So I've been an Etsy seller for nearly three weeks now, but I've yet to make a sale on the site. I'm not sure if there isn't enough awareness of Etsy or if there is just too much competition or if it's just a cruddy economy and slow to move items. But I find myself being completely addicted to monitoring the site and daily check it to see if I'm having any luck.
For those of you not familiar with the site or selling on it, there are actually some pretty good incentives - it only costs 20 cents to post an item, with five photos and the option to feature it on your own store. There's also no charge for your own store front. The other cool benefit - items stay live on the site for up to 4 months - that's right, 4 months of exposure for 20 cents! So huge bonuses over Ebay which charges you insertion fees, fees for extra photos, fees to make your item stand out and massive final value fees if you actually sell something. Did I mention most Ebay auctions are for only 5 days, the longest auction is 30 days and costs you about 5-6x the Etsy listing prices. And don't get me started on final value fees! It used to be that Ebay would charge you 12% on the final selling cost of your item, which is a bit steep, but they made it worse! They now charge you the full 12% on not just the selling cost of your item, but also the cost of postage! They claim it's in order to keep postage costs low, but for those of us that don't mark up postage we're just losing money... On the other hand Etsy only charges a 3.5% final value fee on the item, not item and postage. Making it much, much more reasonable.
The other really super cool thing I like about Etsy is the site tracker. I can monitor the traffic to my site, how many people looked at an item, how many visited the store, the words they searched to get them there, where they came from and if they "favorited" an item or my store. I love this! I find myself constantly trying to push site traffic. I post on Facebook and Twitter. Link to the store via this blog and create treasuries all the time. What are treasuries? They're 16 individual items (not your own) that fit any theme you want that you post for others to view. The folks you feature usually repost the treasury, or favorite it or start to follow you or your shop - all of which improves site traffic. If you visit my Etsy page I believe you can see my treasuries or look for mheth as the curator to pull them up.
The final two pieces I've decided to do to push traffic and try to gain sales are promotions and buying key words. Etsy offers coupons that you can customize for your site. So I created a coupon code that I've put on postcards to hand out at my flea market events and a code for my electronic communications, like this blog, Twitter and Facebook. For those of you reading this - your code is Post15. Click on the Etsy viewer on the right and if you purchase something use the code to get 15% off!
Buying key words is brand new to the site - just launched last week. It basically works the same as Google Adwords - the site helps you come up with the key words you use most in tagging your items and creates ads to push your products if someone searches your key words. My ad buy starts tomorrow - so I'll be very curious to see if it drives traffic the way it indicates it should!
Even if you're not interested in buying - you should hop on the site and look around, so many things are available and you never know what you may find!