Monday, November 30, 2009

Eyes On Your Shop?

Everyone has their own idea of what helps to get a shop seen all year 'round, and this helpful Pimp Your Shop Storque article wraps up some of the best approaches out there - both on and off Etsy.

What are you doing to pimp your shop now, and for the year ahead? Do you set a promotion budget (money AND time)? What strategies have proven most effective? And really, does spamming the chat rooms with promos ever actually work?

Image from Team member TheExtentofSilence's shop.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Giveaway from Bohemeanne!

Team member bohemeanne took time to answer a few questions about her life and her shop (adding, too, that she's a big Quentin Tarantino fan). She has also spelled out the details of a big giveaway worth $50 - be sure to read right to the end for all the info you need.
Q. How did you find Etsy? What are the advantages, for you, in selling (and buying) online in general, and on Etsy in particular?
A. I was a reader of Bust Magazine and saw a lot of ads in the back for Etsy shops. The merchandise was very appealing to me since I've never classified myself as someone who wears "normal" clothing or tries to follow current trends. Once I started browsing Etsy, I was astonished by the fact that there were people just like me out there. I had also joined up on the forum, which had a lot of Etsians on it. Before I knew it I was hooked.
Q. How does your work fit into your day-to-day life? Do you have a routine to accommodate work and creative demands with real life?
A. My life has done a total 360 in the past year so fitting in my arts in crafts isn't a question; I just need to for my own sanity. From life threatening illnesses, to financial crisis-I've been through it all at the young age of 28. I have an 18 month old son who is the love of my life, and a husband who I know doesn't always quite understand it, has een very supportive of my artistic outlets. My day consists of wondering
how much I can jam in before my body gives up-but everyday I give my best effort.
Q. Did you take classes or courses to learn the skills you need to make your work, or were you self taught?
A. I had planned on being an art teacher after high school and made it until my junior year when I ran out of money and had no choice but to get a full time job to support myself. I was always an artistic person, and always opted to make things before I bought them so it was only natural for me to keep on trying to learn new arts and crafts on my own. I'm self taught in a lot of areas and very proud of it. If I had the money I would continue formal education but it's financially impossible for us right now.
Q. What are your inspirations?
A. Color, impressionistic art, textures, vintage styles, hippies, the 60's era, and true passion for life.
Q. How long did it take you to make your first sale on Etsy? How did those early sales go for you?
A. About 6 months. I'm still struggling. I've heard so many different views and opinions about why my shop doesn't sell that sometimes I just find it annoying. The number one thing that I can't stand is complaining about prices. If you were struggling to pay bills and put food on the table you may not want to charge an extraordinary price for your work either. It has never been about me selling a terrible product, or not having enough faith in myself. It's only because we desperately need the money. Snobby artists can bite me!
Q. What have been your most successful approaches to promotion or advertising? What promotion strategies haven't worked as well?
A. Daily posting of new items seem to work the best for me. had boosted my views as well but I haven't seen any sales from it yet. I never seem to do well with % off sales and I haven't a clue why. I love facebook and twitter, they help me a lot.
Q. As a seller and a buyer, what do you find to be important aspects of customer service?
A. Quality for price. Nothing is worse then saving up to buy something to be really disappointed when you receive the item. Also, friendliness. I can't tell you how many times I was completely turned off by someone's attitude when considering a sale especially in a chat. I offer as much as I possibly can to my buyers including a 100% money back guarantee. If there is anything I can do for you, I probably will! I want to see you back again and again!
Q. What advice would you give to a new seller, or to someone who wants to give their established shop a boost?
A. I think the most important thing to remember is to have faith in what you are selling. If you believe in it and put your all behind it-then I think people will be more inclined to buy from you. Don't be afraid to be yourself, and for god sakes-be original!
Q. What are your favourite shop/s?
A. I have soooo many. I urge you to go through my favorite shops on my Etsy. I also have to give a shout out to my lovely friend Kerry Palumbo at Ferrousious who has helped me along my creative path a lot lately and has been super supportive

bohemeanne's specials - she says:
For November and December leave a comment to seller stating "blog" and receive 20% your entire order.
All purchases in bohemeanne's shop are eligible for free gift wrap upon request, and as mentioned above, if there is anything she can do for you don't hesitate to ask!
Leave a comment for this blog saying what your favorite items in her shop are to win a Super Boho Blowout gift set that will feature sample items from bohemeanne's shop worth $50!!!! She says "It will include a scarf, headband, jewelry and other fantastic goodies. This is one hell of a gift! Comment away by:
Tweeting about this blog, and posting the link
Blogging about this blog
Featuring a link on your facebook, don't forget to add the link so boheamme can count it.
Each of these will count as one entry and bohemeanne will draw a winner on December 12th. Good luck!

Congratulations to the Gift Set winner, HeathensHearth!
Bohemeanne has made her selection, and the winner of the $50-value gift set from her shop is HeathensHearth! Congrats!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Holiday Sparkle

With just weeks until we're in the thick of the winter holidays (even sooner for US Thanksgiving), shoppers are busily buying for their own special needs, and of course for gifts. Over a million items sold on Etsy during October (adding up to $17.7 million in goods) - now that's sparkle!

Team member Balanced has plenty of sparkle in her shop, ready for all those holiday shoppers - including those who are avoiding the rush by ordering with plenty of time for local and international deliveries. And using one of the pictures in every listing to show exactly how it will be gift wrapped makes that purchase decision easier too.

How have you added sparkle to your shop for holiday browsers? Use the Comments to show us your seasonal items and gift presentation (please sign with your shop name too, if it's not the same as your blog name).

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Power of Tags

Not THAT kind of tags, although aren't the cheerful tags from Team members ThePaperButton and hdawnparratt in this post tempting?

But this is more about those powerful tags that are part of every listing, and can help bring shoppers to your shop by making it easier for them to search for what they're looking to buy. Etsy is jam-packed with information about making every one of those tags work hard for you. A few highlights:
Step-by-step walk-through, with brainstorming tips
Stuck for appropriate style words? Check this list!
An innovative approach to selecting and using tags

Another tip for using tags - include your Team tag. Every time a Team member wants to make a Treasury of chatters, and when I'm looking for items to illustrate this blog or to include in the ChatTeam mini, it starts with a search for Team tags.

The official Team profile (established when the Team was formed) shows our search word is ChatTeam, but there are a few variations, including "chat team" and "chatters." Next time you're listing or renewing, why not add a tag for your Team?

How are you using tags to boost your sales for the upcoming holiday season, and beyond?

Judith / jswrites