The Integral Workings of Etsy

Starting up the Etsy shop this year has been an interesting process.  Before I set it up in favour of my old costuming site which is being emptied and will be closed when my contract ends I did a huge amount of research.  There’s a wealth of information within Etsy itself about *how to do this, why not try that, this is what worked for some people etc*.

And it’s a very supportive selling arena with lots of teams and forums and blogs and – well, there’s enough there to have me at the PC all day if I had the time.

One very interesting investigation I did was into the pricing recommendations made by not only Etsy but by other seller communities, two of which are based here in the UK.  They were almost polar opposites in their advice.  here in the UK the advice was, *make lovely things, make sure you get back what it cost to make it, but you probably can’t charge for your time, people won’t want to pay if you add in your time….*

What??  Do it for free then?  Don’t factor in any product research (who else makes these? what do they charge? how will it be packaged? where are they made?), resourcing materials at best price, plus packaging and little finishing touches, a proportion of time for photos and editing them and for the time it takes to list things?

Etsy on the other hand encourages sellers to offer the most realistic price for the item being offered and to take it on the chin if you yourself would be unable to afford your own items.  They are clear about not underselling yourself and that every single element that goes into your work should be factored in.  That said, if you visit the forums there are plenty of sellers who do as I do which is factor everything in, add it all up, wince a bit and then start adjusting so that you offer a unique item at a reasonable price.

And there are many other factors that go into having an Etsy store – the time it takes to build your links through Treasuries and Circles and forum support…..just as in the real world networking is a major factor into getting people to look at your store – and that’s only from within the world of Etsy.

But here’s the thing – I found a site today called Craftcount that offers an easy way to see who the top sellers are.  And most of them sell a lot of items that are as cheap as chips. Small, simple easy to sell items.  I had already picked this up from the forums but it didn’t really sink in until today.

So my dish of bits and pieces that still need to be photographed and listed will be bolstered by as many cheap as chips items as I can make.

I can feel a stash of earrings coming on……


2 thoughts on “The Integral Workings of Etsy

  1. mich says:

    sadly though, Etsy isn’t as strict in their policies as they like to make out.
    It does annoy me though when I see (for example) well made dolls that a lot of time and effort has gone into, selling for something stupid like £15, yet some horrible sock creature type thing goes for £100+.
    I don’t like the idea of people undercutting to get the sales either, which can in effect devalue everyone elses work….

  2. That’s true, but from what I’ve seen on other seller forums the same problem applies. And your doll vs sock creature is a good point – unfortunately the doll seller wants to sell and undercuts, the sock creature seller is laughing all the way to the bank if it sells….. point is, what is sock creature seller doing right to be able to charge and GET that kind of price that fabulous doll maker isn’t…..?

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