General chatter - A question for fellow etsy crafters




kaplods
07-31-2011, 03:52 PM
I recently opened my etsy store (only a year after I initially planned).

My shop name is DreamstormDesigns, and I have 15 items listed, in three sections of my store: crocheted journal covers, doll furniture, and customized makeover dolls (barbies and action figures transformed into fantasy creatures such as centaurs and fairies)

I'll also be adding crocheted stuffed animals, and other crocheted and knitted items.

I've been having trouble getting my paypal preferred account verified (the account number that my credic union gave me wasn't in the format that PayPal expected). I think I've got that right, so it should only take a few days to get my PayPal account verified.


Getting to the question: For those of you who sell on Etsy - how long did it take to get your first sale? Were you a buyer before you were a seller. I've heard that most people won't buy from an unverified seller or from a seller who has no feedback. To sell, I've been told, you really have to buy first. Have you found that to be true?


The verified part will be resolved in a few days, but do I have to buy before I can sell?

I'm getting a lot of views, and about a dozen people have added either my shop or one of my items to their favorites. I've even already been listed in someone's treasury.

I've also heard that you have to be active in the teams to get noticed. Is that true? I joined a few teams, but have been mostly lurking.

Also, how do you market your shop? Do you blog? Pay for advertising?


I think I have some really cool and unique items (maybe they're just odd), and I tried to set reasonable, but fair prices, but I would love some input.

If you've got a few minutes to tell me what you think, I would really appreciate it (you can be blunt and even harsh. If I'm doing something stupid, I'd rather hear it from you guys than just never get a sale, and not know why).

Not that I'm expecting sales yet. I do know it can take a while, even several months to get noticed.

Any tips or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


mhill0823
07-31-2011, 10:44 PM
Well i'm not a seller on etsy but I do buy a lot on there and I can say that I only buy from verified sellers who have a LOT of feedback, just personal preference!

kaplods
08-09-2011, 10:21 PM
I am so frustrated, I want to scream!!!

I'm trying to get my bank account verified by paypal, which was supposedly only going to take a few days, and it's been over a month (I submitted the first account number on 6/28).

The first number I gave paypal was wrong (turns out the number I was given, wasn't the complete number). I found this out a week later, when I received the paypal notice that the account was invalid (I was wondering why the verifications deposit didn't show up in the two to three days promissed).

The bank was closed when I realized this, so I went to my online banking page and found what I assumed was the real number (there were 3 extra digits).

So I submitted that number to paypal. Six days later, I got a notice that this account number was invalid, so my husband called the bank (I had a terrible sore throat and fever that day, so I had hubby handle it). I heard him repeat the number to the teller THREE times.

Then got the notice yesterday that this number was invalid!

We went to the bank today today to speak with one of the account managers (not just the teller), and discovered that the teller had given us the wrong number (he had omitted one of the numbers, and didn't notice it when hubby repeated the number back to him).

We were assured that this was indeed the correct number (finally - I thought).

I just tried adding it to paypal and I was told I cannot use this number!!

I did leave a detailed email for support staff, and it reads that they will try to get back to me within 24 hours, but I can expect to wait up to 72 hours, and apparently I can call (which I'll do tomorrow afternoon, if I don't hear back from them by then).

Meanwhile, my shop is getting a lot of views, and even favorited by a lot of people, and I've had a few convos (pms) from people admiring my items and asking if I sell patterns (I don't yet, but want to).

I know that my unverified status is hurting me, so I haven't added any more items until I can get verified. I'm starting to feel "jinxed."

I realize the first three attempts weren't paypal's fault, so I'm just hoping it's a technicality over the first three errors, and I can get the account verified within the next couple days.

My biggest concern is the damage done to my reputation. I'm sure people are dismissing me out of hand, because of the unverified paypal account.

I know that will fade as I gain feedback (even if it's only as a buyer), but it's just making me feel like my venture is ill-fated.

