Etsy community abuzz after retirement announcement for Treasuries

kat 7

When Treasuries first arrived on Etsy back in 2006, it was promoted as a way for sellers to celebrate and promote the work of other sellers. The idea, at the time, was to make Etsy into a community that would help members come together to encourage each other and also provide sellers with a chance to collaborate with others.

While the idea was loved and embraced by many, Etsy now reports that they are removing Treasuries because buyers rarely look at them and analytics have shown that few buyers actually purchase when they do take the time to view them. Etsy states that instead of putting resources in continuing to support Treasuries on their website, they will move to more proven marketing efforts with the hope of increasing the exposure to their seller’s shops.

Although this perhaps makes sense in a bottom-line sort of way, Etsy sellers who support Treasuries are not going away quietly into the night. Instead, a petition to save Treasuries has been started, which had been signed by over 1200 people yesterday. Comments below the announcement not only draws attention to the fact that there is a petition, but sellers have been quick to point out the flaws in Etsy’s analysis and decision.

One seller who opposes the loss of Treasuries tells Etsy that perhaps one reason buyers aren’t viewing Treasuries is because buyers can’t find them. She suggest that since Etsy killed off the front page Treasury, many buyers don’t even know the Treasuries that are still on the site even exist.

So…what will happen to the Treasuries that sellers have already created? According to Etsy, although they do not plan to remove them from the site, as of October 5, 2016, sellers will not be able to edit them nor will they be able to create any new ones. They also mention that they won’t do away with the external links to Treasury pages and that they will still continue to function, but for all practical purposes other than that, Treasuries appear to be coming to an end.

What do you think about the end of Treasuries? Have you signed the petition? Leave a comment below.

Part Two: Are you making these common mistakes with your Etsy shop?

kat 7

Last week, we started discussing some mistakes that Etsy sellers commonly make and how buyers could often stop those types of mistakes if they only knew about them ahead of time. This week, we continue to discuss some more of these common mistakes and how to correct them.

Shiny object syndrome. Running an online business is hard. Sometimes shop owners make it even harder on themselves by developing Shiny Object Syndrome. SOS typically happens when a shop owner keeps shifting from one idea to the next all in an attempt to increase their business. Yet, because they are constantly moving on to the next idea – nothing is really happening. If you are making this common mistake, you should attempt to focus on only one task at a time and give each new idea a chance to develop before moving on to the next big idea.

Not having a business logo. Your business logo may not seem like a big deal, but it is actually one of the first things a buyer sees when they visit your shop. While a lot of sellers put off getting a logo because they think it will cost hundreds, if not thousands of dollars, the actual fact is that this simply isn’t true. Many graphic designers will create a logo for you at a very low cost. The website fiveer.com even has graphic designers who will make a logo for you for $5. With prices so low, there really is no reason not to have a logo for your shop.

Not spending enough time on social media. Spending time on social media websites, such as Facebook and Twitter may seem counterproductive to doing what you really need to do (like creating new designs, listing products, etc.), but it really is a necessary evil. Today’s consumers want to feel like they know the person they are buying from and social media helps them to do that. Use social media management platforms, such as Hootsuite to help promote yourself across multiple platforms and manage your advertising campaigns.

Conclusion

Although these common mistakes may at first seem small in the grand scheme of things, it is actually these tiny details that can sabotage and ruin all your hard work. Taking a little time to objectively look at your store and how you run it, can go a long way to helping you avoid these mistakes and may help you to increase the traffic and sales for your Etsy shop.

Part One: Are you making these common mistakes with your Etsy shop?

kat 7
The things you learn from running an online store are things they just don’t teach you in business school. Sometimes there is just no way to learn except through trial and error. Other times, however, there are mistakes that could have been stopped ahead of time, if only you knew. Here’s some common mistakes you might be making with your Etsy shop.

Not doing the math. A lot of sellers end up with an Etsy shop because they decided they wanted to take their hobby to the next level and maybe (hopefully) get paid to create something. Unfortunately, many shop owners don’t do the math to see if they are making as much money as they need to be. They may have a good niche with a lot of demand, but aren’t taking into account the cost of creating the items they are selling or the fees involved in selling their items online. Take some time to analyze your costs to ensure that you’re making a profit and not actually losing money. Don’t forget to add in your time as a cost as well.

Wasting too much time on the small stuff. If you are like most sellers, you probably try to save money and do everything yourself. You create your listings, take your photos, and in between that, you’re creating new items to sell. The problem with this is that while you are saving money, you’re eating up a lot of valuable time. Time that could be spent elsewhere, either brainstorming about new products to create or even spending the time with you family.

