Oh Etsy, why?

Quirky Purple EtsyJust a moan really…

Etsy swapped a few menus around a little while ago and I’ve only just got used to them. It just wasn’t as quick to get to my Shop Activity. I don’t know about you but I really like to keep looking at this. I love it when people favourite my things and then someone else favourites it.

I’ve just popped onto Etsy today to add my hot water bottle covers back up now that the weather is getting colder and it’s only gone and bloody changed again!

Arrrgggh, all the menu bits are now on the right-hand side rather than the left so my finger keeps twitching the wrong way for the menu.

Now, don’t get me wrong – those new little icons look really cool and I particularly like how my purple logo is used up there. But, yeah you knew there’d be a ‘but’, right? Now I have to do 2 clicks to see my shopfront?? It’s another thing I like to keep an eye on and change my featured items and I like to look at the shop to do this so I can see it how potential buyers will see it.

Is this just me? I’m not really a computer luddite and over the years I’ve changed enough large websites myself to know that you can’t please everyone all of the time. I guess there’s been a lot of user testing on something as big as this, so it probably is just me 🙂

I’ll shut up now and go and bath the baby…

Right. That’s it. I’ve closed my eBay shop!

Well, I’ve been getting more and more frustrated with eBay over the last few months.

I set up a shop on there about a year ago as I thought it gave a better experience for potential customer to browse sections rather that have all my goodies just lumped together. The fees for the shop weren’t too bad either. The shop itself wasn’t very flexible on look and feel but I managed to give it the flavour of Quirky Purple.

Over the last year eBay have hiked the prices and just made it harder and harder to be a successful seller on there, especially if you are a smaller seller like myself.

eBay buyers are out for a bargain, but hey, who isn’t these days? It does annoy me though when I get people contact me and offer me a couple of quid for something I spent ages making and I think I’ve priced at a reasonable price (which is probably too low anyway for the amount of time I spent making it). It’s been quite a hassle on and off.

You can also seem to get the odd  ‘bad buyer’ on eBay. At the end of last year, I had a lady buy 2 vintage items from me and she bought and paid for them as 2 separate transactions. She then complained I hadn’t combined postage – which is impossible when bought and paid for as 2 separate transactions. Anyway, I offered to do a PayPal refund to combine the postage. She then said that she wanted her money back for the 2 items as she wasn’t happy with them. No worries, says I (gritting my teeth as they were completely as described and she clearly just didn’t want them, but hey ho that happens sometimes), just return and I’ll refund. Oh no, says she, I haven’t got time for that, I’ll just leave you bad feedback. Seriously, that’s what she said, and she did indeed leave me poor feedback. I complained to eBay and they wouldn’t do anything as she said the items weren’t as described… even though I’d offered a return with a full refund. I’d never had poor feedback before and had built up a good reputation as a Top Rated Seller. I’ve always provided a full refund even if something didn’t fit or suit a buyer once they’d received it. I was gutted that eBay couldn’t help with this issue.

Anyway, enough of my rant. I’ve closed the shop. I still have a Quirky Purple account on there and will continue to use eBay for auctions of vintage goodies.

Quirky Purple EtsyI’m now going to concentrate on my Etsy and Folksy shops. They seem to fit my handmade items so much better.

Enquiries from these sites are from genuinely interested buyers. The shops look beautiful too compared to eBay. I love the way you can have a look at a seller/maker’s profile and learn a little about them. Ordering custom items is so much easier too and a lot of my customers are requesting custom items.

I love being able to create treasuries and love seeing my items added into someone else’s treasury.

Sorry if this causes you any issues as a eBay buyer, but they have made it harder and harder for me to make it worth my while selling on there… c’mon over to Etsy where the water is lovely and warm 🙂

To eBay or not to eBay? Or Etsy is the question…

I’ve been running my online shop on eBay for a little while now. The good thing about eBay is that you have a lot of traffic. If you get the price, the description and the product right, people will find it and hopefully buy it.

The eBay auction side of things really helps to drive sales, and also helps to guide people into your shop. Also with a shop you can lay things out reasonably well with quite limited skills. You can also try to get people to add your shop as a favourite or sign up to your newsletter. At least you can let people know what’s new in your shop – that’s if you can get them to sign up!

eBay is great in that you get all the things you need to set up an online shop, all the payment side, all the reminders and they act as a ‘big brother’ to sort of disputes.

Feedback is good to help enhance your reputation as an online seller. 100% good feedback not only looks good, but also lets your customers know that your products are good and the delivery times and prices are good. The problem is that the feedback is more on the side of the buyer rather than the seller. If you had a poor customer (which if you’re on eBay, you will have from time to time) you can never give constructive feedback. Where as customers can give positive, neutral or negative feedback.

Aside from all these good things about eBay, there is a big elephant in the room. As a small seller it actually costs a lot. I find a large portion of any profit I make, is fed back to eBay, as shop costs, listing costs, and selling costs.

So, I’ve been investigating options.

This is where Etsy comes in. As I sell mainly vintage or handmade, Etsy actually fits the bill quite nicely for me.

I set up a new shop on Etsy really easily and I’ve listed some of my more premium stock. There’s no charges for an Etsy shop, unlike eBay. Also the listing costs seem cheaper, but I need to look at the financials on this over a couple of months. The listings last for longer too – 4 months as opposed to the eBay length of up to 30 days before renewal.

I quite like the ‘feel’ of Etsy. It’s more like a community and you can start to build up circles.

It’s early days, but I haven’t sold anything on Etsy yet. I have had a few people add some items or my shop as favourites. During the couple of weeks I’ve had an Etsy shop, I have been selling items on eBay, thought mainly from my auctions. But, like I said, the auctions do drive more sales.

Here are the two shops:
eBayQuirky Purple eBay Online Shop
EtsyQuirky Purple Etsy Online Shop

I’m going to try both out, side by side, for a couple of months to see which works best for me.

Has anyone else had experience of switching between these two? Which worked best for you an why?