Friday, November 2, 2007

Higher Prices for Etsy Showcase

So did you hear? Etsy raised their prices for the Showcase from $7 to $15. That's more than double the amount for something that is not guaranteed to bring in a sale equal to $15. (I really wish Etsy would send out a newsletter or at the very least an email to sellers with news like this. I almost missed seeing it. If I hadn't been scrolled down to the very bottom of the home page to see the Storque news scroll by I would have missed it completely. Why can't they just send out an email with important updates?? Instead, we have to glue ourselves to Etsy to find out things like this. Some of us just can't do that.)

Anyway, I'm not good at advertising or marketing. I don't really do either one other than my business cards, having my name out there on things like Indie Public, etc., and the Etsy Showcase. But as for buying advertising banners on websites or indie blogs, I haven't done it. Number one, I don't usually have the money. Number two, I'm afraid that I don't have enough really good inventory in my shop. And thirdly, I wouldn't really know where to start.

I must admit, I had recently become more enthusiastic about buying a spot in the Showcase since the last two I participated in were actually fruitful. I had spots for October 26th and October 28th, and I had one sale from the first and three sales from the second. Needless to say I was thrilled because that has never happened before with any of my prior Showcases. Of course, I always got hearts and faves on some items, but up until these two Showcases, no sales. However, it's never going to be a sure thing. So is it worth forking over $15 to buy a spot when you're not guaranteed you will even make a sale? What do you think? It might be different it the Main Showcase were actually linked to some kind of outside Etsy advertising, but it's not. (That's another thing that irks me about it.)

It just hit me as greedy that Etsy would increase their price for the Showcase. Up to this point it seemed that Etsy was a fairly reasonably priced site to list on and advertise in their Showcase. I mean, every little fee does add up mind you. But with the listing and renewal fees they rake in from supplies alone, Etsy is making a killing! (Let's hope they don't increase their listing fees too!! Knock on wood!) Now, little people like me with next to no money will now have to think twice before going for a spot in the Main Showcase. I don't believe the Storque Showcase price went up. And since I missed purchasing a Main Showcase spot when they went on sale this last time, I opted for two spots in the Storque Showcase. Lots less traffic to the Storque, I'm sure. Probably will not get a sale from either day, but I can see risking $14 to try twice before I can fork over $15 to try once when neither of them is guaranteed. I don't know. Maybe $15 for the Main Showcase is a better deal since people might actually find you there as opposed to the buried Storque Showcase. Perhaps $15 really is a good deal and I just got spoiled with $7 and don't really know better anyway. It seemed fairly cheap. Since I know nothing about advertising I am assuming not many things were out there for $7 that exposed you like Etsy's Main Showcase.

I'd also love to hear your thoughts on the new "Category Showcase" spots being offered for sale. I don't know about you, but I almost never use the categories to find what I'm looking for on Etsy. I always use the search bar. Do you use categories to surf Etsy? It seems to me that Etsy is beginning to look very much like the other "E" place. When I sold things on the other "E" place years ago (Kevin's used cloth diapers) there was an option to pay extra to have the item either highlighted in bold inside the category, or showcased in a featured spot in a gallery at the top of the category. That seems similar to what Etsy is now trying to do which I guess is ok. It's just that I don't use categories and wonder how many people out there do. So would buying a spot in the Category Showcase be worth it?

I'll let ya'll know what happens with my Storque Showcases (and with the Category Showcase spot I just went and purchased!). That will make three spots for me in November, none of them being the Main Showcase, but still cheaper than two of the main ones. But as an experiment, I'll try to buy one of the main ones as well (if I can get one) just to put a cherry on top of my growing little Etsy bill (full of showcase spots and relisting fees, not many sales fees). I've hardly made anything on Etsy, yet I keep relisting my items to keep them at the top of the categories. And I keep spending money on these Showcases. What's wrong with me????

