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Thread: what makes a difference with Etsy?

  1. #1
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    what makes a difference with Etsy?

    Hi everyone,

    I have a question or two. I have noticed that there are several people who sell quilts on etsy. I know my friend sells quilts on etsy along with other things like some pre-cuts and hair bows. I noticed that on the items sold she has been selling the precuts, but none of her quilts, but I have noticed other quilt sellers who have sold quite a few quilts and was wondering what might make the difference. I have thought of making a few and trying to sell them on Etsy, if they won't sell I will use them as gifts. I do have one man that is having me make a quilt for his wife, and he promised he would promote my business for him. He paid me $11 more than what I had given him a bid for.

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    If we could answer your question as to how to sell quilts, we'd all be rich.

    I'm sure price, design, workmanship, all enter into the equation. Also the quality of the pictures, the wording of the ad. I don't sell on etsy, but when I go there to look for something I'm overwhelmed by how many shops come up. Surely getting your shop to appear near the top in a search for your items must be important in getting sales.

  3. #3
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    You need luck or to put in the time and effort to build a client base. I searched the term "quilt" and got 258,819 hits so that is how much competition you would have.

    Do you have local business that sell craft items that would sell your work?

  4. #4
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    The successful etsy sellers are also well versed in SEO, (Search Engine Optimization), or basically how to get found. Good pictures are hugely important. Also, bringing in views from outside of etsy through Facebook, Twitter, and other outside sources (such as handing out business cards) also helps. I have found it to be a lot of work and a lot of fun, and a continuous learning experience.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 02-16-2013 at 10:44 AM. Reason: removed personal website

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    If I was going to do etsy, I would also try to have other options like doing little boutiques at open markets, and event to also sell what is not going as fast. Being your own business person is not always as easy as it sounds. Like some say, price design, color/fabric choice, type of product, ease of finding you amongst thousands of others will all play a role. What will set you apart from others.
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  6. #6
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    I don't have any connection to Etsy, but I recently read in TIME or Newsweek or one of those mags that the look of Etsy is slowly edging out the small crafter for the larger mfgrs? I guess there is more money for them that way.......have any on you who are involved in Etsy noticed a different group of vendors? I am just curious to know how if what I read is true, not knowing anyone personally who deals with this vendor......

  7. #7
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    Hi, I joined Etsy a few years ago. First year I sold no quilts. I reworked my site, took better photos and also adjusted my prices. I adjusted my prices since I was just paying a 40 percent commission to a gallery. I have sold 92 quilts on Etsy. Highest priced $1,800.00 lowest priced $50.00. I found that once I got the first sell and first feedback from that customers the quilts started selling. I always ship quickly, and give my customers a quality product. For me Eysy has worked. Etsy is a first rate place to sell art.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Etsy started out as a site for handmade items to sell. I've noticed it going toward more manufactured items now. Start a blog and show pictures and talk about your items and direct readers to your Etsy page to buy the items. Many well know quilters do this. It's easy to get hundreds of hits a day on a blog. Facebook your blog too. Thousands of people will see that everyday. Blog and Facebook are free, why not use them?
    Got fabric?

  9. #9
    Senior Member alisonquilts's Avatar
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    I keep stuff posted on Etsy that I haven't sold anywhere else and is lurking around the house anyway. I don't sell much - an occasional ornament at Christmas - but that is at least in part because I don't keep adding new stuff. At $0.20 per item for 4 months listing it is worth it to me just to have a place online I can send people to so they can see what sort of stuff I make. (Rather than setting up my own website, I mean.)

    A few tips: 1.space out your new listings (even if you have ten ready to go on one day add them over a few days so that something new is popping up from your site all of the time)
    2. make a treasury list (but don't feature your own things - that's cheesy). People will often check the treasury list maker's shop out of curiosity, and will then see your stuff.
    3. don't be shy about favoriting other people's stuff. Even though other vendors are not your target customers any way you can cross-link with other vendors will increase your exposure. If someone goes to a vendor's site and likes their stuff the visitor may then go to the vendor's favorites....similar tastes and whatnot.

