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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Sales are slow...and I don't care:)

Etsians, friends, artisans, lend me your ears... Does selling on Etsy mean the difference between life and death to you? Forums got you down and B'n'R's not even doing it for you anymore?? Nobody loves you, and why the heck hasn't the Etsy staff recognized you for everything you've done in the past week?

Well my friends, you're just going to have to calm down, get out of your Etsy stupor for a moment, and sit down for a good old fashioned tough love session. If you are counting on Etsy to be your full time job/ego booster you better start getting in line now. Since I began on Etsy in Jan.'08 it has quadrupled in size/problems. We are selling back and forth between each other and there's only so much of that we can do. When I was on before we weren't in a HUGE recession, therefore more spending income outside of Etsy. I go on there today to the "Why aren't you buying now" thread and the main reason is we just ain't got the money honey:*( Also, we need to take into consideration that there are at least 3 up and coming sites that are now almost ready to compete with Etsy. Sellers and buyers are more scattered than ever and we just can't compensate for that small loss. Etsy didn't plan ahead and that's a bad thing. In this day and age competition can drive things to get better. But Etsy remains in the same state of denial it's been in since it started and everything was new and golden. Now they need to up their game, advertising, and definitely their site. Gadgets out, good old fashioned advertising in. Not just word of mouth from us between other artists, but HUGE ads in Martha Stewart, Oprah, and whatever else it takes. The reason non artist types don't know about Etsy is because they don't even know they want handmade yet. I can't show the whole world this and neither can you.

So back to the problems people are having with no sales. Are sales really slow for everyone? Or is it just everyone who is complaining about it getting heard more? Etsians on the forums tend to flock to the over dramatic for a quick beat down or to watch the ambulances arrive at the train wreck. Not saying traffic for moi hasn't been slow, but I'm knowledgeable enough to know that the jewelry category on Etsy is beyond HUGE and my tiny little shop just part of the Etsy machine. I feel like I'm lucky to have sales/views at all with the length I've been away and the economy in the sh#tter:( Do I miss the days of 3 shops on Etsy and 2 off, creating so much work I needed an assistant? Honestly I miss the money, but I cherish the time I have off away from work now.

Some of my own insight regarding the lack of sales for you newbie Etsians. I do completely understand your desire for some assurance that you are good at what you do. However, with competition so great, prices under, over, sales, b'n'rs, etc. you need to be the equivalent of an Olympics star to get really noticed in jewelry or elsewhere right away on Etsy. There are now many artists on Etsy who have their work in museums and galleries. Is your new shop up for that kind of challenge? I'll say right here that I'm not. But I work my jewelry differently and I don't define my own success and business that way. It's okay for me to go a day w/out a sale. If it wasn't, I'd probably be having a virtual reality meltdown right about now.

Sorry in advance to my much beloved handmade community, but here's the tough love..

1. Your items may just not be well crafted or appealing.

2. Shop is just a mess and you don't listen to criticism.

3. No sense of business could ruin you. Selling is more than creating in terms of work. You can't just lay down and say whoa is me, nothing is selling. You may suck at promoting/online selling.

4. Are you in the wrong market? Maybe your things shouldn't be listed on Etsy.

5. Prices are ridiculously high for materials and newness of your shop. Or vice versa.

6. You have completely unreasonable expectations. Patience is a virtue:)

*Please note, I could add soooo many more, but then how would I get back to the forums today??? LOL

These are not bad revelations to have people! Facing the obvious is hard, but ignoring it gets you nowhere:( You might still need to learn something and that is okay. I know I continually learn new things and sometimes feel like a fish out of water. It's okay to suck if you open yourself up to knowledge and change. All in all we should take what little ups and downs on Etsy or elsewhere with a grain of salt. Etsy is just part of our lives, whether it's our full time job or not. Be passionate about what you do creatively, not what your sales numbers are.

And that is all for now...
Teaching Tedious Tasks Tellingly, T♥


Annette said...

I agree! And people need to realize that they probably will not be an over night success when they open their shop. Having a business takes commitment, hard work, energy, time, getting out of your comfort zone and constant re-evaluation.

Great post!

Samantha G said...

Love your post! Your shop advice was more constructive than something like... "Sorry, he's just not that into you" :)

Sara said...

I agree.

I never really got into the B'n'R's. I don't really get them...I mean, fundamentally I get them, but I don't see the real point.

Nina said...

Thank you for the tough but necessary love!

artbysarada said...

Good posting! I'm really happy with my sales since I've had about 6 sales in the past month and a half and that's a lot for original art in a weird niche! A lot of times people expect results without putting in any effort. I am just happy that the few sales that I do make, are to people who really want and enjoy what I make.

PixieDust said...

This is a great post, Tara - wonderfully insightful with a touch (and a few slaps, heehee) of humor!

Many of your points hit home, as I am not very good at promoting my site - it's hard when I'm just not a salesperson. Ah, well... I'll keep trying!



Jenni said...

Great Post!

TheFrogBag said...

Well said!

Nicole Bergman said...

What a great post! Thank you for this!

Knotted Nest said...

It seems to be true. I am a new seller, and I'm not sure if it'll take off, but I am happy to try.

Nice blog by the way!

Rachel Kovaciny said...

This may sound odd, but this post actually cheered me up! I've been here for a year, made 43 sales & trades, and have had no sales in quite some time. Hearing that this is normal, that it's not necessarily because my shop or work sucks or people hate me, that things are tough all over was really heartening! Thanks for the dose of practical reality.