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Etsy, a useful venue for jewelry sales?


#1

I have been wondering whether Etsy is a useful venue for jewelry
that would sell for $75. to $250, or so. When I look at jewelry on
Etsy I haven’t been able to figure out what percentage of displayed
items actually sell. I know we have had some discussions about Etsy
before, but I think there are a lot of new people now who might be
able to let the rest of us know the proportion of work involved to
the number of sales (roughly, of course) and approximately at what
prices. I feel I just don’t have enough to make a
decision to go that way or not. I would appreciate any ideas,
opinions or experiences. Thanks!

Sandra Buchholz
Elegant Insects jewelry
http://www.elegantinsects.com


#2

in six months, I have had zero Etsy sales. too many people there and
too much work to get recognized and keep up the front page
placement, I have to work days to feed the family, etc.

john


#3

Hi Sandra,

I have been wondering whether Etsy is a useful venue for jewelry
that would sell for $75. to $250, or so.

A few talented folks seem to do very well there with modest prices,
but the typical price range seems to run $2.50-20. As a simple online
presence goes I am not unhappy with etsy, but I work in a very modest
range and am fairly new to it. I also have my own website, but don’t
use it to sell.

My biggest concern remains perception. How does your work look
(assuming one can find it) aside the almost 1 million pieces of
"jewelry," much of which is plastic, glass, premade charms etc. Does
it get lost, or devalued?

So, if you are like me and not in it for trying to sell lots of
pieces then maybe etsy will be fine for you…at least for starters.

Best,

Jack


#4
I have been wondering whether Etsy is a useful venue for jewelry
that would sell for $75. to $250, or so. When I look at jewelry on
Etsy I haven't been able to figure out what percentage of
displayed items actually sell. I know we have had some discussions
about Etsy before, but I think there are a lot of new people now
who might be able to let the rest of us know the proportion of work
involved to the number of sales (roughly, of course) and
approximately at what prices. I feel I just don't have enough
to make a decision to go that way or not. I would
appreciate any ideas, opinions or experiences. Thanks! 

I sell on Etsy, and mid-higher end pieces ($150 - $500) do sell. If
you are in that category, a piece or two a month is about right, on
average, assuming you’re working hard at getting your name out there.

The average price point for jewellery on Etsy, though, is in the $15
range… so it’s good to be aware of that going into it. For more
expensive pieces I certainly wouldn’t be relying on it as my only
venue.

Etsy also requires a lot of advertising and promoting on your part
in order to be visible; because of how their search function works,
the most recently listed pieces get bumped to the top by default, so
if you want a decent shot at selling you have to be willing to invest
the bucks into relisting at least a few times a week. It’s also worth
reading the forums and FAQs about their tagging system, since using
tags properly is absolutely necessary for visibility.

With Etsy, as well, photography is as crucial a quality element as
the piece itself. No matter how nice the piece, if the photos are not
catalogue-quality you have a drastically reduced chance of selling.
Etsy also favours “artsy shots”, diagonals and
subject-going-off-the-page, which can be counterintuitive to the
(typically) analytical jeweller brain which says “but I want to SEE
the piece clearly dagnabbit”.

The final caveat to Etsy is that the quality of pieces varies
wildly… pieces by metalsmiths 30 years in are cuddled right up with
those by beginners, and your average Etsian consumer may not
understand why one person charges more than the next when the piece
(to a non-jeweller’s eye) looks more or less the same, even down to
solid sterling vs. plated. It’s sometimes useful, in your
descriptions, to really clarify in layman’s terms the quality points
of your pieces… without disparaging others’ work in the process, of
course :slight_smile:

Good luck, and I’d be happy to answer any other questions you might
have; I haven’t had a shop open there very long, but I have been a
buyer and research lurker (lurk ‘n’ learn :wink: ) for years.

Cheers,
Kieran


#5

Hi Sandra,

I would definitely recommend etsy. I wouldn’t use it as my only
means of selling but as part of a multi teared strategy. I definitely
don’t get the most sales from there. But I often get a lot of traffic
looking at my work and visits to my website and emails regarding
selling my pieces. My work tends to run between $100 and $1000 and
was just considering creating a lower price point of work that I
thought my be more competitive, but I just received a request for a
pair of $435 dollar cuff links that has renewed my faith in creating
work that I would prefer to make.

