Posts Tagged 'etsy seller'

Moving to Monday Updates

For years, I’ve made bags throughout the week and then put everything on pause when I had a sunny day (love that natural light) to take pictures, edit, create listings, and then decide when I would add what into the shop. The process is good in that adding new items multiple times a week boosts your search analytics, but in all honesty it’s time consuming. On top of that, I share my work space with my husband and there are a couple of times a week where I will pause sewing so he can make phone calls.

I’ll be the first to say that I don’t always manage my time well and it’s something I’m working on. So it would make sense for me to save the photo uploading, editing, and creating listings for those times when I’m respectfully not sewing. Making them live takes about the same amount of time for 5 listings as it does for 30, so I can save a little bit of time throughout the week if I do it all on one day. Enter in: Monday Updates.

I’ll take pictures when I have good light, work on the boring part during quiet time, and spend some time on Monday mornings renewing expired listings and sharing all the new ones. I’m not concerned with where my shop falls into search analytics right now because the “new and improved” system seems to only benefit shops offering free shipping. I tried it last week and actually was able to turn out more bags than usual!

Running your own business is a constant learning process. I know I make quality products, and now is the time to focus on quality time management.

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Makeup Bag Re-branding

I’m calling them Flat Bottom Bags now!

I ran into some makeup bag related confusion last market season, such as:

Boy- “Dad! Can I get this bag! It has dinosaurs on it!”
Adult- “No, makeup bags are for women.”

Woman- “Oh I just love this bag! But I really don’t need anymore makeup bags…”
Me- “You can use it for other things, like-”
Woman-“Its says makeup bag.”

Woman- “This is a pretty big pencil case.”
Me- “Oh, that’s a makeup bag.”
Woman-“Never mind.”

This was totally new for me, and I changed them to “Toiletry Bags” about halfway through the season. It opened them up but still left them in a niche category that most people couldn’t see past.

So I’ve changed them across the board- in my Etsy shop and will make new in-person signs. In each Etsy listing, I started by listing 5ish things that the bags can be used for, and went on to update every bag listing in the shop to start with the same information. It will probably be beneficial to make larger price signs for markets, and include the “can be used for” list on them as well.

I’m hoping this will convert more sales and allow people to see the bags for what they are: bags with almost endless uses.

Etsy Advice: photograph your mailing envelopes.

I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2011, so roughly 7.5 years. And in that time, I’ve developed some habits to make shipping out orders as smooth as possible.

In the very beginning, someone complained about my packaging style, which was to wrap a ribbon around the order and tuck the receipt under the ribbon. Now, I wrap orders in tissue paper, still tie a ribbon around it, and tuck a thank you note under the ribbon. I don’t include the receipt at all, knowing that people can print it themselves if they need it.

I used to write out all the envelopes for orders, and then wrap all the orders and place them on top of the corresponding envelopes, and then close everything up. Then one time, I mixed up two orders and sent a bird bag to Australia instead of to New York. Now, I package each order individually and completely seal them up before starting the next.

And I used to just package up orders and send them off. Until two summers ago when a package got stuck in an undeliverable mail loop for 4 days. Yes, that’s a thing. Every morning, it would go to the local post office, get sent out for delivery, get marked as undeliverable, go back to the regional post office where it was resorted, and sent back to the local post office the next morning. And you could see this mess happening in the tracking info. The buyer was eventually able to collect the package in person, which was wonderful. But mid-week, I contacted Etsy to ask advice on this bizarre situation. And Esty Support said, “Oh, just send us a picture of the package!” And I was like, “You mean when it eventually gets returned to sender?” And Etsy Support was like “LOL no like the picture you took before you mailed it.” I think it’s clear that I didn’t take a picture before I mailed it.

So now, after I wrap an order in tissue paper, and individually package it into a bubble mailer, I take a picture of it. I hold it up against my computer screen so the picture shows the envelope’s address and the mailing information provided by the buyer, and also shows the time/date on the computer. I email the picture to myself, highest quality possible, and move it to a special folder just for Etsy Shipping Labels. Since I started this photographing process, I haven’t needed it. But if I ever do? I’ll have a photograph with a time stamp, in an email with a time stamp.

