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Topic: advise to sell on own website or etsy?  (Read 758 times)
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ritapizza
« on: January 25, 2008 05:22:08 PM »

please help!
I'm going to sell my crafts online (my number one new year's resolution) and I plan to launch before February.
Would you suggest to set up a shop on my personal website or to set up an Etsy shop?

I was thinking of the pros and cons of each...
Etsy has a clean and easy to navigate layout that's ready to go, there are many buyers who surf Etsy for handcrafted things to buy, has a feedback section, and is a great community for crafters.  However, Etsy charges a listing fee and takes a cut of your profits, and there is a lot of competition.
On my own website, I can design the layout however I want and have more control over look/feel/navigation of the site. However, it will be harder to market myself and maintain the site on my own.
Either way, I plan to use PayPal (or would you suggested another method of accepting payment?).

I love to craft beautiful and useful things for people.  I mostly knit and crochet items for charity and would like to set up a way to fund my passion.
I have years of experience in webdesign but not shop design.

Can some of you talented crafty business gurus share some of your experience and advice?
« Last Edit: January 25, 2008 05:22:27 PM by ritapizza » THIS ROCKS   Logged

Jinkies
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« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2008 02:47:24 AM »

I'm in the same boat as you, and here's my thought...

I would also like to have my own website, but how do you get traffic there??

I would like to sell at Etsy - but I agree about the competition - if I direct someone to my Etsy store, there's a good chance they will wander off into someone elses!!

Decisions, decisions....
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« Reply #2 on: January 26, 2008 08:23:59 AM »

You still have to promote your site and get them to your etsy store. If you do a search for "crochet" or "jewelry" or whatever, you still have a lot of competition to weed through before your stuff is ever noticed. IF it is noticed.

You want to promote an etsy shop the same way as your own shop; listing it on free craft sites, blogging, myspace, local promotion...whatever you need to get traffic to your site.

The great thing about having your own site, though, is you get total control; you control the layout, the categories, extras, pricing...you can stand out more if you have your own site, promoted in the right way.
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« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2008 02:59:36 PM »


I would like to sell at Etsy - but I agree about the competition - if I direct someone to my Etsy store, there's a good chance they will wander off into someone elses!!


This is true, but then people might also wander into your Etsy store from somebody else's.  Wink
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« Reply #4 on: January 27, 2008 02:57:33 PM »

By making your own website to sell your stuff on you create one of the greatest tools at your disposal: you can tell your story. You can tell people why you make what you do, your experience, and how hard you work.

Pictures are VERY important when selling online because people can't pick up your product and touch it and look at it up close to see the work that was put into it. If you're selling on your own website the site itself must be just as professional as your photos and as your product. I cringe when I go to a website that is obviously n00b especially if someone is selling something on that site.

So if you can make your website absolutely professional, then I suggest it over etsy.
And start pimping out your business card!
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gramybax
« Reply #5 on: January 29, 2008 04:44:49 AM »

Hi everyone,

I am in the same boat.  I have been playing around with jewelry and making pieces as gifts for family and friends.  I have sold a few pieces to people who saw what I made for someone and liked it.  So my new year's resolution was to get a web page going.  I tried selling my things on etsy and had no sales.  I sold a few things on ebay but at a very low price.  So I wasn't very happy with either of those venues.  So I am currently creating my web page.  I hope to have it up and running in the next few weeks.  I'll let you know how it goes.
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ritapizza
« Reply #6 on: January 29, 2008 08:59:48 AM »

Thank you all for your great advice!
Etsy is easy but I agree, it's harder to stand out.  Developing my own website will take longer, but I'll have full control and less restrictions.

You want to promote an etsy shop the same way as your own shop; listing it on free craft sites, blogging, myspace, local promotion...whatever you need to get traffic to your site.
Yes, marketing my shop is something I haven't fully determined how to do yet, but thank you for the suggestions of listing on all different places!  Cheesy

By making your own website to sell your stuff on you create one of the greatest tools at your disposal: you can tell your story. You can tell people why you make what you do, your experience, and how hard you work.
Thank you for saying that because I never thought of it like that before. Our stories are what sets us apart from each other and also what connects us. That's very encouraging and what most convinced me to go the non-etsy route.

And start pimping out your business card!
And I don't have a business card yet! Wow, so many things to consider -- I'm excited! There's probably many more things I'm forgetting to look into, but reading through this forum really helps.


Thank you all so much!

With your advice, I've decided to take quality time developing my website to give my shop a more professional and personal touch. And I'll take my time to make the site look professional and make sure it works before I launch. I hope you all don't mind if I ask you for opinions of the site before I launch Smiley
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