Last year I decided to start an Etsy shop to sell some of the smaller items that I like crafting. It was a fairly easy process to set up, and listing items is simple and clear. I listed several items, and then waited. And waited. And waited. It wasn’t until January, four months after starting my shop, that I had my first sale, and it was a great experience waking up in the morning to the “you made a sale!” email. I’ve had several sales since then, but by the end of February things had dried up. I listed more items, and renewed my current listings to bring them to the top of the queue, with no luck. Even now I’m still trying to make more sales. It’s a bit disheartening, to say the least. But I’m keeping at it, because it’s important to me and because I like the feeling of giving customers what they want to the best of my ability.
Recently, though, I’ve come across several instances of resellers on Etsy. For those unfamiliar with the website or the term, Etsy is a place for selling handmade and vintage items. A “reseller” is someone who takes mass-produced items bought very cheaply in bulk and resells them listed in his/her shop as their own creations. It’s against Etsy rules, although from what I have seen and heard the Etsy administrators are willing to let resellers slide… because they bring in a lot of money.
It was one such instance that prompted me to look at other places online for selling items, and I found a place called Zibbet. Much like Etsy, it’s a website where sellers can list homemade, crafted items and sell them to internet customers. Its setup is slightly different from Etsy’s, in that it’s free to list your items and you take all profit, whereas Etsy takes a small fee from your sold items. On Zibbet, you can sign up for various types of seller accounts, from the free basic account all the way up to the Premium account. I’ve since created a free Zibbet shop in hopes of increasing sales a bit more.
The Zibbet community is also very friendly and open compared to Etsy’s. Etsy recently changed their forums, and created what they call “Teams”, which are inclusive groups focused on specific crafting items, themes, and so on. It used to be simple to go on Etsy’s forums and ask for help regarding crafting techniques, materials, how-to’s, and so on. The creation of Teams makes that much more difficult, because now you have to search for a team dealing with your situation, and then apply to join that particular team before you can even ask for help. It’s part of what frustrates me about the recent Etsy changes. I’ve found the Zibbet forums to be helpful and welcoming so far.
One site that Kathryn likes to check for updates is Regretsy – a site that often pokes fun at ridiculous Etsy listing. They have their own forums, and a team on Etsy itself, and I’ve also joined efforts there. Regretsy is what ties everyone together, and they are also a tight-knit community. I’ve already gotten a bunch of helpful advice, and I plan to take steps to improve the quality of several of my item pictures and listings.
What I would really like to focus my efforts on are period costumes, ranging from the medieval to the Renaissance to the Victorian, and including subcultures like steampunk. However, at the moment I craft mainly smaller items like dice bags, purses, smaller messenger bags, and decorative houses. I have a Youtube channel dedicated to showcase videos of my products, and a Facebook page as well – look up Greyed Out Productions for more information. To find my shops on Etsy and Zibbet, simply search for “Greyedout”. That’s the name of the shop.