Saturday, June 28, 2008

What we have learned

If you make jewelry, let me tell you the key points I learned by starting that topic :)
Jewelry is very hard on Etsy, as you all know. So let's take a look at how some successful jewelers do it:

  1. Care about what you are making.
  2. Be unique.
  3. Put time and effort into getting people to see your jewelry.
  4. Consistantly promote.
  5. Keep business cards
  6. Don't rely on JUST Etsy. Promote outside of it!
  7. Great photographs
  8. Don't be afraid to spend $
limamike says:
"I do a lot of craft shows. I develop mailing and email lists from those (with people's permission) and market to them throughout the year. For the email list, they get a newsletter every 2-3 weeks. For mailing list, they get a postcard when I'm doing a craft show in their area.

I give a 10% discount to my customers that are on either of those lists when they come back to see me at a show. And I give referral points if they refer friends.

I started out making jewelry four years ago and had/have my own web site. I have been playing with Etsy a little, but not much. But I do this for a living now."

Alesi says:
"Promoting is key and not on Etsy you have to promote OFF etsy, think myspace,facebook,craigslist, buy ad space on a website (as long as its in your means)

Create create create! The truth is you have to keep putting new product up to stay afloat the search engine. Which truly does suck because within 30 minutes of listing you can find yourself on page 100 something

Pictures matter also, unfortunately I am still learning the ropes of that one

Competitive pricing. Analize your niche and see if your pricing is fair. This is a delicate issue because you have buyers who would rather pay less, then you have buyers who wont pay less because they believe less= lesser quality which is NOT always the case

Get the word out, sign your emails with your etsy url. Send an email to your friends telling them to forward your etsy shop to their friends and so on and so forth."

"I've been here since January and I've netted more than a grand. Honestly, I think having a unique, stand-out item that no one can get anywhere else is extremely important. And also having clear consistent photographs seems to make a big difference, too. When I first started, I signed up for a couple of showcases, and initially it really helped get the word out about my shop.

Most of my work comes from repeat customers, so having excellent customer service is a MUST. And, on top of all of that, I pray a good bit for frequent sales, lol!

I actually don't spend a whole lot of promoting, but I have been known to frequent the chat rooms and make connections with like-minded artists.

I've been in about 15 treasuries, or so, but I haven't gotten any sales from that yet, nor have I received an abundance of hearts from that arena either.
That's about it."

"I'm not sure if i'm successful in the broad sense, but I like to think I am :) I do it by knowing EXACTLY who I am targeting and bringing them to my shop. I don't rely on Etsy to do anything but make sure the site is up and running :)"

"I sell my jewelry in more than one venue, I also do craft fairs and shows. At those events I hand out business cards with my Etsy shop information."

geelizzie says:
I sell costume jewelry and soldered glass pendants. I think I've sold a lot because:
My prices are very reasonable and would attract an impulse buyer.

Nothing has to be custom made unless requested that way so there's no waiting weeks for something to be shipped.

I ship every day so my customers get their orders fast.

My glass pendants are mostly one of a kinds so my customers know they will have a unique necklace.

I list, list, and list some more-at the very minimum about 10 times a day.

I have a generous return policy and will refund if a package goes missing.

It did take 6 months to start seeing regular sales in my shop and a lot of hard work.
I don't do much outside promoting, but once you start selling, the word will spread about your shop, especially if you treat your customers right.

Morashajewelry says:
My sales started coming after I changed the way I took pictures. I believe it's all about the shot especially since the majority of my things are over 20 dollars it's important to have really great pictures so that the customer feels like they have the item right in front of them.
Also great customer service. Even with the few sales I have, many are return customers.

Photoshop has also come up in this topic :)

Some of us are just lucky:

chinaberry says:
i've done nothing to promote my shop on etsy. i have just under 900 sales in 6 months. business is good. i think realistic prices, half way decent photos, excellent customer service, fast shipping and adding new things throughout the week have all paid off.

urbanwoodswalker says:
Its really hard...because You gotta make it and list it constantly. The photography, is another time consuming situation, as is tweaking the photos in photoshop and copy writing the listing. I find when sales are hopping, I gotta put in 15+ hours days.....and I can't keep that up. Life gets in the way.

UncommonBeads says:
its tough!
My jewelry shop has evolved a lot over the past year...I look back on the early photos and descriptions and wonder how I got any sale! I think times are tough for a lot of people and jewelry isn't up there on the list of things to spend money on...
with that said, it really helps to have awesome photos, great descriptions and a unique, very well made product.
Also research trends and styles for upcoming seasons....

"You just need to wait when someone who has looked for specific colour or shape happens to see your items.
There's a little chance that would happen,
so you must work hard for those few views too :)"

UncommonBeads says:
One other thing I'll add, and something I will begin doing is to display my necklaces on a bust of some sort and the earrings from a more interesting anchor....I find the shops that sell well display their wares this way...also, as a side note, last christmas, I shopped exclusively on etsy for my jewelry presents! My hubby was quite generous and let me pick a few from my faves, so lets support each other this season!

I try and keep myself visable. I spend about $2 a day relisting/listing/renewing. This keeps my items in the first 10-20 categorie pages. My shop is cohesive, the backgrounds and lighting are consistent, so there is a flow, I think this is very important. You want the overall look to your shop to be pleasing to the eye.

I know it is a bit scary, but I have learned you have to spend money to make money, period. Start out slow. Renew once in the morning, lunchtime, and around 8pm. That's .60 a day. I really don't know if it work for everyone, but I think it's worth a shot. It is the cheapest way to advertise that I know of.

keepsakekatie says:
I renew one item every day and that is it. My etsy fees would rocket otherwise.

I also like to make sure the front page of my shop looks appealing, like last week i realised the first 5 items were red, so I had to relist a couple of things to mix up the colours a bit!

Designsbyreese says:

One comment on renewing.....Make sure to update your pictures. My older pictures are not nearly as good as my more recent ones. I renewed an item the other day that I just should have pulled off!

jorgensenstudio says:
Lisaslovelies is right. You have to spend a little to make more. Advertise outside of etsy, even with a team or group. Keep you shop consistant with pictures, backgrounds, and the general feel.
Pictures are the main thing make sure they are really good, maybe even pay an art student to take them.
Or just keep trying new ways to tweek the pictures by following all the advise in the other forum threads.
Have really great packaging and customer service so your customer is wowed when they get their item in the mail and they will return.

The most important..have a unique and quality product.

Well, I learned a lot!


maryeb said...

Good idea to consolidate all of the ideas from the thread into your blog entry. Thanks.

Liz said...

You have wonderful suggestion and ideas you and can tell you care about your work.