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rebuilding my etsy shop during the "new normal"

 
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I'm also wondering if anyone could do a quick spell check on the listing page for the cleaning book to make sure my dyslexia didn't muck it up.  (Canadian spelling)
 
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Looks good to me!
 
r ranson
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r ranson
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googling "how to improve my etsy shop" has proved pretty useless.  A lot of light-weight advise that are great for beginners but not so much for established shops.

So I'm doing something I almost never do: listening to podcasts.

This one so far is my favourite: http://cricketstochachings.libsyn.com/
 
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I know nothing about fiber, or even selling physical products on Etsy, but I do sell downloads there.  

I have a couple of observations.

A bunch of really successful sellers do what they call "drops" on some periodic basis.  They have facebook groups or mailing lists, and they contact their customers with a sneak peek of what they are going to post on, say, Friday.  They build up an excitement level, and then only release a relatively small amount of product, which generally sells out.  Then everyone waits on the edge of their seat for the next "drop".  I don't know if that would work for you or not, but it might be worth looking into.

You can build a mailing list from Etsy.  You just need to get people to voluntarily go and opt themselves in.  My first line in every listing is a link to my mailing list sign up, with a note that they will get a 20% off coupon if they join the list.  It also means my list is mostly made up of folks who've already spent money in my shop, rather than browsers.  I haven't put much effort into the shop in the last couple of years, but with current circumstances, I am also looking at ramping back up with Etsy.  
 
r ranson
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a random thought

Random bags

Little 30g - 100g (approx. 1 to 3 oz) treasure bags filled with odd bits of fibre, handspun yarn, weaving thrumbs, and the like.  Every bag is unique.  
 
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A '$5 surprise bag, full of whatevers, with a guaranteed value of $10' type items are often a great seller!
 
r ranson
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Idea for self for later - look into print on demand cards and stationery that I can put yarn porn on.  Compare with the prices for that online print company I use sometimes and the local one.  

Probably not a great idea, but worth spending an hour or so looking at.  
 
r ranson
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Here we are a few weeks later.

Traffic and sales have gone down since the initial surge, but it's still at a better place than when I started.  

Interesting is that I finally have over 50% of my traffic coming from Etsy!  This is great news because Etsy has a ready-made customer base that comes there just for crafting ideas and looking for things to buy.  They say Etsy SEO takes about 3-weeks to 4-months to catch up with changes, so it's still a long wait.

I also started up my blog again so that it posts once a week (apparently Tuesday mornings are the best time to post, so I scheduled it for that) and will be focusing on tutorials and useful information about what I'm making and things around the farm.

So I don't know if these stats are interesting to you guys.  I'm posting them here because they might be useful for future readers, I needed to give this thread a bump, and with the vague hope that someone will tell me if my efforts are actually paying off.  

Last of all, the cleaning book is still doing dismally.  I think it's time for a new thread about that.   But until I can get around to that, what I'm going to do is revert the listing to the old picture and description, and make a duplicate listing to improve SEO.  This sort of thing is encouraged which makes me happy.
etsy-update-traffic.JPG
[Thumbnail for etsy-update-traffic.JPG]
etsy-update-found.JPG
[Thumbnail for etsy-update-found.JPG]
 
r ranson
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which is more attractive?

$15 and free shipping!
$5 and pay shipping.


...


...


...


...

both equal the same amount
 
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I'm such a sucker. I see free shipping and I'm happy. It makes it easier for me to budget, because I can figure out how much I'm buying when I'm adding it to my cart, not five clicks later and I find out the shipping made it outside of my budget.

Of course, people who are smarter than me, will realize that if they're buying multiple things from you and they're all "free shipping" they would save a lot if things weren't free shipping. But, I kind of have the feeling most people are like me, and not smart enough to have that influence their purchasing practices....
 
r ranson
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One thing I am not enjoying is price research.

I can know what something costs me to make, but it's also important to know where in my niche my items fall.  My goal is to produce better quality items than at least half the sellers in my niche and to that end, my price is a big part of the perceived quality of the item.  I try to find the high end of the middle.  Your sort of upper-middle-class kind of price.

