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Help with my etsy shop - eco-friendly (dare I say permaculture) handmade textiles and yarns  RSS feed

 
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I threw the most expensive skein of yarn (not realizing that $50 Candadian is like $39 USD), went to check out, and it shows $0.00 shipping.

Shipping option
Standard Shipping Free!
$19.86



So, even though I live in USA, it still gives me free shipping.

Question what is the least arrogant way to refer to my country? Lots of countries are in the America, so saying America seems arrogant. Lots of countries have United States, so saying US seems arrogant. But,the USofA is not a term most people use. So, um, what do I call my country without sounding self-centered?
 
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Um, do I answer the question honestly?

I don't know if this would break publishing standards.

So I just say that in Canada, we call it The US

But there is a meaning behind that which isn't all that flattering.  


Gladness - free shipping to you!

Sadness - our dollar is that low now.

gladness - more people from The US might want to buy my yarn!
 
Nicole Alderman
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Yikes, if I ordered yarn that was $40, the shipping would have been $19.86. The shipping would be paid by you. So, in reality, for you'd only be getting $20USD for yarn that you priced at $40. That's kind of stinky.
 
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Yep.

Shipping is expensive in Canada.  

I'm wondering if I should up the minimum price of free shipping for orders over 75cdn
 
raven ranson
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I think I'll keep it $50 for now, then up it at the end of the month.  
 
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Hi! I’m brand new here, this is my first reply. I’m hopping in here because I’ve spent a lot of time researching and implementing this very thing with my own Etsy fibre arts store. So much time in fact I’m in the process of leaving Etsy and opening my own independent storefront  site as I’ve had it. But that’s another rant!

For photos you want the first one on a white background. Yes it’s boring but a) it allows your product to be easily seen when people are scrolling and b) Etsy is developing a photo recognition component to its search. And showing up in the search is the key component to Etsy success.

You’ll want to make sure you research SEO to death and have good longtail keyword titles with matching tags. There are Canadian Etsy Facebook groups where you can learn more if you need to.

Use as many of the 10 photo spaces as you can, it helps your search rank. Fill them with the styled photos.

Renewing listings no long helps.

If you’re not promoting yourself on social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook) you need to be. Not paid advertising but posting in relevant groups, etc. There are several fibre marketplace groups.

Hope these are helpful!
 
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etsy has a new feature where it can calculate the shipping for you.  This is neat because you can get free shipping upgrades.  This also means that I won't lose so much money when I estimate the wrong shipping amount.  

Here's my first experiment using this.  https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/262374861/

I'm not sure it's working as I can only see the price to ship to my part of the world.
 
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r ranson wrote:etsy has a new feature where it can calculate the shipping for you.  This is neat because you can get free shipping upgrades.  This also means that I won't lose so much money when I estimate the wrong shipping amount.  

Here's my first experiment using this.  https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/262374861/

I'm not sure it's working as I can only see the price to ship to my part of the world.



Make sure you log out and test it. Others were finding that with the calculated shipping it was adding the full shipping charge on each time if they were making a multi item purchase.
 
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Jen Huhta wrote:Hi! I’m brand new here, this is my first reply. I’m hopping in here because I’ve spent a lot of time researching and implementing this very thing with my own Etsy fibre arts store. So much time in fact I’m in the process of leaving Etsy and opening my own independent storefront  site as I’ve had it. But that’s another rant!

For photos you want the first one on a white background. Yes it’s boring but a) it allows your product to be easily seen when people are scrolling and b) Etsy is developing a photo recognition component to its search. And showing up in the search is the key component to Etsy success.

You’ll want to make sure you research SEO to death and have good longtail keyword titles with matching tags. There are Canadian Etsy Facebook groups where you can learn more if you need to.

Use as many of the 10 photo spaces as you can, it helps your search rank. Fill them with the styled photos.

Renewing listings no long helps.

If you’re not promoting yourself on social media (Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook) you need to be. Not paid advertising but posting in relevant groups, etc. There are several fibre marketplace groups.

Hope these are helpful!



Thank you for taking the time to post your experiences and advice regarding Etsy. I am in the process of finishing up my logo, labels, etc., for my natural product line, and have been thinking about possibly making some listings on Etsy besides my website. Your experiences and tips will be quite helpful if I do use Etsy as one of my sales avenues.
 
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I've been doing a lot of crafting on commission the last few months, but now I have a break before the next batch and can focus on my etsy store more.  

I must admit, I like pre-selling my work before I make it.  It's more stressful, but I know that the person wants it.  


What about props in photos.  I've tried a few in the past, but I'm not sure if it adds to the yarn or detracts from it.  