Although you may not initially be able to hire someone to assist you, at some point you need to start relying on someone else and hiring people to do the nonessential tasks for you. Margie, a mother of two teenage girls keeps it in the family during the summer and pays her daughters to do many of the tasks for her, such as finding the items and getting them ready to ship. In the fall, she has a part-time assistant that work for her three days a week. During the time the assistant is there, she works on her new creations and designs.

Not understanding who your buyer actually is. There are two parts to claiming a niche when you have an Etsy store. The first part is creating your product to sell. The second part is knowing who to sell to. As an example, Janine was often complimented on the bracelets that she made, but when she decided to sell jewelry online, she had no idea who to market her items to. It took a couple of missteps before she finally found that the demand for her jewelry line was actually highest with older women who wanted to accessorize. Once she shifted from just general marketing to targeting her desired clientele, her sales begin to increase.

Have you been making any of these mistakes? Leave a comment below.

Etsy now providing QuickBooks discount for sellers

tax-468440_1920

If you’re like most sellers, you probably think that the worst part of selling online is having to keep up with your income and all those pesky seller expenses that you know you will need for when that dreaded tax season rolls around again each year. To assist with the record keeping process, Etsy announced this week that they are partnering with QuickBooks and will offer the service as a discount for those who subscribe.

According to Chad Dickerson, Etsy’s CEO the marketplace is now integrating with Intuit QuickBooks Self-Employed. The service, which works like Intuit’s other QuickBooks bookkeeping products was created to help make seller accounting tasks more simple while providing a way for sellers to keep up with the information they need for their taxes.

Sellers who use the service can import their information right from Etsy into the QuickBooks program. It also allows sellers to import date from payment services, such as PayPal and Square along with bank statements and credit card accounts. By using the service, sellers can view reports about their cash flow and also keep up with expenses like shipping costs, mileage and even supplies.

As a promotional offer, both sellers in the United States and UK can receive the QuickBooks service at a discount for the first 12 months. QuickBooks Self-Employed is currently offered at $5 per month, and sellers also have the option of using the QuickBook Self-Employed Turbo Tax Bundle at $12 per month.

Etsy sellers can learn more about the process and sign up for this feature by clicking here.

Do you sell on Etsy and if so, will you be trying QuickBooks Self-Employed by Intuit? Leave a comment below.

How to increase your chances of being seen by Etsy shoppers

kat 7

If you’re an Etsy seller, you want more page views and more sales. If things are slowing down, you may wonder what you can do to ramp things back up. Interestingly, the answer is surprisingly simple. Add more items. Yep, that’s the main thing to do and here’s why:

More items help your store get found. Shoppers typically find their way to a shop by finding an item when they make a search, or when they see it as a featured item on Esty, or even on a blog. Once they click on the link to get to the item, you now have an opening to get them to look at more items in your shop. In other words, the more items you have listed, the more ways a shopper can find your shop.

You can make more sales to one shopper. If you have a large selection of items in your shop, there’s a fairly good chance that a shopper is going to buy more than one thing, since they have more to choose from. This is especially true when you sell one-of-a-kind items, since shoppers often fear that the item will get gone if they don’t purchase it while they are there. Many shoppers also want to save on shipping, so if they see multiple items they want, they are more likely to buy them all at once. To ensure that they do, make sure to offer free secondary shipping if it won’t cost you any extra to do so.

Stay in your niche. When a shopper visits your shop and purchases an item, they will typically also become interested in other items if they see a variety of similar types of items while they are looking. Think of it as looking into the window of a dress shop and seeing a dress you like. Once you are in the dress shop, there is a good chance you will see other similar items that you like as well.

Keep in mind, however, that there is a difference in staying in your niche and limiting what you will sell. There is nothing wrong in adding items that aren’t quite within the niche that you sell in, but make a point to add them slowly until you see what will work and what won’t. As an example, if you normally sell scarves and hair accessories, you may find that you can also sell purses in your shop, but you don’t want your main items to get overshadowed by a lot of new items that you are introducing. Try one or two purses (items) and see how they do, you can then add others as you transition into this new direction.

Do you have tips for getting more shoppers to visit your Etsy store? Leave a comment below.

Etsy Backtracks on Seller Details After Privacy Issue Concerns

Etsy!

Etsy found itself in a bit of a pickle this week after sellers begin discovering that their personal information and addresses were being automatically generated in their Seller Details fields, allowing their personal information to appear to buyers whenever someone visited their Shop. Although the change was initially made to help sellers comply with a new European law that requires transparency for sellers, many shop owners were upset when it appeared that rather than use their business information, the new format was instead picking up the personal information of the sellers.

