Whats Up With Etsy? – I USED to be able to sell stuff

In 2009 I opened the Barely Blue Birds Etsy account, posted a few crotched jewelry items, and sold everything. Amazing, I know.

What’s more amazing is that 2009 is when I taught myself to crochet. I was unemployed, just back from 4 months in Europe after graduating college, and needed something to help pass the time while searched for jobs.

But this isn’t about my crocheting, and I’m not trying to brag…

Mom has been handmaking amazing cards for years now. She’s obsessed. Her cards are so beautiful that she hates the idea of selling them on Etsy. and then I talked her into it. Posted the cards and…. nothing!

Not a single sale. I swear I sold my crochet jewelry in a month, and mom’s cards are so much more beautiful and amazing than that jewelry.

So what’s up with Etsy?

(I’m speculating here, and I’m sure theres much more too it – but here ya go)

1. There are a gazillion more shops in 2012 than there were in 2009. <- 100% speculation, but it would make sense…

The more people sell, the faster social networks grow, and the more stuff gets put online- the more people hear about it and think ‘Hey, I want to do that, too!”. With so many shops, so many cards, so many everything, non of the buyers are getting to my shop.

2. My Tagging Stinks

Holy moly, tagging. I just don’t know how to do it any better than I already am. I wish Etsy’d put out an Etsy SEO helper. Something that told me what people are searching for, which keywords work best, etc. Hey! They could make it specific to our shops. Tell us how people are finding us when they do, etc. etc. Just like the wordpress stats I get here. (By the way, share this with your friends, my numbers suck).

3. Prices. We want handmade, but not if we have to pay for it. &, the economy sucks.

I’ve got mom’s cards selling for $4.00 a piece (fitted envelope included)- Is this too much? I’ve searched Etsy and quality cards are priced about the same, but maybe people no longer want to shell out a few extra bucks to get handmade goods. Then again, drugstore & hallmark cards are rarely less than $3:00 so whats the deal ?

4. Cards are last minute gifts. (Yea, I’ve got personal experience with this one)

Nobody but my grandma buys cards in advance. Well, sometimes we buy them the day before the party…. Shipping is 2-3 days or you have to pay lots more, and why pay extra when we can run to the drug store.

What do you think? Am I right, or am I right? 😉

Any and all comments welcome.

You can check out my store at etsy.com/people/barelybluebirds I’d love any suggestions, tips comments. Anything that I can use to make it better and I’d happily do the same for you!

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One thought on “Whats Up With Etsy? – I USED to be able to sell stuff

  1. My sister has an Etsy Ship and I think erythig you’ve explained hits it! Everything she has up for sale more than 100 other shops do to. She crochets items as well. And the cards are beautiful I have looked $4 is a steal! I’ve purchased cards like that at a craft show before and paid $7 for each. I hope it picks up! Good luck.

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