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Old 07-01-2012, 07:49 AM   #1
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Money Saver Selling cards?

Does anyone have any suggestions for a place(s) to sell handmade cards?
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Old 07-01-2012, 11:12 AM   #2
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I wonder this too. I'm thinking I could sell them at my local consignment shop, but I would consider the work in making the cards, the envelopes and bags to put them in and wonder how much to sell them for.

Sorry I'm adding to your question rather than answering it.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:00 PM   #3
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Well, my sister & I have been selling stuff at a local Farmer's Market when they have bazaar type sales several times a year. I sell some of my cards there. How crazy is this, though- I can hardly stand to let go of most of my cards ! I have to make a couple of one kind to make myself put one out for sale and I sometimes resent people touching them ! I've been known to hide them behind other merchandise so people wouldn't be touching them (weird, I know !)

However, when I do sell a few they are usually to people who love them and come looking for more after the first time. Last year one of the ladies in charge of the market would ask me to let her look through what I had before I put them out and then buy 10 or 15 at a time.

I do mostly 4 1/4x 5 " size and put them each in a clear jacket so they stay clean and don't catch on anything. I charge a flat $3 each for them no matter how much or how little work goes into them. The ones that sell best are inspirational ones .A lot of people also like ones that are blank on the inside . I've had several people who get all teary-eyed at inspirational ones and tell me who they are going to give them to, and why. That always makes me feel good.

I'd much prefer to give a small stack of completed cards and envelopes as a gift to someone I love. They go over well.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:01 PM   #4
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I haven't actually sold many cards, except a few when I did some craft fairs a couple of years ago.

I have heard that people put their cards on consignment in small local gift shops, nail salons, hair salons, and fitness clubs. I also think a possibility would be the gift shops that are in many hospitals.

Also consider assisted living and nursing homes. Folks coming to visit might want to pick up a cheerful card at the desk before visiting.

One of our lovely members, Amber (sprtchick) used to have a selection of cards at her hubby's workplace. They sold very well there.

Good luck!

PS I'm with grannyi, I would rather give and send my cards than sell them. They take a lot of time and you would really have to sell a lot to make it worthwhile I think.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
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I know there's several people who sell on Etsy. You could try that maybe.

Etsy - Your place to buy and sell all things handmade, vintage, and supplies
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:06 PM   #6
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I have my best luck with friends and family; my Mom's co-workers request them at the bank and my co-workers at the hospital do the same. When I have extra, I package them with an envelope in a clear envelope and put them in a wonderful wire basket I bought years ago at a craft show. (I liked it so much, I called the vendor and had her send me more; it is 18" long and the perfect width for A2 cards.)

Years ago, I used to stamp with a woman who sold them in her hair salon...she did very well.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:07 PM   #7
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I sell most of my cards at my office. Most people have now started requesting cards for special occasions directly from me. Word of mouth etc. Some of my friends make cards for local florists and gift shops. I haven't done that. I get enough to keep me very busy this way. I am thinking of doing ETSY eventually, but not until after the summer. I would also make sure you are paid your requested price. I have a flat rate, and also, if someone orders 5 or more, I give a break in the price. Price is determined by your location as in NYC I think I can get a higher price than is some smaller towns. Good luck, and most of all HAVE FUN!
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:08 PM   #8
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I am like grannyi. I sell mine for $3.00 no matter how much or how little I put into them. It keeps it simple for me and my customers. I sell mine at a beauty shop. Depending on how busy the hairdressers are has a direct effect on how good my sales are. I give the owner ten percent or thiry cents for every card I sell. It has worked out nicely. I have had the privilege of meeting some of my customers while I was restocking and it if such fun. I also work full time and sell at my work. I do the best there because everyone knows they can have them out of the box on my desk or custom made. I think it helps that when they see me they associate me with "Oh I need a card form my card lady!!!" LOL I get to keep the whole three dollars at work. I don't get in trouble because my two bosses buy my cards too!

I almost had them at a flower shop too but I was too late and they used someone else's cards instead on mine. I have read on here that flower shops are a good place to sell them. Okay I am done rambling on!
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Old 07-01-2012, 06:28 PM   #9
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I have seen cards being sold on EBAY, too. The ones I have seen are ones I could easily do (nothing too fancy) and they seem to sell between $3.50 - $6.50 plus s/h
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Old 07-01-2012, 07:50 PM   #10
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I have seen cards being sold on EBAY, too. The ones I have seen are ones I could easily do (nothing too fancy) and they seem to sell between $3.50 - $6.50 plus s/h
The only thing with ebay are the fees. I tried selling cards on ebay a few years ago and the fees were so high that buy the time I was done I actually lost money. I've had better luck selling my cards on ebay when I sold them in one big auction.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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My husband used to keep a box of cards at work for me and sell them when someone needed one. I did very well, with all of the cards being priced between $3 and $5 and the average price was probably $3.50 He worked in a large area with hundreds of people on his floor. Then he moved into a different job in a different location and I could tell it was becoming a real hassle for him so I had him bring the box home. It was great while it lasted!

I also had a request from one lady he worked with to make custom retirement cards for her to send. Since they worked for John Deere I did a special design in green, yellow and black with a tractor. Over the past couple of years she's ordered a batch of 30, then a batch of 20 and now she just requested 10 more...all of them at $3.50 each and she really likes the design so I just stick with that one. She has also had me do about 5 or 6 specialty retirement cards that are similar but feature the number of years the person has worked for the company...25, 30, 35, and even a 40!

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Old 07-02-2012, 05:38 AM   #12
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I sell on Etsy and have sold a few cards but what sells most is my soldered jewelry and collage pieces. I've found cards are a hard sell on line because you usually just can't get enough to cover the time and supplies you put into them.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:33 AM   #13
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The only thing with ebay are the fees. I tried selling cards on ebay a few years ago and the fees were so high that buy the time I was done I actually lost money. I've had better luck selling my cards on ebay when I sold them in one big auction.
Ebay now has 50 listings free each month (no listing fee only a 9% final value fee) So if you sell a card for 6.00 with 2.00 shipping you are paying 72 cents in fees, I think that is pretty reasonable. Just don't underprice yourself. I cannot see anyone making a profit even on the simplest of cards if it is sold for under 3.00. I actually think 5.00 would be a good price for anyone aiming to make a little business of this.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:15 AM   #14
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Ebay now has 50 listings free each month (no listing fee only a 9% final value fee) So if you sell a card for 6.00 with 2.00 shipping you are paying 72 cents in fees, I think that is pretty reasonable. Just don't underprice yourself. I cannot see anyone making a profit even on the simplest of cards if it is sold for under 3.00. I actually think 5.00 would be a good price for anyone aiming to make a little business of this.
It's been awhile since I've used ebay....so I have to ask. How much are paypal fees and now ebay charges fees on shipping, right?
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:28 AM   #15
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I sell my cards at $3 a piece or four for $10. Because of this people tend to buy four or in increments of I usually sell them at craft fairs and word of mouth from co-workers.
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Old 07-02-2012, 11:32 AM   #16
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It's been awhile since I've used ebay....so I have to ask. How much are paypal fees and now ebay charges fees on shipping, right?
Yes, the ebay fees are figured on the total sale including shipping. As much as I hate that I do like the fact that it keeps most of the sellers from that jacked up shipping. I have a love/hate with ebay,but overall you still cannot beat it for product visibility. And I love shopping there!

Pay pal feels are between 2-3% plus .30 per sale depending on the type of account and sales volume, which is pretty equivalent to credit card processing fees. Pay pal fees are the same if you use them on your own website, etsy, ebay etc. So when selling online you would have to figure that into your costs. The great thing about ebay is you will find buyers who are willing to pay top dollar for the right card. (Handmade card lovers from all over the world see it) I could never hope to sell a card in person for what some of my cards have went for on ebay in past. I don't get a chance to do much of that anymore, but how exciting when someone loves your card enough to pay 15 or 20 dollars for it! (few and far between, but still....)
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Old 07-02-2012, 12:04 PM   #17
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I usually sell my cards for $3 each or 5 for $10, but that was at some of the craft shows I've attended. I had several people who were browsing tell me that I should charge more for my cards, but it's hard because where I live people just won't pay more. They would rather go to the Dollar store and buy their cards so I thought I would try selling some online. I'm not looking to make a fortune....just enough to pay for my supplies and selling fees.

