Getting it right.
I've been thinking for some time about opening an Etsy shop. When I was making one off crochet an knitted garments, it was the place to sell handmade goods. As it happened I didn't need one then, I could post the item on Facebook and someone would buy it. Nearly 15 years have passed since then and the whole handmade market has changed now and I'm not making as much in the way of knitted or crochet garments.
I have been asked several times if I sell my artwork prints. I've had my hand burned enough times to want to go through a selling site for guarantee of payment and insurance that my item did actually get to the customer. Apart from that, I didn't really have the time to be producing and selling prints. A lot of selling platforms will tell you "post your items here and wait for them to sell" It's really not as easy as that. Not at all.
So, during the lockdown, in between gardening and jobs in the house, I set about researching selling sites, Etsy, Folksy, Ebay, NuMonday, Redbubble, Printful and other PODs (print on demand)
These 'print on demand' sites are fabulous, it does make life so much easier for the artist, and with the development of artwork programmes, you go from sketch to sale in a day.
I originally began using Redbubble because I wanted to keep my carbon footprint low. I didn't want to have to buy stock in and then send it out again. I didn't want reams of card/paper lying around - or anymore than I've already got. It was perfect, daughter#1 (check it out) sells loads of stuff on there. I, on the other hand, do not but I don't think I produce the kind of thing that Redbubble customers are looking for, which is fine.
Nick Cave - J. Harwood.
So I looked into 'handmade' selling sites like those mentioned above and chose Etsy because I thought it would be less work, I wanted something easy, so I could handle it when I got back to work. Etsy is the one that comes up in search engines more often so I went with it. Easy to use, easy to manage. Within hours I was getting visitors to the shop, around 50 a day, which isn't high, but I hadn't published it yet, so my SEO's and tags were working fine.
After a month, hundreds of visitors, no sales. So what am I doing wrong? I checked my photographs, made sure they were clear, concise, there was a theme. So I looked into the competition. A lot were using the POD sites, it makes sense. I'm in two minds as to whether an item stops being handmade when all you produce yourself is the artwork...but that's not my complaint. So I looked at marketing and watched an online seminar on how to increase your sales on Etsy.
After the fist 10 minutes I switched it off...he actually, openly said "Copy the idea from the highest seller in your field"
Looking deeper into it, there are tons of stories of people who have had their work ripped off by someone else.
The thing is, I'm quite happy to just sit back show my work to the world and if it sells, that's a bonus. I would much rather that people enjoy looking at art without being pushed into spending money, but also to let them know that it is for sale, should they wish to. I hate this scrabbling around, stealing ideas, stepping on other people to get to the top, it's just not my style. I don't want my art to become a chore, I don't want to be forced into producing new stuff all the time, I've been there, it's not fun when you wake up one day and hate what you're doing.
It's time to relax, stress free, enjoy the peace and calm that painting gives me, and apparently other people.
Wix offer a store with this blog, so I thought, how hard can it be, I have the time
(though I'm back in work now) to slowly put it together. If you click on the picture above it will take you to it.
It has a variety of prints, originals but also notecards and writing paper.
Feedback is very important to me, good or bad (I'm a big girl, I can take it) please leave a comment if you can, let me know what works, what doesn't. Also if anyone does purchase anything - can you let me know how the transaction process goes. I want this to be easy for you too.