(Work in progress, patchwork tiers for a new gypsy style hippie skirt)
I have been thinking about this Etsy topic for quite a while now, today is the day to write it down.
You may take my advice or leave it, I am no preacher by no means, and everyone's opinion is subjective. I like Etsy, it has been a great selling venue and I left Ebay after a long selling period when I realized that Etsy was a better market place for me. The transition started in June 2007.Until today I have had over 400 sales. And 33 sales in my supply outlet.
What has worked for me?
***Even though I love to list on Etsy, I don't consider Etsy my business, but as one part of my enterprise. A healthy distance to the venue you are selling in, is a good start.
***Some sellers do get sales by posting in the forums, but if you don't watch your time, you may waste hours in the forums without really getting anything accomplished. Set some time aside to go into the forums to read up on topics and site changes or just chat, but keep it short and sweet, always remember that in order to sell, you have to have handmade items first.
***Don't expect Etsy to be a playground where everyone will play nicely. Coming from Ebay I have learned to grow a thick skin. Etsy is a selling venue first, a community hang out second. There will be controversy and maybe instances which may seem unfair at times as well. Put your big girl/boy panties on and deal with it. Or walk away for a while. As we are all different there will never be complete harmony among its members. And quite frankly I like to see when problems get addressed.
***Sometimes you may seem invisible, but frequent listing of new items has really kept me busy. Being not one of the lucky Etsyans who get featured on the front page or in treasuries I have resigned to the fact that some "looks" just appeal more to be displayed than others. But sales won't necessarily be effected. So, it may be just an ego thing and honestly you shouldn't worry too much about it. I also don't advertise hardly on Flickr, MySpace, Facebook and all the other new places popping up every day (even though I have established a few accounts that rest in peace:). I just don't have the time nor the desire. If you think this is the route to go, sure, why not, but it's not a must. Many successful sellers have proven (and I am not talking about myself, but sellers who have sold way more items) that listing a great product will actually do the trick. There are only 24 hours in each day, a fact we just can't change, use every hour wisely.
***Take it easy. Don't check your sales every 10 minutes, a watched pot never boils. Don't be too desperate. Strangely enough desperation seems to "smell" and make slow selling periods even worse. What is a turn-off in real life seems to be true for internet selling as well. Make new items, have fun with new designs.
***Explore your options. Have your own website, maybe a few selling accounts on other venues. Depending on just one site may be crucial if you ever have your account suspended (in error or for violation) and it deprives you of new selling experiences.
Enjoy Etsy, but no need to have your life evolve around it. You walk away from a real life job every evening, walk away from Etsy after your work is done. You wouldn't want to lodge at your work place either, would you?