2/23/2010

To Etsy or Not to Etsy, that is the Question...


Since I can now drive and get into and out of my car with my walker I am back to work full time this week. Getting a big part of my routine back has made a huge difference in my energy level and outlook.

So I started thinking about whether I should take my Etsy shop out of vacation mode or just leave it alone for now. Honestly a sale at the moment would be more trouble than it's worth. I would have to have Mike go into the room that dare not speak it's name (my horribly disorganized craft room if you must know), find the item and wrap it up, and then drag myself into the post office, which sounds like a nightmare to me.

This year on Etsy has been a bust for me anyways. I had a few sales and a few decent trades but nothing much to speak of. Ironically I sold the scarf at the top the day before my fall and had to have Mike take care of shipping, which he wasn't crazy about at all.

I could never get into a good rhythm of picture taking either through the Fall. I wasn't crazy about my setup out on the porch but was too lazy to come up with something better. I tagged the bulk of my inventory for the craft show season before I had taken pictures of them. I've found that it's harder to get a great shot of something after it's been tagged since you have to find an angle were the tag doesn't show.

Speaking of lazy I just don't have the motivation to start up my own website or try a different venue on-line either. My 1000 Markets shop was unceremoniously shut down for lack of activity. I really don't know how some of you do it, keeping multiple sites active and full. For me craft shows have been my biggest success with my business and that is what I plan on focusing my energy on for next year.

My quandary is whether I should keep the shop up and running once I am really up and running, even if it is a shell of its former self. There was a time when if I didn't have at least 3 pages of items listed I felt bad. The main reason I think it is important to have at lease some presence on-line is that some of the craft shows use it to evaluate your work. It has been more like a portfolio of my work than a real business venture for the past year. If I'm wanting to continue to do these shows I'm thinking it is probably worth it to maintain at least a few pages of inventory on Etsy. I've also passed out hundreds if not thousands of business cards over the past few years with my shop address featured prominently.

What do you think. Am I wasting my time on Etsy or should I continue to plug along keeping it somewhat up to date?

16 comments:

Nancy said...

It doesn't hurt to stay online at Etsy even if you don't have many things in your shop. You can try ecrater too, which is totally free and then you can still have some items online.

Lin said...

Nancy has a good point, but if you aren't really using that, why bother? I'm sort of like that with EC these days. It seems to be collapsing as I'm not getting half of the drops I used to and a ton of blogs have left. Why am I dropping still? Out of routine? Because I'm afraid to drop out? What will happen if I do? I think if you are good, you won't need the crutch anymore. It's hard to decide.

zizzybob said...

I use the US Post Office click and ship feature. You can print the label and postage, pay for it with a credit card then schedule a pick up and never leave your house.

Got It From My Mama said...

Maybe it's just the time of year but it's good you do well at craft shows we don't have many here in Scotland so it's harder.

Lynne said...

I think you should keep your Etsy shop open for all the reasons you gave. Just don't pressure yourself to have a minimum number of items.
On a high note, I'm so glad you're getting up and around!

WillOaks Studio said...

I would vote for staying online, with Etsy or somewhere else. Even if it's just to point folks to a web page, if they inquire! Not sure if it's the quantity of items, so much as the quality. Maybe it would be more worth it to list photos of your multiples, so the photos are all set and you can just renew when they sell? The photos and the writing/listing are what take the most time, I think!

Ruth said...

Glad to hear you're feeling better! I have to do something about my shop too, I just can't seem to get into a good routine of getting things listed. I've only got two things up and there are at least a dozen waiting to be photographed and either listed or relisted. I haven't done any craft shows yet, went to a couple with my mom last year and thought "gee I could have a booth here next year". I always find out about them too late to sign up. Someone even once suggested to me that I could just set up a table somewhere or sell things out of the trunk of a car, but I'm not sure that's entirely legal.

Shore Debris said...

I'd keep it online. I like etsy just because it seems to get decent traffic in relation to other sites. I didn't realize 1000Markets would shut down your account for lack of use - I'll have to make sure I'm not running into that. Last year when I was non weight bearing after a knee replacement, I did the click and ship (or paypal) for all packages and my mail lady came to my door to get them when I clicked the button on the USPS website requesting pick up. I've let my listings drop down (I actually surprised myself that I had 30+ items in my shop, but am doing better than ever on-line.) I guess for me, I like having that link when applying to craft shows and no that I'm not bothering to stock it all that well, it is much less stressful.

CastoCreations said...

Why don't you use Paypal shipping or USPS? It is SO easy! If he brought stuff to you you could probably do it all sitting on the couch. :)

Karen said...

I think having an Etsy shop allows people who may not buy at the show to have the opportunity to buy later when their funds might be readily available. It also gives people a chance to look at your things from the privacy of their home. Your pictures look a lot better than mine! I wish I could get the hang of making them look good in a picture.

Nancy said...

I hear ya. I've been so lazy about etsy too. I think you were really right on when you said knitwear (unless it's incredibly hipster-etsy-trendy will not sell well online). I rarely sell any knit items there. I guess it just depends on your priorities though. Etsy or any other venue could get to be a very expensive portfolio. What about just using flickr? Idonno...I'm sort of in the same boat as you. I don't have enough time to make the kind of commitment it would take to attempt to succeed. You really can't go halfsies on these kinds of things. Sigh....

On another note, I'm glad to hear you're doing much better and getting around easier. As nice as it is to have a break people really get glum when their routine is broken for a prolonged time.

Carol said...

Gosh, Paige...I'm glad you're doing better. Etsy is a LOT of work, that's for sure. As for picture-taking....I bought an inexpensive photo cube on FeeBay a while back, and it's a great investment. Right now, I'd leave your Etsy shop up-and-running, and maybe just don't renew things til you're back on your feet. Good luck!!

Duni said...

I haven't been very active on Dawanda lately, but I'm still making sales. I like to take care of the wrapping/shipping myself too.
I wonder how it's going to be like when my own website is up and running?
Meanwhile I hope you're getting better each day. I have an award for you! Hope it brightens your day :)

Rainbow Cottage said...

If it's just about having your photo's onlime so you can give a link to the craft shows so they can see your work why don't you try a photo site like Flickr? It's free and you ca organise your photo's by subject if you need to. I know a lot of crafters who use it. then also if you do get a website you can link the 2 and just upload photo's to Flickr and it automatically updates your site ;-)

Clare said...

Have you tried Zibbet. You can list up to 25 items on there without paying any fees.
Just follow this link to check it out. http://www.zibbet.com/kiraanndesigns/sell

Loren Arnolds said...

My friend from Cincinnati has almost the same dilemma. But she's still selling her crafts on Etsy. Well, did you give it up? I think it's fine to stay there even if you're busy with your shows. How are you doin' with your shows, btw? You can actually use your income from Etsy or your shop/shows to put up your own website. Your blog's design is so pretty just like those of other craft bloggers I see here, so I definitely think your future website has potential, too.

 

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