I think photos are going to be my next focus.  I dug out the tripod and discovered how to set the timer to two seconds so I can take the shot and not shake the camera.  This has really helped.  Before, I had to focus strongly on my breathing to make certain my hand was steady.

Lighting and staging are still my nemeses.  
 
raven ranson
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I spent about an hour today looking at other etsy shops to see how they display their handspun yarn.  I'm sorry to say, most of them were uninspiring.  

I got this new light box and I'm trying to discover if it's worth keeping.  It is nice not having to wait for weeks to get the lighting just so.  But I'm beginning to suspect that lighting is just half the problem.  I want to work more on staging.

This yarn is natural medium corriedale.  This is what I started with.



another attempt



And here are a few more I'm trying today.  Any thoughts on what direction to try next?
IMG_2967.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2967.JPG]
IMG_2882.JPG
[Thumbnail for IMG_2882.JPG]
 
Nicole Alderman
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I like the bowl one. It's simple, elegant, aesthetically pleasing, and natural-looking. The suitcase one looks like the yarn is photoshoped in front of it--even though it's not. The cutting board one is weird only because what does cutting boards have to do with yarn.

One article I read about etsy pictures was to have multiple different types of pictures. One that's a plain picture of the yarn with a white background, and then more that "tell the story" &/or have related objects &/or have things for scale.

I'm wondering what the bowl one would look like with some knitting needles sticking out of the yarn? Arrange the needles so that the gauge is visible and have them be the size of needles one would use with the yarn.

Other yarny things that might work:

  • a spindle (maybe wrap the yarn skein around the spindle),
  • wool carder-thingy (lay the yarn across the card, both to give scale and to say "I carded this wool myself!"),
  • handwritten/antiquey/sepia looking piece of parchmenty paper with a sock pattern written in cursive. Lay the yarn across it diagonally
  • a small piece of the yarn that is knit or crocheted, so people can see the yarn in "action"
  • Whatever-that-thing-is-called that you put the yarn on to send it back and forth across the loom. If you've got a big one, you could lay the yarn across it diagonally. If you have small ones, maybe nest it in the yarn? That might be too "busy" and detract from the yarn
  • have it tumble out of a basket that's tipped on it side
  •  
    raven ranson
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    Today I played with titles and SEO keyword based on what words people used to find my shop.

    I also added a listing for spun to order yarn.  But I'm not happy with the description.

    Hoping to have a big photo shoot this weekend to try to make all the pictures of yarn look the same ish.
     
    Jen Huhta
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    r ranson wrote:I've been doing a lot of crafting on commission the last few months, but now I have a break before the next batch and can focus on my etsy store more.  

    I must admit, I like pre-selling my work before I make it.  It's more stressful, but I know that the person wants it.  


    What about props in photos.  I've tried a few in the past, but I'm not sure if it adds to the yarn or detracts from it.  



    I think photos are going to be my next focus.  I dug out the tripod and discovered how to set the timer to two seconds so I can take the shot and not shake the camera.  This has really helped.  Before, I had to focus strongly on my breathing to make certain my hand was steady.

    Lighting and staging are still my nemeses.  



    You definitely (according to the marketing/Etsy experts) a well-lit photo on a white background as your main photo. Yes it’s boring but it makes a big difference when people are scrolling a page and comparing products, and as I mentioned before it will factor in the image search function when it’s live. Styled and staged photos are ok for extra photos, and are particularly effective used on Instagram for marketing there.
     
    raven ranson
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    It's good advice.

    I'm having a big photo shoot this weekend.  I have about 20 different products to add when I'm done and with luck they will all look the same style.  

    The white and the light yarn aren't showing well on the white background.  

    From the research I've read this week, it looks like etsy is starting to favour shops where the listings all follow the same format.  Shorter, more relevant titles, more tags, the same phrases and keywords in each listing.  

    From the advice in this thread, my thoughts this weekend are to...
    ... create a template that all my yarn listings will follow.
    ... discover a photo style that every yarn photo will follow.
    ... apply the two.

    Maybe buy into etsy plus. Maybe.  

    I also want to work on this listing.  https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/629432131/custom-handspun-yarn-spun-to-order?ref=shop_home_active_1
    I'm not happy with the pictures or description.

    And I have to buy some more fibre.  Somehow my production speed has doubled in the last year, but I'm still buying at the old rate.

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    I'm thinking that if you did the first picture (the bag of yarn) in the lightbox with a white background, it would pop better. If you have any other colors of the corriedale wool spun, you could mix those in there so people know that it's not just natural colors, but all sort of colors.

    I'm looking at getting some more hair clips for my daughter. I like how the etsy owner (Cupcake Clip Shop) arranged the clips in a circle. Even though all 110 colors aren't picture, you can tell there's A LOT of variety in colors.
     
