Saturday, December 26, 2009

Lollishops? Etsy? Ebay? What Have I Learned?

I was thinking this past week about the year almost behind us and the decisions I've made for Glass Bead Treasures and what, if any, changes I would make for the new year ahead. I've learned a lot, made some mistakes, and made a few decisions.

I've learned (the hard way) to be very exacting when listing something...hurrying with a description will incur mistakes. I've learned that Priority mail is just too expensive for little things like I have. I offer free shipping on everything (which I appreciate when purchasing from others), but Priority is just too much money. First class gets things where they need to go in a timely manner--and I always put a tracking # with each package. No one can then say their package never arrived.

I put several things on Ebay this past year, and other than one really good sale did very poorly and wasted my money. Oh, I can't stand wasting money!! Anyway, with Ebay a person just "never knows" . It is a well-known place, and many go there every week, including myself, to see what is there. But over all I think I will place very few auctions there this coming year.

Opening a shop on Etsy was a very wise move. I started placing things there early in the summer. I had hesitated for a while because, well, to be honest there were things featured on the front page at times that I thought were quite inappropriate. I didn't like and still don't like that aspect about Etsy, but the more I got to know the site the less I felt it would impact my shop or anyone I sent there. I love the fact that it accepts the selling of vintage items (yes, a replacement for Ebay). It is quite reasonably priced as long as I resist the temptation to spend more than is necessary on relisting and showcases. I figured out the importance of doing "treasuries" (which are great fun), connecting with people in the forums, "hearting" people, etc. I learned what showcases are worthwhile and what showcases are definitely NOT worth the money through trial and error (and losing some money). I've met some fabulous people there and will stay there.

Lollishops is just over one year old, and it has been fun being a part of something new. It has had some bumps and many changes and adjustments over the past year. There were times I considered dropping off the bandwagon but, understanding Sadie's vision and seeing its potential, was determined to stick it. I'm so glad I have! At first I didn't like the change a few months ago to being basically a referral site, but now I love it. It offers exposure to a targeted crowd while simply referring any serious purchasers to my Etsy shop. This was a wise move on Sadie's part which I'm very satisfied with. Oh, and the price is exceptional. You just can't beat the monthly price for the exposure ratio. I love that there are regular advertising opportunities in well-known publications and other interesting exposure chances, like Silver Bella press kits, which I've taken advantage and could never afford on my own. It is nice that the front page always shows what I have newly listed and a featured item from my shop from time to time. I have actually sold things as a result of being on Lollishops' front page! Lollishops also allows the selling of vintage goodies which is an added plus. I think for me Lollishops has been well worth it, and I'll happily continue on this coming year.

I know my shop and ideas and budget are different from others, but I thought I'd share the wisdom gained from the past year. I hope this is a help to others who may be trying to make decisions for the upcoming year.


Pauline said...

Thank you, Michelle, for this post. I've been toying with the idea of selling some of my many tea things on Ebay, but have not made any firm decisions as yet. I am please for your success and hope in the new year you will be have showers of blessings :o)


Marydon Ford said...

That is sad, ebay used to be such a wonderful avenue for sellers. I hope you do well on etsy.

TTFN ~Marydon

She'sSewPretty said...

I also had no luck on Ebay but have had a little bit of success on Etsy. I think the trick is to keep listing so that your items stay up in the searches. My Etsy is just a hobby for me and a way of making enough money to pay for my blog. I did make enough to buy my son a skateboard this year though which was a nice bonus. When I have more time I plan to link back up to Lollishops. I'm glad to hear that it is going well for you!

Holly Days Closet said...

Thank you so much for this my daughter and I are thinking of opening a shop on etsy. The next few months will be filled with testing what we want to sell. Thank you again.

Laurie said...

Thanks for posting this, Michele. I think I will look into Lollishops for my handmade site!n I too really enjoy Etsy.

Sara's Sweet Surprise said...

Michelle~ I found your post very informative. I agree about some of Etsy. I was happy to see Lollishop is ironing out the kinks. The feeback I was getting....that it was hard to navigate when looking for a particular vendor. They do have a reasonable rate. Hopefully twenty ten will be a good year for business.

Sweet wishes,

Miniature Patisserie Chef said...

Hi Michele,

Thanks for sharing the experiences and how you felt about the different selling venues...I enjoyed reading it. Hope this year brings you more success and more opportunities!!

Pei Li