Luckily I don't believe in omens, because this would be a bad one.


fatferretfanatic
08-10-2011, 11:33 AM
Kaplods, as soon as I get money, I'd buy from you! It does sound like you have some cool stuff. I don't sell on etsy, but I've thought about selling my woven items or custom ferret bedding. I wish I could help, but I will wish you luck and tell you that I think your items sound cool and unique

kateleestar
08-10-2011, 12:49 PM
For those of you who sell on Etsy - how long did it take to get your first sale?



When I sold on Etsy, it took about 2 weeks.




Were you a buyer before you were a seller. I've heard that most people won't buy from an unverified seller or from a seller who has no feedback. To sell, I've been told, you really have to buy first. Have you found that to be true?




I had already purchased several things, I think my feedback was 100% with 10 items or something, that I'd bought..





The verified part will be resolved in a few days, but do I have to buy before I can sell?



You dont have to buy before you sell, but... you could. :)



I'm getting a lot of views, and about a dozen people have added either my shop or one of my items to their favorites. I've even already been listed in someone's treasury.



I know I plan to find you and add you to my circle!! :D




I've also heard that you have to be active in the teams to get noticed. Is that true? I joined a few teams, but have been mostly lurking.




I never did that, and sold upwards of $2K of stuff. HARD WORK, but nice... I don't have time for it now, though. :(




Also, how do you market your shop? Do you blog? Pay for advertising?



I had it in the signature of the boards I posted on, even if they had NOTHING to do with what I was selling.



I think I have some really cool and unique items (maybe they're just odd), and I tried to set reasonable, but fair prices, but I would love some input.

If you've got a few minutes to tell me what you think, I would really appreciate it (you can be blunt and even harsh. If I'm doing something stupid, I'd rather hear it from you guys than just never get a sale, and not know why).

Not that I'm expecting sales yet. I do know it can take a while, even several months to get noticed.

Any tips or feedback would be greatly appreciated.


I think the makeover things sound awesome! The only thing I know I did pay for was little business cards and flyers (off www.vistaprint.com - sign up for the email list and wait for free whatever-you-want and then only pay shipping.) to put in the boxes with my sales. I also had my cards/flyers match my banner at the top of my page. I wanted it to look more professional and less crazy-crafter-person, lol. I wish you luck, though. Running that store was great, and I plan to open back up when I'm a SAHM, but for now working full time and doing that was nuuuuuuttttsssss.

Btw, with your PayPal issues, call them. They sound like they are in India, but are SO VERY nice and they helped me with my issues, going as far as doing some stuff so I wouldnt have too, and then just fixing it. It helped me loads. :)

I'm off to look at yo' stuff! :D ;)

kateleestar
08-10-2011, 12:52 PM
Love love it!! (love the unicorn and duck notebook covers!!)

Only suggestion? Go to a bunch of similarly-itemed-shops that are already successful and look at their pics. I found that the better pics I had up, making whatever I was selling look its best, I sold more and I sold faster. :D

GL and I hope I helped. I'm not trying to be mean! :hug:

kaplods
08-10-2011, 04:29 PM
Thanks everyone for the suggestions and the support. I did call paypal today, and discovered that the root of my problem with verification (if I weren't a former computer programmer though, I would have been completely confused by the guys answer).

He said resetting my account "might work," so I have to wait three days to see if it does. However, it's also possible that their computer thinks I am trying to add an account that has already been proven to be invalid. All of my "wrong" account numbers shared the same last six digits, which the computer program may see as the same account number. I may not be able to add any account that shares those same last six digits. Which means I'll have to open and attach a different bank account.

As a former computer programmer, I even know why their computer program may not see the account numbers as distinct. Of course the guy answering the phone doesn't understand the computer programming, he just knows that if a number is rejected too many times, it won't ever be accepted again.

Technically, this current, valid 10 digit account number has never been added before, so that shouldn't be the case, but he said that from his records he could see that it has been attempted three times and failed. I said that they weren't the same account number, they just happened to have the same last six digits (which where the only digits he could see).

He didn't know why the computer would believe them to be the same number (but I did, because it happened a lot in the programs I worked with at State Farm).

