Etsy Essentials Need some help with my shop - PLEASE ADVISE!!

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Original Post

Hello team,
I'm struggling to figure out the best way to add an option to purchase a print of any of my digital downloads. Which is leading me to really examine my shop as a whole.

I started out wanting to offer digital downloads and some print graphics but now I'm seeing that my shop is really evolving into a print/reprint shop. Part of me wants to have my cake and eat it too, offer downloads and prints/reprints but the other part wonders if that is best for my shop, customers and sanity! It may be easier to market prints, cards, invitations etc rather than both.

Right now the plan is to offer a lot of the following product types:

- Digital Downloads
- Book Plates (pages from books not reprints)
- Reprinted Vintage/Antique Photographs
- Art Giclee Prints/Reprints
- Upcycled Prints
- Greeting Cards, Note Cards, etc

Is it smarter to just drop the digital downloads and add them as Antique Ex Libris Prints? What would you do?

Ugg, I would sooo love to hear what the team thinks because I'm an indecisive crazy girl about the whole thing!

Thank you!!!!

Posted at 4:27pm Jan 10, 2012 EST


The other thing I was considering is printing the antique ex libris without processing them to black and white, removing the name and ex libris. Basically, scan and print the raw image. They are great collectibles :

Posted at 4:40pm Jan 10, 2012 EST

That's a toughie!! No wonder your so indecisive! It could be a little confusing for a new customer to navigate between whats digital and what's not (if they're not paying attention to shop sections I guess), but are you making money from the downloads? If you are I wouldn't want to lose them.

But then again, instead of selling them a digital file that they can then print out their own cards and prints, etc..., you can make the note card or whatever for them, and I imagine they are probably more profitable than downloads. That doesn't simplify anything for you though. I guess I'm as indecisive as you are!! Sorry I'm not much help!

Posted at 6:29pm Jan 10, 2012 EST

I know right?? I am making money on them for sure, not a lot but I can't complain. I think I might be leaning toward keeping them and offering prints of the originals. I just don't think of etsy as a good place to sell an antique reprint... I guess I'll find out!

Posted at 9:06pm Jan 10, 2012 EST

Hi Imprim,
My take is that if you want to offer both you should offer both. You can have two cakes, one to have and one to eat :) Why do you think it's best for your shop and customers and sanity to offer only the prints? In my experience, offering prints requires more effort than a digital download. You mention it being easier to market one or the other. I would say market your stuff, not necessarily the form it's in. It's very niche,as all styles are, I suppose. People looking for your sort of items probably want digital downloads, prints and cards ... at different times for different reasons/occasions. Why not keep the option open? And they're selling so just keep going. I do think Etsy is a great place to sell antique reprints and digital downloads. Just my 2cents.
:) Juliette

Posted at 3:55pm Jan 12, 2012 EST

Thank you Juliette, I do LOVE cake! My philosophy this week is "step back and live with what I have" so I can take a few minutes from creating new stuff and examine, rework, and modify what I have in my shop already. I think if I stop adding new stuff and focus more on refining what is already listed I won't feel so overwhelmed about the variety of items I currently have... if that makes sense?

Posted at 4:27pm Jan 18, 2012 EST

Stephanie, I have been thinking about your question for a while. It's a very tough one.

I also think maybe you should sell both.

Maybe if you sell items a little more complicated than notecards you don't have to worry about people buying your digital prints to make their own. Also, not everyone likes to do crafts. Buying blank cards from craft stores can be expensive. Printing can be time consuming, too. I do think a lot of people would rather buy ready-made products than make their own.

I think having a line of handmade items using your prints will compliment your existing products. Maybe small notebooks, calendars, bookmarks, address books...etc. They can also serve as ideas for people who purchase your digital downloads to make their own unique item, if they like doing crafts.

Probably a lot of successful shops have gone through trials and errors. I guess you'll just have to try to see what works and what doesn't.

Posted at 4:50pm Jan 18, 2012 EST

Marry says

Hi Imprimere,

I must say: I don't find your product selection confusing at all. Your digital downloads are separated from your art prints through style, for example, the watermarking. The titles also have "digital downloads" in it, which is clear. Also the price ranges reveal a difference.

I agree that the digital downloads would rather add to the assortment: people have both choices.

Posted at 5:38pm Jan 18, 2012 EST

@Susie, thank you for taking time to consider my question, I very much appreciate it.

I agree I and I will still sell both and I agree I should diversify my printed offerings. I actually stocked up on greeting cards, postcard (gloss and matte) with the intention of creating other types of printed merchandise but I just haven't gotten to it.

I also purchased a complete volume of 1890's Cyclopedia of the English Language Dictionaries. I love upcycled pages but I don't love the ones I currently offer. The paper is to porous and the ink bleeds too much even in draft mode. I've spent some time testing the new pages from the cyclopedia and they look great with some of my ex libris digital graphics printed on them, so I'll probably put the greeting cards off a little longer to focus on dictionary pages.

@Marry thank you for your comments, it is true what they say, "variety is the spice of life" so being diversified is a good thing.

Posted at 12:05pm Jan 19, 2012 EST

Goal Achieved! Thank you for all your help!

Posted at 12:27pm Jan 21, 2012 EST