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Are dark/macabre items tougher to sell?

Hi! I just opened my shop about a week ago, and my shop is filled with fine art that leans towards the dark and macabre. Does anyone have experience selling dark/macabre items? Are they tougher to sell on Etsy than pieces that are not dark?

35 Responses

I think there are teams that specifically deal with these kinds of items. I'm sure they have some good advice!
I think that as long as you are targeting the right audience for such items, you shoudln't have a problem. Make sure you do know who your target market is, where do they hung around, where do they shop, what do they like, etc, etc. This is very important for businesses with a niche like yours. It is all about having a product your audience would buy and then properly marketing to them.
Well, I once listed a photo of a vulture for Halloween ... Nobody bought it on Etsy, and when I tried selling it at a craft show, some guy picked it up and called it ugly ... well, that's what a vulture is! * lol *

I also tried listing a really dark / spooky landscape scene, but it creeped me out just seeing it in my shop so I pulled it really quick, like within minutes ... just didn't fit the mood of the rest of my shop.

That said, it's all about finding your target audience / target market, and being sure you want to be identified with the dark and macabre.
The only way to find out is to search Shops that have similar listings , and check their sales...
I sold 2 items several years ago that was considered dark and macabre and I had tons of views for each item. It took about 2 to 3 months before each item sold.

They were loose pictures torn out from a book that I found that had pictures of dead people in open coffins.

The pictures freaked me out, but they did sell after awhile. I think they sold around Halloween time.

I've seen a couple of shops on this site with dark items, having to do with blood and whatnot, personally they frightened me a bit. They didn't even have a censored image over the listing. it's all in personal taste, I'm sure there are people who would buy things like that.
I've found that those of us who sell dark or goth items need to work a little harder to find our target market, because our work tends not to be trendy or have universal appeal. I don't sell at hipster craft shows, for example, because they don't really get what I do and are not the kind of people who would buy goth jewelry. Some people are offended by my skulls and bats, sure, and some people will probably be creeped out by your work... but they weren't our target market anyway. :)

Check out the Etsy's Dark Side team: www.etsy.com/teams/5820/etsydarkteam --- it's made up of goth and macabre Etsians and everyone's been pretty friendly. Not sure whether they're taking more applications right now, though.

I really like your shop!
I used to own a New Age store, and it was very dark and macabre. About one person in ten loves dark or horror-related items, so it's a relatively small market. But, not so small that you should have any real trouble selling it to those who do like those items.

And remember, it's an acquired taste, so those who love it tend to share with others who either love or hate it; be prepared for a lot of insensitive and downright hurtful comments from people who do not like it.
People sell all kinds of things on Etsy, many that I never dreamed existed. And many of those sell REALLY well. As long as you can brand yourself, and market to your target niche, you can sell. If your SEO is solid, your photos good, and your descriptions hit your niche, people will find you.

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