A change of plan

For ages now I have been telling you that I’m going to set up an etsy shop; or, rather, that I’m going to stock the etsy shop that I set up last year. The time has finally arrived for me to start doing this, but… I’m not going to!

Rainbow bag

This will be in the shop

Prior to embarking on the work needed to create a good shop, I decided to do some reading round (here, for example) and as a result I discovered that etsy is no longer the platform it used to be. Originally (as I understand it), it was set up to act as a marketplace for craftspeople – a one-stop-shop on the internet where you could go to sell your lovingly-created items and where buyers would understand the ethos and value. Alas, this is no longer the case. You can now sell anything on etsy, even acting as a third-party seller for cheap mass-produced stuff. So, rather than a forum for crafters, we have another ebay just without the auctions. It appears that many genuine crafters have seen a significant drop in sales as a result because buyers are swamped with choices and find it difficult to distinguish between the origins of the different goods on offer as well as the discrepancy in prices.

A bowl of bath puffs!

There’ll be bath puffs too

I acknowledge that my products could be considered expensive when compared to what you can buy in the supermarket, but generally my buyers understand why this is… from the raw materials to the time taken to design and make the items on sale. I can’t compete with Superdrug on the price of a bath puff, but that’s not what I’m trying to do. So, I turned to Folksy – a British website specifically dedicated to handmade items. It has lower ‘footfall’ than etsy, but at least visitors will only be comparing like with like. Thus far I have set up the shop, but not stocked it. This weekend, I will be photographing my stock and hopefully there should be items for sale by next week… ooh it’s all rather exciting.

 

Previous Post
Leave a comment

30 Comments

  1. I set up a shop on Folksy and Etsy, but then decided it was easier to sell the patterns rather than the finished item. For selling patterns, I find that Craftsy beats both Etsy and Ravelry, and they don’t charge or take a cut out of sales, that is very rare! I do agree with your comments on Etsy, but sadly Folksy is not very well known and I doubt I’ll list anymore items on there. Good luck with your sales 🙂

    Reply
    • Thanks for that info… folksy won’t cost me anything if I don’t get any sales, so I’ll see how it goes. However, I’m now going to check out craftsy… I’d forgotten about them!

      Reply
  2. I am very interested in this post! I have an Etsy shop where I sell very little and only ever one item to someone who doesn’t know me either in person or through my blog. I am not intending to keep my shop open once these last listings expire. I had wondered about offering items for sale through my blog alone – just having a page where items are listed and interested parties contact me directly. Sadly it is true that mass produced items have infiltrated everywhere and artists and crafters have little chance of selling their work unless it is at a market or fair where buyers can see the real thing and have come specifically to support local artisans. Good luck with finding the right place and with your sales!

    Reply
    • I think the blog option is a good one… I have sold several items through this blog even though I don’t have formal ‘listings’… I certainly plan to use the blog as a ‘gateway’ to my online shop.

      Reply
  3. That was most interesting about Etsy. How silly that they let mass produced items on. I have a friend who just sells through EBAY, she sells dolls clothes, hand knitted. One day I may take the plunge.

    Reply
    • I did think about ebay, but I really wanted to make it clear that what I’m selling is ‘special’ because it’s handmade. Folksy doesn’t charge much for listing (15p) so it’s low risk.

      Reply
  4. that’s great, as I’d like to get one of your cute bags for a friend’s birthday later on 🙂 please don’t give up! she would love that bag 🙂

    Reply
  5. Good luck with your Folksy shop, I’m off to check out Craftsy as well thanks to Shana for the info, I don’t have stock in my Folksy shop & I do tend to agree with you about Etsy I’ve had a few sales on there but I won’t ever make my fortune LOL

    Reply
    • Thank you… we’ll see how it goes 🙂
      Craftsy seems to be mostly about patterns and I’m in the process of writing a few of those, so that may be coming soon for me.

      Reply
  6. I agree that Etsy used to be the business a few years ago, but now it’s full of cheap Chinese-made rip-offs and imitations of real handmade items. I hope you find the right forum for your items – I don’t see why you shouldn’t do very well, it’s not as if what you’re selling is too niche!

    Reply
  7. Etsy has changed in the three years I’ve been selling (vintage and handmade candies) but it still gets way more traffic than other venues so I’ll stay. I see our blogs, partly, as a way to educate readers and help them appreciate handmade (and vintage) so that, when they go to Etsy, they are discerning and understand why the prices on handmade are higher . . . and that it’s worth it. Good luck wherever your search takes you!

    Reply
    • Too true – education is what’s needed. I may explore etsy again at a later date, but I don’t have huge amounts of stock yet, so I’m going to start with baby steps.

      Reply
  8. I wish that wasn’t happening on etsy. It’s too bad.

    Reply
  9. I’m sorry that the ethos on ETSY has changed. There are always those who stick their products on every available site no matter what they sell and detract from the handcrafted items. I hope you find a suitable home for your goods soon so we can tweet about it for you.
    xxx Massive Hugs xxx

    Reply
  10. This is indeed exciting and your new shop is looking lovely.

    Reply
    • Thank you… I hope the banner isn’t too misleading as I don’t intend to sell socks (well, maybe bed socks), but it’s such a nice photo of some of my knitting…. perhaps I’ll photograph a line of string bags once I have enough 🙂

      Reply
  11. Oh Pooh! I had just started dipping my feet in the idea of trawling Etsy and now it’s just a crafty EBay? Oh well… back to the drawing board! 😉 Seriously though, we need to stop this mass invasion of mass produced bampf from invading places like Etsy. I reckon the Etsy creators got greedy, just like Ebay and they are just about to see what happens to greedy people…footfall walking away from both of them en masse…

    Reply
  12. Re Etsy, I came across this article the other day (just thought you may find it interesting) http://www.jckonline.com/2014/08/18/etsy-debuts-wholesale-division?utm_source=JCK%20eNewsletters&utm_campaign=e2dfeaa867-2014_08_18_Big_Picture_Monday&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_56301e74d4-e2dfeaa867-334036161
    All the best with your Folksy shop! I’m considering setting up a ‘Made It’ shop – an Australian version of Folksy 🙂

    Reply
  13. Hi – I was going suggest Folksy too! Good luck with the new venture. Moke xx
    PS Thanks for dropping by. Mx

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: