ok, when is it NOT a slow time & Q's for frequent sellers

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Original Post

When I joined in February, they said it was a slow time for sales because it was after the holidays. In the spring, it was a sloooow time. It's now summer and once again, it's a "slow time" because everyone's at the beach. What's up with the bs?

Alrighty now for the meat and potatoes. I want specifics from frequent/top sellers. I see sellers here who sell the same things as I do who have been here 1 or 2 months and they have sales and more sales, hundreds some. Let me ask you this:

Do you pass out your business cards on street corners? if not, then where?
Do you sell in stores and boutiques?
Do you have MySpace or participate in the dozens of other sites mentioned here in the forums?
Do you have repeat regular buyers?
Do you bribe your friends, relatives and co-workers to buy from you? If so, how do you blackmail them (remember, I want specifics!) or do you just threaten to break their knees?
Do you have a website, and if so, does it drive traffic, and therefore sales, to Etsy?
Do you frequent craft shows? If so, how do you make any money after you pay the table fees, buy a table, tent, displays, etc?
Are you all doing this fulltime? Because I've tried to keep up with all the marketing and web tools, I started a blog, I have a website and I'm exhausted!!

Please don't give me the same old tired links. I've read and re-read them all. I have a website, a new blog, MySpace, business cards, advertise on CraigsList. It just seems to me that some sellers just have the Midas touch. Prove me wrong and tell me you work 20 hours a day at this. Then I'll feel better.

ps. I took tonight off to do laundry.

Posted at 11:24pm Aug 8, 2006 EDT

Responses

I believe about 75% of my sales are from outsiders that I do not know and I don't know how they found me. Most of that 75% buy from me the first day they come into ETSY. I have to assume that it is my tags or something that they get from some search engine.

I do try to list something at least 4 times a week. In order to keep my shop within a reasonable number of pages, I relist alot of the older itemes and sell them on the relist when I didn't on the first list.

It maybe just luck of the draw. Who knows...if we knew we would all do it.

Posted at 11:38pm Aug 8, 2006 EDT

eva666 says

i certainly don't have the midas touch but i'll answer your questions anyway ;)

1.Do you pass out your business cards on street corners? if not, then where?
i've gotten brave enough to do so every time someone compliments my jewelry (i wear my own designs most of the time). i also give a stack to friends & family to pass out. my mom & her friend are shameless and give them to people all the time.

2.Do you sell in stores and boutiques?
no b&m stores but i do have things in other online stores. i'm working on approaching boutiques..

3.Do you have MySpace or participate in the dozens of other sites mentioned here in the forums?
no. i really don't think i could possibly find any more time int he day to do so.

4.Do you have repeat regular buyers?
yes!! alot of my buyers are repeat and i'm so appreciative to have someone come back because they are happy with my work ;)

5.Do you bribe your friends, relatives and co-workers to buy from you?
no, i honestly feel weird when family tries to pay for my jewelry, so i mostly give it as gifts and bribe then to spread the word as payment.

6.Do you have a website, and if so, does it drive traffic, and therefore sales, to Etsy?
i do have a website which has it's own cart so it's not meant to necessarily drive customers here but i often do have customers that buy off of both sites. not sure why..it seems very random.

7.Do you frequent craft shows? If so, how do you make any money after you pay the table fees, buy a table, tent, displays, etc?
i do. i just bit the bullet and got a nice tent and 2 $40 super lightweight 6' folding tables. most of my displays are flea market finds that have been spray painted and i got my table cloths on clearance from tj maxx. this is my first year doing fairs and i've already made back my $ for the admission fee's and all supplies plus made actual profit. i think it has to do with the fact that i did ALOT of open markets though..because some days i made only a fraction of what i did on others. the more you put in the more you get back i guess ;) i also got LOTS of repeat online buyers that took my card from the fairs.

8.Are you all doing this fulltime? i'ma stay at home mom to 2 kids under 4 so they are my full time job but this comes in a close second. i spend almost every waking minute outside of parenting doing something jewelry related.

this is a good topic, i'm looking forward to reading others answers!

