Wednesday, December 11, 2013

An Etsy Update

December 10 marked two months of having my Etsy shop up and running.  I wanted to take some time to look back, figure out the stats and think about what I've learned. 

My first two sales were to people I knew, but the third and fourth were to strangers - that felt like success!  (Five of the 12 total orders so far have been to people I know.)  The first sale was 11 days after opening.  The first month had three orders. 

Some orders were for multiple items; this is the summary of what I've sold through Etsy in these past two months:

Wheat Bags - 11
Zip Pouches - 3
Coffee Cozies - 2
Camera Strap Covers - 1
Handwarmers - 7 sets
Bean Bags -  1 set
It's encouraging to see that I've sold at least one of everything I offer... it also shows that the wheat bags and handwarmers are the best sellers!  I've got 13 more pairs beside me in the works as I type.

To compare, these are the sales for the same amount of time that were not through Etsy.  These numbers include:
  • my only craft sale of the year - a table at a women's event in Winnipeg that I wasn't even at!
  • an order for 60 coffee cozies to a local coffee boutique
  • three orders through Used Regina / Kijiji
  • many were because people were made aware of what I sell when I began promoting it
Wheat Bags -29
Zip Pouches -3
Coffee Cozies - 72
Camera Strap Covers -2
Handwarmers - 4 sets
Bean Bags - 2 sets

So 25 items sold through Etsy out of 137 total...  Still, it's been a great opportunity to brand my little sewing habit and have an excuse to sew different items.  I've been thrilled with this experience and have a couple ideas for new products to add after the holidays.  I'll be sure to give you the first peek here!

The Etsy shop also provides a good upsell to orders from Used Regina or Kijiji - I only list my wheat bags on those sites, but when someone sends me a message asking about them, I can direct them to my shop in case they see something else they'd like to pick up at the same time.  The last girl that came wanted 4 bags, and left with two sets of handwarmers, too.

I am figuring out the whole shipping thing, estimating and adjusting, ordering packaging materials and making friends with the post office ladies.  *Rookie tip: go to the same post office all the time so the workers get to know you.  Oh, and I got a small business card that saves me 5% on shipping with Canada Post - my first piece of plastic with Alice&Victor on it!!  So exciting.

People can make treasuries or collections on Etsy - I was featured in one made by another Regina Etsian.  That was kind of exciting... Etsy is like many other online worlds in that some people are slightly addicted.  You can follow people and shops and see what they are liking and making, and some people you see on there lots.  Obviously more activity and interaction in the forums gets you noticed, but moderation is key.

So there are a few bits about my first two months - I think beginning just before Christmas was a winner time, but here's hoping the new year is just as fun & profitable!


Leanne said...

Hey Carolyn,

Have you thought of vacuum packing certain items. I know it works great with yarn since the size of the package is taken into account too.

Carolyn Ward said...

Leanne - good idea! Most of my stuff fits through the 'magic slot' at the post office, but I'll keep that in mind.