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View Tennessee's profile

Etsy sellers having tissy fits

by Tennessee
posted 06-02-2017 12:08 PM


17 replies so far

View Jim Jakosh's profile

Jim Jakosh

21739 posts in 3308 days


#1 posted 06-02-2017 12:38 PM

That great that you are having such success. You must have a good product at a good price for the customer.

I have been on there for a few years. This year I changed credit cards and forgot about ETSY. They sent me a notice and I updated it that day. In about a week they sent me another notice that my site has been pulled off ETSY because I did not have a valid credit card. I called and had them check their records for the update I did a week ago to correct that and then they wrote back and said they found it. I told them if it takes that long to electronically get their records straight, how long would it take me to get paid if I sold something on there. I left ETSY and did not go back and re enter it all.

I’m glad you are have success with them!!

Cheers, Jim

-- Jim Jakosh.....Practical Wood Products...........Learn something new every day!! Variety is the Spice of Life!!

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8725 posts in 3045 days


#2 posted 06-02-2017 05:35 PM

Hey Paul,

been awhile since you’ve posted?

Been reading the same thing about ETSY. where else can small potatoes compete? LOL! Many artisans are in areas that have Gallieries that they work with and that’s good or Art shows , and that is a lot of effort, sometimes weather or type of customer does not play well. And there are others who are in remote areas?

I’m glad ETSY is working to increase sales. That’s what it is all about?

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

179 posts in 589 days


#3 posted 06-03-2017 04:07 AM

I signed on to Etsy at the end of November 2016. Yes, they’ve changed things a bit but so far it hasn’t had any negative effect that I’m seeing. Change isn’t necessarily good or bad. It’s just change.
I’m pretty happy with the fees too. I think I’m paying around $0.20 per 4 month listing then another 3.5% to Etsy off the sales price and another 3.5% for using their financial services. 7% plus $0.20 is worth it to me for the convenience. Cheaper than your average consignment store. They also give a small break on shipping charges using USPS so I get a couple dollars back there.
Overall I’m happy though I do see a lot of complainers on there.
Rodney

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

144 posts in 1435 days


#4 posted 06-03-2017 12:51 PM

I’ve been on Etsy since 2012. I have seen quite a bit of change since then. True enough that the price structure and product exposure is great as a seller.

HOWEVER – they have moved away from their original mission if you will which was to feature vintage items and handmade items. They have broadened their definition of “hand made” to an absurd level. The original format built the brand and attracted an audience which sought quality goods and was willing to pay for it. Over the years it’s been a slow race to the bottom. If I took a brand new, off the lot car and changed the color of the tire stem valve caps to a different color I could now list the car as “hand made by me” – ridiculous. They have watered down the offerings to the point where I personally know people who used to shop there regularly and have stopped doing so. As one put it – it used to be a nice stroll through a high end craft store now it feels like a flee market. All of this was exacerbated with the stock offering; the focus moved to pump up sales volume = $$$ and let the integrity of the experience degrade. I have no issue with their move into offering craft supplies, that is fine, I have made many purchases from such vendors. If you tailor your search to seek such items they are there for you. But if you apply the filter to display “handmade” goods you will be inundated with hot off the CNC machine, laser engraver and minimally modified asian imported trash.

I have no quarrel with their offering such items but they need to curate offerings better and create a category for such goods so that original and handmade goods can be spotlighted in a search if that is what the buyer is looking for.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View ArtMann's profile

ArtMann

1153 posts in 1019 days


#5 posted 06-04-2017 12:17 AM

How do you define “hand made”. Does it include stuff cut on a table saw? How about stuff finished with a HVLP sprayer? Should the wood be planed by hand or is it acceptable to use a thickness planer? What if an item like a wooden box was made “by hand” but includes a carving on a CNC router or perhaps a laser engraving? Does that cancel the “hand made” status? Why is the use of one modern electrical machine acceptable but the use of another modern electrical machine is not? We think it is odd, or even laughable, that the Amish chose an arbitrary snapshot in time as the correct level of automation for their lives but aren’t we doing the same thing when we condemn certain arbitrarily chosen tools? If you carry the definition of “hand made” too far, you are going to limit yourself to tools made from sticks, sinew and chipped flint rock. Everything else is modern “machine made” work.