But in my niche, there is a huge variation in the size of the item.  So for example, my yarn is actually priced lower per yard than most handspun yarn on Etsy, but more expensive per skein.  When I was deciding the pricing, I went and looked at about 100 samples of yarn for sale on Etsy, and calculated out the price they were charging per yard.  Then I arrived at the price goal I thought I would sell my item.  It was lower than I expected, so I had to improve the method of making to shave off an hour while maintaining the quality - which worked and I was able to hit the target price in a sustainable way.

Today I'm researching blended batts.  This is drum carded fibre, blended together for effects of texture and colour.  It's a lot of fun to make and work with.  AND there is a tremendous variation in size and content of the batts on Etsy.  So I'm going to have to divide the items to the price per gram - which means I am going to have to convert most of the listings from oz to grams.  My head hurts.  Maybe I should just pick a price out of the air and if people like it, they will pay?  
 
Nicole Alderman
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I'm thinking if it's about the right price, people will buy it if they like/want it. I know when I'm going on etsy, I'm looking for a specific something to make something with. If I want purple roving, it doesn't matter if orange roving is cheaper. I don't want orange. I want purple.

Say I want to make a scarf for my daughter, and her favorite color is pink. I'll look for "pink painted wool yarn." Then I'll look at all the pink painted yarns, and pick the most affordable one that looks good. There's bound to be a lot of pink painted ones I don't think my daughter would like. So, I don't care how much or little those cost (though I'll use them as a benchmark to see if the one I'm buying is reasonably priced). I buy the yarn that I need for my project. And, maybe if I like the other stuff on the site, too, I'll splurge and buy something else, since I'm already there.

Speaking of painted yarn, I'd have the keywords "pink and red painted yarn" on this yarn. I'd add "painted" to this yarn as well. That's only because that's the only search term I know to find that kind of yarn. You might put "rainbow painted yarn" in that one, too.

Maybe I'm the only one that calls these "painted" yarns, but I'm pretty sure that's what that kind of yarn was called in the store. I loved buying it for making scarves/hats for coworkers.

 
 
r ranson
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Thanks for the tip.  I think I did it.  I'll double-check tonight.
 
r ranson
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So here's an idea for my grab bags description.  Frankly, I am just bored of trying to describe this so I got silly.

I'm also thinking of CA$17 for this listing with free shipping to Canada and the US.  But CA$5 to everywhere else.  The contents will include about $25-30 or more value depending on what's in it, but I don't want to say that in the listing ... for complicated reasons my coffee-deprived brain cannot articulate this morning.  This will cover the expense of the bag, the shipping packaging, and my time to weigh and pack the item.  But won't cover the actual cost of the contents, but since this is just getting rid of leftovers, I'm okay with trying the experiment and taking a loss if anyone chooses to order this.

Mystery bag of fibre and yarn and stuff for felters, crafters, spinners, and yarn lovers - destash sale


Let's be blunt.  This is just a bunch of my fibre arts leftovers.  These things are just getting out of hand.  Pretty, though they are, I just have too much.

The contents are a completely random selection of colours, yarns, and fibre.  I make the selection based on whatever I'm working on at the time or whatever is leftover from the most recent projects.  But I'll do my best to include a bit of handspun yarn, some fluffy fibre, some weaving thrumbs, and whatever random fibre supplies I have on hand.  

I have a limited supply available but will probably renew this listing from time to time when the critical mass of samples and other random stuff builds up.


100g of random fibre, handspun yarn, thrumbs (short bits of yarn leftover from weaving), etc.
actual contents will be different than the photo.  It's random.  
no custom requests on this one folks.


*Sheep not included.  They are just there to look cute and get you to buy this stuff so I can make more room in my studio for the next project.
 
r ranson
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any ideas for some longtail keywords for the goodie bag?
 
r ranson
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goodie bag listing is now live

I am working on a duplicate listing for my cleaning book.  etsy lets us have duplicates to test seo and such.

here is my description so far.   it needs work.   any suggestions?

Learn eco-friendly, affordable, safe cleaning techniques from food-safe ingredients already found around the house.  This 33-page ebook helps you go beyond green by cleaning with simple recipes from edible ingredients that actually work!  

Topics include: clean home without toxins ~ natural alternatives to Chlorine Bleach ~ preventing and obliterating mould, mildew, and unwanted bacteria ~ simple but successful recipes for cleaning products ~ unclog drains without toxins ~ and so much more!

