Friday, April 27, 2012

Etsy CEO Addresses Baligate - Or Not

Chad Dickerson the CEO of Etsy finally made a blog post/statement of Baligate on Etsy.

Or did he? Well not really. Its a very long post that basically says due to privacy concerns they cannot give anyone more info on how they determined that Ecologica is not a reseller.

Then he went on to bash the Etsy community and tell us that this won't be tolerated. Reading it feels like a parent putting you in time out.  I just saved you 15 minutes of your life reading nonsense. But if you really want to read the whole thing click this.

It is interesting to me that Chad worked for Yahoo for years. Many of you know I have been a content writer for Yahoo for years. Yeah they don't treat their freelance writers very well either. The stories I could tell.

Chad really needs to hire better PR and better blog writers. His post is probably just going to rile up people more.

And there is yet another protest page (click here) The problem with all these Etsy protests is a huge lack of communication and organization. There are now too many with too many different dates. As I posted before to be effective at all it has to be on one date, with a huge amount of sellers. Too bad all these protest sites cant get together and pick one date.

The only good that would come out of an Etsy black out day is that it would probably get national media attention. But it won't if everyone is on a different page.

Like I said in my Etsy forum post, why Etsy would save one store and sacrifice so many other stores is beyond me. All they had to do was apologize for their mistake and delete the offending store. Pretty easy. They don't seem to have any issue deleting stores that aren't even resellers or demanding you take down listings for legitimate items.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Etsy Protest/Strike - Will You Close for One Day?

A few days ago I wondered if there would be an Etsy Strike/Protest to the recent reseller controversy. Today I saw it on Facebook. They are asking all stores to close for one day on May 1st (edited to add the new date is May 10th) in protest to the resellers and new direction Etsy is taking.

I think for this to work at all they have to get a HUGE number of stores to actually close (or put their store on vacation mode) Will enough shops do it? I'm not so sure?

This may be a way to get Etsy to reply to all the questions. Or they may deactivate all the shops that go on vacation mode on that day. Its a gamble for sure.

For me I will have to think it over some more. If I think it could really bring about a change I would be open to it. If not its a waste of time and could get your banned from Etsy.

Then again sales have come to a screeching halt ever since this happened. So it may not matter if we all get shut down?

Would love to hear from other Etsy members on what they think of this protest in the comments.

Edited to add protest strike links


Etsy shop protester page

Web page with details

Why You Still Need to Attend Craft Shows

I read a lot that about crafters that stopped attending craft shows and went to only selling online. This can work but I still think it is in a crafters best interest to attend the better more popular craft shows.

Many of these crafters are complaining about slow online sales. They only worry about promoting online. I really think it takes both. Real world promoting (especially in your community) and online promoting.

I know for my jam company my profit are much higher at craft shows verses online sales. This is due mostly to shipping costs that vary greatly from state to state.

This will be the first year that I sell my crocheted edge fleece blankets so we will see how that goes. But I suspect they will sell much quicker because people can feel them and see the vibrant colors in person.

Selling at craft shows always helps my online sales. What usually happens is people buy from me and take my card. A friend comes to their house and tastes our jam and naturally wants some :) I know every time we attend a craft show our phone and online sales go through the roof for weeks after. I got a 100.00 order from a person in Florida that tasted our jam at her friends house in Ohio.

We also donate jam gift baskets to local charities and fundraisers. Its a win win situation as it helps out the charity and helps get our name out in the local community. Never underestimate local customers!

Do be picky about what shows you attend. Try to only pick the higher end truly handmade shows. Ask other crafters in your community what shows are the best.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Etsy Closing Down More Shops Over Etsygate

I truly hope now that people get what I have been saying on my blog since last year.

Etsy can and will shut your store down with or without a good reason. Yes Etsy will let the resellers stay and close down small shops that are either too vocal or if there is any question at all about what you make.

It can happen to any of us at any time.

