Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The Whys and the Wherefores

hand embellished Sodalite Pendant necklace

For the past few days I've been trying to figure out the whys and wherefores of Etsy.  Why do some shops find almost instant success while others languish, floundering in a sea of invisibility ?   Why is it that 2 shops selling almost the same items will have such disparity when it comes to views and sales? 
I've been trying to build up my shop inventory as I've heard that the more items you have the better are your chances of being found by search engines and therefore found by potential customers.  But seems that the past week or two, as I've added more items, my views have fallen from 30 or 40 views a day to about 10 or less a day.
I made the black nylon cord adjustable so necklace
can go from very short to very long

I recently listed this Sodalite stone pendant that I embellished with sterling silver wire work and sterling silver beads.  The cord has my handcrafted  sliding, macramé clasp on it making  it very adjustable. 

After listing I tried promoting, yes  used all the old standards that I could think of :   facebook, teams, etc.   Now, a day later, I find it has a total of 5 views and 9 admirers (meaning  that 4 people must have given it a heart without even clicking on its etsy link).

In the past I tried opening a shop that was just for my jewelry and one shop for other items but found it spread my attention too thin and neither shop was profitable.  This time I had some of my soft textiles listed, such as the pair of crochet potholders-trivets-dishrags.

Above trivets etc. in hot pink-red and white are about 9 inches across
Below trivets in crisp white on dark apple green and white on tomato red.
I also listed some of the cute Ruffled Boas that I made.  My daughters loved the ones I gave them at Christmas and said I should put a few on my etsy shop - they thought they would
sell quickly.




 They got a number of views and hearts for awhile but have dropped down to zero lately.  So much for my daughters' intuitions.  :D
I feel like I'm neglecting so much lately trying to crank start my old etsy shop.  Granted etsy has far more shops now and a lot more unscrupulous resellers selling their items way below market value.  Trying to rid etsy of these shops is like a never ending game of "Whack a Mole".  They "conk" one out and a dozen more pop up.
Anyway, like so many mornings before, I took my mug of coffee and went to check on my etsy shop.  There were no orders and I noticed that I had garnered all of 1 shop view since I had turned off my computer yesterday.  How, Why, What ?  Just a whole lot of questions and I haven't an answer.


  1. I was just wondering if you have been doing shows this spring/summer and whether sales there are better, Anna? Do you make treasuries and follow shops with similar lines? I don't sell on Etsy but I love to look, and I often discover shops through those two strands. BTW I love your sodalite pendant!

  2. I had a little success w/ etsy in the fall of 2010 but I never reopened it b/c of the listing fees and I was starting to hear people say etsy was past it's prime. I looked into artfire but I haven't gone that route either. I'm not sure what to do or where to try and sell my stuff.

    1. I've heard the same about etsy,JoJo. Maybe it has gotten too big and perhaps has lost some of the shine of newness.

      JoJo have you looked into some of the smaller craft type shows in your area? Also try looking around at a local Farmer's Market, some onely sell produce but some also invite crafters.

      Most of my area's smaller craft shows and Farmer's Markets are booked up and have a waiting list.

  3. I never tried to sell anything on Etsy- I thought about it but I never even tried. It is a busy place and it is difficult to drive traffic. Have you tried other options? Shows? House parties? Galleries? Local shops? Other than the shows you might have a lot less competition in the other arenas. I think it helps to actually hold jewelry to see how well it is made.

    Don't invest all of your self worth in Etsy. Keep trying and do what you love.

    1. Hi KJ. I used to do shows, but that was several years ago. And I have sold in both boutiques and galleries - unfortunatel a few have since gone out of business and I am now down to just one gallery. The owner says that I'm her only artist that make any sales and she is seriously considering closing up her gallery. Times are rough right now for arts and crafs.
      But yes I'll continue to keep on making jewelry as I'm pretty much addicted to it. :)

  4. I don't think there ARE any whys & wherefores to Etsy - It's so much a matter of luck. My first two years on Etsy I sold steadily and then it tanked, and while I still sell now & then it's never gotten back up. During the time it tanked, I was in a group with a challenge to list 1 item a day for a month. I met the challenge, but doing it was a mistake - I burned out, and my sales never came up!

    Then when Etsy did away with the Promo forums a couple of years ago, I started looking for other handmade sites. I tried Artfire & didn't like it. Then I found Zibbet and I've been very happy with it. My sales are sporadic but decent, and Zibbet is so easy to use that it's worth it. Plus, you don't pay a fee every time you list - yay! You can pay monthly or an annual fee, and list & relist to your heart's content!

    Oh, and they don't take anything out of your sale, either :)

    1. Hi Jan - Thank you for the wonderful comment. I have sent you a private email but just wanted to thank you for your insight and for your suggestions. :)

  5. I'm sorry I can't help with an advice but I'm reading carefully all posts and comments about selling one's jewelry, hoping to learn THE SECRET but it all amounts to hard work and patience :))

  6. Your best bet is shows, I agree. Even in the painting world, I learned I have to get back out there (which I hate.) By the way, have you done anything like that blue pendant, but with moons instead of hearts? I have a thing for moons..

    I'm going to put some of my ACEOs up on Etsy, but I sell more through my own website than I do through Etsy. It's almost a complete waste of my time. You might think about setting up your own website (look into Wix or Yola, for a free site) and see if that doesn't actually help. I think part of the reason is that people are looking at your stuff and only your stuff, and a more tempting offer doesn't pop up to compete like it does on Etsy.

  7. I have asked the same questions too. Some shops are carbon copies of others, same item, sometimes more expensive item and nonetheless much more successful. Sometimes I find it to be related to the person and how the person approaches it. I am not a sales person, so I never tried to really sell anything... Hope you find your way.

  8. I know how frustrating it is. Is there somewhere local you could look into? I love the ruffled boas. Maybe they will do well when it starts getting colder and closer to Christmas. I hope you can find something that works for you, even if it means going somewhere or doing something different.

  9. Your wares are just lovely. Sometimes though Etsy isn't always the best venue for everyone. Your jewelry looks more "high end" to me and I wonder if it might do better for you in local shops or craft fairs?

    I never had a ton of success with my shop either, even though my products were high quality. They seemed to do better in local shops etc...where people could really see and touch etc...

  10. Amazing pendants and scarves! Thanks for sharing. xo style, she wrote.


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