Posted at 11:44pm Aug 8, 2006 EDT

I honestly have no idea how people find me. I do have repeat customers (thank you!). I have a link on my website to my etsy store but I don't think that's it. I sell in galleries but that can't be it either, as I'm not allowed to market my website... I'm lucky to have started early enough with etsy (September 2005) that I'm an "old-timer" and am on the top 100. But really, there are so many shops, I'm not really sure how people find me!

I sell a lot of lower-priced items ($4-$18) and these add up. I work full-time as an artist but only about 6-8 hours a week on etsy stuff. I send out postcards to the nice people on the forums who say they will hand them out at fairs... I guess a little of everything adds up.

Good luck to you! Your jewelry is lovely.

Posted at 12:00am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

I am selling on Etsy, but not as much as many others who are using Etsy as their only store.

I don't listen to the same old excuses, "It's slow because its: summer, hurricane season, school just starting, after the holidays, tax time, spring, blah blah blah"...the world doesn't stop because of any of these reasons...business is up and down,no matter what business you're in. If it's always down, one needs to look at themselves and their product...

To answer your questions -
I put my business cards into all items that are shipped (whether through eBay auctions or Etsy). I use a different business card for sales on my website - that card has no mention of Etsy.

Some of my jewelry is in a gallery in Palm Springs, CA., but as far as I know, I've gotten no additional sales outside of whatever items are sold there.

Other than an eBay blog, which has to do with my items on ebay, I do not have a blog, Myspace, do not do podcasts.
I have some repeat clients, on and off of Etsy.

I am a self-employed massage therapist, and work alone, so no co-workers and I do not approach my clients to do business outside of the service I am being paid to provide (massage therapy). I have one brother who lives in Ohio with his wife and 2 kids...they have never bought from me, as they are not in a position to afford non-essential items such as jewelry or scrapbooking items.

I have a website, but there is no link from the site to Etsy. Many sellers are using Etsy as their only e-commerce site...whereas I might have sales from my website and Etsy, all of their sales are directed to Etsy.

I did some craft fairs about 7-8 years ago and it's not for me. I've done the occasional private home party and that has worked well as I make sales at the party and get (future) private commissions.

Everything I do for income is part-time. The massage therapy brings in a very full-time income while giving me flexible, part-time hours. eBay, jewelry and multi-media art (scrapbooking, collage) round out everything and are slowly bringing in more and more money each month. Because I'm doing everything for several different businesses, I work more hours than people who only work a straight 9-5, but it's on my terms, doing what I enjoy doing.

Posted at 12:10am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

jessprkle says

i'm so glad you asked this! i, too, wonder the same things! i am SO incredibly active in marketing and promotion and it really seems that the times i'm NOT so involved with that are the times i sell the most. i've gotten lots of sales through myspace and ppl i know in real life. i have business cards, a blog, etc etc. and a full-time job. i am curious to hear what some of the top sellers have to say about this!

Posted at 12:13am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

Kelliope says

Thank you Dew for asking all of the questions that have been floating around in my head! I'm bookmarking this post & will be taking notes.

Posted at 12:19am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

Here are my answers to your questions.

1. Do you pass out your business cards on street corners? if not, then where?
I havent plucked up enough courage to do that. I have had people compliment my jewelry and I say thank you and then stare at them weirdly. I stare at them weirdly because in my head I am thinking: Should I? SHOULD I? In the end I dont. So yeah I dont pass cards out. Grrr. I should!

2. Do you sell in stores and boutiques?
Yes I sell my jewelry at a friend's store. My rings do particularly well there and my earrings too. Best sellers: RINGS! Right now I only sell in one store. I hope to sell in more soon, as soon as I pluck up enough courage to walk in and arrage appointments.

3. Do you have MySpace or participate in the dozens of other sites mentioned here in the forums?
I have a MySpace and I use it mainly to advertise. It used to be my personal site but now it is filled with tons of people I dont know. Everytime someone adds me, I approve and move on to put "an ad" in their comment area. The ad consists of a picture of my bird's nest rings and a link to the bird's nest rings listing.
I also use blogger, livejournal and flickr. I know I have gotten sales from flickr and myspace, not sure about the other 2. People dont really fill out the little survey I have in the confirmation email anymore.