Not every shop is the same, and not every order is the same, and not every brain is the same, so find whatever way works best for you to prep and mail out orders. But definitely take a picture of your packages before you send them off.

Year End Clearance Event

Oh shoot, it’s a sale!

I’m calling this the “First Ever Year End Clearance Event,” but in actuality I have no idea if I’ve done this before. I certainly haven’t offered 70% off of anything ever, so that part is confirmed new. Anyway, please enjoy 70% off select items (bags, sweater pins, magnets) now through December 31st.

Here’s a not-great group picture of some of the things on sale:

$2.55 for sweater pins? $4.65 for a small makeup bag? $3 for a zipper pouch?! What is this?!

It’s the Year End Clearance Event, that’s what.

Find everything here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheTragicWhale/items?section_id=1

 

New in the Shop: Pin Cushions

A few years ago, I made a pin cushion out of a plastic dinosaur. It was fun, and it quickly became my most-used pin cushion. I made an extra and put it in the shop, and since then have wanted to add more. So I (finally) did!

As an aside: most people know that it takes me AGES to finish projects for them. Like, YEARS. Like, HALF A DECADE. It’s one of the reasons I don’t like to take on custom orders for my shop. But even my own projects take me forever, so at least I’m consistent?

Anyway, I made a couple of dinosaurs:

And a couple of other animals:

You can find them now in the Housewares section!

Sales Stats- Q1

Last year, I had an unadvertised promotion where I sent mini pouches out with some orders. I wanted to see if it drove sales, but I had no way to measure this information.

So I dove into 2018 with a sales-measuring plan. I had a sale every week from January through March, aka Quarter 1. Some I advertised, some I didn’t. Some were for specific shop sections, some offered free shipping, and some had a minimum item requirement. And this is what I learned:

1) Sharing product images or sales details on social media drove people to the shop, but most sales still came from people browsing Etsy.

2) Sales requiring a purchase of 2+ items yielded more sales of 2+ items, but not significantly.

3) Item requirement was more successful than money requirement. Buy 2+ items & save 15% did better than spend $25, save 15%.

4) Sales for specific sections of the shop didn’t seem to yield more sales to those sections.

5) Just running a sale, ANY sale, increased traffic to my shop. I think it’s Etsy sale algorithm, where they’ll actually advertise sales and let you pick if you’re looking for free shipping.

Moving forward: Etsy is pushing free shipping. They want sellers to offer it, even when the sellers don’t think it is best for their shop. So Q2 is going to focus on shipping. I’m starting with fixed $2 domestic /$10 international shipping fees and have raised some prices in the shop to offset the price difference. I’ll let you know how it goes!

 

New in the Shop: Earrings!

I’ve been making earrings out of fishing lures for years. My favorites are the Acme Phoebe fish because they have a great shape and come in two different sizes. Whenever I spot them on sale, I grab them to make earrings. I put them away in a little tackle organizer and say, “Someday, I’ll add these to the shop.” I haven’t yet because I’ve always wanted my focus to be bags. But since adding coasters two years ago and sweater pins last yes, I thought maybe it was time to give earrings a go.

I specifically ordered stainless steel earring hooks because I want them to be more appealing to more people. My ears are happy with them so I know other people with sensitive ears will be happy with them, too.

I also made stud earrings with wooden cat buttons, at the request of my friend. I have no idea what the posts are made out of, so I only made a few. I have my own pair that I’ve been wearing around to test and they don’t bother my ears. But if I think I’m going to add more to the shop, I will definitely take the time to ensure that the posts I’m using are hypoallergenic.

They can currently be found in the Accessories Section with the sweater pins!


Hello, I’m Kerry! Maker. Sewist. Fan of all things bright.

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It's Fluff! Curious, master napper, likes to try new veggies.

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