Etsy Stress (Stresstsy?)

I've been making soaps for a while, and my friends and family love them and want me to sell them.

I'm just stressed because I want to reopen my Etsy shop, but I don't know how many of my friends would actually buy my stuff from me like they say they will... plus the last time I had my shop running, all my friends said they were going to buy the stuff I had on it, but only 2 out of about 30 of them ever actually did.

I've always had a hard time promoting it despite having had it linked on Facebook, Myspace, and just about every other place I had a profile. Since I essentially grew up in retail, I tried to be really professional about everything, but maybe I was acting too professional? I don't know.

Selling my soaps has been a goal of mine for a long time, but actually making consistent money off of anything I've had on Etsy has been hard. Over the course of 4 months, I had only made about $50 off of a few sales and then never made another sale... and I do my best to price everything reasonably and take high-quality pictures. Maybe it's especially hard for me since PayPal has never worked right for me so I can only take checks Happy

Gah... I just needed to rant. I have tons of soap recipes that I've developed for all sorts of things from tattoo-healing to acne-treating, and I have a bunch of scrub and salt recipes as well. I do what I can for myself, but when I need someone else's help to just promote they don't come through for me.

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30 replies since 24th April 2011 • Last reply 24th April 2011

I bet that paypal not working is deffinetly a big factor. But I also know what you mean about the etsy stress, lol.

I have a store there, and linked it to my facebook page. The facebook page has really helped get some sales going. A lot more than I thought it would actually. But the etsy by itself is kinda tricky. I read their blog about how to generate visitors and sales, while improving the look of your store, but I have only had like 3 sale that came just from etsy, not from my facebook, in like 9 months.

So I think social networking has been key. Even if my friends done buy from me I try and get them to share my link on their page when I'm having sales and things. And friends who do actually by from me I toss in something extra along with a handful of business cards! That way word is slowly getting around.

Also I donate items to fundraisers, silent auctions, gift basket give aways, things like that. And I always have a ton of business cards next to the item, with coupon codes on the back.

I still havent made any money off it really, it just pays for new supplies I want to buy! lol. But I hope that I will keep getting better at what I do and advertising, so that when I move back to my tiny hometown in 3 years, I will be able to sell at the farmers market and actually make money. Thats my dream goal, lol!

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This is my biggest fear. Everyone I know wants me to open an Etsy shop but I don't think it will come to any good other then putting forth effort and coming up with nothing! I'm sorry Happy Maybe find a local shop that sells hand crafted items?? Or get a booth at some type of "festival" and have cards with your esty address on them?

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etsy is hard, I tried it there for a while. I sell local now

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I used to be able to schedule arts & crafts sales when I went to a community college, and sometimes I'd make $100 a day that way, but now that I've moved 1000 miles away and I'm not familiar with anyone or anything, I can't do that.

I've always tried to send freebies to everyone who's bought from me, regardless of whether or not they were a friend of mine.

Maybe PayPal will decide to work for me, but I'm not sure which kind of account to start.

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Etsy scares me too. I've found facebook was the place to promote. I've only been set up a few weeks and by 'liking' and giving Shoutouts to other businesses on fb I've generated quite a few sales Happy

Paypal is annoying to set up, I set up the middle choice, not the professional one but the one where you can still create and keep invoices ect.

Google for local craft fairs Happy

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Does Paypal charge you for having a premium account? I was going to sign up for a personal account, but they just don't give you the information you want about each account type.

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I don't know if they do

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They really need to make their information more accessible to everyone... they essentially make you sign up without knowing more than two things about the account.

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I had an etsy account then i got like one sale then for 3 months nothing so now im on artfire (totally free and super easy) i sold a couple items in a month but then i decided to just sell locally. but artfire is a place to look at.

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I have taken Artfire into consideration, but I'm likely going to have more listings than you can do for free on AF and I don't know how I'd feel about paying monthly to have more options and slots.

My little brother helped me figure out PayPal, so I think I'm going to try to set it up later tonight.

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I started a shop on etsy for my mom.. she makes diaper cakes for baby showers. i haven't made a single sale online but it's only been about a month or so. i'm starting to think that i'm not going to have much more luck than i already have tho. some people on there have sold tonsss of things and been there for less than a year. and then there are people who have been there for like 2 years and have only made like 11 sales. i think it's really all about the social networking, knowing the right people, getting the word out, and consistently advertising.

it really is stressful and i feel in some cases just not worth it. but i believe everything is at least worth a try.

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I know what you mean. Usually I see people selling things there that are hardly handmade, yet they have hundreds or thousands of sales, where people who have made something entirely from scratch can hardly make a sale a month.

Social networking has always been hard for me because too many of the people I want to call friends aren't really reliable or helpful. I once gave a friend of mine 20 or so of my business cards and she gave me the same of hers, and I passed hers out to people any time they wanted a tattoo, but when I went to her house one day, all of my cards were in a pile on her dresser. Needless to say I was displeased and kinda salty.

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How rude of your friend, its all about sharing the love.

I find that going to open photoshoots ( taking my products and my camera) is also a great way of networking. dont know how it would work with soaps.

Im in Australia but if you want your soap shop shouted out on fb to my (nearly 500) fans Just give the link sweetpea. Social networking with other small businesses is a great way to get your company promoted.

Perhaps get an artfire account (a free one) see if you generate sales and upgrade to a paid account if the sales come in. No harm in trying right?

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i thought about trying etsy... i read that they charge a small percentage of whatever you're selling... is it worth it? or do you have to sell a lot to actually make a good amount of money?

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