So the plan today, was to review InkSpotWorkshop, this new little store I found on Etsy that has SOOOOO much fun stuff on it, I can't even DECIDE what to order! But today, instead, I'm talking about MY Etsy, or moreso, my experiences with it that even led me to opening my OWN store on it...
Thing is with Etsy, is it's DAMNED easy. Like me, you'll probably start off as a Buyer - you'll follow a link off this blog, or many others, and you'll see this FANTASTIC set of handmade something or other. You'll decide you MUST own it too, so you'll signup for a username, add a thing (or two) to your cart, and away you go on what I'd call a pretty "regular" online transaction experience. So far, with purchasing, I've always purchased from a single seller at a time though, so it's been pretty straight forward. The only problem I THOUGHT I ran into was one seller didn't ship to Canada. Well I "convo'd" her using the "Conversations" function, and whammo, she said to just fill in a fake address to the US and put my real address in the "Notes to Seller". Okay!!
The problem with Etsy though is that it's very VERY addictive. For a picky shopper like me, there's just SOOOOO much stuff out there that I actually find it pretty overwhelming sometimes. While I haven't purchased from everyone I want to yet (including InkSpotWorkshop - go go go people!), there's a ton of good stuff out there. The REAL problem however is BECAUSE there's so much stuff out there, their "Search" tool doesn't work that great. When I search for "cards", I get such an array of stuff I both would AND wouldn't buy, it's kinda tough to sort through it all quickly. The trick I've learned however is to find a seller you like, go to a SPECIFIC product they're listing, and look through their "tags". THOSE tags can act like an "advanced search" and will help you weed out the crap you don't want.
So you've learned that buying is easy, you've learned getting shipping to anywhere you want CAN be easy, and you've learned how to search through Etsy like a mofo - now what? Well, it's time to set up a store... or at least set one up if you've got something that fits in their rules (ie. handmade, supplies, vintage). Cuz the OTHER thing with Etsy, is that you can become a seller too. While I haven't COMPLETELY set the Bloorb store up yet (uh, there's no products listed), the actual ACT of becoming a seller could NOT have been easier. And if you're looking for a low-risk way of trying out something you've always wanted to do anyway, it could NOT be cheaper.
Becoming a Seller on Etsy is pretty much a one-two-three kinda thing. I haven't gotten to #3 yet - that's on the task list TODAY - but #1 and 2 I did in about 3 hours last night. Quick. Easy. Painless.
- Use the username you set up previously. If you don't LIKE the username you used, they're not real fond of switching your username for you, so you're better off just setting up a new one and never using the previous one again.
- Come up with a store name, banner, profile, and some policies. The first three are the usual kind of fun when doing something new, the last one is a bit tougher, but when you're done, I promise it will make you feel all OFFICIAL and shit.
- Start listing products. Each product costs you $0.20 to list it, and can be listed for up to 4 months before it expires and you need to pay $0.20 again. The trick to never paying for a listing twice - it SEEMS - is to only ever list "1 item available". I see a LOT of Sellers doing this and I think they're doing it so they only pay the $0.20 per SALE, rather than for something that might sit and sit and sit, and have to be listed again and again and again.
So after you've done your one-two-three kinda thing, you're off to the races. If you're lucky, you'll sell a few things and pay Etsy a 3.5% sales fee (to thank them for being your store and managing this whole web thing you would have no clue about on your own). If you're NOT lucky, well, what'd you spend? $1.00 listing 5 items? An evening setting up your store?
Two VERY big thumbs up from me.
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