I make coasters, trivets and cutting boards using original designs by my wife, who is a graphic designer by trade. I use traditional cutting and finishing techniques but I use a CNC router to make the relief cuts, inlays and engravings. I freely admit the use of such machinery. If I used traditional carving skills, my products would not be affordable to the average buyer because of the amount of labor required or I would be giving my products away at a few cents an hour.

I would never want a product that is made in a factory to be labeled “hand made” but the stuff I make is made with my hands using traditional 20th century woodworking methods and CNC technology and should not be labeled “machine made” either.

I think the majority of the people who look down on CNC woodworking as somehow inferior haven’t the slightest idea of what it is or how it works. It is absolutely not as simple as designing something on a computer and then letting a machine make it. It requires far more skill and experience than most other woodworking tools.

I don’t sell on Etsy, because I don’t need to. I want people to see the quality of my work in person. Then they will understand why I set prices the way I do.

View Tennessee's profile

Tennessee

2893 posts in 2717 days


#6 posted 06-04-2017 01:07 PM

Doc: Yes, been a while, been too busy to post. The Etsy format fits me well, and so far, my sales show it.
Inhill: I understand what you are saying, it is all over the posts in the forums on Etsy. But to be honest, there are just as many people like me who keep trudging on, sales in hand, and as long as those continue, I could care less about how watered down it gets. If you have something somewhat unique on Etsy, more than likely it will sell. And that is the way I look at it.
ArtMann: I can appreciate how you want to present your things. Your products, your way. But I recently met a fellow who builds wooden guitar holders who is on Etsy. His products are totally made with a CNC unit, in 3-D relief. Dolphins, Lions, Trees, all kinds of things on round and square plaques that have an extension on the bottom where he attaches the standard guitar hook for hanging the instrument.
He gets fairly good money for these, in the $60-75 range. He has sold 63 of them in the last three years. Not steller, but not bad for doing basically nothing but building them. Definitely not hand made. He calls himself simple Guitar Wall Hangers.

So I guess it is up to the artist, on how they want to show the world what they do, how aggressive they want to be.

-- Tsunami Guitars and Custom Woodworking, Cleveland, TN

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

144 posts in 1435 days


#7 posted 06-04-2017 03:20 PM

Artmann
When a seller buys a box or trivet or coaster in bulk (usually made in asia) and monograms it via CNC or Laser Engraving I have an issue with that falling into the “handmade” category. Items like that water down the listings and people give up on a search especially on a phone when they are inundated with these ads while looking for original handmade goods. I also have an issue with sellers who make items out of pine and stain it walnut then list it as a “Walnut FILL IN THE BLANK”. Pure deception, call it walnut colored or something like that.

I do not have an issue with any goods being offered on Etsy, i.e. I don’t think that they hurt the brand or site by doing so. BUT I do have an issue with their search filters. I do not buy into the “well if you use a power tool it can’t be called handmade. Beyond that I will not get into the debate – most reasonable shoppers looking for a handmade item know what they are looking for and items from a “Things Remembered ” type store are not it.

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View r33tc0w's profile

r33tc0w

168 posts in 687 days


#8 posted 06-04-2017 03:53 PM

Etsy’s search engine is abysmal. Just search card scraper and you get greeting cards, buttons, weed grinders and clip art. Oh and one card scraper…

-- Matthew 13:53-58

View OnhillWW's profile

OnhillWW

144 posts in 1435 days


#9 posted 06-04-2017 04:08 PM

r33tcOw
In line with that – If I search for my shop – it does not come up!

-- Cheap is expensive! - my Dad

View nate22's profile

nate22

475 posts in 3078 days


#10 posted 06-13-2017 08:05 PM

I’ve been on Etsy since about 2012. I haven’t sold a lot but sometimes it depends on what your selling to. I did get a email from them telling me about there changes though. And that’s great that you’re product is selling.

-- Gracie's wooden signs. Middlebury, In.

View BlasterStumps's profile

BlasterStumps

988 posts in 642 days


#11 posted 06-13-2017 08:40 PM

I narrow my search criteria with the use of the comma, and by using plus and minus keys.
There might be other keys you can use also. When using the plus or minus keys, just put it in front of whatever you want to filter out, i.e. -gemstone.