It could be a flaw in the programming (that wouldn't occur very often - how many times would someone have the exact same errors that I had, where the last six digits were correct, but the preceding digits were incorrect?)

At any rate, if the reset doesn't work, I'll be opening another bank account on Friday or Saturday so that I can be verified within a week.

It was frustrating (and a little funny) that after talking to the PayPal guy I probably understood the problem better than he did.

I do hope that their reset process works though, as I'd hate to have to have to open a new bank account because of a computer glitch.

I know from experience, that it would be a relatively simple code change, but even the simplest code changes usually take weeks to implement (just because of the red tape), so even if they do decide to fix the computer code, opening a new bank account will probably be faster. Especially since even if they know the glitch exists, it may occur so infrequently that they don't ever plan to fix it (or it's on a low-priority list that will never see the light of day, because there's always more important code to work on).

booskibabe
08-11-2011, 05:15 AM
I sell knitted wire jewelry and the occasional hat on etsy, artfire, and HAS. It took 3 months and a few hundred views on artfire for my first sale, about 6 views on etsy, (don't get too excited, so far I've only had 1 sale there) and so far on HAS I have a few hundred views and no sales, but I just started there a couple weeks ago. I'm BooJay Knits on every site. Hope my stats help.

kaplods
08-11-2011, 12:47 PM
Hallelujah!!!!

I finally got my paypal account verification resolved. I didn't have to get another bank account after all. Thank goodness!

Woo hoo. Now I've got to go add some more items to my shop.

Lovely
08-11-2011, 05:50 PM
Hurray for resolved problems! :D

booskibabe
08-11-2011, 06:24 PM
That's awesome! The next time I'm on etsy I'll check you out. Good luck!

fatferretfanatic
08-11-2011, 11:32 PM
yay! I'll be keeping a close eye on your site-when I can buy, be rest assured that I will. I have my eye on some of that cute furniture!

kaplods
08-27-2011, 01:24 AM
I think I'm getting a lot of interest in my shop (875 views, 10 people have favorited my shop, and 27 have favorited specific items - I know there may be some overlap so it may not be 37 people, but still I think it's promising).

My lack of feedback is probably hurting me, so in between crafting, photographing, working on a facebook page, and adding items to my store, I've also been shopping.

I've bought three items (well five items, but from three sellers) and so far, only the first person has given me feedback (and it was for the cheapest item - the pattern was only 50 cents).

I bought some charms for a charm bracelet. I have two different charm bracelets and a necklace chain that I've been using for weight loss rewards.

Every 5 lbs, I buy myself a charm. By the time I reach goal weight, that could come to 50 charms (I may need more jewelry to hold the charms.

I started with the necklace, and I was buying charms from an overstock store (less than $5 per charm and they are very cute charms with lobster clasps, they have lobster clasps and looks like they were meant as zipper pulls or cell phone charms). They make the necklace so heavy, that it's unwearable. The store also went out of business, so I can't get any more like it (without paying $15 per charm).

As for the charm bracelets, one is a traditional charm bracelet, and the other is a pandora style.

Today I bought two charms for the Pandora style bracelet on etsy. One is a green stone heart and the other is a pretty cross.


I have a few items I'll be adding soon, including some funkier barbie furniture. I've been looking through furniture books and online furniture stores and art websites for ideas, and I want to represent a lot of different decorating styles from classic period pieces to surrealistic modern pieces.


The Precious Cthulhu dolls crack me up. I want to do more of those, so I've been scouring the thrift stores for dolls to makeover.

I'm currenlty working on a Cabbage Patch Cthulhu kid.

I'm not really worried about the costs involved, because I'm not really changing the amount of crafting I'm doing (friends and family just aren't getting as many gifts) and the cost of the listing is minimal (20 cents per item), but my craft room and our apartment really doesn't have the space to store too many items.

Suzanne 3FC
08-31-2011, 05:46 PM
Colleen, have you had time to browse the etsy forums yet? You wondered how long it takes to get a sale, and that question pops up time and time again there. You'll find some great advice.

Great idea about the charms!

Btw, you are allowed to put your etsy link in your signature here since you've been here a while. Good luck!