Is there a reason? (regarding etsy and jewelry)

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Cassandra715 wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 5:33 PM

I am a new seller and decided just to try etsy, I put 4 of my best items up there and so far it has been a flop! No one has bought anything! Is it something I have done wrong, is there not enough information? Do the pictures look bad?? or is it just me being impatient???

Also is there a way to advertise your jewelry for free???

Thank you everyone for taking a look at this.

Cassie

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Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 6:00 PM

Hi again Cassandra! I am sorry I posted the wrong reply in the wrong thread...but you were the person I was replying to anyways so I hope you got the info I was posting for you! It took me 3 or 4 times to finally get it to post!

I personally do not sell online...the jewelry market is so over saturated that it can really take a long time to get any sales. I have read a lot of threads and blogs about other people's Etsy selling stories, and many of them say that when they started out selling online, they didn't get any sales for many months if at all. And one thing that is important in an online shop is to have a big selection of variety.

People like to browse and see lots of items available in a shop. So keep adding items to your shop...and keep re listing your items on a regular basis!

It is hard to keep your new items in their search engine...People re list their items all the time so something you listed yesterday can be buried in thousands of new items! You want to have new items listed every day if not several times a day so that they are constantly in the rotation and will come up when people are doing a search! This can get expensive on Etsy with the charges for each listing...and it is full time work keeping up with it!

A lot of people think that they can just start making their own jewelry and post it online and it will just sell...but marketing your work and getting your name out there is probably 90 percent of the work in the beginning...and it is work that never ends...even if and when you do get your name out there and become a "professional" (whatever that really means) or even a recogninzed name in the jewelry industry, this marketing and networking never ends!

I would say that you should keep at it if it's something you love to do...but don't expect to start selling stuff immediately! If it does happen and your jewelry starts selling then that is a wonderful bonus! But don't count on it happening right away!

I will go check out your etsy store...do you have a link to it? I think they are moderating any posts that have links in them these days to keep out the spammers so you will need to add your link to your signature line...you will need to go to Edit Profile to do this!

Anyways, I wish you good luck with this...it is a hard market right now with the economy and the over saturation! You might also want to look into selling locally in your home town...maybe at a boutique store, or a gallery or host some home jewelry parties etc...it takes a lot to get your name and your work out there but if you love to do it, then it is worth it!

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Cassandra715 wrote
on Dec 15, 2011 8:37 PM

Thank you again Tia lol. Well truthfully, yes I was expecting it to be such a hit, I guess I am young and had my eyes closed when it comes to all the advertising etc. However I have wanted to do this since I was little so I will continue with it. I am planning on hosting Home parties, going to the markets and when I get some good stock, going around to the fashion shops asking to put some stuff in the windows. I will also be hosting beading parties and going around to the nursing homes showing people and teaching beading. All this comes with great time though, next year I will also be doing my second year of the HSC. (BUSY year, I know).

The jewelry has been a hit within my friends group, I have business cards made up and have a start.... so fingers crossed.

Thank you for your help again, Tia.

(I think the link is there)

Cassie

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Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 16, 2011 2:03 AM

Well with your enthusiasm about making jewelry, you are already on the right path!

Good luck with all of these endeavors! It does sound like a busy year but I am sure you will enjoy it too!

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Nemeton wrote
on Dec 16, 2011 4:42 AM

Unfortunately yours is a question I see posted over and over in forums... there are lots of reasons but the main one is that there are millions of pieces of jewellery listed on Etsy (do a category search for 'jewelry' and you will see what I mean) so as Tia says, you have to do lots of promotion to bring people to YOUR items!

The biggest help to me in getting started selling my beadwork was having designs published in magazines - it's a really good way to get your name out there.

Participation in beading forums is another good way to bring traffic to your shop... but you might want to consider selling supplies or patterns alongside your beadwork, since the forums are mostly populated by people who can make jewellery for themselves.

Never give up, but be prepared for it to take two or three years before your beading business breaks even. And then a while longer before it's seriously in profit! But if you love what you do, you will get where you want to go... eventually.

Good luck!

