I opened my Etsy store in 2008 and kids it was a different Etsy then. I made sales almost as soon as I posted new pieces of my jewelry. I was a novice jewelry artist back then, and my inventory was small, but I enjoyed a modicum a success.
Being new to not only making jewelry, but selling online, I quickly became overwhelmed. Etsy, however, was not one of the causes of my dwindling interests. The site was easy to use, made running a shop simple and provided forums in which I learned a great deal from other shop owners. In the intervening years I have made and sold jewelry for friends and family and the occasional arts and crafts fair. Selling online was not a priority because I never expected to be as successful as those who constantly found themselves basking in the glow of Etsy’s front pages.
Now time has brought a renewed spirit and excitement to selling my jewelry again. My enthusiasm has led not only to more items for sale in my shop, but also the embracing of Twitter pages, Pinterest boards and, ta-da! A blog!
Etsy has changed over the years. Those changes are regularly discussed in forums on the site so I don’t feel the need to reiterate them here. Suffice to say that selling on Etsy comes down to luck and visibility. I’ve read e-books on the topic of selling on Etsy and none of the tips provided led to more sales. Frustrated over not being able to make sales led me to ponder this question: is there a better way?
First, let me stress that my needs for an online shop are pretty simple in theory. I want an easy to use store front that looks great, can provide some statistical feedback, allows for payment and different methods of paying, and has traffic so my jewelry can be seen by a lot of potential clients. Some sellers have greater needs than I but for my purposes I can only speak of what I know.
I could launch my own e-commerce site, but visibility would still be a huge issue. Plus, these sites can be rather expensive. Marketing would take up more time than creating and that’s not how I want to spend my time. Is Etsy the only option for me based on what my needs as a shop owner? Thankfully, no!
A quick Internet search introduced me to many other websites that host storefronts like Etsy. Some are for arts, vintage and handmade items and others host shops that sell a little bit of everything. There definitely is something for everyone out there, but what is out there for me?
I’ve decided to “test drive” two other sites while maintaining my Etsy store and I am taking you along for the ride! Over the next month or so, I will be sharing my experiences with these new store fronts and their impact-be it positive or negative-on my little jewelry business.
I have chosen Artisouls and Artfire. I recently read Artfire is second only to Etsy so I am eager to see if this fact can increase my sales. So far, I have registered and opened shops on both sites. (Do check them out and give me some feedback!) I have not gotten all of my inventory up on both yet but I am working on it.
So, you can expect an update about once week on how all of my shops are doing. I hope my experiences can be of help to others in the boat I find myself paddling along!
Until next time, Happy Beading!