Thanks for your help, Michelle!
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Old 07-02-2012, 01:36 PM   #18
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I usually sell my cards for $3 each or 5 for $10, but that was at some of the craft shows I've attended. I had several people who were browsing tell me that I should charge more for my cards, but it's hard because where I live people just won't pay more. They would rather go to the Dollar store and buy their cards so I thought I would try selling some online. I'm not looking to make a fortune....just enough to pay for my supplies and selling fees.

Thanks for your help, Michelle!

Hi Patty! I agree with you about people not willing to pay more for cards, but I've noticed too in the past when I participate in Moms' groups' craft shows that there are certain people who prefer the handstamped ones than the mass produced ones found in stores. Unfortunately there's not that many of them.
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Old 07-02-2012, 06:43 PM   #19
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I've known a few stampers who bartered with their cards. One gal and her hairdresser made an arrangement - exchange haircut (or whatever service) for her cards. The hairdresser then sold them and the stamper didn't have to worry about pricing or how they were displayed or if they didn't sell. Someone else made arrangements for free messages in exchange for her cards. It's not cash in your pocket but it is cash saved for expenses that they otherwise would have to pay out.
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Old 07-02-2012, 08:42 PM   #20
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Teachers are a good avenue. If you know a teacher who would take a basket of cards to sell. I know several and teachers really like to buy cards. I have two swim teams which i supply with 1250 cards each to sell. I charge them 2.50 per card and they sell them for 5.00 sometimes a little less. They always get their cards in October and normally sell all their cards. This is a huge influx of cash for me in November. I would also check with any community centers in your area. Cards are a great easy fundraiser for them. I make lots of cards every year between these projects, the church bookstore i donate cards to and my friends who sell cards at school. It is something i love to do and i am grateful for somewhere to send cards. I also send cards to the troops. No such thing as left over cards at my house....blessings.
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Old 07-03-2012, 02:32 PM   #21
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I want to see my cards too. I don't live near my family and we don't have any children so it's knowing where I can sell my cards. This is a great topic. Jenny x
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Old 07-03-2012, 05:49 PM   #22
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Love these ideas!! THANKS!
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Old 07-04-2012, 07:28 AM   #23
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We sell organic vegetables at our organic farmer's market in Atlanta every Sat. Last winter I sold cards there for a month and sold them for $5-$7. Unless you're making clean and simple cards, I can't see it being worth it for less money. I didn't sell out but I did well enough at those prices to be worth my while.
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Old 07-04-2012, 10:54 AM   #24
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I think $3 is a little underpriced for a homemade card unless it is really simple. A Hallmark card usually runs from $4 to $5 dollars. Unless you buy in the bargain section, store bought cards are really expensive and they really aren't anywhere as nice or unique as something homemade. But I guess you're right... it depends on where you live. Everything in Southern California is expensive so I could probably get $4 to $5 easily. The hair salon is a good idea. A friend of ours owns one... I'll have to ask if she would mind displaying some cards.
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:02 PM   #25
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I'm with Jen 636. I'm soon to retire, have a very small family, and have wondered if selling cards is an opportunity to both make cards, make some money, and afford my passion. I think $3 is a good price to attract customers--cheaper than Hallmark and original too. Maybe $5 for more elaborate cards. Thanks for the topic
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:43 PM   #26
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I sell mine regularly at craft fairs and farmers markets. I now put them up for $3.50 each or 4 for $12. I have gotten a "following" now and many people want to be on my email list for where my next craft fair is. I made at least $1000 at Christmas time on cards and 3D items filled with candy (or whatever) for little gifts, employee gifts, and stocking stuffers, etc.
I also post pictures on Facebook and some of my friends buy them as well. You might consider selling them at church bazaars or asking the owners of gift shops if they might be interested in carrying hand made cards. I have seen some in gift shops for as high as $12 each and they didn't even compare to the quality of my cards.
Selling online is a possibility but I haven't quite gotten there yet. If I sold them online I would say $3.50 with FREE SHIPPING since you could easily mail it in a bigger CHEAP envelope for 44 cents. I only give my customers the nice, hand stamped envelopes. Hope this helps....
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Old 07-04-2012, 01:00 PM   #27
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I think $3 is underpriced also. I sell mine for $4 or $5 depending on the card. They are being sold at a local family-run convenience store. Have been selling rather well. Displayed in a woven basket with each card in a plastic sleeve. Started out with them displayed loosely and without the plastic sleeve but they were taking a beating so had to rethink how to present. Special orders with lots of requests I sell for $6 or more depending on the research, materials, time, etc. Had them at a beauty salon but didn't do so well. Think I will try there again since it was new at the time and is much busier now.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:02 PM   #28
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I have several friends who buy directly from me when they need them. I always keep a box of cards in my car which are blank. At craft shows, I sell them with sentiments inside. They seem to sell better for me than the blank ones. Consignments shops are good too, but you have to tack on the commission.
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Old 07-04-2012, 04:31 PM   #29
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The only luck I've had with selling cards is to family. I charge a flat rate of $5 per card but they are very detailed with lots of layers.

