Thursday, June 28, 2007

Not Handmade

It makes me so sad when I see resellers remain on Etsy for long periods of time. I flag, I flag, I flag, and for some reason these people are given the benefit of a doubt. They have nothing written in their bio. They don't claim to make anything. Their items don't look handmade. They are listing from very suspicious countries. Their clothing has obvious creases and wrinkles. That does not happen on freshly sewn clothing [even if you use wrinkled fabric, the wrinkles won't align on new seams].

Very discouraging.

Sunday, June 24, 2007


I started a non-Etsy job two weeks ago. I thought that I would still have a lot of sewing time, and I think I do, but I... don't spend it sewing. I spend it making lattes and relaxing after work. Where does the time go?

So I have had to consider with new variables what my lead time is. It's hard because I don't really know. It stressed me out that I was getting so far behind in orders that I inactivated all my listing that weren't ready-made. And then oddly enough, I sold a ton of them [ready ones]. Weird. Maybe because my shop is smaller, or more interesting, or more not arm warmers? Haha.

It really did help me to unstress [or "stress down" as my non-native English-speaking boyfriend would say]. But now I'm spending more time convoing and arranging custom items. It is reassuring to hear that a lot of people aren't in a big hurry to for me to finish. Coincedence?

Ok, no great selling tips here, just reality.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Internationalizing Your Store

Have some downtime? Think about how to "internationalize" your store. At a minimum, I offer shipping to Canada, the UK, and Australia [I am American]. Most int'l buyers realize that New Zealand's rate is the same as Australia and that Germany is the same as the UK and so forth. Save yourself time by using Etsy's shipping profiles for items you sell frequently and bookmark the USPS calculator to estimate charges.

I also suggest providing cm and inches for measurements. If discussing measurements, use cm and kilograms NOT inches, pounds, and ounces when convoing with anyone non-american. If you are selling clothing, it is important for you to specify that your size is a US, UK, Euro, Japan or whatever else. They are all different and your buyer may not even think about it when they are looking! Wouldn't they be disappointed to recieve your dress in the mail after doublechecking the size and it doesn't fit. As a tangent, this is why I put actual measurements as well.

And finally, concerning language. Simplifying and clarifying your descriptions will be good hospitality to int'l shoppers. Be aware that some of our English phrases get very cryptic when translated directly. You may not be understood when you abbreviate, misspell and use acronyms. When reviewing your shop, think about how you would fare reading a similar description in a language that is not your first. Would you want it simpler?

Consider dialects. British English is different from American English. You really need to look into what similar items are being called and desribed elsewhere. Vests, jumpers, badges, fibre!

I have had many shoppers ask questions about items that show that they are struggling with English. I am not even sure if they understand my responses. Be sure to demonstrate a willingness to re-explain. Be straightforward.

Don't assume that people who don't understand English great aren't on Etsy looking for items. They are!

Some quick pointers:

  • use "because" not "cause" or "cuz" or "cos"
  • use "want to" not "wanna"
  • use " I don't know" not "dunno"
  • do not use "ttyl", "jlk", "LOL", "PM" and other computer jargon phrases when convoing

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Profits after fees

Everyone on Etsy has at least these variables that cut into their profit margin:

  • Etsy listing fee: .20
  • Etsy commission: 3.5% of item sale price [not shipping]
  • PayPal fee: .30 + 2.9% of total reciept [item+shipping]*
And I must add, not everyone pays by paypal. But seriously... almost everyone does.

For a $1.50 item, the actual recieved money will be .89. Wow. That's only 59% of the sale price. So make sure your low ticket items are worth it!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007


Woah. was actually removed? Sweet.

I guess it's nice to know that there is a line that can be crossed as far as crappy service [or fraud, if you will].

Variable Total Tutorial

I made a tutorial that is for rookie PayPal users. In the future, I hope to link to this page in some of my listings that have variable prices. Like if I would charge an extra 5 dollars to add straps, then I would say "price with straps" and "link here for how to pay that different amount." There are other uses for the page, or paying this way. I mention a few on the page. OK, here it is:

Variable Total PayPal Payment Tutorial

Anyway, it would be nice if buyers would do that so I don't have to send invoices. You know?

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Etsy Admin Jared's view on copying

Just FYI, I came across this comment to a thread about copying. Check out Jared's response:

"If you want my personal opinion, I embrace it.

I freely make my work available at every level possible ( I understand that nothing I create is truly novel. I believe in the collective human consciousness. I believe art wants to be free. I find happiness in giving it away. This philosophy has brought me great rewards. Like Earl says, karma. ;)"
Um... what? I find this response very naive and idealistic. It completely ignores the reality that some people are willing to rip off the creativity of others in order to personally profit. How is anyone supposed to make a living selling on Etsy (the stated goal of Etsy) when others are ripping off their ideas?

Sorry to rain on your Etsy parade. This pisses me off.


Update: The Wiki now uses Captcha, so this problem is solved.

As I write, the EtsyWiki is getting spam posted on it at the rate of one every 3 minutes. I never saw this as a problem on the wiki before. I'm not on the wiki all the time, actually I am rarey there, so I wonder if this is just a coincendence that I would notice it, or if this is a common problem that commonly gets cleaned up.

I alerted two Etsy admins personally by convo, but didn't recieve any responses or see any reaction on the wiki. Funny thing is, I know one of them was online because they had posted on the forums in the last 15 minutes. I also started a forum post about it, but I wouldn't expect a prompt response from a forum thread ever.

Yes, I realize it is a Sunday, but... if a guy is working on the forum anyway, couldn't he do something about it?

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Big Sellers

This is the old list. New list here.

Also, the Etsy wiki is doing a great job of keeping the top sellers up-to-date. And you can add you and your friends there without my intervention! So, please find to post to. I will keep here those that haven't quite made it to the "official list" yet.

PreciousPups 900
kitsandcaboodles 900
botanicalbird 900
soapstore 900
jennaappleton 900
vintagethisretrothat 800
DanielleDIY 800
pegasussoaps 800
projectgrabbag 800
blacksheepdesigns 800
LillyQueen 800
castleman 700
akaisilks 700
ficklefaerie 700
mLee 700
veryvintage 700
lachapina 700
creativedesignz 600
limescreen 600
dlkdesigns 600
ingero 600
ChezMichelle 600
MissPurl 600
MLouIsPink 600
vintagethisretrothat 600
doubledippedsweets 600
MeMaColdProcessSoaps 600
Spiderbite 600
odannysgirl 600
paperplanet 500
jewelrybytara 500
amberalexander 500
glittersniffer 500

Monday, June 4, 2007

Views and Hearts
How is it possible that an item I listed can get 137 views [and counting] in one day, and yet no one hearts it? Maybe everyone HATES it! Ha.

Update: Still a bazillion views [229], and just one heart. I wonder if I will ever have such a small proportion of views to hearts ever again.

Makes me paranoid that someone keeps viewing it to copy it or something. That would explain why it's not hearted. But it still could be that people hate it and they click for a good laugh. :P