Have you always wanted to open your own Etsy shop?
I admit I have pondered the thought many times. However not knowing the first thing on how to run one doesn’t stop me from loving to shop in one! They are well set up, easy to purchase through and tons of fun!
Today I have two special guests that are going to talk about their online stores. One is a 2 year veteran and one just started her Etsy Oct 1st!
Gina aka The Shabby Creek Cottage runs an extremely successful Etsy called Shabby Creek Designs. She’s had her shop for 2 years and has reached many Etsy achievements. Her store is stocked with approx 100 lovely cottage styled collections that are custom made to order by herself and her team!
Marianne aka Songbird is brand new to Etsy, located in the Netherlands and has just opened up her new shop Oct 1st! Songbird’s Nest currently features 16 items (already!!) and they are all things vintage and lovely that she finds around her European markets.
Take it away, gals!
~ All Things Etsy ~
When did you first fire up an Etsy shop?
Gina ~ I started my shop in October of 2009 (2 years ago this month!)
Marianne ~ That’s easy. October 1 2011.
What made you choose Etsy to sell your wonderful treasures?
G ~ I tried a few other sites, but once I tried Etsy I was hooked. The community that is on Etsy itself is a wealth of knowledge and encouragement that can’t be beat. Plus with their search system, you have a HUGE customer base that already places value on handmade items.
M ~ Because Etsy makes it so easy. You don’t have to worry about the behind the counter kind of stuff, that is all arranged automatically. And also because Etsy is very well known in the circles where I think my potential customers are. So it will be easier for them to find me and for me to reach them.
Do you need lots of followers in order to have a successful store?
G ~ No, not at all! There are many, many successful shops on Etsy that don’t even have a blog. I actually did it backwards compared to most sellers (most of them start a shop, then a blog to promote their shop.)
M ~ Ask me that in a year…. I really don’t know. I have only had one customer and I don’t think she’s ever read my blog before. She does know about it though…
Is there a trick to being successful with Etsy in particular?
If so, what is it?
G ~ Create good products, take amazing photos, describe them well and list a LOT of items. The more you list, the more opportunities you have to sell something.
M ~ Success with Etsy for me at this point is simply that I have my store up and running. And for that I just had to get over myself and actually start working on my dream. You know even if my shop will turn out to be a total bust, I will still feel successful. Because I tried, because I took a deep breath and jumped. And no matter what comes next that feeling and confidence will never leave me.
Do you ever worry about running out of stock?
G ~ Well since my items are made to order, I really don’t “run out of stock,” but occassionally the supply that I use becomes unavailable (like certain fabrics I use for pillow covers). I just keep an eye on the stock of that supply before relisting those particular products.
M ~ Not in any danger soon. I have been going to Flea Markets for years and I never could let those poor, old neglected beauties go to waste. I had to take them home with me. So I have a pretty big stock already, and there is always a Flea Market in the next town.
Most difficult thing about an online store:
G ~ Shipping can take a lot of time – up to hours a day some days. You just have to factor it into your schedule.
M ~ You have to convince buyers with your written words and pictures alone. I know that if I could just have a conversation with someone and show them how they could use an item and how wonderful it is in real life, I could really ‘sell’ it to them. Now I must rely on my description and their own imagination.
The best part:
G ~ Hmm…. probably that my pieces are in the daily lives of my customers – and tons of weddings. How cool is it that I get to be a part of someone’s big day? That amazes me nearly every day 🙂
M ~ I have potential customers all over the world. People living on the other side of the world who might never be able to visit the famous flea markets of Paris could do that vicariously through me and get a wonderful old world treasure from me. That idea is what I love most about having this shop. That I am able to share my vintage French inspired wealth with others.
What advice would you give a newbie?
G ~ Advertise – and don’t think it will get you immediate sales. Advertising is about building brand recognition. I like to think about it like this – Pepsi does not advertise so you will drop what you’re doing and go that exact moment to go buy a Pepsi. They advertise so that when you are in a store and are looking at drinks, their brand will be easily recognizable and you will be more likely to buy a brand you recognize. I do not run an ad thinking that folks will buy from me instantly, but I hope that when they want something new for their home or a small gift for someone that they will think of my shop.
M ~ I am a newbie, so I am not sure I am qualified yet to give anybody any tips. I still can use all of them myself. But I guess my biggest one would be, don’t do what I did and procrastinate forever and think you have to figure it all out beforehand. Just jump in with both feed and start that shop already.
G ~ When sales are slow and you feel like no one is buying, then use that time to create new items. You can’t sit still for too long, Etsy is constantly evolving and you have to evolve with it.
Thanks gals! This was invaluable!
Have you had thoughts on having your own store?
For those that have one, have any other tips?
If you have any questions, please ask in comments and come back for the answers there too!