Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Selling on Etsy Tips: Designer Interview

Designing minds wanted to investigate the migration of some designers of handmade, custom boutique clothing and accessories from Ebay to Etsy. Some designers have seen a drop in sales and an increase in fees in the Ebay market; while enjoying a boost in sales and enthusiasm from buyers when moving to the Etsy market.
We thought it would be beneficial to talk to designers who have made the transition from Ebay to Etsy and see what they had to say.
We hope this interview will prove to be helpful to anyone considering expanding their horizons and designing for the Etsy market.

Answers were provided by Mandy of Abby*Chase Designs
a very talented clothing designer who has moved most of her business to Etsy
(Thank you to Mandy!)

What are the differences between selling on ebay and etsy in your opinion?
There are a lot of differences. eBay and Etsy are two totally different worlds. Both the community and the market are different.

The selling fees are way lower on Etsy, you don't have to spend a bunch of time making your auction beautiful with templates which leaves more time to create, and each listing stays up for 3 months. Having a storefront makes a big difference for too, because people can always find you even if you haven't listed in a week or so. Oh, and the storefront is FREE, you just pay the regular selling fees!
There is also a common promoting standard on Etsy. I call it "sharing the love" as many Etsians do. This is where we promote other shops before we promote our own. This does amazing things for people in a community.

Do you feel it would be a good move for most boutique designers or would you recommend they have certain things in place before moving over?
I haven't "completely" left eBay, just mostly. I still list over there once in a while, but I think Etsy is definately the place I would rather call home. There are certain aspects of both venues that are appealing to me and many others, so I wouldn't necessarliy say people should leave eBay completely, but I would deffinately say they should venture out and try Etsy.
Yes there are deffinately some things they should have in place before moving into their store. First of all, I highly recommend spending some time getting to know the way Etsy works, because as I mentioned before, Etsy is very different from eBay. Learn the rules, the do's and don'ts and how the community works over there. Get your shop looking professional with graphics and make it appealing to the customer. Change your wording in your listings, because it is not an auction and the wording we use on eBay is different than on Etsy.
Also, use less akronyms in your listings. Learn how tags work and use them, but leave your listing name for the name of your listing and maybe a couple details, not your group and your tags.

How is the "community" different on etsy than it is on ebay?
Etsy has what they call Street Teams and these are similar to the groups, but they are much larger. Members promote other members as much as they do for themselves. Many of the buyers are sellers too. There is also the "Treasury" and this is to promote other sellers. There is no self promotion in the Treasury.

How do you connect with buyers on etsy? T
hrough street teams, blogs, other sellers, and hearting your favorite sellers are just a few ways to connect with potential buyers.

Have you seen an increase in sales?
Yes, but in a different aspect. Because I have a store and it is stocked with a variety of items, I have more custom orders where they create what they want based on a few things I have listed.

How are your fees compared to ebay?
They are so much lower than eBay. You can list 3 times more on Etsy than eBay for the same price.

What are the top 3 pieces of advice you would give someone considering transitioning from ebay to etsy?
Get to know the rules and do's and don'ts, research the market, remember you are not on eBay and things are very different, share the love. Ok, so that was four.

What do you wish now that you had known then?
I started with Etsy when they first opened their venue. It was very difficult to use and frustrating, so I didn't continue listing there. Now I wish I had, because I would have been one of the first sellers when they started booming. Not to mention the money I would have saved on fees.

Would you do it all over again?

Once someone joins as a seller on Etsy, what would you recommend they do to establish themselves?
List often, heart other sellers to get your name out there, buy from fellow Etsians, because they are most often your buyers too.

How do you market yourself on etsy as compared to ebay?
Networking with fellow Etsians through Street Teams, promotions, start Treasuries. You will deffinately spend less time "in the groups" networking on Etsy than you do on eBay. Blogging is still one of the most efficient ways to promote yourself. There is such a large array of handmade items on Etsy that it makes us all buyers too, so think about buying from fellow Etsy sellers too.
It's custom BOUTIQUE....made by DesigningMINDS
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