have traffic - tons of it but there is also a lot of competition. It is also very well known whereas other selling sites are less so. Therefore it is a question of what one prefers. Regardless of where the shop is, one has to promote it. If it is located outside Etsy, then the promotional effort has to be much greater.

  3. From what I see more people, that I am in contact with from Etsy, are going to more specific websites to sell, so photography based ones or art ones and doing better sales in those places because of that.

    Etsy has changed so much and now people placing orders from Ipads and smartphones they are trying to keep up but not sure if they are totally succeeding.

    I will carry on for now, as I have put in so much work, I always hope for the big sales but...........

    Have a lovely weekend, cheers, T. :)

  4. Sounds like you had a good holiday season, but for the sales.

    The earrings a cute, I really like the holly berry earrings.

    I never did try to sell on Etsy, though I have thought about it more than once. Prices for goods, as well as quality and creativity, vary quite dramatically. My biggest issue with Etsy is that there just is not a good search engine- that is, the advanced search options are so limited that I cannot narrow down my choices and before I get through what was returned I am overwhelmed and give up. I think Etsy has chosen to keep their search so broad because it prioritizes "new" listings and they get a fee for each refreshed listing. Just an opinion from someone who does not sell on Etsy.

  5. P.S. Why don't you try to find some local shows near Mother's Day. I always thought that was a great opportunity to sell. The Christmas bills and binge are over by then.

  6. Love the bouncy scarf fringe - too fun! We've been freezing out here in So Cal - well, freezing for us. Lows in to the 20's and 30's - that's really cold for So Cal, so I've actually been glad for a couple of warm scarves that I had, it's not something we usually need too often.

    Etsy - hmmmm, I closed my shop a while back due to low inventory, but as of yet haven't re-opened it. I did ok, but never great. It seems really easy to get lost in the mix. There are some great shops on there, but some that shouldn't be either. Do you sell in local boutique type stores? That's where I have always seemed to do the best. :-)

  7. Anna Maria that little bear is so adorable. Real amazing work you did.

  8. The Holly Berries are exceptional - make me both start learning beading and intimidate me, because I have doubts that I can reach such perfection. As an outsider, I've had the same thoughts about Etsy as in other comments above - big range of prices and quality and promotion is very important. I think I'm not ready for Etsy yet :)

  9. Love those fun holiday earrings. I am glad you have a nice visit with your daughter and a wonderful holiday.

    I hope blogger gets fixed for you soon. It sucks when blogger is not working.

    I have not had any problems with Etsy. I had my best year ever in 2012, with December being my best month ever since I started on Etsy. I know a lot of people complain about Etsy, but regardless of where you sale you have to be willing to do the work to get the sales. I spend a lot of time on my shop, changing tags and titles often, posting on social media, and adding new designs often. It's hard work, but it can be worth it in the end. I think of all the sites and I have been on most of them, Etsy is the only site with the traffic. You just have to find the platform that is good for you and then do the work.

    I wish you much success in you Etsy venture!
    Everyday Inspired

  10. This is my first time on your Blog and found it very enjoyable. I have had a Blog under another name (Baroness-Bijoutery) for many years. I find the new Blogger format confusing, especially the way to load pictures. I wish they would go back to the old way.

    I have a shop on Etsy and am in the process of opening two more with my Daughter who has another shop on Etsy also. We have tried for over a year and found it very unproductive. Also tried ArtFire and wasn't happy there either so back to Etsy. I hope you have success on Etsy, your work is beautiful and should sell well.

  11. Loving your fun Lulu scarf and the earrings that sold are both really adorable and holiday perfect. I can see why someone snatched them right up!

    In my Etsy shop I have 2 things for sale still - a zine and a chapbook. Both of which have been sitting there for months without a single view because I have no time to promote my Etsy shop. I suppose I could maybe sell more if I promoted but then I have to pay the fee to list and sell. Plus PayPal. I'm not doing much more than the bare minimum right now but when I start feeling better my plan is that I will take down both Etsy shops and start selling my items through direct PayPal buttons on my website. No fee unless they sell. And either way I have to market and promote but that just has people as a captive audience. Etsy is too broad now, with too many in-betweens. By that I mean there are people who sell like hot cakes and make a living (top 2%), people who never sell a thing and eventually close (bottom 2%) and everyone in between who sell maybe an item or 2 here or there that keep thinking eventually it will hit and so they keep relisting with fingers crossed. Etsy laughs all the way to the bank. I'm tired of being an in-betweener! But that's just my story, others who sell different types of items might have different luck.

    For a long time I only hung around to remain an active member of my team EcoEtsy but even that's become more work than I have effort to expel with all of this health stuff. Reprioritizing can have its perks IMO :-)

    Good luck with whatever you decide to do my friend!

  12. I agree with Introverted Art, that bear is adorable!!

  13. You've also done the Cracker box kits? Yes they are very expensive. I have made over 25 of them and have thought about selling them but I'd have to charge $50-$75 each just to recoup the cost of the kit.

  14. I'm so glad you could spend time with your daughter. I know how hard it is to say good-bye when the time comes too.

    I believe everything you mentioned about Etsy is true on the other sites as well. You hear so much about Etsy because it is so much bigger and more popular than the others. I know how frustrating it is. Good luck with whatever you choose to do!

  15. Very cool blog. Interesting posts. ;)
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    Yours. Have a nice day. !

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  16. That bear is amazing o___o! I love the soft folds along the ear. I was about to ask where you got it, but then I remembered "Wait. This is a craft blog." Color me jealous! I knit, too, but oddly enough, I never have patience for human-size scarves. Just... dolls. And more dolls >_>

    As for Etsy... I think they charge sellers a bit too much to list there, and that it is difficult to find items that are truly handmade on there. A lot of sellers just put factory-made items on there at a low price tag, then claim it's handmade. That affects sale prices for people who are actually selling handmade.

    I think there is an Etsy audience for higher-priced stuff, but it tends to be in niche areas. As in, people who look for a seller selling a particular good, made to exact specifications/made-to-order.

    For example, I've noticed some handmade dolls and bears selling at surprisingly high prices, just because high-end bear collectors are extremely selective. They know exactly what types of noses they're after, what type of fabric, jointing structure, etc. And they'll pay more to get the exact item they're after.

    Then there are the more common "bored impulsive" Etsy buyers, who do not log onto Etsy with a niche item in mind. Buyers like these often buy the cheap stuff, because the details and manufacturing process don't matter so much to them. For all we know, they're buying a random gift or a faddish piece of jewelry to momentarily amuse themselves, and they just don't want to spend too much on it.

    So far, I've noticed that sellers who cater to particular niche industries and sellers who sell really cheap popular stuff "en masse" tend to do well. Sometimes there's even a mix of both: like a seller who specializes in doll wigs in a special style, and who SPAMs the market with low-cost, but average quality, goods.

    That sort of annoys me, because I'm one of those pesky niche buyers looking for an exact item XD. Some of my favorite sellers had issues with all the listing fees, and couldn't stay afloat on the site.

    Generally, though, Etsy is okay for niche shopping. However, when possible, I and prefer to buy directly from a seller's shop when possible (I've noticed some sellers have a free or cheap blog/website they use to sell stuff, and then the Etsy page for Etsy users.)


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