I've never really thought about trying e-bay but I think that would be a great idea. There is a gal on here (her username escapes me) that designs 2 page scrapbook layouts and she sells them on ebay. They usually go for around $20-24 dollars. She does a lot of die-cuts and they are really well made.
This makes me think that ebay would be the way to go to get your money for your time and supplies.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:01 PM   #30
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A friend has a basket of cards at her hair stylist's and sell lots of them.
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Old 07-05-2012, 06:08 AM   #31
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I am very surprised that you all sell your cards for $3 and up. I live in NH and don't think my cards will sell at that price. I don't add a lot of bling to my cards- I work exclusively in paper, ink, embossing powder and minimal layers (love coloring!) so my cards are not expensive and are easy to mass produce. Here are ideas for stores that might sell your cards: florists, art galleries, gift shops, jewelers, and specialty food shops. What stores in your community sell gifts, and do they have a wide selection of cards for sale? People don't want to buy a present and then drive to another store looking for a card. Then, look for a local store that sells a good number of handcrafted items, because people who shop in those stores tend to respect the time involved in making the card. Last, don't put anything on your card that will make it difficult to mail, require a special stamp, or not fit in a simple envelope. Too much bling might make someone feel bad to throw it away or whatever, so it won't sell. Keep in mind that it's a card, and no matter how lovely you make it, it's still paper, it's still got a shelf life, and you can put all kinds of love into it but eventually you have to let it go.
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Old 07-05-2012, 11:52 PM   #32
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I'm taking in all these good ideas. I've thought about, but never tried to sell my cards anywhere. For those of you who have had success and sell the cards at local shops, here is my question: how do you keep track of the cards you leave at the given location and know for sure that you are receiving money for all the cards that are sold? How do the proprietors account for what has sold, and are they put off by the "hassle" of keeping up with what they owe you and how much (or little) they get for their commission? Are you sure you are collecting monies for all the cards you leave there and that none of your special work "walks off"? et cetera... Just trying to anticipate the details and possible snags!
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:03 AM   #33
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I'm taking in all these good ideas. I've thought about, but never tried to sell my cards anywhere. For those of you who have had success and sell the cards at local shops, here is my question: how do you keep track of the cards you leave at the given location and know for sure that you are receiving money for all the cards that are sold? How do the proprietors account for what has sold, and are they put off by the "hassle" of keeping up with what they owe you and how much (or little) they get for their commission? Are you sure you are collecting monies for all the cards you leave there and that none of your special work "walks off"? et cetera... Just trying to anticipate the details and possible snags!
It is a lot of work to keep track for both the shop owner and yourself. That was the reason some stampers I know bartered with their hairdresser and massage therapist. They were lucky to have found shop owners who wanted to barter.
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Old 07-06-2012, 07:31 AM   #34
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I sold cards at a local farmers market in a resort town nearby for two summers. I sold them for $4.00 each or 3 for $10.00. Sales were very slow even on holiday weekends when more buyers were out. The booth fee was $20.00, so that cut into my profit as well. The best sales I had were at a local art fair where I sold journals, bookmarks and cards. I made over $200.00 in one day. You may want to try a few different venues to see what works in your area. Best of luck.
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Old 07-06-2012, 02:33 PM   #35
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Someone asked about how to keep track of sales, how many cards of one design etc. I want to remind everyone that if you are using rubber stamps, you must check the Angel policy of each company. Many companies require a letter requesting permission, which will almost always be given. But many companies also have a limit how many cards you can make with one stamp, usually between 30-50.
About.com keeps a list of Angel Companies:
List of Rubber Stamping Companies with Angel Policies

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Old 07-06-2012, 07:15 PM   #36
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Etsy has worked well for me. I have 781 sales of various paper crafts items. I will say that it requires a lot of attention and knowledge about how Etsy runs and SEO in general. It took my shop about a year to take off. I think during that time most people get discouraged and wander off, I know I did. Then I came back a year or so later and tried again. I've loved sending my stuff all over the world. I do a lot of custom orders, some are quite large, $500-$600. Almost all my cards sell for $5. If they have been around for a while or are very simple, I charge $4. Ninety percent of my cards are so lumpy they require a bubble mailer. I don't know if those would sell IRL.

