June 17, 2008

Etsy versus eBay and Sherry's Toodles Tut

Hi Sz,

I have been thinking of branching out to Ebay and/or Etsy. Is one better than the other? Do you think that would be a good next step for me? What advise do you have for me? Should it increase sales?

Oh, and your wire wrap tutorial on your site, is that one you wrote?

Thanks, Sally

I have not done any tuts yet. I struggle with the whole "it's been done before so you shouldn't make money off of it" versus the time it would take for me to set up a tut showing how I do what "I" do.

I think I will get some simple tuts out of me this summer to get on the blog for free.

The tut on www.magpiegemstones.com is Sherry Dancing Feather's Toodles Tut. That woman is an amazing wrapper and an awesome teacher. I have seen her keep control of a frustrated mob of Texas ladies until they "got " it and then they were all as happy as lambs in milk. She is a very special human. I would have run screaming into the night in fear long before that.

EBay versus Etsy. The forever dilemma I think I see this question pop up on the online forums once a week.

Personally I think the more venue streams and income streams the better but the two places are very different. I would sell components on eBay. The focal without the cord, or kits, but that is me. There are people who do really well on eBay with their jewelry and they have a good following but it took them a long time to get there. If you don't mind seeing 70% of your items not be bid on or up and it won't break your heart.

Look a the numbers carefully when setting up a store or auctions and be sure you are not loosing money. It is really easy do to do on that venue. A store is inexpensive and jewelry does better in the store format than auctions. You have to run auctions for exposure though and maybe only break even, but look at is as advertising costs to get people to see your jewelry. Be sure you have a blog or web site (try www.citymax.com) that you can refer people to on your about me page to sell them even more jewelry and give you credibility. I would auction earrings and have the matching bracelets and necklaces in an eBay store.

Etsy is pretty good for jewelry. I have sold a few pieces on there and I only HAVE a few pieces on there. There is a "way to do Etsy" and I am not an expert by any stretch of the imagination. I see it would be beneficial to add one piece a day. That way you are always at the front of the pages in new items and searches. Also you have to start out selling fairly inexpensive. People sell for less there than other venues and you have to have some sales under your belt before you really start getting noticed or have people trust you. Etsy is a place where buyers go to look for artisan work so it is the place for that.

Once you are established you can raise your prices to the value of the pieces.

Ruby Lane is another venue you might want to look at. I have not set up shop there but many people I know have. I don't know how they are doing with it but it may be worth looking into.

I love Designs To Love and now you can add shopping cart buttons to your pages. I don't know how well it would be as a venue but I have gotten a lot of exposure there which has turned into online sales.

My experience is mostly selling in person and a bit on the net. Sales have always been consistent for me on the web if light, but I really don't advertise or push that venue very hard.

Please chime in with any comments or advice you may have on this subject.


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