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Is Etsy really worth it?

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  • Is Etsy really worth it?

    I have been considering opening a shop in one of the 'handmade' online market places. I have been making Childrens clothing and am now trying to market my company. I ran a really quick search in the searchs on Etsy, Folksy and Misi. The clothing shops on Folksy and Misi don't seem to have sold anything at all and a single search for babies dress on Etsy pulled up over 13000 results. All in all I'm not sure it will be worth it. I also thought I might try not on the high street anyone got any experience?

    Thanks Karen
    Karen
    www.angelicfolk.co.uk
    Bespoke clothing for your little angels
    http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
    http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

  • #2
    I was on Etsy for a year with my jewellery, and I didn't sell a single thing.
    As you've found, you're among 1000's of other people trying to sell their items aswell.

    NOTHS might be the better option, but I don't have any experience with them.
    Childrens clothing could prove a difficult thing to sell, what with the well established high street stores and places like Tescos doing their own cheap ranges aswell.

    You've just got to keep chipping away at it Karen, and if your clothing has something different/quirky/cute about it, then it will stand out from the mass produced stuff
    My Website: http://www.endevajewellery.co.uk
    Twitter: EndevaJewellery

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    • #3
      I've not seen your children's clothes, but I do agree that however you sell them, you need something different or quirky to make them stand out. You may already have this sussed!

      Do you sell much locally? Craft fairs, party plan, parties at playgroups, etc? (give them 10% cash commission, they'll be glad for you to sell there). I used to sell children's appliqued clothes 20+ years ago (pre-internet) and ended up with a full-time employee, several outworkers, and party-plan agents in Cheshire and Yorkshire. It can definitely be done. Your competition may be big, but so is your customer base. I actually started out making from remnants and ended up buying wholesale bolts of fabric. (My third baby and 15-hour working days ended the whole thing!! The two don't mix well!)

      I agree NOTHS might be a better option for sales - it certainly seems more promoted in mainstream high-circulation mags than any other online store. They do refuse a lot of applicants, though, and they do charge. I don't sell with them, so no idea what it is. I like the fact they have one shopping cart - makes it easier for buyers to part with their cash!

      Good luck
      digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
      blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
      hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
      blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

      Comment


      • #4
        I don't have experience of actually selling anything online yet but I do have a couple of things on MISI and hope to develop that soon but the one thing I would say (with MISI at least) is that it doesn't cost much to put a few things up for sale to test the market. Might be worth a go and doesn't require much effort leaving you time to explore the excellent suggestions from Wendy
        Lorna x

        http://twistedspiral.wordpress.com/ - I've finally ventured into the world of blogging!

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        • #5
          Thanks for your help as always Wendy, I have some of my clothes in my from window (we are opposite a primary school) and have had one commission from that a dress, pants and hat for £35, the same lady now wants me to make her a tote bag and some clothes for her daughter. I also had an enquiry from another lady but she has gone off to save up some pennies. My neightbour has asked me to make a christening gown for her new baby and has offered to hold a party, she asked around at her NCT class for me and says when she has enough people interested she will hold the party - she bought the stripey coat from me (£60!) other than that I have joined a local craft group to try and gets some leads and my parents have a friend who is a manager at Leapfrog nursery she is handing out my cards and displaying a postcard on the notice board. Should I try shops? my husband says no because it will eat all the profit but I am thinking it will be a regular income if it takes off and leaves me to concentrate on making stock not marketing. Also I have been invited to have a stall at a craft market in Lincoln in July but am unsure whether it would be the right outlet, the clothes may be a little expensive for a craft stall.

          Sorry for the epic story just realised how much I've written will sign off now
          Karen
          Karen
          www.angelicfolk.co.uk
          Bespoke clothing for your little angels
          http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
          http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

          Comment


          • #6
            Firstly, you've made a great start! It will snowball, I promise you.

            No, your clothes won't be too expensive at the right craft market. I remember selling at a craft fair to a lady I ended up delivering the clothes to myself and her hallway was bigger than my living room. Huge, huge house, would've filled a field! I thought the clothes were expensive, she didn't.

            One aspect of selling yourself that you may not get through a shop is customer feedback. You will find your range develops because of what customers say and ask for. They may not ask the same in a shop, but when they know you're making them they will.

            You could try approaching schools/playgroups (google them to find out contact details) - maybe a letter, followed by a phonecall? At craft fairs, have leaflets for customers about party plan/school parties.

            The shop idea may work, but approach with caution. If the shop goes bust with your stock in it, and it isn't yet paid for, you won't get it back unless you can prove it's yours. Contracts are important. Also, many shops are struggling, so it may not be the best place for your clothes at the moment. With direct sales, you are putting your products right under people's noses in an environment where they're more likely to spend.

            If your prices are tailored right, you could employ a party-plan agent on 20% commission to sell for you. That could be the best of both worlds.

            Hey, don't apologise for epic, that's what you always get with me!
            digital stamps for cardmakers: http://www.handmadeharbour.co.uk
            blog: http://handmadeharbour.blogspot.com
            hand painted personalised plaques, clocks, canvases, etc: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk
            blog: http://www.1stuniquegifts.co.uk/blog

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi.

              I sell through NOTHS, as well as from my own website, etsy, folksy & dawanda.

              If you want any details about NOTHS, just PM me
              Sarah
              For 100% wool felt supplies, felt balls, buttons, ribbon, needle felting supplies and lots of other lovely stuff, visit BLOOMING FELT

              Blooming Felt's Blog

              Comment


              • #8
                Thanks Sarah, have PM'd you
                Karen
                www.angelicfolk.co.uk
                Bespoke clothing for your little angels
                http://angelicfolk.etsy.com
                http://www.facebook.com/#!/angelic.folk?ref=profile

                Comment


                • #9
                  I've just put a couple of bracelets and pendants onto Misi. Just a question of waiting to see if they attract any interest.

                  I've tried Etsy and had a couple of sales but nothing now for a long time.

                  School craft fairs are a good idea and, in my limited experience, they don't charge too much for a table!

                  Good luck
                  LC's Beads
                  http://www.freewebs.com/lcsbeads
                  http://www.lcsbeads.folksy.com
                  http://www.lcsbeads.misi.co.uk
                  http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/...?v=wall&ref=ts

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                  • #10
                    I make cloth baby shoes. I am just about to launch online at the end of this week. They are very labour intensive so I have to charge a higher price for them. They are unique and individual and each pair comes with their own little shoe bag so I think overall they are great value. I think when it comes to certain crafts such as sewing you must value your time or it won't work as a business. I know how much it must take for you to sew each item individual so don't worry about your prices. The people who can afford to pay that price are your target market. The people who won't or can't pay that price are not your target audience.

                    Really think about who you are aiming your products at and how best to reach them. Etsy is a good venue if you are using it as a webshop that you send people to but not so good if you just want people to find you on their own. I personally use Big Cartel. I basically have a stand alone shop that I promote online and offline. If your target market is people who spend more on custom made items or boutique type children's clothes then think about how you can reach them and drive them to your online shop.
                    Art for children + soft toys http://www.noisettebaby.co.uk
                    Homewares, gifts +christmas decorations http://noisettehandmade.bigcartel.com
                    Blog http://noisettehandmade.blogspot.com
                    Twitter http://twitter.com/noisttebaby

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