Time for a Retail Remodel

Anyone who has jumped on over to my Etsy shop lately will have seen the virtual shelves are getting a bit bare. Unfortunately, that’s not because I’m selling out of items, but because my listings are creeping their way toward their expiration date, which means it’s time to evaluate the efficacy of Etsy.

Etsy Plans

I opened the shop in late October hoping to catch the holiday shopping frenzy and have the listings extend to the other time of obligatory gifting known as Valentine’s Day. The shop made a few Christmas sales, but has otherwise just lingered there eating up data space on Etsy’s website.

Listings on Etsy last for four months and cost twenty cents each. This doesn’t sound like much, but when (due to Etsy’s shipping-cost issues) each piece of artwork has to have an individual listing for its prints, its single greeting card, and its greeting card gift pack, those little chunks of change start to add up. And when those items aren’t moving into shoppers’ carts, it’s a bit like tossing that cumulative chunk of change into the trash.

Dreams Meet Stats

Looking at the stats on WordPress, the link to my Etsy shop (included at the bottom of every post and various other locales on my website for the past four months) has gotten a total of three clicks. To put this in perspective, one mention of a website in a blog post (such as that to Strathmore in last week’s Sketchbook Saturday) gets about five clicks. Those are some sad stats.

Me, looking at my Etsy stats.

Me, looking at my Etsy stats.

Going the reverse direction, despite having links to my website with each Etsy listing, my Etsy shop has brought  zero traffic to my website. This is surprising and a bit sad because I was hoping the links would encourage people to wander around this site looking over my artwork (and books, of course) and, after being wowed and amazed, perhaps stroll on over to the Commissions page.

Playing the Etsy Game

Am I disheartened by the stats? Sure. A bit. Who wouldn’t be? But I’ve also spent a fair amount of time on Etsy’s forums and I’ve seen that getting attention on Etsy is a bit of an unfair (and costly) game. To show up on Etsy’s search engine it’s best to follow their format for titles and keywords (which I do). This has always been the case with Etsy and following the simple formula worked well for my original shop I started a couple years ago.

But when Etsy became a public entity not long ago, their search protocol changed. You now not only have to follow their formulaic wording, but also have to keep listing, listing, listing. The more often you list, the higher up you get on the search queue. According to my forum studies, sellers seem to spend a good portion of their days re-listing items that have only been up for a week or two just to stay current on Etsy’s site. Twenty cents for every listing? Etsy is raking it in from these people!

Retail Rethink

garden path, tammie painterThere are a few items still on Etsy and I plan to let them run their course, but after that I’ll probably keep only about five to ten of my favorite items on my shop’s shelves. Why not just ditch it altogether? Well, I can’t resist the possibility that maybe, just maybe someone will stumble into my shop and find their way to asking me for a commissioned piece (or at least one of my already complete original works).

 

And Onto the Future

This doesn’t mean I’ve completely given up on selling my stuff online. Once I get over the time-consuming hurdle of finishing up the final three pieces for my solo exhibition this spring/summer, I will start listing on other art retailers’ sites that I’ve researched over the past months. So, plan on seeing some new shopping options from me sometime in late April or early May.

Of course, you can always buy my art and books directly through me. Actually, truth be told, I strongly prefer this option because I don’t have to share your money with some mysterious group of techies (well, except for the Paypal techies). If interested, check out the shopping list below, or head over to my Shop page for links and loads of details.

Shopping List

  • 8×10″ prints (no mat, no backing board) – $15
  • 5×7″ prints (includes mat & backing board) – $15
  • 4×6″ prints  (includes mat & backing board) – $10
  • Single greeting card with envelope – $3.50 each
  • Greeting card four-pack – $12 each (note: the four cards do not have to be the same design)
  • Original Pieces – prices are listed in the caption for each image.
  • Books – range from $4 to $12 ( a huge discount compared to Amazon!)

Any piece of my art can be made into a print or greeting card. Click here for details about these products.

Since shipping price are so variable depending on how many items you purchase and where you live, prices above do not include shipping costs. I can, however, quickly provide a shipping quote   whenever you’re in the shopping mood.

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TAMMIE PAINTER IS THE AUTHOR OF The Trials of Hercules: Book One of the Osteria Chronicles AND AN ARTIST WHO DEDICATES HERSELF TO THE TEDIUM OF CREATING IMAGES WITH COLORED PENCIL. CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHERE TO SHOP FOR HER WORK.

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6 thoughts on “Time for a Retail Remodel

  1. crawcraftsbeasties says:

    Aaah, Etsy! My own shop has stayed open for exactly the same reason as yours… Because despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, I still hope people will (virtually) wander in, and I’ll become like those “inspirational” sellers who feature on the homepage. I’m interested to see how the other retail sites work for you, be sure to let us know! Good luck 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    • painterwrite says:

      I’m convinced those sellers aren’t real people, just crafty avatars created by Etsy to trick people into listing and re-listing while the Etsy execs’ pockets get filled with listing fees. But, like a good gambler, I feel compelled to stick with it because maybe, just maybe I might win. 😋 I guess a dollar or so every four months for a few lure-them-in listings fits in the budget. I kind of figured that’s what you were doing with your shop when I browsed it. Punk Girl Beastie is quite tempting though. 😋

      Liked by 1 person

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