A Crafter's Crazy Life
Wednesday, August 31, 2011
One of the major barriers for me to selling constantly on Ebay was the fact that you had to pay astronomical (seems like it anyway) listing fees and then final value fees and Paypal fees. If you don't have a store and are not a power seller, selling items of lower value did not make any sense. Most of the items I currently sell are $5.00 and under. With the new 50 free listings, you're not really taking any risk in attempting to sell. As the saying goes - "No Harm, No Foul". I figured, I already had the pictures and descriptions...so why not give it another chance? The first week, I listed 8 items and had 1 sale. The second week I listed 6 items and had 3 sales. That is 4 more sales than I would have had if I had not tried it. Granted, I didn't get the full price that I wanted, but I didn't lose any money on the deal so that's always a benefit. It gives me some exposure to potential future customers (I sent each one a promo item and coupon code for shopping in my Etsy shop). Who knows, getting paid a little bit to promote your items, sounds like a good deal to me.
I figure on posting 12-15 items a week to stay within my 50 item limit. Maybe step it up a notch around the holidays if sales seem to be going up during that time frame.
Give Ebay a chance, you never know what could happen! The downside of that deal, is I ended up buying a ton of beading stuff - more than what I sold. Lol.
Monday, August 29, 2011
I came to realize that I am working every single day...but I just didn't realize it. I guess it doesn't feel like work when you're doing it for yourself (finally I am my own boss!) Whether or not this venture is monetarily fruitful, doesn't matter because I really like doing this stuff. And to think, I once told one of my old bosses that I don't work for love. Ha! All this work I'm doing is sure not for money. Lol. I even have an employee that works for me...it's a good thing he works for kisses and homecooked meals. ;P
Friday, August 19, 2011
- We All Belong - team of any Etsians to support each other - no qualifications to join.
- Oregon Team - team of Oregonian crafters - just have to live in Oregon.
- West Coast Team - team of West Coasters (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California & Hawaii) - have to live in one of the mentioned states.
- Fire Mountain Gems Co-op - team of people that order from Fire Mountain Gems - we can combine orders together to get the best pricing for FMG
- Etsy Paper Team - team of crafters that have at least 50% of their shop dedicated to paper crafted items.
- Promoting Our Shops Team - team dedicated to help the members promote and drive traffic to their Etsy shops
- Promo Swap Team - I mentioned this team in an earlier blog, but a team that trades promotional items to include in sold items.
So far, I've gotten alot of good advice and hopefully some exposure from the teams that I've joined. Promo is allowed in all the discussions except for the FMG Co-op Team. I try to post my items in the New Listing threads and look at the items for the shops that posted before me. Sometimes the threads are 20 pages long so I at least visit the 5 shops that posted before me.
Teams are a good way to get some exposure if you actively participate. I did see another promo team that was interesting but there were specific qualifications to join that seemed like it required more time than I had, so that one is on the back burner for now. Has it helped to drive traffic to my Etsy shop - yes a little, I haven't yet seen any MAJOR traffic coming in after joining the teams but every little bit helps and the discussion forums do provide support if you have questions as well as helpful advice.
One thing that really annoys me about the teams are the OVER-PROMOTERS. I see their posts every other hour in the "New Items" listing. It's like, jeez, give other people a chance to post their items too or so that their items won't get buried. It causes me to not want to visit their shops because their posting is a little obnoxious.
It has not really been that long since I've joined the teams so as time goes on, we'll see how that goes. One thing I have learned about the team discussions is to promote but don't overdo it or people like me will avoid going to the shops of people like that. Just my spin on it.
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Monday, August 15, 2011
Maybe I will make him an awesome meal this weekend because of his infinite patience and his contribution to the earring making. He will glue, varnish and punch the paper earrings without me even asking. And if I happen to take a nap in the middle of the day (because I stayed up late making earrings or Etsy-ing the night before) he will make quite a few pair of earrings.
Alright, maybe I can show him some appreciation if I make him something super awesome (although he did say he was craving Pizza Hut's Hawaiian Pizza). Hmmmm....slave away in the kitchen or order $10 Pizza Hut? Ok, ok, slave away in the kitchen. As I type this, I am also talking on the phone to my mom (multi-taking is key) and posed the question to her. I felt her glare over the phone. She said, "You be nice to Javier, make him good food and stop feeding him tuna sandwiches!" I couldn't help but tell her, "Ok, no tuna sandwiches. How about tuna helper?" That comment received a disgusted grunt. I love my mom. Lol.