Over all I think that etsy is easy to use, cost relatively nothing in
comparison to taking work to a gallery to sell and is a lot less
complicated than figuring out how to get my website set up for
selling direct from there. I do have a link to my etsy page on by
personal website as I would never expect someone to just find my etsy
page direct, there are a lot of jewelers on there. Finally, I would
recommend if you do use etsy and have work in gallery to make sure
the pieces on your etsy are sold for the same price as you would in
the gallery, you dont want to try to undercut the gallery price as
galleries will inevitably find out and probably not want to work with
you.

I hope this helps,
Christine
www.christinebossler.com


#6

I sell vintage supplies, turquoise, etc on etsy,
briesboutique.etsy.com and some jewelry and my collectible Native
American dolls on barbrie777.etsy.com. We have a jewelry person, no
silver smithing, just stringing and she does quite well.
http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5082501

Lots of jewelry, but lots of buyers as well.


#7

You can see exactly what sold in anyone’s shop, read their feedback
and do fun things like see what sellers and items are their
Favorites. Look on the right hand column. Anything in blue is a link.
You’ll see (for instance) “7 items for sale” and underneath it “312
sales”. Click on that to see what sold when. The prices aren’t
included in that

Etsy is worth exactly what you put into it. I don’t do much
promotion with my site ( I teach) and have only had 10 sales since
July 08. Others really work it and have lots of sales. And not with
inexpensive work either. the range of 75 to 250 is perfectly
reasonable. If you could add a few 40-50$ earrings in there to get
started it would help. And Etsy buyers like to see feedback. So if
you haven’t started shopping there, you should. Feedback stats are
just as important for buying as they are for selling.

Etsy is cheap. If you try it for a few months and don’t like it, it
was a small investment. not much loss. But some shops take a year to
get a following and have sales take off. You have to be patient OR
realllllly promote.

Lora


#8

Hi Jack

My biggest concern remains perception. How does your work look
(assuming one can find it) aside the almost 1 million pieces of
"jewelry," much of which is plastic, glass, premade charms etc.
Does it get lost, or devalued? So, if you are like me and not in it
for trying to sell lots of pieces then maybe etsy will be fine for
you...at least for starters. 

I was under the impression that all things on Etsy are supposed to
be handmade, which would seem to exclude the items you mention
(plastic, premade charms, etc)?

Sally (UK)


#9
I was under the impression that all things on Etsy are supposed to
be handmade, which would seem to exclude the items you mention
(plastic, premade charms, etc)? 

I am also under the impression that all things on Etsy are suposed to
be handmade. I’ve been suspicious of some of the items I’ve seen.


#10

One can sell authentic vintage on Etsy as well. Their vintage and
antique categories have grown quite a bit. Supplies is another hot
category there.

Vera Battemarco


#11
I was under the impression that all things on Etsy are supposed to
be handmade, which would seem to exclude the items you mention
(plastic, premade charms, etc)? 

No - folks do use all of those as elements in something they put
together and then sell. Still counts as “handmade” on Etsy.

Plus there actually are some really neat handmade things inventively
using plastic - it really isn’t a “dirty” word :wink:

Beth Wicker
Three Cats and a Dog Design Studio
http://www.bethwicker.com


http://bethwicker.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#12

Hi there,

I have been selling my art jewelry on Etsy for just about 2 1/2
years quite successfully. I have sold several items above the $90
mark however most of my items sell for around $20 to $60. This past
holiday season as well as the Valentine Day season were extremely
busy ones as a ring of mine was in one of the Etsy gift guides. This
brought lots of customers to my store who purchased the showcased
ring as well as many other designs.

Etsy is mainly for handmade items but they do allow supplies and
vintage items to be sold there as well as long as they are tagged
correctly. Of course there are those who abuse the system selling
items that are not handmade but say they are handmade however as a
whole Etsy does try to maintain the integrity of the site taking
down items that break the rules.