I appreciate all the advice on where to sell IRL, as I hope to get up the nerve to try some of these avenues. You'd think with my Etsy shop success I'd just be marching up to people left and right to hock my wares, but I'm a TOTAL CHICKEN! I've been wanting to do it for a while now, I just have to take a few gulps of courage and go for it. Do any of you sell super lumpy cards, or will they all mail in a regular envy?
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Old 07-07-2012, 04:09 AM   #37
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Stargirl, I'd love to hear more about your Etsy shop. With all the other paper craft people using Etsy to sell, how do you make your product stand out? I loved your blog, especially the way you blended the photos with the text. Do find most people find your Etsy shop because of your blog? Do you have a newsletter? An RSS feed? The whole Etsy thing fascinates me, but I'm afraid of it at the same time. Thanks.
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Old 07-07-2012, 07:48 AM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cakhuxel View Post
Stargirl, I'd love to hear more about your Etsy shop. With all the other paper craft people using Etsy to sell, how do you make your product stand out? I loved your blog, especially the way you blended the photos with the text. Do find most people find your Etsy shop because of your blog? Do you have a newsletter? An RSS feed? The whole Etsy thing fascinates me, but I'm afraid of it at the same time. Thanks.
I'll do my best to answer these.

1. It isn't that my product is so much better than everyone else's, it's that I work my shop harder.
a. I have a huge shop, so if you search, you're bound to see at least one of my items.
b. I spend $75-$100 a month relisting. Etsy searches are a confusing tea of relevancy and recency. I generally have no idea what they are doing over there, so I try to cover both.
c. I have great customer service, and lots of repeat customers.

2. I think you must be thinking of someone else's blog. Mine doesn't have anything unique about it. Almost all of my customers come from inside Etsy. In other words, they went there deliberately and found me there. My blog is useless and extremely neglected.

3. No newsletter, no RSS feed.

Etsy is extremely competitive and requires a lot of learning and patience. I still think it's worth it. So if you have a year or so to fiddle around with it, you can make some money. I know 781 sales sound like a lot, but it is not a regular or reliable source of income. Last month I only made $250 and spent $75 on fees. It's no get rich quick scheme. July will probably be a little better, but that's just speculation. I really never know what is going to happen.

I'd like to supplement my Etsy shop with IRL sales, so I'll keep chacking back with this thread for ideas.
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:14 AM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stargirl View Post
Etsy has worked well for me. I have 781 sales of various paper crafts items. I will say that it requires a lot of attention and knowledge about how Etsy runs and SEO in general. It took my shop about a year to take off. I think during that time most people get discouraged and wander off, I know I did. Then I came back a year or so later and tried again. I've loved sending my stuff all over the world. I do a lot of custom orders, some are quite large, $500-$600. Almost all my cards sell for $5. If they have been around for a while or are very simple, I charge $4. Ninety percent of my cards are so lumpy they require a bubble mailer. I don't know if those would sell IRL.

I appreciate all the advice on where to sell IRL, as I hope to get up the nerve to try some of these avenues. You'd think with my Etsy shop success I'd just be marching up to people left and right to hock my wares, but I'm a TOTAL CHICKEN! I've been wanting to do it for a while now, I just have to take a few gulps of courage and go for it. Do any of you sell super lumpy cards, or will they all mail in a regular envy?
Carla, I just checked out your Etsy shop, and I can see why you have been successful. Your items are lovely. Very unique and appealing. Keep up the good work!
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Old 07-07-2012, 08:24 AM   #40
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Carla, I just checked out your Etsy shop, and I can see why you have been successful. Your items are lovely. Very unique and appealing. Keep up the good work!
Thanks, Bugga! I've seen you around SCS for years, and I wouldn't expect you to say anything other than kind words!! Thanks for the morning lift!
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