Etsy s search engine is abysmal. Just search card scraper and you get greeting cards, buttons, weed grinders and clip art. Oh and one card scraper…

- r33tc0w


-- "I build for function first, looks second. Most times I never get around to looks." - Mike, western Colorado

View magaoitin's profile

magaoitin

247 posts in 1152 days


#12 posted 06-13-2017 09:10 PM

Caveat Emptor should be the slogan for Etsy.

To me, Etsy is just like eBay was 15 years ago, and I would be willing to bet in another 5 years you will have to slog through 10 pages of brand new Chinese made stuff before you find anything vintage or actually hand made on Etsy.

As wood workers I think we have a fairly good idea of what hand made is. I don’t know too many people that would consider buying a wood cutting board at Target and routing a 1/2 round over edge on it consider it hand made.

Take that same cutting board and put in in a CNC machine and cut out an inlay, then put another material inside of that, and sand it down, yes, much more hand made, or greatly modified.

This is just an example so take it with a grain of salt, but I recently wanted to buy a pair of welding goggles and happened to searched Etsy using the term Steam Punk Goggles, to see some cool ideas. I found more than a dozen sellers that had obviously bought a $7 pair of goggle from Amazon

and painted them Red, and is charging $30.



I’m not trying to call out this seller, he has some really cool ideas and has embelished quite a few pairs of goggles that I love, but really do you consider this hand made? Obviously hand painted.

You say potato I say pot-ah-to

-- Jeff ~ Tacoma Wa.

View bronzed1's profile

bronzed1

7 posts in 559 days


#13 posted 06-21-2017 10:43 PM

Etsy is getting hard for woodworkers. There’s so many people and so much stuff(junk). You really have to stand out. I have an etsy account, but I haven’t listed anything on there in a while. Also tried Amazon Handmade, but I cancelled that account. Etsy no longer seems to care about handmade. As long as they can make money they look the other way.

-- Home365.xyz gives woodworkers more exposure and therefore more sales.

View DocSavage45's profile

DocSavage45

8725 posts in 3045 days


#14 posted 06-22-2017 12:45 AM

Just listened to “Market Place” with Kye Risdal and the talk was about Etsy. Just laid off another 15 percent of their workforce. It seems they may be returning to the thing that set them apart which is people made and hand crafted. We shall see???

-- Cau Haus Designs, Thomas J. Tieffenbacher

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

179 posts in 589 days


#15 posted 06-24-2017 02:55 AM

I use machines for roughing out my canes but final shaping and sanding is all done by hand. I don’t mind the use of machines for making things. I think the defining thing for me is “made by an individual” instead of an assembly line type of set up in a factory somewhere.

Doc I really hope you’re right.

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

View Dakkar's profile

Dakkar

349 posts in 2130 days


#16 posted 06-29-2017 01:28 AM

I’ve been an Etsy seller for a couple of years now and am doubtless even smaller time than you, but I’m still fine with it. It took me about 3 months to start showing much in sales with my miniature solar system models, but nowadays they sells almost as quickly as I post them (I’ve got lots of great reviews now). The fees are still a bit less than eBay’s and you get a nice discount on postage through them, which helps.

One thing I realized after a few years on eBay and that’s the advantages of selling higher price point items. Cheaper items may be quicker to make and all, but when you figure all the effort it takes to ship things, plus the costs of selling online, I prefer a higher priced product that sells reasonably well. My profit margins are high enough I don’t really worry that much about Etsy’s fees and such. The key is to research what seems to be selling well for others and find yourself a narrow, but poorly served market niche. Don’t sell the same generic hat racks or candlestick that everybody else does.

View rodneywt1180b's profile

rodneywt1180b

179 posts in 589 days


#17 posted 06-29-2017 07:28 PM

I agree with you on that. I see people selling two and three dollar items and that’s fine but for the effort I’d rather sell something at a higher price point. At the very least I want to make more than I pay the post office when I sell something.
My bottom price is about $35. That’s actually a little low for the time I spend making a cane but I make it a point to have some at lower prices for those who want better than an aluminum drugstore cane but don’t have a lot of money to spend. It’s funny though. My higher priced canes sell better than the lower priced ones. I probably sell three in the 80 to 100 dollar range for every one under 50 dollars.
Rodney

-- Rodney, Centralia, WA, USA www.etsy.com/shop/ASturdyStick

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