    I wish your friend luck. Etsy is a great resource, and if you are willing to put the time into it, a great way to sell stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by Geri B View Post
    I don't have any connection to Etsy, but I recently read in TIME or Newsweek or one of those mags that the look of Etsy is slowly edging out the small crafter for the larger mfgrs? I guess there is more money for them that way.......have any on you who are involved in Etsy noticed a different group of vendors? I am just curious to know how if what I read is true, not knowing anyone personally who deals with this vendor......
    Definitely the vendor pool is changing, and it is clearly heading toward more commercial-looking vendors. What I am seeing is more like fabric stores selling through Etsy, though, and not large manufacturers.

    Alison

  10. #10
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    I do have a facebook page, personal one, and I also have started a blog. My blog address is http://namasquilts.blogspot.com If I am not allowed to post it, please let me know. I only have a few quilts on there right now. I am in the process of getting some more finished. I decided to start doing this after my mother in law suggested I sell my quilts, and after a man ordered a quilt for his wife, and he told me that I do such excellent work.

  11. #11
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    I have noticed they were leaning toward more commercial looking vendors, such as people selling fabrics and stuff. My son in law is a computer geek, so I will have him design a web page, but I may have him help me with an etsy shop as well.

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    I would like to also know what makes sell. I sell about one or two a year and not enough to suit me.

  13. #13
    Senior Member IAmCatOwned's Avatar
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    Some of these places are quilt shops that are selling samples. When they are ready to let these go, they tell their customers that they can get it on Etsy. I know I bought a wallhanging that way (I didn't want the pattern, I wanted the specific quilt...LOL).

  14. #14
    Junior Member qltgrose's Avatar
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    Etsy is not just for hand made items. It started that way but has evolved to where you can sell supplies (ie fabric, buttons, etc) and vintage (pre 1994 items) and hand mades. I started with one shop where I was selling vintage glassware, linens and collectibles. Late last year I opened a 2nd focused more on quilting and sewing items. Its been slower there mainly because of my lack of activity. Most of my items are under $50, and I have done pretty well with the 1st store. The others are correct...GOOD photos are essential along with appropriate SEO tags. It does take work, especially for the photos, editing and so forth, but I hope to eventually develop my stores into at least a supplemental income source. If I were to make quilts to sell there, I think I would do a mock up and then offer to take custom orders, mainly because quilting is so subjective. A color/pattern/fabric you may love may not be in my favorite category and if you have a pile all made up in your favorites, then you have to narrow down to find others that also like your favorites.

  15. #15
    Super Member IrishgalfromNJ's Avatar
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    I know when I'm looking at quilts and quilt tops on etsy or ebay, I tend to go for the more neutral color quilt tops, not the quilt tops with wild colors and I like a regular pattern, like an irish chain or pinwheels.

  16. #16
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    I have a shop on Etsy and have sold a few things over the years. No quilts though mostly vintage things I have come across. After I am finished moving I will be putting up a bunch of things found in my grandmothers basement.
    I had a few quilts up and didn't get any bites so I just took them down. The one just doesn't seem to be to anyones taste,it is kind of odd, so I will probably end up using it for a dog blanket They don't care what it looks like. LOL
    I do know from reading the newletters I get that some people make a living out of it. But it seems to be the only thing they do. I get involved in too much other stuff..

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernSkyQuilts View Post
    Hi, I joined Etsy a few years ago. First year I sold no quilts. I reworked my site, took better photos and also adjusted my prices. I adjusted my prices since I was just paying a 40 percent commission to a gallery. I have sold 92 quilts on Etsy. Highest priced $1,800.00 lowest priced $50.00. I found that once I got the first sell and first feedback from that customers the quilts started selling. I always ship quickly, and give my customers a quality product. For me Eysy has worked. Etsy is a first rate place to sell art.
    Holy mackerel - 92 quilts! I had to see what you make Peggy and found your Etsy shop. Your quilts are outstanding and there are quite a few there that take my breath away they are so beautiful. I am so impressed. You must be a very busy quilter! Welcome to the QB by the way. I hope you decide to stick around here too - this is a great group of people and we would love to see your quilts! You can even add a link below your signature showing that you are an Etsy seller.

    HSQuiltingMom, I'm no help on how to sell except that I know my approach of being casual and lazy about it does not work.

    I think Etsy started changing when they added the ability to sell supplies. So far though you can still find plenty small sellers of handcrafted items. I like to gift shop there.
    Last edited by BuzzinBumble; 02-17-2013 at 06:36 AM.

