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Old 07-09-2010, 07:48 PM
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New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Hello everyone. My name is Shane. I usually spend my time on the scratchboard and acrylic forums. I have been recently considering trying to sell artwork. I am not trying to make a fortune or get famous but I though it my be useful to make some extra money to bring into the home. I hope I am in the right are to be posting this information and questions. I have created and Etsy store and have had a few looks but mostly from my Facebook friends. My link is shanebillings.etsy.com Do any of you use Etsy and if so has it proven to be woth your time or are there other avenues I should pursue. Shoot, my artwork may not be woth selling in the first place. But I figured heck why not try. Thanks for any input.

Shane
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Old 07-10-2010, 05:42 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

It completely depends. Selling on any online venue requires a good solid marketing plan and work on your part. You need to have enough work to list consistently (don't list everything at once, space it out) to stay visible in the searches and categories. You need to spend time promoting everywhere you can, you can rarely rely on the traffic the actual site provides especially for fine art.

But at 20c a pop I think it's one of the most affordable ways, and doesn't hurt! If you aren't promoting daily you can at least use it as a place to direct people at your convenience if you don't have another online option where they can purchase. So it can be convenient.

Your work is nice! Just had a look at your shop. You need to put in your location (very important to buyers, also for being found in the 'shop local' section). You need to check if your 'no returns' policy is legal - selling original artworks doesn't make it so. In most places you are required to accept returns for internet purchases, within a certain timeframe. That policy will put off a lot of buyers. Fill in your profile! Let them know about you, you as an artist, what's interesting about your background or the art itself. If you're new to selling that's okay, think what you might want to know about someone, even just a little bit that would make you interested to go look at their work again? Ditto on your item desriptions, make them more evocative. Browse through some art listings and see how other artists do their escriptions for ideas. And USE MORE TAGS! Remember that title and tags are search terms. Use all 14! So for "Caught" for example I would recommend: art, painting, oil, original painting, landscape, woods, forest, wild turkey, hunting, hunter, realism (or realistic), colours in the painting (hard to see on my screen as I'm sitting outside), location (does it depict a certain place/city/state?). Just ideas. Tags are very very important.

That probably seems a lot but don't worry, it's time well spent. You'll be able to use all that writing elsewhere too later on if you decide to try other sites, have a blog, or do your own site. Plus it really makes you think about your work which is always a good thing.

Now Etsy itself may not be the best answer for you, but it's worth a try. Alterantives could be eBay, ArtFire, or even your own blog with paypal buttons.

Don't be afraid to ventues into the Etsy forums too. There's even a 'Critiques' forum that will look at your shop and give you advice. And there's an 'Art' thread in Techniques and Materials that is a very long thread but lots of people are chatting - feel free to pop in and say hello.

Tina.
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:21 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Tina, Thank you so much. This is just the kind of advice I was looking for. A kind of how-to guide if you will. I didn't know that about the legal issues. I will definitely check into that. I was basically going on the advice of some non-artist folks when I first posted everything. You have definitely given me some direction here and I appreciate that. Thanks for the compliment on "Caught" also. Once again thanks for the info.

Shane
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Old 07-12-2010, 09:29 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Hi Shane! Tina did give great advice. I also have an etsy shop (2, one for art, one for vintage) and although it's my least successful place to sell, I do sell. Every sale is great! Your shop is open 24/7, and you never know when you'll turn on your computer and find out someone purchased! I am not very diligent about turning etsy into a real money maker, but others are and have...it's just one place for me.

I think it really works well as a checkout, too. I am starting to blog about my more interesting vintage finds, and was thinking of doing paypal buttons on my blog, but you know? Why not just direct them to the listing on etsy and there's a beautiful checkout that I don't have to worry about!
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Old 07-12-2010, 01:42 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Thanks Robin for the information. I really need to find a way to direct more traffic to my store I guess. I listed it to my facebook friends and they looked a lot at first now it's died down. I don't particularly expect to sell anything at all. I just like it when people see it because then eventually someone may say hey rememebr that guy...
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:23 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

I joined etsy in march2010 and haven't sold a thing. I think I need to work on my tags as someone suggested. And I have learned now that i should space out my entries. My link is cpcrochetbasket. I intended to add crochet items and handmade baskets later. Another mistake I made is thinking my payment was made automatically, but you really have to stay on top of that one. I will be following this thread closely.
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Old 07-17-2010, 01:42 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Basketmaker-
Looking at your etsy shop I can see you don't have a lot of views. I have sold things in the past on etsy (not art), and the one thing I can say was the best way to get more traffic (and eventually sales!) is to continually list items. The reason for this is because things tend to get buried quite deep, and if someone doesn't know specifically what they are looking they may only see the things at the top of the category (newly listed items). I know this can be hard to do if you don't constantly have things to add, but even if you space out your work a day or two when you re-list it, then you have something toward the top of the list each day for a while, and people can then find your shop easier.

Also, I highly suggest you get very detailed with your tags. For example your strawberry piece I would include as tags: strawberries, fruit, summer, still life, red, blue, and anything else you see fit to describe your art. Using colors in the tags really helps people who don't know exactly what they want, but know the color scheme.

Hope these tips help!
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Old 07-17-2010, 08:47 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Hi Shane

Etsy has been good to me. I've sold quite a few small paintings and it's very convenient to be able to run your shop from home as opposed to art fairs, etc. There is good advice here so far. Listing and renewing is useful as well as starting a Twitter account and sharing your work with your Twitter friends. Best of luck!
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Old 07-18-2010, 10:38 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Thanks so much for the feedback misscedar. I really appreciate it. My son is going to help me use facebook which I have does help. And I have been thinking about an email list. I'l let you know how it goes.
Denise
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Old 08-10-2010, 11:06 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Etsy has been great for me, but it does take a lot of work, relisting things daily, and keeping enough items in your shop to keep buyers looking. I think it's probably a less frustrating than ebay would be.
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Old 08-16-2010, 02:31 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Tina's advice is great.

Etsy is also one of the few sites which has been resilient to the shocks of the recession. I've got some charts which indicates that while eBay sales of art are trending down Etsy has managed to stay level or increase sales.

I'm guessing some of that increase might be coming from artists who are switching from eBay to Etsy.
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:05 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Hey Katherine.

A few other sites worth looking at, by the way, though none have the traffic of etsy yet (I look at compete.com for stats and traffic trends): artfire, dawanda (europe based site), big cartel (storefront site, you bring your traffic), artfulhome (strictly juried).

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Old 08-21-2010, 12:22 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

I have been hearing about how relisting or spacing out your items on Etsy is very beneficial... do you have to pay 20 cents each time? I'm a little lost on that... If you space out the listing of your items, what happens when you've listed all of them?
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Old 08-22-2010, 06:37 PM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

I say go for it if you like an art site with an Ebay feel. I've heard good things about it.
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Old 08-23-2010, 05:49 AM
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Re: New to Etsy...Is it worth the time?

Yes, you pay for each relisting/renewing. You either renew (relist something already existing before it's expiration date) or list something new to space things out. Having a limited number of items you need to come up with a strategory that works for you. I renew often and intersperse that with listing new items. I also do small work pretty much exclusively for my online selling so have more of those in order to be able to list more often.

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