Thursday, August 11, 2011

tid bits of info I've learned for selling on Etsy

In the past couple of weeks I have listed 31 items for sale on Etsy and found out that there is a steep learning curve to selling on etsy!

I thought it would be simple.
Step 1: crochet item
Step 2: photograph item
Step 3: list item on etsy
Step 4: watch the items sell...

Wrong! lol! Silly me! hehehe:0)

After barely any views and no sales in the past couple weeks, I started reading articles on Etsy on how to market your stuff so it sells.

One tid bit of information I learned was that apparently, people who shop on Etsy don't want a "thing", they want an item with a story! They can get a "thing" (read: an item off a shelf in Walmart with a tag that says Made In China), so that when someone asks them "Where did you get that gorgeous purse?" their reply might be something like:

"I bought it in Walmart. It kind of looks like a beach and water with fish in it."
(I'm using my Ocean purse as an example, IF I were to sell it. NO, I am NOT selling it:0)

No, they want to be able to reply:

"I bought it on Etsy. Isn't it Unique?! The designer loves the Ocean and would love to live there. She is also fanatical about the Environment and this crocheted felted purse was her way of getting the message out there that we need to clean up our Oceans and beaches and keep them clean if we want to be able to enjoy them! She hates that more and more species of Ocean life are going extinct every day and tries to use her creativity and artistic talent to get the word out there about the dire straights of our environment. The fish skeleton represents the fish that are dying and becoming extinct.

The designer used eco friendly food coloring to dye some of the wool because she couldn't find the colors she needed. She tries to be environmentally friendly by using upcycled materials and found objects in her works when she can."

I did not know that. Now I do. Huh. I guess I have a lot of re-writing of my descriptions to do!

They don't want: "wool, crocheted, felted purse. Looks like beach and ocean with fish charms." That doesn't give them anything to talk about when asked about their wonderful new purse.

No, they want a conversation piece. They want:
"Watch the fish swimming in the ocean and pick sea shells on the beach with this Ocean inspired crocheted, felted 100% wool purse with silver shell charms and delightful fish swimming amongst the coral and sea weed!

I love the Ocean and would love to be able to walk the beaches every day looking for treasures in the sand. I included a fish skeleton charm to the beach to draw attention to the state of our oceans and the sad fact that there are many species of ocean life going extinct every day."

That description gives them fodder for a good conversation! It gives them a very interesting and very unique, One-Of-A-Kind Work of Art to hold all their precious items, that no one else will have! Not a mass produced "purse" that 500 other people have.

There you have it.

I decided that if I am a newbie seller that knows nothing about marketing my works of art, then so are a lot of other people. There is a big learning curve to marketing on Etsy and I thought I would pass along any tidbits I pick up to others in the same position. I hope this helps someone and they find it useful. Now I'm off to re-write 29 listings:0)

Sunday, August 7, 2011

updated photos of the crocheted, felted free form ocean purse

Here are some more photos of the crocheted felted free form Ocean purse I was making myself.

Here's the front with the flap open. The handle on this side was made to look like seaweed or kelp. I even crocheted some free form coral.

Here's the back view. The handle on this side was made to look like different colored coral.

The greeny-brown, orange and yellow were originally the color of the base (off white) the colors were the result of dying the yarn with food coloring.

Here are a few sea life charms I added before felting in the washing machine.

Here;s a cool fish bead I found that I thought would make an awesome button to close the flap on the purse. Too bad it broke apart in the machine:( Hubby thinks he can glue it together with a special glue.

A cool spiral charm makes it look like a swirl in the water currents:)
A little fish swimming in the coral:)

Will post photos of the finished felted purse later. Still needs a liner put in as the finished purse is a bit roomy and is really hard to find stuff in. Also, stuff keeps falling out of the holes in the free form. I've lost a couple of pens this way;0)

crocheted teachers gift

This is a pashmina style shawl/scarf I made for my daughter's teacher at the end of the year (June 2011). I used a yarn called Midas by herwool. It is a cream colored ladder yarn with a gold thread zig zagging through it. Very pretty and works up beautifully. The teacher loved it and couldn't wait to wear it!

This is a close up of the yarn.

new crocheted coffee cup jacket listings on etsy

I've been busy the past week or so listing more coffee cup jackets on etsy. The total is now up to 15 ! I have more ready to photograph as well, hopefully today, then I can list them. Here's a few pics of my favorite listed ones:

This one is worked in a unique lacy linked dc stitch I "invented". It reminds me of wicker. I'll make one in a brighter color and post so you can see it better.

This one is a particular fave of mine as it's my favorite color, lime green! The colorful bits of metallic thread in it gives it a bit of sparkle without being overdone.

This one reminds me of the beach! The aqua blue tropical waves lapping the sandy beach with bits of shells in the sand and the blue sky overhead.... can't you just hear the waves? I want to make another one, but add a bit of shell or 2 and sea shell charms...

I've been working on some unique coasters as well. I am making some right now and should be able to photograph and list them today. I won't spoil the surprise, but I will give you a hint....your Dentist or Orthodontist would love it!

The coasters done in the unique ribbing stitch I mentioned are giving me a bit of trouble. I had the pattern down a couple of years ago, but wasn't completely happy with the finished product. It was a bit sloppy looking and not crisp and finished enough for my liking so I decided it needed tweaking before I was ready to publish it. It's proving a bit tricky to get right, but I'm almost there. I will keep you informed of my progress and hopefully will be ready to publish it soon. I am going to try to post a "sneak peek" pic or 2 today:0)