  18. #18
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    https://www.goodsmiths.com check this out its a market place on line for all sorts of handmade crafts ......
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    Quote Originally Posted by NorthernSkyQuilts View Post
    Hi, I joined Etsy a few years ago. First year I sold no quilts. I reworked my site, took better photos and also adjusted my prices. I adjusted my prices since I was just paying a 40 percent commission to a gallery. I have sold 92 quilts on Etsy. Highest priced $1,800.00 lowest priced $50.00. I found that once I got the first sell and first feedback from that customers the quilts started selling. I always ship quickly, and give my customers a quality product. For me Eysy has worked. Etsy is a first rate place to sell art.
    What a treat to go thru your Etsy site and admire your work..Love the sense of humor in the McKenna Ryan wallhangings...The only difference between you and I..I'm happy when I get my little squares on point...LOL..

  20. #20
    Junior Member qltgrose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damaquilts View Post
    I had a few quilts up and didn't get any bites so I just took them down. The one just doesn't seem to be to anyones taste,it is kind of odd, so I will probably end up using it for a dog blanket They don't care what it looks like. LOL w
    Dama,

    Cut it up into squares and sell the squares!! Theres one lady there that has nothing BUT chenille squares she sells and she charges 25-35 for each PIECE, which measure around 24in sq. . I should have done that with the 1/2 doz chenille spreads I had to sell, but I just couldnt make my hands take scissors to them, so I sold them whole for between 55 and 85 each. Most of what I am selling are things I accumulated during my marriage years and I am ready to "lighten" my load, as my daughter would curse me to hell and back if I die and leave her all this stuff to dispose of! The only thing she accumulates are books and NOT my 400 or so quilting book library either!

    My mom died a couple of years ago and she just had one room to clear out...it took days~so I decided then it was time to pass my treasures onto someone who would love them as much as I do!

  21. #21
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    I think that quilts are hard to sell anywhere. Few people are willing to pay the price for all the materials and hours that are put into a quilt. Also quilt colors and pattern are very personal and customer are only willing to pay $$$ for quilts that they like.I have sold 2 wall hangings on Etsy for $50 but had 5-6 other one that did not sell. Also I make ruffled bloomers diaper cover sets and have been selling them on my daughters shop. She too has sold crochet hats for photo props and has had over $7000 is sales this last year. Trick is to find a "nitch". ,

  22. #22
    Super Member damaquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by qltgrose View Post
    Dama,

    Cut it up into squares and sell the squares!! Theres one lady there that has nothing BUT chenille squares she sells and she charges 25-35 for each PIECE, which measure around 24in sq. . I should have done that with the 1/2 doz chenille spreads I had to sell, but I just couldnt make my hands take scissors to them, so I sold them whole for between 55 and 85 each. Most of what I am selling are things I accumulated during my marriage years and I am ready to "lighten" my load, as my daughter would curse me to hell and back if I die and leave her all this stuff to dispose of! The only thing she accumulates are books and NOT my 400 or so quilting book library either!

    My mom died a couple of years ago and she just had one room to clear out...it took days~so I decided then it was time to pass my treasures onto someone who would love them as much as I do!
    I am cleaning things out too. I am just getting tired of moving it all the time mostly. Ideally I could get things down to fit in the back of a pickup truck. lol
    I would hate to cut this quilt up . I kinda like it. I have seen the ones with the cut up chenille and even the squares.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  23. #23
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    Thanks for all tips about selling online. I did a search on "selling my handmade items" and came up with lots of info and sites. Only knew about Etsy so I was very pleased to see more options once I'm ready to sell my embroidered/quilted items. I think having a "niche" is critical and I've been working on that as I develop my products and skill. Also, I'm practicing my phototaking and editing because I know that without an exceptional photo I won't get sold. Everyday I do something to move forward. Wish you the best as you get ready to sell online.

  24. #24
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    I sell on Etsy as well. I have a few quilts up but what's been selling for me are fleece eared hats, cosplay stuff, little clutch purses made from quilting fabric and a few other things. I admit it's been a very long time since I've made anything new for my shop. I keep meaning to do it. Either that or shut it down.

  25. #25
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    >>>>I am ready to "lighten" my load, as my daughter would curse me to hell and back if I die and leave her all this
    stuff to dispose of!<<<<<<

    I hear that!!! Hahah that's too funny..it comes up every once in awhile around here...NUBQ

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