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    Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered, is there a way to easily spin the yarn to fade from one color to another and then back? In the store, they call it "painted yard" and I generally love making scarves/hats with it because I don't have to worry about switching from one color to another. But, often painted yarns are made in--what seems to me--really weird color combinations. And, they're usually made from non-natural fibers.
     
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:Kind of off topic, but I've always wondered, is there a way to easily spin the yarn to fade from one color to another and then back? In the store, they call it "painted yard" and I generally love making scarves/hats with it because I don't have to worry about switching from one color to another. But, often painted yarns are made in--what seems to me--really weird color combinations. And, they're usually made from non-natural fibers.



    You can buy hand dyed top dyed  in a gradient form and then chain ply your single to retain those colours, or you could also take say five separate colours of fibre spin them in order and then chain ply them. you can also do two or three ply and just break off you single if they don’t quite line up
     
    raven ranson
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    you can paint the finished yarn, or dye the fibre, or my favourite, blend two colours of fibre on the carder.



     
    raven ranson
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    Still working on photos.  

    But I updated my announcements section today.  Any spelling (I'm hoping for Canadian spelling) or other errors?  

    Handspun yarn for weavers.
    Free Shipping anywhere in the world with orders over $100CAD - use coupon code 100HENS

    I started spinning yarn for knitting, but when I learned to weave, I immedately wanted to know what it would be like to weave with my handspun. Although excelent for socks, my singles are spun with the loom in mind. Care is taken to make a consistant and strong yarn that creates a deligteful fabric. Woven in plain weave, the twist in the yarn creates a gorgious bias that gives the cloth the texture of twill.

    The biggest concern with handspun yarn (after durability) is quantity. I never want you to run out of yarn in the middle of a project, so I create large skeins of 400 yards in batches of over one pound. Many of the yarns listed here, I can make more on request, although the dye batch may not be identical.

    I love spinning orders over 1 kilo, so I'm offering wholesale prices for large, custom orders. Convo me for details.

    learn more about me and the family farm at www.crowinghen.ca



    The idea is that
    1. weaving/weavers/loom/warp are keywords that people use to find my shop.
    2. most handspun for sale online aren't specifically designed for weaving.

    The first two lines of the description are visible to everyone, the rest you have to press a button to read.

     
    raven ranson
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    Nicole Alderman wrote:I threw the most expensive skein of yarn (not realizing that $50 Candadian is like $39 USD), went to check out, and it shows $0.00 shipping.



    It's $38 USD now.

     
    raven ranson
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    Looking through my very old photos, this is my favourite



    It's handspun singles, hand-dyed in madder.  The type of wool (Cotswold), style of spinning (true worsted), combined with the dye makes it glimmer like silk.  

    What do you think of this photo?  Now to see if I can reproduce it.
     
    raven ranson
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    I spent a few hours today negotiating with my camera.  It seems hellbent on anticipating my desires which I expect is mostly user error.  One day I'll take a class and learn how to use my camera.

    It seems if I get the background looking white, the colours aren't accurate for the yarn.  But by keeping the background a bit dirty looking, the yarn turns out pretty accurate.  

    What do you think of this? https://www.etsy.com/ca/listing/603498417/undyed-handspun-wool-yarn-white?ref=shop_home_feat_2


    I'll add some photos for scale later.  Maybe some props for pictures 5-8.  But for the first three pictures, do you think this is professional looking enough?
     
    raven ranson
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    I made some big changes to the shop appearance.

    Put the logo in there.  Some images in the banner.  

    Just random little things taking advantage of etsy new plus subscription.

    https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/crowinghenfarm

    So what do you think?  Too much clutter or telling a story?
     
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    On mobile it looks great! Very professional and a very friendly environment while still making it easy to find the products. I have not looked at it on desktop yet.

    Great job!
     
    raven ranson
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    I made it so my etsy store should automatically calculate free shipping on order over CA$100.

    Does that show for you?  
     
    raven ranson
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    https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/crowinghenfarm


    To get the colours to look right, the picture got a bit grainy.  But when I put the yarn next to my monitor, it looks pretty accurate.  Of course, all monitors are different...
     
    raven ranson
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    I'm still not happy with my pictures.  They seem better than most handspun yarns on etsy, but they still need work.

    I'm thinking there aren't enough chickens in them.  

    Looking on etsy for some hens that might be photogenically nestled among or beside my yarn.  I don't know if this is a good idea or not, but it would add something interesting to the yarn.

    Here's a few I'm considering.

    Beautiful basket



    Expensive and large.  Not sure it would fit well in the photo box.  But oh so cute!



