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How does Etsy work?

A thought crossed my mind yesterday which leads me to the question I've asked. You open an account, you post on other Boards that you are here and utilize all aspects of networking right. I love it when someone has added something that I have made to their Favorites or even when they add my entire Shop to their favorites. Now here's where the question comes in. Unless you can afford the money to advertise how do you sell on this site. The biggest complaint I get from people is that you have to join before you can purchase so that shut that door abruptly for me and the other is we're all Vendors and Vendors like other Vendors products look and learn from others but we're all in the same race and that is to sell not buy. I'm new at this and on a fixed income due to not working in 5 years because of age and having to take an early retirement just to have an income so you can see why this is so important to me. Correct me if I'm wrong but the only difference from FB is you can't chat. I made a Thread a while back on advertising and the majority came back it wasn't worth my time. Why is it necessary for people to join Etsy in order to shop when we're paying to have our items listed to SELL. The sales I've lost are people that don't want to go through a long rigamarow just to shop. That's my biggest complaint why people won't shop with me is they have no interest in setting up a shop never to use just to by something so help me understand if I'm missing something here and I sincerely thank you for your time and reply regarding this!

6 Responses

I think the most important thing about selling is great SEO and photos, tweaking, renewing, adding new listings. I've never advertised, and I don't do Facebook or Twitter.

I'm not sure what you mean about "joining" Etsy. I do think you have to have an account in order to make a purchase. It's not just other Sellers that shop here. There are many Buyers, as well.
You don't need to join to shop; if your products are well tagged and titled, your items will be found in general searches on the internet, by many people who have never even heard of Etsy.
These people, if interested enough in your product, then have to register to purchase, but it isn't a difficult thing to do and many sites still require it. I do not advertise, I do not promote, and MANY of my buyers are first time purchasers on Etsy, and less than ten of my buyers were other Etsy sellers.
This site is not like Facebook, they have totally different purposes. This is a marketplace, somewhere that sellers can set up their own little shop. Facebook is for social networking, communicating with like-minded people.

No one has to set up a shop to buy from Etsy. One only sets up a shop to sell. But it is a requirement that an Etsy account needs to be made to buy here (which I agree is a shame as it does put some people off). Most shopping sites require an account to be made though. It is the only way to easily enable customers to be able to check on their orders and give feedback etc. So it can be very much in the customer's interest.

Also if someone has made an Etsy account to buy from one seller, they may be more likely to buy from other Etsy sellers in the future as they already have the account here, as opposed to needing to set up another on other similar sites.

" Unless you can afford the money to advertise how do you sell on this site." Well yes, one does need to advertise or else no one will know what you have for sale - but that is the same where ever you are selling.

There are lots of great opportunities for promotion that are totally free, plus even more that are very cheap. Lots of successful sellers here have very low or even non-existent advertizing budgets.
Advertising on social media is free. There is no need to purchase ads on social media. There are many sites you may participate on such as FB, Twitter, Wanelo, Pinterest, StumbleUpon, Delicious, and others that do not require any money.
You are allowed to sell on multiple platforms, but not advertise or send buyers to them.
I'm just going to echo what everyone else has said- yes you need to join but you need to join Amazon, eBay etc as well so there's no difference; and it creates a community of people especially when buyers are consistently interested in being a part of a purposeful marketplace - and THAT is etsy's mantra now, 'the marketplace we all make'. It's not just about buying a cheap whatever and then heading for the door, it's about staying and making a world. Etsy is (hopefully) the farmer's market you visit every weekend because you know the vegetables are fresh, it's the cinema you keep going back to who has comfie seats, the cafe who makes the best grilled cheese.

Advertising is something you should never pay money for online- the modern face of advertising is social media and the best (most honest) form of that is one that happens naturally. You can't pay for love. (Well you can but it's not the same!)

One thing that concerns me time and time again when I see these kinds of threads is A- Etsy still sells a dream (or fails to quell a myth) that anyone can set up here and instantly be a success without any decent work and B- Etsy is riding high on an out-moded reputation of grass-roots handmade. Neither of these things are true and A is probably a little unfair, because Etsy doesn't ever present itself like this is easy. Then again, they aren't very upfront about the amount of work required either.

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