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Thread: Anyone have experience using Etsy? Or should I just make my own website?

  1. #1
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    Anyone have experience using Etsy? Or should I just make my own website?

    My cutting boards are starting to 'take off'... I've sold 10 in the past 2 weeks, and I'm thinking that I need either a website of my own for them, and/or a page on Etsy for marketing and/or sales.
    -Ned

  2. #2
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    Minimal and vicariously (i.e. I haven't done it but I know people who have, I also have an ex-coworker who worked there for a while). Its pretty low overhead to setup so if you're looking for a soft entrance it seems like a decent avenue. A lot of folks once they really get rolling find some of the limitations on item count, and (moreso) inventory management to be overly burdensome and so branch out afterwards to do their own site later.

  3. #3
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    I'd probably go Etsy to start. Setting up and managing your own site can quickly become a time soak.

    I have a neighbor that runs a volusion site. Costs some bucks and takes some time.

    Plus with Etsy you already have an audience looking for hand crafted items. Less marketing for you to do.
    Programmer - An organism that turns coffee into software.
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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Mooney View Post
    Minimal and vicariously (i.e. I haven't done it but I know people who have, I also have an ex-coworker who worked there for a while). Its pretty low overhead to setup so if you're looking for a soft entrance it seems like a decent avenue. A lot of folks once they really get rolling find some of the limitations on item count, and (moreso) inventory management to be overly burdensome and so branch out afterwards to do their own site later.
    Ryan,
    That's about how I see it... 'soft' entrance (I like that...)... and if I get busy enough that 'item count' matters, I'll be making some $. lol.
    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I'd probably go Etsy to start. Setting up and managing your own site can quickly become a time soak.

    I have a neighbor that runs a volusion site. Costs some bucks and takes some time.

    Plus with Etsy you already have an audience looking for hand crafted items. Less marketing for you to do.
    Brent, sounds good to me. And the target audience was why I thought of Etsy.
    -Ned

  5. #5
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    i looked etsy over when i first set up, then i went ahead and created my own site through microsoft. the only time i really devote to the site is to set up the next month's newsletter (gotta get that done in the next few days), and for that, i have everything done up for the next year, so it's just copy, paste, and publish. it's rigged up with google analytics, which gives me quite a bit of information about the number of visits, first time and return visits, what countries i have visits from too. it can get down to say, for the united states, go from country level, state level, then down to city level. with countries, it tells me what region, and city too. i think at times i've had visitors from 45 states here, and i think 37 different countries have stopped by. other than adding new items, or adjusting price, or quantity on hand, it's pretty much hands off.
    benedictione omnes bene

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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I'd probably go Etsy to start. Setting up and managing your own site can quickly become a time soak.

    I have a neighbor that runs a volusion site. Costs some bucks and takes some time.

    Plus with Etsy you already have an audience looking for hand crafted items. Less marketing for you to do.
    Brent (indirectly) makes another good point. If I was doing this today I'd use a hosted solution either way. Basically I'd be looking for a service that (at least) handled running the backend and did the credit card processing and some minimal inventory management. If this was 10 years ago you'd be getting very different advice form me Fact is that enough other folks are doing a good enough of a job I'd be hard pressed to do a better job, especially given the time required to do it.

  7. #7
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    Ned, My wife has two ETSY stores and I have spent the last two weeks running back and forth to the post office to keep her stuff moving. It's a low cost way to reach a large audience. If you have a unique product and it catches on, sales will snowball. Take a look at your competition on ETSY, check and see how many sales they have had and gauge your potential success from that. You're not risking a lot to set up a shop anyway.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brent Dowell View Post
    I'd probably go Etsy to start. Setting up and managing your own site can quickly become a time soak...
    This.

    I've set up a couple of Etsy stores, but never got around to adding any products. (Had too much other stuff going on.) It was easy to set up, and for the volume I suspect you'd be looking at, easy to manage and a good deal price-wise. Etsy is a good deal for relatively low-volume crafters like you because they do all of the heavy lifting behind the scenes, and they also pull in a well-targeted public.

    I've also set up a higher-volume full commercial site with secure credit card processing, and unless you're looking to put in a lot of hours researching and setting it up (plus a few hundred bucks just to get started), I'd recommend against it unless/until your volume is quite a bit more than 10 cutting boards per week. And even then, as Ryan pointed out, I'd go with a hosted retail package. Let someone else set it all up. There are people who already know how to do it, make a living doing it, and will be able to do it much faster and more easily than you. And the end result will very likely look more professional than a homemade commercial website.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

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  9. #9
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    Do both eventually, but do the etsy page first. It will help with driving ratings up on your website to make it show up higher in searches if you decide to go that route.

    I believe you're allowed to put links in product pages, as long as they are links to the same product on your website's product page. These links will not be clickable, but a customer can copy paste them. You can put links in your etsy about page back to your website, which are clickable.

    Second be sure to setup google analytics on each, below is a link to setup google analytics on the etsy site. Will help you with learning where customers are coming from, how often, what search words they are using (which you want to replicate on pages in your website).

    http://www.etsy.com/help/article/230
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  10. #10
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    Thanks guys,
    I'm not looking for my shop to be full time (though after the hollydaze it will effectively be so again...), so 'low volume' and 'turn key' (ie Etsy) fits better than a more intense site for now. Lori wants to do the craft show circuit in the spring (let's face it... it is Winter in central NY... shop time is going to be limited over the next couple of months...). I've got 'some' stock built up now, friends on FB keep expressing interest in buying boards, and a couple have (sold 7 just yesterday... 6 'cheese boards' and another just a bit larger to a friend from high school and a buddy of his), but that's not the best venue. I'm going to wait until after the 1st of the year and get it going.
    -Ned

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