Lynn

 

My website: http://lynndavybeadwork.co.uk/

 

 

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Emma.J wrote
on Dec 18, 2011 6:46 PM

Hey Cassie,

I'm in the same boat as you at the moment.. I have just started selling my jewellery on 'Madeit.com' and I thought 'This is gonna be great! I'm gonna be rich!' and its been 3 months and I still haven't sold anything Stick out tongue lol. I've started to do as Vimala (Tia) has suggested and keep updating more stock on a regular basis so that people can browse through a few pages and (hopefully) buy something!

I did have an epiphany the other day though.. I think the hardest is people may be very hesitant about buying from somebody who hasn't sold anything through the site yet or had 0% feedback. Because I know when I buy through Ebay, I look for someone who has had really good feedback! One of my friends wants to buy something for a family member for christmas and I'm trying to convince him to buy through the site and do 'direct deposit' (when I'm handing it to him on Thursday) just so that it may or may not boost more sales if people see that I am a reliable source to buy from!

Next time one of your friends wants to buy something from you, ask them if they can go trhough the website so that that boosts your feedback status!

Good luck! I'll let you know how I go with mine Wink

Emma
xXx

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Tia Dalma wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 1:12 AM

Emma you bring up a very valid point! I shop online on a regular basis and on ebay, etsy and artfie etc, I always look for good feedback scores...or at least someone who looks like they participate and isn't just an overnight, brand new new seller with no circles or friends or favorites etc...

As I said earlier, I haven't branched out into selling my beadwork online but I do sell some random things on ebay sometimes...and I built up my feedback score by buying stuff! So when I started selling stuff I already had a high amount of positive feedback!

This won't count towards your feedback specifically as a seller, but it still counts towards your total feedback score and it tells potential buyers that you have had positive transactions and participation on that site!

So even if you can't afford to make a lot of crazy purchases, a few small purchases here and there would help your score...and it would get you into circles and all that! And if you start adding favorites and joining groups and circles it will help build up your credibility as someone who spends time on that site...

And Emma, if you have people that are already going to pay you for something you made, having them do the transaction through your online store is a great idea! This would definitely help build up some sales and positive feedback!

There is also a free PDF download from Interweave that was posted on the Beading Daily & Beadwork's Facebook pages the other day...it is an eBook about How to Sell your Handmade Jewelry...I would recommend downloading it...it's full of great info! here's the link:

http://www.jewelrymakingdaily.com/jewelry-business/

 

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Sandra242 wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 11:07 AM

I've read that in order to start getting regular sales on Etsy you need at least 100 items in your store and it can still take a year to get that first sale.

Use social networks to promote, renew items, sponsor a giveaway, donate some items to charity, promote others on Etsy, enter a juried art show - these will help get your name out there.

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Emma.J wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 6:05 PM

If thats the case,then I only need 67 more items and I'll be raking it in! Big Smile haha! Can you resend the link to your etsy page? I wouldn't mind having a little nosey

It really takes alot of time and effort to get your name out there but as long as you don't give up, you're on the right track! I'm going to try and find some charity events that I can donate some of my pieces to to try and get my name out there.

But keep at it Cassie! If you ever need any advice, you know where to find the help!

Emma
xXx

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Cassandra715 wrote
on Dec 19, 2011 9:52 PM

Thank you all for your wonderful help. I am donating 3 peices to Relay for Life in March... that should help a little. 

My etsy page only has 4 items on it as I was simply trying out how it worked etc... and how good the sales were... silly me lol! I should have known it wouldnt all be a dreamy wonderland.

This is the link to my etsy page: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Cassandra715

and this is the link to my facebook page (it has more stock on it): http://www.facebook.com/pages/Cassies-Beaded-Jewellery/137277026380279

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Emma.J wrote
on Dec 21, 2011 10:01 PM

Cassie - I have just opened up my new B&B magazine (everyone, please don't throw beads at your computer screens, shrieking "TRAITOR!") and I have come across a new book that has come out on the market called 'How to sell your crafts online' - A step by step guide to successful sales on Etsy and beyond! By Derrick Sutton.

I think it might be worthwhile checking out, maybe search for it on Amazon or something and you might find a copy!

Hope this helps!

Emma
xXx

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megabgirl wrote
on Jan 5, 2012 10:55 PM

I second the 100 item estimate. My shops with more items do infinately better than the ones with just a few (I have 4 etsy shops)

 

Plus, it's wayyyyyy more work than you think it's going to be. I work my butt off taking pictures, writing a blog, posting on facebook, and updating twitter. *whew*

 

It's take a LOT of dedication, and then some. But most importantly (I think) adding a new item at least once a week will keep it fresh and help give people a reason to check your shop more often.