Saturday, August 13, 2011
Great crafters do not only exist on Etsy. Many of them host blogs like this one giving advice and providing tutorials - for which I am always grateful. I'll probably frequently post the links to awesome tutorials that I've found which I've either tried or have on my "to-do list".
It should only be fitting that I choose the Queen on High of all crafters - Martha Stewart. She has a tutorial on her website for some beautiful paper roses crafted from coffee filters. This one would be on my "to-do list" as I have not yet tried to...but I will get to it someday. Here is the link to the tutorial:
One day, I'd like to post my own tutorials but my hands don't look as cute as the ones I see in tutorials...plus I make a big mess when I make things unlike tutorialites (people who do tutorials). Their craft space always looks so nice and neat!
Friday, August 12, 2011
I could offer 1 month free promo to anyone that follows me on here. Sounds like a great idea and everybody wins. Or do a if you follow me, then I'll follow you type deal. I like it, better get on it! One barrier, for some reasons, I hate posting in the team discussions because I don't take criticism well. Not that any of those people will criticize, but we all have our neurotic fears and that may be one of mines. Lol.
Thursday, August 11, 2011
Wednesday, August 10, 2011
So you ask, what the heck are you doing selling your wares on Etsy? Everything I've read on being successful on Etsy says promo, promo, promo, Ms. I Hate Sales. Facebook Fan page, Blog, a gajillion other sites to advertise on to drive traffic to your etsy page, BNS/BNR's, teams, forums. Phew! What I've deducted is that promoting my Etsy shop will initially take more time than actually making items to put in my Etsy shop. Ok, I can handle that. Time, effort and creativity...I have the latter 2 in leaps and bounds...now if I could find more time. lol.
Some things that I have done so far (and I will let you know how it works):
- joined a few teams (some for promo, some for support and advice)
- posted in the team discussions
- participating in my first BNS (Buy & Stay)
- started checking out the Forums and will be posting when I have something valuable to contribute
- researched taking better photos and started using them in the new pictures I've been taking although I think I could use some help in the staging department
- started this blog - debating about a Facebook Fan Page
I have to start somewhere...ya never know, maybe I do have a little bit of cheesy used car salesman in me after all!
I hope that link works. The shop right now contains all earrings - both beaded and paper earrings. The paper earrings sort of arose out of my desire to create something different. It started off with beaded earrings. I saw some earrings somewhere and thought to myself, I can make something like that and for wayyyy cheaper! Thus the earring frenzy started. I enjoy beading alot and Fire Mountain Gems must adore me - since they are my main supplier of all things beady.
After doing all beaded earrings for a while, I wanted to create something different, I tried many things - that kind of failed miserably in my case. First it was crafting with felt - but I'm a horrible seamstress - whether it be with a machine or hand stitching so that didn't last long. Then I tried polymer clay but again, not my forte. As an aside, I really give the polymer clay crafters props because that stuff is NOT easy to work with. I could barely cut a circle much less craft something out of it. I decided to focus on something that I could access easily and kind of did an internal evaluation. I realized that I love working in photoshop and have been doodling with it for a couple years. I've made family invitations, collages and even a book of my nephew's vacation. It finally hit me, paper earrings. I can create the designs in photoshop and then create some unique beautiful earrings. I was hooked. I had to experiment with the process to make sure that they would be stiff enough for earring use as well as much research on water resistance to make sure they would last. It was worth it to me to be able to create something completely unique to me and I love it!
Initially, the earrings were going to be just for me and maybe to give away as gifts for birthdays and Christmas but I was OCD'ing in photoshop and at last count, had about 100 designs. I still only have 1 pair of ears. My boyfriend's niece saw that I had a ton of earrings and she needed to make a little money so she asked if she could sell them to her friends and mom's friends. So we struck up a consignment deal and she started selling the earrings and making a decent profit which I would immediately re-invest in more earring stuff. lol. I was making more earrings than she could sell so I decided to try Ebay first, but things didn't really work out there, not really the right market. Then I remembered a few years ago I had bought a ton of stuff on Etsy and now, here I am a bonafide Etsy seller.
So, come along with me and enjoy the experience. Success or failure, it'll be something fun, new and exciting. I know I'll find some cool stuff along the way - I mean, I've already favorited a ton of them!