Handmade In Keswick at Craftfest

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Selling statement jewellery and resin bangles online

A little experimentation

For a while now, I've been wondering how to assess which selling platform is the best for my business.

It all started with a...

When I first started selling online, there weren't as many different selling platforms as there are now, but there was still a choice to be made as to which one to use.

was such a big market place that work just got lost in the crowd and that Folksy, the platform for British sellers
was the way to go.  Well call me shallow, but I wasn't sure if I wanted to be associated with a business with such a naff name...yes a lot of the platforms, including Etsy
have ridiculous names, but, to me, the word Folksy
conjured up an image of unwashed banjo players wearing tank tops fashioned from rag rugs. 

To be honest, every time I hear the word, I do still have that image flash, but at least our culture now includes Mumford and sons to counter balance it with 'banjo cool'.

So anyway, I digress...rather than making a precise business decision and sticking to it, I opened on Folksy
tried a few things, sold a few things, hung out in the forums for a bit, then decided to try a similar technique on Etsy.

Show Me The Money*!

The results - well very similar to be honest.  My Etsy shop  
achieved over double the amount of visitors (who also stopped and had a look round while they were there); the platform is easy to use and there is a vast amount of business info and advice on the site.  But my Folksy shop made a similar amount in actual sales.

And that's the point isn't it - its easy to get sucked into the numbers of views/follows/favourites, but the only number that counts is one which includes the spondoolies* hitting the bank account.

And so there was nothing to choose between either of the sites. I had a look round and found I was not the only 'platform tart' - some people use 4 or 5 different selling sites and (stress makingly) put the same items in all of them so when an item sells it has to be removed from all.

I decided that the best policy was to completely ignore the issue (ahem) and concentrate on offline selling for a bit, but then I was introduced to WowThankYou which was receiving a positive response from other sellers. And did I think, 'oh no, that's not for me - I already have two platforms'? Of course I didn't!  I forgot about ignoring things, and launched straight in.

Within a short amount of time, the monetary value* of sales had almost exceeded both the Folksy and the Etsy shops put together.

But it wasn't a level playing field.  I started selling resin bangles in my WowThankYou shop and put the other two shops on holiday mode while I pondered the best business approach. (Strangley enough, for many weeks my Etsy shop
continued to receive more visitors than the others even when it was in holiday mode). 

So here we are


I've added some resin bangles to my Folksy shop
and I'm going to be doing the same promotion for both Folksy and for my WowThankYou shop and I'm gonna be monitoring the results very carefully.

It won't be a precise comparison as there will be some variations re time of day of postings, plus I haven't yet brought the Etsy shop  into the equation, but I do have a nerdy spreadsheet and that's good enough for me.

How have other people decided the best venue for selling their goods?  (Leave me a comment and tell me) 

*cash, dough, readdies, lubbley jubbley, dosh, 


Carolee Crafts said...

I agree with you Lu it is the cash register that drives the place to sell not the hits. Things are tough atm whatever platform and will be a long time before it gets back to any form of normality. WTY and my own website are enough for me for the moment.

Love your bangles

lu said...

Thanks Caroline

Fabridashery said...

I love Mumford & Sons, your blog has made me smile today Lu :)
I think I've had more sales on Etsy than I have on any other platform. WTY I just can't use from an administrative point of view, Folksy seems to be behind the times, so Etsy seems to be the way forwards. I think it helps get you into a US marketplace which seems to be where lots of people are buying from.

Fabridashery - Fabric, haberdashery and craft supplies

lu said...

I think you may well be right there Kerri.

Jillian O'Dwyer said...

I think that it also depends on you and how you manage your business. Some platforms may have better google rankings than others, but you still need to be found amongst all of the sellers on that platform. For me, I focus on ease of use and name recognition of the platform (for US-based folks its really Etsy from what I've found) from there its about me getting my name out there.


lu said...

An Etsy comparison is imminent