I want to start off thanking you for sharing your experiences on Etsy yesterday. I received several messages, as well as what was posted here and I am still deciding what I am going to do. One thing that I noticed on Etsy is that they discourage you from posting a link to your own website (unless i am reading it wrong.) If that is the case, then I don’t think I am going to do anything there. They say it would display “avoidance of fees” but I don’t feel that would be my motivation. The way that I was thinking about it was that it would be that is would show my products to an entirely different type of clientele than what I normally have and perhaps bring in some new blood to my site. I only plan to sell the note cards and prints of my paintings on Etsy, as well as one of a kind samples. This would keep the site neat and focused on the patterns that I am selling. However, if I can’t even have a link to my site on my Etsy page, then all it would be doing would be making more work for me, not to mention paying fees to list – small as they are – when I have a fully functional site up and running. I think that will be the deal breaker.
Right now, based on what I have learned, I am leaning toward creating a page on my own site for selling these note cards, prints and prototypes. Even though the prototypes will be one of a kind items, I think that would be the best way to go with them. After all, I already pay for the site and if Etsy isn’t going to allow me to link back to it, why should I pay the fees to post there at all. The only real advantage that I can see would be to link back to the main site and perhaps earn more customers.
I may experiment with one or two items, just to see how it goes and if there are any results in getting new traffic to my site. I didn’t have a lot of time yesterday to look into it, but I will do more so today. Again, if any of you have had Etsy experience and would like to share information, I would appreciate it very much.
I spent the bulk of yesterday completing the new pattern packets for a couple of the new items on the site. One item was a new basket by Keith and the other was the Antique Horse Pull Toy. These each took quite a while to do because they aren’t just flat cutting. They involve building the project itself and were slightly more complicated than my average patterns. I included several pictures in each of the patterns to better help explain the processes used to make each of these projects.
I find that I am having a tendency to add more pictures in all of my patterns. It isn’t necessarily that the projects are that much more complicated, but I feel that it helps my customers (especially those new to scroll sawing) better understand the process and learn. It is natural lately that I take photographs as I go along and build new items. The Antique Horse wound up with 20 step-by-step photos to help people build it. With the printing system that I use, and also the fact that I send most of my patterns electronically, I am finding that there is no real increase in the cost of producing these patterns with more pages or pictures, yet the benefits are much higher for the customer.
Yes, it uses more paper and ink, but unless I were printing and shipping 400 copies, it really doesn’t make a difference. When I used to sell hard copies to wholesalers, this would have been too costly to do so. However, now my wholesalers print in house and the patterns don’t need to be double shipped (me to the wholesalers and then the wholesaler to the customer) so the number of pages isn’t really an issue anymore. Besides, since I am selling them at retail cost, I can afford to have more pages and color, even if I need to send hard copies to them or if they are on sale. It is a win/win for everyone, I believe. I think it makes for an overall better product.
Today I need to get the newsletter out to my email customers. I like to have that done by the weekend. I also will be perhaps putting a few trial items for sale and create a new page on the site for those one of a kind things and prints and note cards. After all, I will lose nothing but a little time to try. It will be good to test the water and see what people think of it. Of course, I always appreciate your opinion too.
The weekend is upon us already. This week surely went by quickly. When I look back and assess things, I do see that I accomplished a lot, but I wish I could have done a bit more. I suppose that will always be the case.
I hope you enjoy your Friday. Thanks again for your thoughts and please feel free to post here or message me if you wish to share your ideas. It is very helpful to hear of your own experiences.
Have a great day!
-- Contributing Editor, Creative Woodworks and Crafts, Sheila Landry Designs http://www.sheilalandrydesigns.com "Knowledge is Power"