What I Have Learnt on Etsy

For the past couple of months, I have a rather fulfilling journey on Etsy and I am going to talk about it today.

But let’s begin with Yoville. Did you remember me from Yoville days? Right up to June last year, I was still dabbling in Yoville. It was not all play *ahem*. I was there to learn business. You see in Yoville you can trade with other players and there is a huge market in there of people trading various furniture/clothings in the game.

I found a place where I could get items cheap and then sell them off to other players, as a result making quite a bit of yocoins. From there I learnt 2 things.

1.) That even though you sell the same items in the market as other players, you can still make money as long as the market is big. 

2.) Pricing – before you want to sell a certain item, check out its market place for an average price to know how to roughly price you item.

Those two principles I applied on etsy. Alot people say they dunno what to sell. They think of an item, then go and check the market – and realise a whole load of other people are selling the same items and get discouraged.

I know that ’cause I did that and felt it. But I shouldered on because of the lesson learnt in Yoville. For my products, there is one other HUGELY successful seller in the market, who has more items and has been in the market longer than I do. Instead of being discouraged by its existence, I look up to it as a model, and strive to be like it.

Next I scoured the net for advice. I visited the Etsy forum and there were tons of advice, including Search Engine Optimisation, photography, how to write up my descriptions, and the various marketing tools to help advertise the shop.   

I greatly enjoyed testing out the various advice where I could, and slowly, my sales begin to build.

One of the earliest forum posts I read was about waiting. The writer said you need to wait it out, at the same time work on your marketing and store. As more and more people get to know of your existence, business will slowly trickle in.

As a newbie, it was easy to get impatient and want immediate result. But I realise, building up a store is not something you can hurry. Wait, maybe you can, there are some very experienced sellers who started raking up sales as soon as they started selling. When I know that secret, goodbye, I won’t be here anymore. :D 

After a couple of months of working at my store, I’m slowing seeing that effect happening. As more people favourite you shop, it gets more exposure, and MORE people will come.

Blogie had once commissioned me to use her illustrations for selling. She said she trusted me to do a good job. Instead of helping her, I forwarded her some links to get started on etsy. It’s not that I do not want to help her, but personal style is close to my heart. While her illos are very beautiful and I love them, I have a personal style inside of me wanting to get out. And doing my own store is time consuming enough, so I never got around to helping her.

I have also learnt about being focused in one product line. It’s very common for people now to see somethng nice and say – hey, you can sell that online. As if you can sell ANYTHING online. My experience has shown that you need to find a focus product and stick with it. This is why when people tell me I can sell my pouches and clothings, I have to think think think. I do not want to do guerilla selling. I don’t think it works in the long run. 

Lastly – time. IT really took alot outta me behind the pc in the past year, sourcing for beautiful sewing accessories, reading advice, doing marketing, listing my items on etsy ( would you believe each item listing can take about 30-1 hour?) Then there are the photography and photoshop sessions, and packaging – I’m such a newbie.

All these gobble time. Not just that, mental attention. And the shop activities are so engrossing in that you keep thinking about it, how to better it, or what to list, that even when I am with the kids, my mind is bursting with ideas of how to make my shop better.

I have many times while punching the keyboard, or reading on the internet, read a storybook to Meimei at the same time. Or teach Baobao to read. Multi tasking.

I have to tell you – it eats one’s mind. To flip your mind from one to another and then back and forth kills brain cells in a way you cannot imagine.

After some days of heavy etsying, I will spend yet another couple of days in a daze, doing much nothing. As if recuperating from the intense work…Multitasking is a joke to me.Just seeing this word gives me headache now.

Well , all in, except for the eating me up part, I greatly enjoyed doing it. While I am nowhere quite near to success now, I am quite certain if I keep working at it, the results will show.

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