 

Once you have a fleshed out shop, you can approach blog writers (like me) and ask if they will do a feature on your shop or host a giveaway for you, that will bring a lot of new traffic to your store.

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jenls wrote
on Jan 12, 2012 11:13 PM

Wow, good to know, I've only just started on Etsy, and boy do I have a long way to go!

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LynetteJ2 wrote
on Jan 13, 2012 12:58 PM

I agree with megabgirl. it takes dedication and sweat equity into building your online business. Somewhere along the line someone put out the buzz word "Oh you can buy this computer and you can sell on ebay!!" just that simple. Whoever told you selling online was easy, they lied! Its work. I deal with people who barely know how to turn on their computers, who want to sell online. No, I am not a computer techy. I am an ATE (alternative to ebay) auction site owner, and an online seller for 8 years. Several come back and say my site is too hard to use. No, its not any harder then any other site, you just have to read what the page is asking of you.  

Most of my jewelry sales comes from custom work. Which means the buyer describes what they are looking for. I search and present a number of pieces that match their desires. We then decide on materials, size, color and I make something similar to what I find. THIS is the nerve wracking way to do it, because I am truly not a designer.  I also take pictures of the items along the way so the buyer has full approval over the custom piece. If they don't like the way I am going with it, we can change it before it gets too far along. And I have to be able to alter patterns I find so the piece is not a direct replica of a designer's.

If you are going to sell online, make sure you describe your items in a manner that people will find your items via the search engines. Beautiful beaded bracelet. OK, all items are beautiful, gorgeous, lovely, delightful, what makes your's any more so then the next?  Do people really search by those adjectives? Do you? Can you use beautiful? Sure. But most sites have a limit on title length, so why waste precious space with words that aren't going to give you milage? Google shopping only allows 70 characters for a title. I'm not sure how much space etsy gives for a description, obcvously not much because I haven't seen descriptions there with alot of content.

I just love the descriptions that say "This is just such a beautiful bracelet, a must have for your collection. just see the picture, this is the item you are buying." What does that tell you about the bracelet? Does it tell color? materials used? Will it fit me? or will I have to order a custom size? How long will a custom order take? Oh yeah, pictures do not contain words, so pictures do not tell me anything. How would you describe this item to a blind person who has a text reading program?  

Are you items being found in the search engines and shopping aggregators? Do a google search for keywords of your items. if nothing comes up, do an exact title search, then click on Shopping. Are your items in Google or Bing Shopping? what about the other aggregators such as willyfogg or froggit, or TheFind?

Yes, write blogs. Yes, keep facebook and twitter updated. If your site of choice has a review page, ask friends to write a review for an item or for your shop/store, and write one for theirs.  Send them a free item so they can comment on your work(wo)manship. And don't use overused, overexagerated comments like "I only buy from this seller, because she makes just the most beautiful jewelry."  You want to make and receive honest, believeable reviews. And caution, facebook isn't very searchable in the search engines, but twitter is getting a fair amount of searchability. And with all the trouble facebook has with ethics and viruses, I wouldn't use it.

Finally, as an ATE site owner, I want to comment on using an ATE/Free to list to drive traffic to your etsy store. In a word, DON'T. ATE's work just as hard or harder to get traffic to their sites as you, a jewelry/crafter  seller, do to get traffic and sales to your etsy or other store. Just because site might be free to list, doesn't mean they are there to provide you with free advertising for your other sites. I go through my site's store pages regularly and remove empty free stores with pointers to other sites on them. I think this is one of the most unethical things a seller can do. There are alot of misinformation and what is called blackhatting techniques out there that people say is ethical to do, that will get you suspended from some sites in a heartbeat.  If in doubt, ask the admin of a site if something is allowed. And just because one ATE site will allow something, doesn't mean another ATE will.

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Cassandra715 wrote
on Jan 14, 2012 4:45 PM

Thank you Lynette.

I was not told it would be easy, It is just something I have wanted to do for AGES! Now I have gone ahead and decided to try it. If I use one site to sell items I would stick to that site, not advertise to another,

I thank you for your very helpful information :) It has really opened my eyes

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