Thursday, March 10, 2011

By request: The Etsy experience

Sarah asks for comments on how my experience as an Etsy seller is going. Today I sold my first custom order (reproducing a one-off colorway on the laceweight base), so emotions are positive for the moment. Dyeing is something I do in fits and spurts, and I've not yet hit the sweet spot in terms of keeping a constantly updated stream of listings. It also takes a while to photograph things well enough to capture colors accurately, which I sort of rolled my eyes about when I saw people say before, but am now intimately familiar with. I have goals of purchasing some additional equipment that will ease or speed the preparation of the skeins for sale: a light box (the current one is handmade, although I suppose I could just make a better one) and a nicer swift.

I did buy an advertisement on Ravelry, which on a per-click basis was much more cost-effective than a Facebook ad would have been. I've also started discussions with a person organizing a book project, so with luck Marli Tharn yarn will be used as the suggested yarn for a pattern or two, which always helps, since many people prefer to use the indicated yarn (sometimes even down to the color shown) for their projects.

Etsy support has been very responsive to requests I have made as a seller, although I am still disappointed that they disabled the advanced search function's capability to search item descriptions. (That affects me more in my capacity as Etsy Stylist than as Marli Tharn proprietor, though.) The fees Etsy charges don't strike me as high, although if I frequently relisted items to raise their position in search results, they would quickly mount. Overall, Etsy strikes me as a very good thing for a hobbyist and potterer. And if it's exceedingly unlikely that you can make a living as an Etsy seller, I deem that part and parcel of working in the arts (broadly defined), not as anything unique to internet sales of craft.
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