Interestingly, not only were sellers concerned by their information appearing on their page, but as some sellers noted where Etsy was getting the information from them was also a concern. Apparently, programmers took the easiest route to fill the fields and had the program pulling data from the information that sellers initially provided when they opened their shops.

Unfortunately, this information apparently violated Etsy’s privacy policy, which states in part that “Etsy will not sell or disclose your personal information to third parties without your consent, except as specified in our Privacy Policy.”

Adding to the frustration of sellers, who were more than a little concerned about the possibility of a data breach, Etsy remained almost completely silent about the problem for almost two whole days before finally addressing the matter. The response finally came from Dilani Kahawala, an Etsy product manager, who addressed seller’s concerns by stating that the idea initially had been to make things simpler for sellers by pre-populating the fields, but that due to concerns they would remove the auto-populate function so that sellers could fill it in themselves.

Although Etsy now considers the matter as having been addressed and fixed, some sellers are still wondering how Etsy was able to publish the information, which was actually information associated with their credit card information. It had many sellers wondering how secure their accounts were and how the incident was even allowed to occur in the first place.

Was your personal information displayed on your Seller Details? Leave a comment below.

Etsy Tinkers With Shopper’s Search Feature

Etsy Wall

It really doesn’t matter whether you sell on eBay, Amazon, or Etsy, one of the first things you often discover as a seller is that change is constant and never-ending. This go around, it’s Etsy that is playing with its algorithms, or more specifically their search feature.

According to the Etsy Announcement Board, the change comes as a way to help shoppers find what they are looking for. To do this, Etsy states that they have been running tests to tailor the search results to individual buyers based on their history on Etsy. Basically, this means that when a buyer performs a search to look for an item, Etsy will attempt to match their search to items that they feel will have the most interest to the buyer.

Unfortunately, it will be hard for sellers to gauge how this is affecting them, since some buyers are being included in the testing process while others are not. In a nutshell, the buyers who are part of this testing, will be shown items based on identifying signals that are made from their previous searches.

If this all sounds similar to what you’ve heard before, it may be because this is basically the same type of algorithm or very similar to the one that Amazon uses for its buyers. What it means for sellers is that your listing placement in search may go up or down, depending on what Etsy thinks the buyer is going to be most likely to purchase. In other words, what appears for one buyer in a search will be different from what another buyer sees in their search, all based on what they have searched for in the past.

While some sellers like this idea since it is similar to the “Amazon way,” others have expressed some concerns. For one thing, it makes it harder to know what keywords you should use since there is no way of knowing what keywords you need to come out on top in a search.

From the buyers side, it can be an issue too. Problem being – just how often do you buy the exact same thing that you purchased before? From what Etsy is saying, if they know you have been searching for red widgets in past searches, they are going to steer you toward more things that are similar to red widgets, even if you, as a buyer, have moved on to wanting something else like a blue or purple widget.

How this will affect Etsy sellers and buyers remains to be seen, but for now all we can really do is see how the new search algorithm plays out. Are you concerned about the new search features? Leave a comment below. You can learn more about the changes here.

3 Tips to Help You Successfully Sell on Etsy

etsy hearts

Etsy bills itself as “your place to buy and sell all things handmade.” For crafters, Etsy’s marketplace can be a great way to sell products and gain exposure as a true artisan. Whether you’re wanting a little part-time income or looking to launch your own online business, these three tips can help you successfully sell your items on Etsy’s website.

Keep it the same, but make it different. The first thing you will discover when you become an Etsy seller is that your one-of-a-kind items may not be quite so one-of-a-kind. Many niches you may want to sell in, such as the category for handmade jewelry are actually quite full of similar types of items created by other sellers. Since the jewelry looks similar, it’s important to make your pieces stand out. This means spending extra time to get good photographs for your work and focusing on the small details that make your pieces unique. Try different backgrounds for the photos of your items and play with lighting to make sure you get the best shots.

Remember it’s a business. Although you may enjoy making your handmade items as a way to express yourself, you have to remember that it’s no longer just about creating art. Once you start making items to sell, you need to treat it as a business. This means that as your inventory is sold, you need to have new pieces made to replace it. Use your time wisely and schedule time to create new pieces on a consistent basis.

Don’t let this take the fun out of the creative process though. Instead, think of it as an opportunity to share your art with other people who wouldn’t have had to otherwise had a chance to see it.