    Handmade hens



    I would have to get both of them, but I worry about shipping from the UK.  The last thing I ordered from there never arrived (5 months now) and the thing I ordered before that took 4 months to get here.



    Toys



    Cute little guys, but I'm wondering if I shouldn't seek out some texture that is different from the yarn.  Too much soft and cuddly?



    What do you think?  Would some chickens help my yarn look more crowing hen-ish?

     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Chickens could be made from wool roving via the needle-felting technique. I haven't made a chicken, but I made my niece a duck for her birthday.

    Maybe there's needle-felted chickens? Maybe some could be made from the same wool as your yarn so that they match.


    Took a look, and there are needle-felted chickens


    A really intricate, expensive one (and for good reason, this person is way beyond my current felting skill level) $167 (link)
     

    Cute little one for $30 (link)



    A different one, $12 (link)



    If I were to make a chicken, it would probably look something like the one below, but without the walnut. (link)



    Needle felting isn't that hard, and the simpler chickens like the 2nd & 3rd pictured ones wouldn't take too long (or much skill) to make
    duck_felted.jpg
    [Thumbnail for duck_felted.jpg]
    duck_looking_up.jpg
    [Thumbnail for duck_looking_up.jpg]
    fairy_riding_horse.jpg
    [Thumbnail for fairy_riding_horse.jpg]
     
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    Photographing fiber is difficult.

    I like these a lot...





    I think if there are props at all, they are more visually effective if they have a contrasting surface from the fiber...ie. the ceramics you've used in these and that sweet wooden bowl.

    If you want to add a chicken what about a black and white drawing of the crowing hen? in different poses 'holding' the yarn or 'nesting' in it?

    But then, I would avoid too cute for your sophisticated yarn buyers?  
    I think the ropy chicken basket would be a distraction while the small ceramic chickens might be more subtle.

    I never had photos I was happy with...at one point our craft guild had professional photographers available.  It's such a major part of marketing and usually the least favorite.



     
    Nicole Alderman
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    Hmmm, this is R's logo



    I'm thinking it's based upon R's chicken, Henny Penny




    I'm wondering if having a little chicken that looked just like the logo would add or detract to the yarn, especially if it were made of the same types of fiber? Maybe have it nestled into the secondary "fun" pictures, but not the primary pictures?

    The chicken could even become an "Easter Egg" (term that refers to hidden surprises inside movies and video games and pictures) for people to try to find in pictures. It adds a bit of fun and whimsy, and gives more of a story to the page. Though, like Judith said, maybe R's buyers wouldn't be interested in that? I'm interested in that kind of thing, but maybe those who buy her yarn aren't?
     
    raven ranson
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    some great ideas here.  

    I spent a couple of hours in our local second-hand shop seeking chickens.  There are 27 elephants, 2 geese, 18 owls, over 40 ducks, 4 tropical birds of some description, about a zillion cats, and two unsuitable chickens.  One was fluorescent blue and too big, the other was a puppet.  I didn't even find a rubber chicken.  Disappointing.

    I had hoped to find at least one Portuguese Azores chicken statue as these were ubiquitous until about two years ago.  

    There is an insufficient number of chickens in our city!

    I did find some ornately decorated wooden eggs, but they didn't quite match the style I'm looking for.  
     
    raven ranson
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    how about this pair?





    not quite a crowing hen shape, but good colours to go well with yarn.
     
    raven ranson
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    I just had a thought.

    I was updating a listing for my homegrown yarn and I thought wouldn't it be neat if I could find a way to say that the source of the fibre and the distance of the yarn were the same.  I can't figure out how to phrase this, but it seemed a clever thought.

    So I started wondering, how far away is 400 yards?  I asked someone in the house who has done the calculations, and apparently, 400 yards is the distance, down the driveway, down the road, to the intersection where the mailbox is.  I didn't realize we needed that much yarn to knit a pair of socks.  It puts things into perspective.  

    Talking about perspective.  The alpacas and sheep all live within 100 yards of the house.

    Is this a selling feature for this kind of listing?  Truly local material source?  How would I describe this?  
     
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    If the story is your business story, it matters.    When you are running a business you are telling a story that others believe also.  So if the story is in-line with what you want the business to be then you will attract the right tribe.
     
    gardener
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    My immediate thought was hen on nest candy dish like these: https://www.glassbottlemarks.com/indiana-glass-company-hen-on-nest-dishes/

    Kinda pricey online though. I used to see them at thrift stores for a couple dollars.
     
    rubbery bacon. rubbery tiny ad:
    It's like binging on 7 seasons of your favorite netflix permaculture show
    http://permaculture-design-course.com/
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