Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Etsy, Place to Buy and Sell Handmade

I found my way to etsy about a year ago. I found many great artists and a lot of great arts and crafts there. I haven't touched my account on Etsy for a while, but now I'm finally back and loving it. There are a lot of changes that make my life so much easier. Lets get back to basics though, what is Etsy? It's a site where people can sell anything that is art/craft as well as supplies for them. It works a lot like ebay, except this one is made specially for artists and those who would like to buy art. The whole site is organized into categories so that you can easily find your way around. Each seller gets his or her own store which also can be organized. Etsy doesn't charge much, it's $0.20 to list an item plus 3.5% after the item is sold.

Problems I had with etsy a year ago were few, but they are now fixed. It was difficult, for example, to have discounts. You had to sell an item for a regular price, charge the customer full price and after this payment went through you had to send the money back (this is how it worked with paypal at least.) Now, they have a new coupon system. You can create as many coupon codes as you would like and people can use the coupon code when purchasing from your store. This is such a great and helpful tool as it not only makes sales easier, but it can also help track customers. For example, you can create a coupon code specially for Facebook and promote it on Facebook only. When someone uses a coupon you will know where this customer came from. This can help figure out what sites are better to advertise on.

Another great change is apps. You can now add apps to your account and they can help you stay on track as well. One app I added is for international shipping. It automatically calculates shipping cost so that you don't have to. I can't begin to describe how hard it was for me to figure out sipping costs to put in my listings. Since I didn't want to charge people too much, I would end up sending the money back if the shipping cost was more than a dollar less than what I got.

Etsy is constantly improving, they do their best to help shops and teach sellers how to make more sales. I constantly receive very helpful emails from them with tutorials on how to take better pictures, how to promote, how to use their new features and much much more. Information I learned there alone is worth it.

I plan on using my Etsy shop to sell my original artwork while selling prints through Red Bubble. There are many people though who sell prints through Etsy as well. They make prints and sell them as they would any other item. I am too lazy to make my own prints however, so I figured I'd rather divide the load between the two sites.

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