Learn:
- powerful, edible, non-toxic, cleaning recipes
- easy ways to prevent dirt
- lazy gals guide to keeping a clean house
- avoid toxins while still keeping things sparkling
- natural alternatives to chlorine bleach
- steps to reduce microbes in the home
- affordable tips and tricks for making your own cleaning tools
- and a bunch of recipes that really work!


Contents:
foreword by Paul Wheaton
introduction
ingredients
tools
surfaces
dusting
glass
floors
plumbing
oddbits
resources


PDF eBook
Clean With Cleaners You Can Eat PDF eBook
By Raven Ranson
With Illustrations by Tracy Wandling
Black and White (for more affordable printing)
Second edition
33 pages (8.5 x 11")
ISBN: 978-1-9994733-1-0

"A fun, easy read. It's full of information about not just cleaning recipes, but also preventative measures to reduce the need to clean, and to make cleaning easier. And, of course, I love that it's full of non-toxic, edible cleaners that are not only cheap, but easily accessible." ~ Nicole Alderman

 
r ranson
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I have an account with a wholesaler here in Canada for more supplies.  I'm really excited about this, but I'm also nervous.

I don't want to compete with the big sellers and sell the standard box stuff.  I'm thinking about making kits instead.  I don't really want my shop to be just reselling things other people make.  But I'm okay to write up some instructions and use these supplies to make kits to inspire other people to make things.

There are also shipping restrictions on some of these items so they can only be shipped within Canada.  But that's pretty standard here.


I still want to find someone local who can make spindles and tools at a wholesale price.  It would be great if they could do it out of reclaimed or local wood - or even better, wood grown on the farm.  But since I have no friends, finding someone to do this has been a challenge.  
 
r ranson
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Todays thought:  a basic wheel care kit.

It would include

~ a page of instructions on basic spinning wheel care (not repair) and troubleshooting, that every wheel owner should know, but almost never does.
~ spinning wheel oil
~ cotton drive band
~ wax for the wood
~ 100g ready to spin wool

I would want a fairly nice bag to keep it all in, that the people could use as a travel bag.  Since it has oil and wax in it, I don't know if cotton or linen would be the best choice... but maybe... oh, I wish I had more time in the day.  Maybe I should just order some cloth bags?
 
r ranson
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r ranson
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I am officially a Canadian Ashford Dealer.  Sadly, this means I can only sell Ashford supplies to Canadians, but that's still a start.  

The thing is, there are already a couple of hundred really awesome Canadian Ashford Dealers, so I don't want to directly compete with them.  So what I'm planning is to make kits.  I have one made up already and more planned.  Actually, I'm very excited because I can combine my new youtube skilz with promoting the kits.  

If any Canadian wants to order any Ashford parts, feel free to get in touch.  
 
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Do people often sell ebooks on esty? I haven't heard it brought up on the independent author podcasts I listen to. Just curious if you noticed other people doing it too. If you don't mind me asking... what has been your experience with your ebooks?
 
r ranson
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Daron Williams wrote:Do people often sell ebooks on esty? I haven't heard it brought up on the independent author podcasts I listen to. Just curious if you noticed other people doing it too. If you don't mind me asking... what has been your experience with your ebooks?



Etsy seems to be a popular place for that small-size e-book.  About 20 to 40 page, printable PDF.  It used to be big for zines, but I recently talked to people only a few years younger than I am, and they have no idea what a Zine is so it might be one of those long lost relics like a Betamax player or a rotary phone.

As for books, the audience is mostly crafters and people who like handmade items and also gardening.  So How To, Crafting, Gardening, and DIY books would probably do well.  Mine falls into the How To and Gardening categories so I'm making steady sales even though I haven't done anything to promote it.  Better sales on Etsy than anywhere else.  

Like any selling platform, they have their own search engine and customers, but it's difficult to rely on these as the only source of sales.  They are often tweaking the algorithm which can have huge effects on how many people find you through the platform.
 
r ranson
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How about dye kits?  

I'm thinking of a few different ideas, but one idea really interests me.  

It would have three dye colours and instructions to dye the item in one pot.  And a sample of some different fibres.  A skein of yarn, some commercial roving (both in white and light grey), and some wool locks.  There is enough dye to dye 3 kilo of wool, but the total fibre in the kit would be about 400-500g so they can play with dyeing things they have.  

It looks like it would be $95-ish CAD for the learn to one pot rainbow dye kit.
 
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