Etsy's recent actions have proven that they do not care about the small shops on their site. The Etsy resellers make them much more money than our little truly handmade shops. It will never change.  I was just reading about an Etsy seller that spent two years promoting her shop on Etsy and was suddenly shut down. She had never bought a domain or promoted herself only Etsy. Scarey stuff.

If she had just used Etsy as a promotion tool and did more marketing promoting her own website she would not have had a total loss of income and the ensuing panic over having her store shutdown.

STOP promoting Etsy and get back to promoting YOUR business. Every shop on Etsy should have their own domain name and website. Even if you cannot afford to get a shopping cart right now, at least get the domain name and make a holding page with your business name, some pictures and a contact us paragraph. Or buy a domain name and at least make a blog with it.

I really feel bad for people posting on the Etsy forums about the Ecologia/Bali/All from boats fiasco. What a waste of time and energy. I get that everyone is upset but again you will never be able to change Etsy. You can only change yourself and the decisions you make.

I really wish I had the money to start the ultimate handmade website. It is ridiculous that Etsy has sales in the millions per day (and gets a good chunk of that) yet has zero customer service for the sellers they make their money off of, no phone number and a whopping 16 employees to check for resellers.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Etsy Reseller Issues

So here we go again. Yet another reseller featured on the Etsy front page.

Are people really surprised? I'm not. Just another day in Etsy paradise.

People need to stop putting emotion into Etsy. Etsy is not a person or a lover. Etsy is a company. A company that wants to make money. Period. End of story. Etsy could care less about their "community"

I keep telling people - use Etsy just like they use you. Use them for traffic and sales but always have a backup and always tell your customers YOUR web address. Etsy has shut down a lot of small shops again the past few weeks. This is why you must have your own website or backup plan!

It pisses me off too especially when my product description listings were taken down. But I won't cut my nose off to spite my face. I will continue to use Etsy for my own selfish needs (just like they use me)  and I will continue to direct my customers to my website.

Shamelss self promotion of my newest skip stitch blanket design :)

Many think thecraftstar might be the answer. I am not as positive on that. While I love their Facebook page, it worries me that they are having so many issues launching their website. That tells me they need to hire a new webmaster or they just are not ready. I totally support what they are doing and hope they are a success, but I will wait and see.

Bottom line stop expending your energy on what Etsy is or is not doing. Stop worrying about resellers. Spend your time and energy making your craft and promoting yourself! You will never change Etsy. Never.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Great Promotion Site for Your Crafts

I recently stumbled upon thecraftstar Facebook page.

This is a great little promotion page for anyone making and selling craft items. You get to post your items on there for free with a link to wherever you are selling that item.

Once a day she picks the "artist of the day" She also does numerous other promotions during the day such as picking a color and having people post their items in that color.

Its a really fun page and best of all you get to promote your items for free!

She is working on making a stand a lone website and stores can be listed for $5.99 per month. However, she is having some issues getting that site up and running. I am sure she will get there!

Always take advantage of free marketing and promotion.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Do You Have the Entrpreneur Spirit?

I was just reading my friend Bobbi's blog (Mid Journey) and she really got me to thinking.

Whether you are a writer or a crafter you have to have the entrepreneur spirit to be successful.

I see so many people blame Demand Studios, Etsy etc for their lack of success.

Stop blaming other people!

The days of being able to write hundreds of simple articles for DMS is over. The days of putting up any craft and having it sell like hotcakes on Etsy is over.

I guess I was lucky to grow up with two parents that were both entrepreneurs and they instilled that "anything is possible" spirit to me.

But they also instilled in me the fact that anything worth doing takes a lot of hard work. Yes hard work! So many say "but I don't have time!" You can make time if it is important enough and you manage your time wisely.

I am usually at my computer working at 5:30 a.m. I might be writing a new e-book or crochet pattern or marketing my homemade jam and e-books. Around noon I take all of my orders to the post office. From 2-4 I am either crocheting a new pattern, making jam or tweaking a new e-book. In the evening I can be found answering email questions. Rinse and repeat.

At the end of the day you have to have that entrepreneur spirit to be successful and be willing to do the work!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Demand Studios E-Books - Are You Kidding Me?

