Thursday, February 19, 2009

How It All Started

Ok! So after months I will try and keep up with posting here =)


I first opened my shop on August 28, 2008, but because I was trying to get familiar with the website I didn’t start posting until September 24. I have to say that I was extremely excited on that day because by the time I was done posting I already had 2 sales! That really motivated me to continue posting, but then all of a sudden no sales were coming in. I didn’t have a sale until the first week of October. I figured I was doing something wrong because I knew my items were cute and affordable.

What I have learned:
I started researching on Etsy and found several articles that helped and guided Etsians on how to sell on Etsy. I read EVERY SINGLE one of them. I also started going into the forums under the “Critique” section and started posting to see what other advice fellow Etsians could give me.

After all my reading and forum postings, I realized that my pictures were one of the issues. They were dark and didn’t do justice to my items. So, I retook all of them and edited every single one of them. Once I was done editing the pictures I relisted them all, but for some reason it quite didn’t work until I read an article that talked about listing as many tags and giving the best description and title as possible. Once again, I went back and edited my listings and the relisted. I knew it was going to cost money, but I went ahead and did it. Now that I think of it if I would have just read those articles before posting any items I could have saved myself some money, but it was too late now.

Marketing and Networking:
I have a full time job and don’t have much time to invest into marketing and networking, but I do take advantages of what comes up. The only marketing and networking I do is on Etsy and a link on my MySpace page. During the holidays I noticed posts about “trading items”. These were like boxes that somebody was willing to put together and had about 10 people participate. For this all you had to do is send her 10 of your items and you would receive items from others who participated. There is often also posts from people that are going to be a part of an Arts and Crafts Fair and are looking for people to send them promotional items they can give out. I have also done several of these.

One of the other things I do is post occasionally on the forums and lately I have been addicted to the chat rooms; especially one that is the “Feature Seller Game”. I also, often respond to people who are looking for giveaways for their blogs and I think this has also been a great way to market.

And lastly, I try to post daily or relist. This keeps you at the top of the searches (this is why all the tags are very important).

Tips:
- Sign up to receive emails from Etsy and read them! Especially when they have success stories or tips! They help so much!
- Here are a couple of tips I would give you…
- - Be timely in your shipments and make sure there is somewhere in your store that explains this and your store policies.
- - Keep a good communication and great customer service. I think this is the most important. I had a very bad experience with this. The seller was so rude!!! I contacted her because I had purchased buttons to cover with fabric. When I actually wanted to create something with them the backs didn’t fit! I contacted her and she said she measured them so she was sure they fit. The buttons were so cheap they bent when I tried a thicker fabric. All she told me was send it back to me and I’ll see what I do. She didn’t offer to send me a replacement, refund my money, or even pay for the shipping if I returned it. Not something you want to do.
o I once had a customer whose bobby pin broke after she wore it. She contacted me just to let me know, but I went ahead a resent her a new pair plus a freebie for the inconvenience the result was a very happy customer.
- - Always keep your prices at a competitive price point - especially with this economy.
- - Always keep an eye at your competition. I’m not saying to copy them, but what I am saying is make sure you stay unique so that way you can be distinguished.
- - Make sure your packaging is cute and that it will keep your items secured (or mention that things might break and you are not responsible). I once got a package delivered in a regular envelope soooo not appealing.

Here are some links:
My Blog: www.krmns-leboutique.blogspot.com
Articles I read:
The Art of Pricing: Staying Competitive http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/the-art-of-pricing-staying-competitive-420/
The Etsy Seller Handbook: All Our How-Tos About Selling http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/the-etsy-seller-handbook-all-our-how-tos-about-selling-2383/

I can honestly say that I have had a great journey at Etsy. And I absolutely love making new stuff and seeing them sold. This is just a snap shot of what has happened since my shop opened and with all the work I have done I have had steady sales since the middle of November! I have sales at least once a week! Hope some of this can be of help to you. I wish you the best in our Etsian world!

xoxo,
LeBoutique




1 comment:

peachesaplenty said...

Yay! Glad to see you're bringing out that creative genius you've had all this time, and especially since you're sharing it with the world. You are one brave soul to give out your own creations to sell. I'm still at the phase where I'm jealous and think everything I make is too cute to even give away. Soon I'll be able to do what you do. Etsy is a great place. I have to hold myself back to not buy everything I find uber cute. Paper! Fabric! Yarn! Ack. There's so much nice stuff out there. hehehe Have a great day Carmen! :) Oh by the way, it's Andrea (think back....think VERY back....Elvia's sister). :) GB.