I've been thinking a lot about my online selling woes the past month. I've had my Etsy shop closed for the summer with a message saying that it would open again in the fall. Well, fall is basically here and my shop has no signs of life yet. I'm struggling to find the motivation to get my pictures how I want them. Even now when I know way more about photography than I did when I started, it still takes a lot of time to take the pictures, edit them, and then set up the listing. All for maybe a few sales a month which just isn't worth it to me.
There was a time when I could expect 1 or 2 sales a week during the prime knitwear buying season, late Oct-Dec. There is now so much competition on Etsy that it is nearly impossible to be found, even with improved photos. There are currently 26,553 results for knit scarf. You can tag as efficiently as possible but without some kind of personal promotional tool it's a long shot to be found. I'm not even going to get into my pet peeve about the same people constantly being promoted on the front page and other Etsy promotional areas.
I have kept my shop open the past 3 years through the dry spells because I thought it was important to have an on-line presence. My main priority has been doing a few targeted craft shows a year but I liked having a shop to direct my customers to online. I've enjoyed the camaraderie on Etsy despite their many flaws, but lately I just feel over their antics. They have made a number of controversial design changes and major overhauls to the checkout and feedback systems which make me nervous to reopen at this time.
Etsy Bitch as always, is the best place to go to find out the real story behind the changes. I am sick to death of reading the Storque and getting the sugar coated BS that the Etsy Admin put out. You have to read between the lines so much that it almost becomes illegible. I was even more confused after reading their post about collecting sales tax with the new checkout system. The 99 page forum thread is simply too daunting to figure out what I need to do to be safe.
I'm once again considering other options such as Artfire but I have a box of 500 business cards with my Etsy address on it that I'm planning to use as price tags for the Strange Folk Festival. If anyone has thoughts I would gladly hear them. Do you think that I'm hurting myself by not having an online venue as a kind of portfolio for my work?
6 hours ago