Someone needs to teach me about advertising and marketing. I'd like to know what I need to be doing and how to do it right. I'd also like to know what I need to do besides take good pictures (which I'm really trying to work hard on) that might help with sales. Any suggestions?


beakee said...

I was also aghast to find out about the $15 main showcase, which I found out from the forums. I have bought Showcases in the past but have been slowing down in the past few months because they've seemed to be less and less fruitful for me. I have 2 spots in November and these'll be the last unless they go back to $7 in future. Really, who actually clicks on the Showcase anyway? $15 is way too much to ask. Yes, demand will be higher during holiday shopping seasons, but hiking up the price by more than double is shocking. And it's not even like Etsy does their own advertising to drive traffic to the site!

I'm not good at advertising or marketing either (I've always believed it to be a sham and am deeply distrustful of this industry) but it looks like we have to start getting our own traffic in to our stores. I've always thought that joining Etsy meant that there was a ready audience I could tap into, instead of setting up my own online store as an unknown. But now it seems I'm moving back to square one.

Relisting was good for me for a while, but now with 1000 new items in the Jewelry category every other day, mmm... it's a bit depressing.

Sorry to moan and groan... that's all I've been doing on my blog too!

bethechange21 said...

Hi Ms Belle,

I set up an Etsy account, but have yet to post anything. It just seems that it's so big with so many things being added everyday, how would my jewelry stand out? Your inventory is certainly good enough to be showcased; that's not an issue. It's how do you stand out? I don't sell my jewelry for a living. But I find that doing parties around Christmas has been the most profitable for me. But that can be time consuming too. Have you thought about teaming up with a successful home-based seller (Mary Kay, etc.)in your area and doing joint parties? Etsy just seems too overwhelming to be hugely successful for someone as small as me. If I were going to try and do it through the web, I would concentrate on using my own blog (set up a store) and get the word out locally about my site. That's kind of my goal right now - people ask me all the time if I have a website. Right now I just use my blog and flickr. I also just ordered some moo cards with pix of my jewelry on them to hand out (blog, flickr and email address on back). Thanks for your comments on my flickr pix. Take care.

knitsteel said...

You are doing quite well, considering a lack of publicity. I haven't done much either. I did sign up for a place in the art showcase, to try it out.

knitsteel said...

I popped in to Etsy to see how the new showcases look. I'm not too crazy about them. One line at the top of the category page, that you have to scroll on to see everything. It's not particularly compelling.

My day is not until Nov 15th. I'll be interested to see if it impacts views or sales. After seeing how it looks, I'm feeling a bit pessimistic about it.

SilverMonk Design said...

I found this website have some good marketing information. (tips)

I never try showcase before, it could work very well because of the X'mas season, finger cross!

Steph said...

I am very aggravated about the whole showcase thing too. I think it looks junky. And while I am glad they are not putting yahoo or netflix ads or something up there, I do not like the look of paid advertising everywhere on the site. I think the home page looks like a jumbly mess compared to how it looked 6 months ago. I did buy a category showcase for this wednesday, but I sort of regret it now that I see it is only on the main category page "jewelry" and you only see 5 of the 25 items at once. For 7 dollars I can relist 28 times! And as Beakee said, it seems relisting does not really help right now as so many new items are being relisted. I definately noticed a change in views/hearts/sales over the last 2 or 3 weeks.

I think we are going to have to start bringing people to our shops on our own, and assume Etsy is bringing no one.

I am doing a couple shows around Christmas and I hope that will make up for what is looking like a lame holiday season for me on Etsy so far.

Bah humbug. ( this is a little attempt at humor - I should not post on blogs when I am this grumpy.)

Starry Designs said...

Hey Ginger,

I was contemplating getting a category showcase tonight, but I decided that I shall save the $7. People were in the forums asking where they can find it! I'm not gonna pay $7 for it (at least for now).

I don't know if I can afford to pay for $15 showcases. That is too much of a hike. I might do 1 or 2 a month as oppose to the 4 that I usually do.