Thursday, November 24, 2011

Etsy Goes Mobile!

I have to admit I'm absolutely addicted to my iPhone. It just tickles me to be able to scan my prescriptions to order refills. Nothing makes you feel more powerful than pulling up info in seconds - I can answer trivia questions, identify the song playing, track my health statistics and share them with my doctor, check sports scores and schedules, buy movie tickets, manage my bank account, and more.

What has been missing since I got my iPhone is an official Etsy app. There were a few apps that allowed access to Etsy, but the reviews couldn't convince me to purchase them. I didn't want to shop Etsy from my phone. I wanted to manage my shop from my phone.

Etsy has now released an iPhone and Android app and it's FREE!  I'm just beginning to check it out, so I can't tell you much yet. The first thing I tried was looking at my expired listings and I was able to quickly and easily renew an expired item. Awesome!  I like knowing that I can be selling live and deactivate items in my shop as they sell rather than putting the whole shop on vacation to avoid duplicate sales.

If you've tried the Etsy app already, let me know what you think. All you sellers out there - is this something you will use? I know I will!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Etsy Wednesday Promote Your Shop Linky Party #35

Let's promote handmade items and Small Business Saturday as we hit the biggest shopping weekend of the year.

Penguin Print by Rainbow of Crazy
I chose this week's featured shop simply because of the name:  Rainbow of Crazy. Oh, the value of a catchy name!  The shop is owned by Joanna and showcases the art she loves to create and that makes her smile. Browsing through her art definitely made me smile.

Make sure you link up to the party.  You could be the featured shop next week.

Other linky parties say "NO Etsy shops" but we say YES!!  Here's your chance to market or promote your online store for FREE.  Once you link up your shop, don't forget to spread the word to other sellers as well as your friends who are in the mood for shopping.  Don't worry, you can still link up even if you're on Artfire, Zibbet, 1000 Markets, Folksy, etc.  Wondering what a Linky Party is or how it works?  Read this explanation for help.

Etsy Wednesday Linky Party Guidelines
  • Remember to visit other shops on the list.
  • Because this is promoting Etsy shops, I'm not going to require that you add my blog button to your shop (it's not possible anyway).  However, I'm hoping you will see it in your heart to add my button to your blog; stay connected to me on Facebook, Twitter, or my RSS feed; and/or promote this link party in your own way.  
  • Share this blog post however you can.  We want as many people as possible to look at your shops. 
  • Leave a comment telling the favorite shop you found on the list (other than your own, of course). 

Etsy Wednesdays


Monday, November 14, 2011

The Value of a High Priced Item in Your Shop

Something interesting occurred to me as I looked at our Etsy shop stats today. Having a higher priced item in our shop isn't a total waste.  Even though we don't seem close to selling those heirloom quality tatted baby booties, lots of people seem to be looking at them. 

There's something fascinating about "window shopping" or looking at items you probably won't buy. For those of us who remember the days of the printed catalog, there was something magical about flipping through the Sears, JC Penney, or Montgomery Ward catalog.

The baby booties don't have to sell in order to be successful. People browsing on Etsy and hopping over to look at the booties are introduced to my little "catalog" of products. That could lead to sales or even shoppers sharing my products as "favorites" with their friends, bringing even more people to my shop.

This weekend, we set up a table at the Utah Valley University Powwow.  Although we expect to sell more of our Native American items there, sometimes its my fancier tatted necklaces that get people's attention. My favorite "showcase" piece is this peach colored necklace with beaded flowers.  I was almost disappointed when a woman purchased it Saturday.

Don't be afraid to throw an item in your shop that seems impossible to sell. It just may be the item that brings people into your shop to look around.  I'd love to hear about it.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Monday Madness - Merchandise Inventory

I tried posting this last night, but lost everything when my computer I gave up.  Please forgive my absence. After dealing with illness for the past couple of weeks, I finally went to the doctor and found out that I have pneumonia.

With some events coming up that I plan to sell at, I realized that I needed to have an updated inventory of my products for sale. This week is our annual holiday boutique at work and they have a central checkout system. That means labeling every item I plan to sell and giving them a list of products so we can reconcile things at the end of the boutique.  If you haven't been keeping your inventory current, this is a very time consuming process.

Etsy does help you a little with getting your product information into a list.  In the "Shop Settings" area, click on "Options." On the page that comes up, there is a tab for downloading data. By downloading a CSV of your shop inventory, you will have a lot of the hard work done. A CSV is a comma separated values file and it will open in pretty much any spreadsheet program. When I downloaded my shop list, I discovered just how many items I hadn't managed to add to the shop yet - oops!

Our next event is a powwow at Utah Valley University. No central checkout, so we need to stay at the table to sell our stuff. Since many of our products are geared toward fellow Native Americans, the powwow is a fun place for us to be. Getting to talk to the customers is also better for our sales since people are more likely to buy when they understand what tatting is or how to work an adjustable necklace. It's also nice to be able to more flexible with our prices and to take custom orders.

Do you have an inventory list?  Are there any tips or tricks you'd like to share with us?
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