So yesterday Demand Studios announces their line of e-books.

Why any writer would write an e-book for DMS is beyond me.

Not only did they announce it they are asking all their writers who have had nothing to write in months to promote DMS e-books on Facebook and Twitter!

The great things about writing an e-book/self publishing is that you do not need DMS or anyone else to do it. Why a writer would sell themselves short like this just makes me shake my head.

I have no idea how the DMS writers got paid but instead of taking DMS money; write your own e-book and keep the profits for eternity instead of an upfront payment.

Someone on the forum said too many people do not know how to market their own e-book. Well apparently DMS isn't too great at it either as they need their starving writers to do it for them.

Just say no!!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Dreaded Email From Etsy Integrity Team

I got one of those dreaded emails from the Etsy Integrity Team.

Apparently I can no longer sell product descriptions for Etsy sellers as Etsy has deemed it "not a tangible item"

I always send a word file of people's descriptions but Etsy still said no. I have removed them from my Etsy SEO shop.

I think what irritates me the most is that there is so much on Etsy that really should be banned and/or taken down. So many resellers, ripoffs etc, yet I am the one they go after.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Skip Stitch Blades Now in Stock!

I now have my order of Skip Stitch Blades to make crocheted edge fleece or flannel blankets.

These blankets are so fun and easy to make. I like instant gratification and I can make one of these in just one evening. We donate the baby blankets to charity but here is one I just finished for our friend Ryan. Ryan is very tall so this blanket is huge! He loves all things cammo.

The skip stitch blade for fleece is $14.50 and includes email PDF instructions with color pictures. I will mail them out the same day payment is made via Paypal. I know I hate to wait for something. You can use the paypal button below to purchase.

Or you can order the skip stitch blades on my Etsy Store

I will also be publishing all the patterns for the ones I have made. We will use the money to buy material to make more blankets for charity.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Tips for New Etsy Sellers

I read a lot of threads on the Etsy forum from new sellers wondering why they are not selling much of their crafts. Here are some of my best tips!

List list list!! If you only list 5 or 6 items chances are people will not stay on your page long. The more you can list the better. A full store just looks more professional and inviting.

Only post quality pictures. Yes its a pain but this is your number one way of getting the sale. If your picture is dark, blurry or has too much in the background, people will click off. Try to take your pictures outside in natural daylight. Don't have too much clutter or use busy backgrounds. The focus should be your item.

Learn SEO!! It really isn't that hard. Yes I sell a book on Etsy Seo :) but even if you don't want to buy the book just do some google searches and learn to optimize your store using keywords. Click here for one of my past posts on Etsy Seo. Click here for My post on Etsy Keywords and tags.

Write good Etsy product descriptions. I have many posts on this subject of descriptions. If you haven't read them yet please do!

Be patient. Many new sellers think they will get immediate sales as soon as they open their store. This rarely happens. Be patient, keep marketing and promoting and keep listing new items.

Check out your competition. I am in no way saying to copy them. But you do need to be aware of what your competition is charging for their items, shipping etc.

Sell quality items. Bottom line is no amount of SEO or great pictures will get your products sold if they are not quaity items that there is a market for.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Skip A Stitch Baby Blankets

I have been having so much fun making these fleece blankets to donate to the Preemie Project! Many people asked me for the instructions to make these so I just got the first one finished.

I am also now a distributor for the Skip a Stitch blades. I am carrying both the blade to cut fleece and flannel. Blades are 12.00 each and includes shipping. I should have my bulk order in just a couple days. This is how much I love these Skip a Stitch blades! There are a few copycat blades out there but they do not work. To order your Skip a Stitch Blade use the Paypal button below:

Also I am making an e-book out of all the patterns I have made using fleece, flannel, crochet stitches and the skip stitch blades. These are way too addictive!

Kay's Crochet Mystery Boxes/Bags Update

We have been getting a lot of questions on our Mystery boxes so here you go! First some have asked why we are now shipping in bags. USPS...