4. Do you have repeat regular buyers?
Yes I do. Everytime I mail out something to my buyers, I include a discount coupon. Some of them use it, some of them dont. So I guess it does entice some, not all.

5. Do you bribe your friends, relatives and co-workers to buy from you? If so, how do you blackmail them (remember, I want specifics!) or do you just threaten to break their knees?
Hilarious! I wish I could bribe them. :D I do have a long time friend who is a frequent buyer of my items. I also have a friend who buys off my site and sells them to her friends. :D My relatives buy my stuff too, but not too often. My cousins buy my earrings for their girlfriends. My friends tell their friends about my store. Their friends in turn tell other friends. There is a lot of word of mouth. My friends and relatives only buy when I'm in Singapore. When I'm in the US, I get mostly American strangers who buy my stuff.

6.Do you have a website, and if so, does it drive traffic, and therefore sales, to Etsy?
I dont have a website but I'm about to get one. I have a domain registered and a new name that I came up with. Besides that, nada. Nothing at all yet. Just a domain name.

7. Do you frequent craft shows? If so, how do you make any money after you pay the table fees, buy a table, tent, displays, etc?
I just started doing craft shows about 1.5 months ago. The money I made from the first show I used to buy the table (which is also my work table), tent and displays. I got a cheap tent ($80), table from Walmart (I'm so sorry I shop there but I was broke and needed a cheap table which costs $25), a couple of displays I bought for really cheap when I was in Thailand, and some earrings stands (from the US, but they dont have anymore of it. Grrr).I think the displays are really important. I definitely have more sales with more professional looking displays. You can convo me if you are interested to see before and after pics.

8. Are you all doing this fulltime? Because I've tried to keep up with all the marketing and web tools, I started a blog, I have a website and I'm exhausted!!
This is what I do full time. I travel back and forth Singapore and US so much, I cannot settle down and get a job. So this is what I do full time. Other than that, all my time is spent with my fiance. When he's home, we hang out. When he goes to work, I make jewelry, surf Etsy, update myspace, flickr, blogger, source for cheap and pretty beads/findings. It takes up so much time it feels like a full time job!

Wow this is my longest forum post ever! I am glad you started this thread. Now I move on to read what others have got to say.

Shameless plug: PEOPLE this is my last month in the US. If you wanna buy something, buy it now!!! (Okay I dont always do shameless plugs. I dont know if they work. :p After this, I can tell you if it worked.)

Posted at 12:47am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

Hi carla,

You have no idea how helpful your post has been. You have very high, consistent sales, you don't use a thousand tags on an item, etc

What you do is get your customers the old fashioned way. No posting of hundreds of pictures in a day while you try to squeeze work, no!!

You do what people ask you to do (what I have asked people to do) you send your flyers and cards to the people that say they will hand them out all over the country.

Well you just saved me hours of work.

I will now pour my energy into getting my cards, flyers and postcards out to the people that need them.

Again: I will be passing out promo packs for myself and other Etsy sellers this saturday @ Feltclub in LA.

In anyone wants to join me you are welcome to!!

Posted at 12:48am Aug 9, 2006 EDT

mamadelic says

Do you pass out your business cards on street corners? if not, then where? no, nowhere really


Do you sell in stores and boutiques? yes

Do you have MySpace or participate in the dozens of other sites mentioned here in the forums? yes, very little though

Do you have repeat regular buyers? yes

Do you bribe your friends, relatives and co-workers to buy from you? No

Do you have a website, and if so, does it drive traffic, and therefore sales, to Etsy? I do but not really

Do you frequent craft shows? If so, how do you make any money after you pay the table fees, buy a table, tent, displays, etc? I did last winter, but not at all since march, it's too hot in Fl. For craft shows in the summer. I always split the cost of a show with pals.

Are you all doing this fulltime? Because I've tried to keep up with all the marketing and web tools, I started a blog, I have a website and I'm exhausted!! yes, basically full time. Though I am opening a store soon and will be etsy-ing from the shop :)

Posted at 1:02am Aug 9, 2006 EDT