There are several of Orchid members that sell on Etsy. I recommend
it to anyone. It is inexpensive to get started and easy to use. If
you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me off list :slight_smile:

Laney


#13
I was under the impression that all things on Etsy are supposed to
be handmade, which would seem to exclude the items you mention
(plastic, premade charms, etc)? 

Etsy’s interpretation of “handmade” is extremely broad; buying
premade charms, putting a jump ring on them and stringing them on a
commercial chain falls within their definition of “handmade”.

It is also a venue for vintage items and supplies, not just
handcrafted things, and their inclusion in Etsy is a topic of
sometimes heated debate in the forums…

Kieran


#14

Yes, everything is “supposed” to be hand made. They allowed selling
of supplies and they do not have to be made by hand. The top sellers
on ETSY are supply sellers. Lots of talk on the FORUM asking for two
different sites, but the costs to launch a separate site obviously do
not interest ETSY. They have a lot of big sellers doing what some
call ASSEMBLAGE, just putting components together. They do hava
"flagging" system where anyone can flag a suspicious item. Lots of
ebayers are coming to etsy to sell supplies. It is not perfect, but
the intent by its founder was to link artisans all over the world and
that it does.


#15

There were very few responses that were not posted on Orchid, so I
guess most of us have read them and formed some ideas about whether
Etsy is a useful venue for somewhat more expensive items. Here is a
sort of general summary, mainly to see if it would help me (and
maybe others) to make a decision about which way to go.

First of all, the new responses were not very different from those
posted on September 2008 by Gerry Davies. Gerry wrote me to say that
he thought it would still be essentially a personal decision based
on many individual factors. And I agree!

I divided the responses into thee categories:1… Generally agreed
upon observations. 2. Yes to Etsy 3. No to Etsy. Here are a few
generalizations

  1. It appears that the most successful sales on Etsy are below
    $30.00. To be successful, you must put in a lot of time, and tend to
    your site. You need to have some (or a lot) of involvement in the
    Etsy Community It is very inexpensive and provides exposure over a
    long period of time. There are many sellers whose items are probably
    not handmade, or are assembled.

There are also supplies and items that are by definition not
handmade. There are lots of buyers and therefore lots of traffic-
your work may be seen and links to your web site may be used. Most
useful when used in conjunction with other sales venues.

Most of the Orchidians who responded favored giving Etsy a try, or
just being there for the exposure. Being so inexpensive was a big
factor.

  1. It is cheap, easy to use; any sales are nice extra income;
    Patience pays off and it is possible to sell some higher priced
    items Great if your expectations aren’t too high Works best if you
    develop an inexpensive line Good way to have another on-line presence
    Several people reported making an initial contact with buyer, who
    then bought a custom made piece, or something from their web site.

  2. Too many people to compete with. Requires too much time to keep it
    really viable and up to date Too much “other” stuff, and hard to
    differentiate fine jewelry from other stuff.

The time that needs to be spent on Etsy is better spent on
developing a website, blogs or other forms of selling. Or just making
more jewelry. Buyers often can’t differentiate between a higher end
piece of jewelry, and an assembled or less professional one. Concern
that the higher end work will be judged by the context it is in. Not
worth the time to develop an inexpensive line

I hope this has been a fair assessment! If you still are on the
fence about Etsy, it might be worth looking at the website mentioned
in an earlier post. www.etsybitch.com

As for me. I still haven’t decided!
Sandra Buchholz
Elegant Insects Jewelry


#16
There were very few responses that were not posted on Orchid, so I
guess most of us have read them and formed some ideas about whether
Etsy is a useful venue for somewhat more expensive items. Here is a
sort of general summary, mainly to see if it would help me (and
maybe others) to make a decision about which way to go. 

Thank you Sandra for assembling this in useable form. I
had at one time thought I might try Etsy, but came to the conclusion
after following the site for some time that it was great if you want
to sell lots of inexpensive things. Not where I want to be. But it’s
definitely a personal choice so if you decide to do it, I wish you
lots of luck. But this summary definitely convinced me that I made
the right decision for myself.

Kay