Try new things. It can be disheartening to create something and then find that no one seems to want to purchase it. It you discover that sellers aren’t interested in an item you have created, step back and try a different approach. As an example, if using a wire-wrap on a necklace doesn’t work, try using another medium such as leather instead.

Pay attention to the latest fashion trends. While you don’t want to create the exact same thing as everyone else, keeping an eye on what buyers are looking for can give you ideas of new things to make while keeping your buyers coming back for more.

Do you sell on Etsy? Leave a comment below.

Etsy policy change bans metaphysical items

Crystal Ball
Until a few weeks ago, Etsy was the place to go if you were looking to buy or sell handcrafted goods of the metaphysical variety, such as candles, tarot cards, crystals and poppets. A recent update to Etsy’s policy, however, has put some metaphysical store sellers up in arms. The policy change bans the sales of these types of items, even going so far as to suspend store owners who had the items listed in their store before the ban went into place.

Although the selling of services on Etsy has never been allowed, until now there was a slight gray area that allowed spells to be sold as long as the seller provided proof that the spell had been cast and, more importantly, that the seller didn’t make a firm promise that the spell would bring about the desired effect. Unfortunately, those days are no more.

Interestingly, Etsy didn’t actually provide a date when it issued its new guidelines, one day the update to the policy wasn’t there and the next day it was. Prior to that, Etsy was simply contacting sellers to give them a warning that they would delete the listing or suspend their store unless the sellers included something in the listing that was tangible.

Etsy isn’t the first one to put this type of policy into place. EBay did it several years ago, which is why so many of the metaphysical community where so happy to move to Etsy and call it their new home. Now, as sellers ponder this turn of events, there are a few theories floating around that speculate why Etsy would make this change.

One theory has to do with the fact that Etsy went public back in April and wants to make sure it has a squeaky clean image. There does seem to be some credibility to this particular theory since those that sell the metaphysical items are quick to point out that other types of items, such as Saint Anthony medals continue to be sold without an issue. They point out that there really is no difference between a spell and a prayer, only the religious aspect seems to be different.

Regardless of the reason for the ban, it appears that for now if you want to sell these types of items, you will have to look elsewhere. Do you sell metaphysical items? Leave a comment below.

Move over Etsy, Amazon Handmade is Headed to Town

Cascade Yarns 220 Quatro - Heathered Purple

Move over Etsy there’s a new arts and crafts marketplace coming to town. Well, maybe they aren’t really all that new and it’s actually hitting cyberspace not your hometown, but still it’s big news and it’s attracting plenty of attention.

Who’s the new kid on the block, you ask?

Well, it’s none other than good old Amazon.com. Yep, that’s right. Amazon is trying to cut themselves in for a piece of the arts and crafts pie. Can you really blame them? The Wall Street Journal reported that there were some 1.4 million members on Etsy last year that were considered active sellers and they sold their goods to some 19.8 million active buyers.

Amazon is calling its new platform “Amazon Handmade” and has reportedly been actively recruiting Etsy sellers by taking surveys to gauge their interest in being part of the new platform. Although the survey didn’t really give sellers any insight into what type of fees or pricing strategy Amazon is planning, you can bet it will be competitive with Etsy. At the moment, sellers there pay 20 cents for a listing and it stays on the site for four months. When an item sells, they then charge 3.5 percent for whatever the item actually sells for.

While there will be no way to know the true difference in the costs and fees between the two sites until the new platform officially opens, at the moment, the closest model to that fee structure is the one where Amazon lets sellers who sell no more than 40 items a month to list for free, but then charges .99 cents when an item sells. In addition, there are variable costs from 6 to 15 percent that sellers are charged, depending on which category their item was listed in. Sellers who sell more than 40 a month, have a monthly fee and then additional fees for items as they sell.

How this will affect Etsy is anyone’s guess. Etsy has had some bumps in the road lately and while sellers are for the most part content, investors perhaps not so much. Etsy went public back in April with an opening of $16, which then almost doubled closing at $30 on the first day it was trading. Take a look at today, however, (May 29, 2015) and they’re sitting at $16.76 a share.

Etsy also has had to deal with some bad pr issues when reports surfaced that there were allegedly sellers with counterfeit goods for sale on the site. While neither the stock price nor the accusations have really effected most of their sellers, if Etsy continues to post company losses each quarter, you have to kind of wonder if they’ll have to make an adjustment to those low listings fees if they don’t want to continue to having a deficit.

Do you sell on Etsy? What do you think about Amazon’s plans for Amazon Handmade? Leave a comment below.