Sunday, June 24, 2018

BUSINESS: The Same As Etsy? I Don't Think So.

Many handmades sellers today are scrabbling for a tolerable place to sell in light of Etsy's recent changes. The FVF of the mammoth makers site has been raised by 1.5% and the fee will now be applied to the shipping charges. Over the years, I've heard sellers compare Etsy's success to some challenged listing sites. In some forums, the consensus is that the sellers are responsible for making a selling venue successful like the sellers did at Etsy. However, when some struggling handmades selling venues are compared to how Etsy began, I don't think a complete comparison is shared.

Etsy was launched by 3 partners and joined by a 4th. Three years later a high-profile, NPR executive was brought on board as COO. Etsy had 4 individual investors in the beginning years, a venture capital firm and the experienced founders of Flickr and Delicious. The name Etsy was chosen because in Italian it means Oh Yes, and in Latin and French it means What If. Etsy was able to please its sellers, in the first year, by adding new features and capabilities that attracted attention, traffic and exposure.

I do understand why creative sellers consistently compare some floundering sites with Etsy, but let's be real. To compare Etsy's success with the struggles of crippled selling sites, and to place the responsibility for making them a success on the sellers is neither accurate nor fair. Two years after launch when Etsy was not profitable, $27 million additional dollars were channeled into the company by the original venture firm and 2 additional individual investors.

Despite the fact that the site has degraded for many independent creatives, Etsy had quite an auspicious beginning. Without the early financial support of a venture capital firm and 6 investors, and the collective management and experience of 6 people, handmades sellers alone would not have been able to make Etsy the success that it is today.

Source: Wikipedia

Note: Wikipedia is not an academic source of info, but I've been reading the site for at least 15 yrs. The easy-to-comprehend facts that I find there have been enough for my purposes.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

MARKETING: One Way To Offer Free Shipping

Sold By Bonanza Seller

Are you offering any shop incentives to encourage visitors to buy? One incentive that many say is effective in increasing sales is free shipping.

Sold by Bonanza Shop
I have not embraced free shipping very much. One reason is that I think like those sellers who insist that buyers need to understand the cost of shipping. If they are always given free shipping they won't understand how shipping changes and increases effect us all.
Paper Nirvana Listing Sold
I do feel that free shipping is a great incentive to buy. I am always seeking free shipping when I shop online, or as low in cost as possible. As a handmades seller, one way that I accept and promote it is to offer free shipping for a purchase above a certain amount. In this way, I don't have to offer free shipping across the board. This is important to me as a crafter and artist who does not want to inflate the price of her handmades.
Incentives For Handmades Buyers
My paper-crafted products do not have high price points. Because of this, I can offer a low minimum total purchase for free shipping, like over $5.00. With a free shipping shop incentive, I don't roll the shipping cost into the price of each product listed like resellers and drop-shippers do. I simply eat the shipping cost on behalf of my customers.

I sold this sweet Birds & Flowers Magnet Set pictured above at my Paper Nirvana Bonanza Shop, where I offer this type of free shipping. So, my buyer scored that bargain today.

Are you offering any type of free shipping?

Are you interested in selling on Follow this link to sign up:

NEWS: Project Wonderful To Shut Down

Project Wonderful, the unique, online advertising platform that is different from the Adsense-type tools, is shutting down August 1, 2018. Though I was a sporadic user, I'll miss the website. I wish it had been easier to find good publishers of handmades blogs. Instead, there was a plethora of comic/graphic novel publishers. James Dillehay removed his publisher's account for his CraftsU site because PW had become too cumbersome to use. Despite these things, the end of a useful website is always sad. I will the PW owners and staff much luck in their pursuits.

Here is the schedule for the shut down that they shared in an email:

  • June 11th, 2018: We announce our shutdown phase. No new accounts can be created, and no new publishers will be added to the network. Members are contacted to let them know to spend or withdraw their funds before August 1st.
  • July 11th: Ad serving is turned off, so our ads will no longer appear on anyone's websites, and any existing bids are suspended. No new bids can be placed on Project Wonderful - but of course people can still withdraw their funds.
  • August 1st: This is the deadline for anyone to do anything they want with their Project Wonderful accounts before they close!
  • August 6th: After a few days of grace for any stragglers, and after 12 years, 6 months, and 12 days of service, Project Wonderful's servers finally go offline.
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