Saturday, August 21, 2010

Silly Saturday

It's another swelteringly hot and humid August day.  You won't find me outside in this weather!  I can't wait until it is cooler, I love fall weather!

Recently I've been working on a variety of new card cases and mini wallets, but I have not photographed them nor listed any of them yet!  I think I am waiting for a big enough batch.  I should come up with a more streamlined way of listing my items.  It always takes a long time.  I think most people agree the descriptions are the hardest part.  One thing that makes it easier for me is to open up a word processing document and work on the descriptions there.  That way when I get to the step of listing the item, all I have to do is copy and paste, and all of my descriptions are written already.  It also helps if you take your time to be thorough and detailed.

Sales have been very slow for me in August.  When sales die down, sometimes it feels like a total mystery.  Sometimes all the tips and tricks in the world wont change a slow sales period, and you're left wondering "What happened?!"  It can be frustrating.  But you just have to be patient, and keep plugging along.  This winter will be my first Holiday Season on Etsy.  I've heard it gets super busy!  Hopefully I will have a lot of inventory by the time Christmas rolls around.

I hope your crafting is going well, everybody!  Anyone care to share what they like to do during the slow times?  :D

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Doldrums

Well it's already mid-August and summer will be winding down soon, if not the heat here in Maryland!  I suspect it's going to be an Indian summer this year.  Things are slowing down in my shop as well so I might actually make my goal of listing a hundred items!  13 more listings to go!  I've been busily rolling polymer clay beads in all sorts of different colors, and I finally baked a big batch of them last night.  I did list my first clay bead creation which can be found HERE .  Lets see how much I can make with them!

I also have supplies coming in from Fire Mountain Gems and Joann.  I ran clean out of clasps for my jewelry products so I had to place a large order.  I found some really cheap but great bead/craft storage boxes at Joann for something like $2.37 each!  And they are pretty big and quite sturdy.  I bought one earlier in the summer and came back for like 6 more!  So those should be arriving soon I hope, because I've got to get chugging along on my projects!  13 listings is closer than ever to my goal, but as any experienced Etsian will tell you, listing 13 items is such a daunting task!

In other news, I finally received a replenished supply of red Owl beads for my most popular pair of earrings !  they have to be shipped from overseas so it takes up to a month for them to get here!  Now I should have enough for 25 more pairs of these popular earrings.

Meanwhile, I have tons of beautiful fabric and I have no idea what to do with it.  I'm sort of afraid to start a project with them because I don't want to mess it up!  But if I'm going to make it to 100 items, I need to overcome my crafter's block and dig in!

I'm starting my day with a redbull in the hopes that it will get these fingers off the keyboard and into my craft supplies!  That's my update for now,  HAPPY CRAFTING y'all!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Introducing my new line! Nifty Nests!

I'd just like to share a product I'm very proud of!  These are 1-inch wide bird's nests with little eggs and flowers that I made out of polymer clay.  I've fashioned holes beneath the leaves that make them suitable for stringing on ribbon or other stringing materials, but they can also be made into magnets or a brooch!  They are varnished with a glossy non-toxic finish.  You can find more in my SHOP !  I hope you enjoy!

15 Things To Do While You're Waiting For Sales!

We've all been there.  Hopelessly refreshing our shop, looking at that little number in the right-hand menu; "Sales:..."
Sometimes things slow down, or grind to a complete halt, and it can be frustrating, discouraging, or even make you want to give up on the whole thing!  Instead of indulging in the cycle of negativity, here are 15 constructive things to do while you are waiting for sales.  Work your way down the list, and maybe by the time you're done, that little number will be a digit or two higher than the last 1000 times you checked it!! ;D

1)  List and Relist.  Have you been putting off listing some items you've got stashed away?  Now is the time to let them out into the wild!  If you don't have anything new to list, try relisting a few items to bring in traffic!  Remember - the more you list, the more likely it is you'll make some sales!

2) Rearrange your shop!  Shuffle things around and give your shop a fresh look.  Let overlooked items have some time in the spotlight.

3)  Browse through the shops and heart any items you like.  Make connections and give someone a happy moment when they check their hearts!  This can eat up plenty of time.  Browsing Etsy is just too much fun!!

4)  Scope out the competition.  See what other people are charging for similar products.  Check their tags!

5)  Clean up!  Review each listing you have made one by one, thoroughly.  Go through, change shipping prices or descriptions, add other information you may have skipped over if you were in a hurry to list your item.  Check again for spelling or grammatical errors.  You can never be too thorough!  Pinch and perfect your listings while you wait!  You'll be surprised what you find!

6)  Search on Etsy for some of the key words and tags you've used in your listings and see what comes up.  Adjust listings accordingly.

7)  Hit the chat rooms and make some new friends.  Do some show and tell with other Etsians and share tricks of the trade or just a nice conversation to pass the time.  Chat now!

8)  Organize your supplies.  If I ever have free time or get blocked, one of the best ways to get some inspiration is to organize my supplies.  When you take an inventory of what you've got to work with, the many different ways you could use them start to pop into your head!  Not only that, but you will be prepared for your next sale if you take the initiative to organize your shipping supplies etc.

9)  read some forums in the Etsy Community section and get some tips for success!  Or consider participating in some give-aways!

10)  Brush up on the Etsy Seller's Handbook, which can be found HERE .

11)  Create a Treasury !  It is lots of fun, and good exposure, another good way to meet people on Etsy.  Let the shops you feature know you have included them in your treasury.  Here's a LINK to some of the Treasuries I've made!

12)  Join a Team !  From the Team home page: "Etsy Teams are groups of organized Etsy members who network, share skills, and promote their shops and Etsy together. A Team forms around a shared location, crafting medium, or another interest.   Etsy's 450+ Teams make us not just a marketplace of individuals, but an interconnected and diverse artistic community.   Teams are Etsy’s biggest and most creative grassroots engine for support, networking and marketing – for each team member’s shop, for the Teams themselves, and for Etsy as a whole."

13)  Make some new items for your shop.  Make a goal of how many items you would like to have in your shop.  I've found that 80+ items is a good number.  The more you have in your shop, the more likely it is you will have something that someone out there just has to have!  If you don't feel like listing them right away, that's okay too!  But it's good to have a decent stock of items.  

14)  Research shipping costs for your items.  The more specific you can be for each country, the better.  Try to estimate the weight and cost as closely as possible.  Those of you with a postal scale will have an easier time of it!

15)  Take a break from your shop.  Yes, you read that right!  Sometimes we need to take a break from obsessing over our shops and focus on something else for a while.  Do something nice for yourself.  Take a walk.  Take a bubble bath.  Play a game.  Write a letter.  You'll find yourself refreshed when you come back!

I hope you've found some useful suggestions in this list, and that when you finish the checklist you come back to find SALES!!