Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Bead Biz, Etsy 101

If you are a jewelry designer just getting started selling, you are most likely looking at different avenues to sell your work. If one of the options you're looking at is a website, maybe you should consider Etsy. If you don't know what Etsy is, it's a website where individual crafters can have a store to sell their work. It's a great way to test out your customers, to see if they are going to buy from you online before you invest a lot in a website. Plus as a bonus, there are dedicated craft loving shoppers looking online all of the time.

Necklace by Lorelei Eurto

The basics:

To get started you would pick a name for your store. With some images you can make a header. You fill out a few more blank fields with information, and voila you have a store. When you add a product, it's a nice little form to fill out with the name, description, tags, and price. Next you upload a photo from your computer and you're ready to sell.

Obviously, that's the basic explanation of how Etsy works Thankfully, Etsy has a great tutorial section on getting started. They also have message boards for help. I asked a question on the boards and got 4 answers within 30 seconds, now that's fast.

Earrings by GemHeaven

The Cost:

This is the best part you pay 20 cents for a product and then it's a 3.5% commission when you sell. As you can see, this might be a good option for testing the waters instead of putting out the money for web design and monthly hosting fee. Etsy uses PayPal; they invoice the customer once they have placed an order. It is deposited in your account and you are ready to ship your order. They also have an option to print a shipping label through the site.

Beyond Set Up:

Once you get up and running with a few pieces, make sure you let everyone know you're here. It takes time to build customers. There are lots of options for driving business to you shop. The best way to get a feel for the store is to check out some Etsy stores and search the site. There are promotion options online through Etsy also.

Etsy Site

Here are a few of the Art Bead Scene Contributors Etsy shops


Expedition D


Cindy Gimbrone


AJ said...

I love Etsy! I finally made my first jewelry sale there today, actually :)

I've found that it's really a great place to buy and sell supplies, too. I nabbed some awesome vintage chandelier drops from a seller in Spain, and I've sold a lot of my excess beads to buyers all over the world.

Lorelei Eurto said...

Hey Jennifer! Thanks for using my necklace in your post today! :)
I love Etsy too. I have been thinking about possibly opening my website now that I've maintained my Etsy shop for a little over a year.

Michelle Mach said...

Lovely post! I think Etsy is a great option to see whether or not selling your work online is for you.

Might I suggest that submitting your designs to a publication is one way to get the word out? If anyone has a fall-related design (photos only, no instructions) to share on Beading Daily, I'd love to see it. If I use the photo, I'll include a link to your website or blog. A little free publicity!

Crafty Gurl said...

Etsy great--but they do charge per posting. If you wnat to sell crafting items online for free and without risks, consider artfire.com.