Disappointment with Etsy & Ebay - Advice?

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My husband and I, apart from being avid Internet Marketers, are craftsmen. He is a gifted Silversmith and jewelry fabricator, and I am a Wood Artist. We have spent so much time on Ebay and Etsy browsing the products and prices people are charging. It is absolutely disheartening! The silver and wood we use to make our unique items cost something....we notice hundreds of people practically giving away their goods. If we charged what they're charging, it would be quite a loss for us. And yet, I read of people making good incomes with their homemade crafts on these sites. What am I missing??
#advice #disappointment #ebay #etsy
  • Profile picture of the author orangescamper
    I know what you are talking about very well. I did this for many years as my only income and finally got burnt out. Material was also always going up and like you said the prices didn't leave much profit. I am glad I did it as it was my own thing and I went from the back yard to doing six digits in sales on one product. I know that is nothing compared to a lot but it is still something I am proud of.
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  • Profile picture of the author SL Resell
    If you are doing something unique and well made the profits will come. Focus on building your brand as number one priority. If you can create something that resonates with people when they look and think about your product then you are ahead of 60-70% of everyone else.

    - logos
    - about me section
    - pictures
    - email list building

    dont think about the little fish that are making very low profits giving their stuff away. build a brand, be confident, market yourself. The customers will come.

    just to give some background, im selling a certain hand made item on ebay for about 3X more than competitors and getting regular sales because ive made a point to present it in a way that speaks to people, instead of just listing it cheap and describing it as cheap. hope that helps
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    • Profile picture of the author Lou Roggio
      Originally Posted by SL Resell View Post

      If you are doing something unique and well made the profits will come. Focus on building your brand as number one priority. If you can create something that resonates with people when they look and think about your product then you are ahead of 60-70% of everyone else.

      - logos
      - about me section
      - pictures
      - email list building

      dont think about the little fish that are making very low profits giving their stuff away. build a brand, be confident, market yourself. The customers will come.

      just to give some background, im selling a certain hand made item on ebay for about 3X more than competitors and getting regular sales because ive made a point to present it in a way that speaks to people, instead of just listing it cheap and describing it as cheap. hope that helps
      Thank you very kindly for your helpful comment. We do have a website, a brand name, about me pages and we have done very well at local markets. People rave about our products. We've been fortunate to have reviews posted on the site, which are helpful. We were just thinking it would be a good idea to market elsewhere, and after researching similar products on Ebay and Etsy, we were shocked! I can't wrap my head around it. But we'll continue to promote our site and display our items at different events and fairs. As we grow that business and develop a larger clientele, I'll try Ebay, hoping to share the same success you are having!
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  • Profile picture of the author testlab
    Hello,

    Sorry to here about your disappointment but to be frank with you, etsy never worked for my wife. She has many hand crafted pieces that to be honest are top notch. She has done the big O ZERO in ETSY but in flea markets and street fairs all over NYC she has done very well. For something similar in Etsy she would charge way less than she would in fairs all over NY. Lets say she sees something similar in Etsy for $20 bucks, my wife can 100% get %80 bucks for it with out any hesitations in NYC street fairs.

    But I can tell you thats its all about the brand. I made a brand for her. I had her choose a name, I opened a web site for her being a Web Developer for over 20 years and I submitted her brand/products all over the net. (Google, Bing and Yahoo). I always told her to make the online prices much higher than her local fair prices and it worked. majority of buyers were in street fairs and they researched online before paying her.

    Its a bit trickster but that's how the fortune 500 business got here and it is by doing what my father when I was 23 said and I was selling other stuff lol "FAKE IT TO YOU MAKE IT!!!!"

    I showed a higher price online and when prospective clients of her researched online they end up buying from her personally due to the fact that she sells it for much less. Its a method used all over the world since the big advertising burst came along.

    Anyways, If you need more information please let me know. As for know my wife and I found a great drop ship company that allows my wife to send her products to them and they take care of everything. Plus we get to sell other products since they drop ship fashion jewelry We are very happy due to our unexpected growth.

    Good luck and much blessing to you, your family and your dreams!

    Take care
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    • Profile picture of the author Lou Roggio
      Originally Posted by testlab View Post

      Hello,

      Sorry to here about your disappointment but to be frank with you, etsy never worked for my wife. She has many hand crafted pieces that to be honest are top notch. She has done the big O ZERO in ETSY but in flea markets and street fairs all over NYC she has done very well. For something similar in Etsy she would charge way less than she would in fairs all over NY. Lets say she sees something similar in Etsy for $20 bucks, my wife can 100% get %80 bucks for it with out any hesitations in NYC street fairs.

      But I can tell you thats its all about the brand. I made a brand for her. I had her choose a name, I opened a web site for her being a Web Developer for over 20 years and I submitted her brand/products all over the net. (Google, Bing and Yahoo). I always told her to make the online prices much higher than her local fair prices and it worked. majority of buyers were in street fairs and they researched online before paying her.

      Its a bit trickster but that's how the fortune 500 business got here and it is by doing what my father when I was 23 said and I was selling other stuff lol "FAKE IT TO YOU MAKE IT!!!!"

      I showed a higher price online and when prospective clients of her researched online they end up buying from her personally due to the fact that she sells it for much less. Its a method used all over the world since the big advertising burst came along.

      Anyways, If you need more information please let me know. As for know my wife and I found a great drop ship company that allows my wife to send her products to them and they take care of everything. Plus we get to sell other products since they drop ship fashion jewelry We are very happy due to our unexpected growth.

      Good luck and much blessing to you, your family and your dreams!

      Take care
      So wonderful to hear of your wife's success! And of course, yours too, since you obviously function as a team. That's how my husband and I work. We're going to have to take the same route you and she did. We have a beautiful website, a brand name, and all of the business marketing is in place. Like you two, we have done all of our sales at local markets, fairs and by referrals from happy customers. As I commented on another post, we were just shocked at the prices when we researched other avenues. It boggles my mind as to how people are profiting on Etsy. It honestly makes no sense. They must be very cheaply made items! We take pride in our uniqueness and the genuineness of the materials we use, for instance, genuine stones and .925 sterling silver. Knowing the cost of the material, making a great pair of drop earrings, then selling them for $5, WHAT??? I know you see the point. But we appreciated your candor and sharing your story with us. Very encouraging. Blessings to you and your wife as well!
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  • Profile picture of the author testlab
    Thank you, Im glad to hear this.

    Just keep on going and you guys will get there! Not to say we are where we want to be but almost and we can only share to the public and friends what we have learned either by mistakes, which I can tell you that about 80% was due to trial and error because we didn't have no one to teach us except Google before every site turned into some money hungry scheme . But we have learned our lesson after spending our hard earned money we made before making our business full time from home.

    God bless you, brother!
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  • Profile picture of the author testlab
    AND REMEMBER THIS, YOU DON'T HAVE TO INVENT A AWAY/METHOD BY YOUR SELF. YOU JUST HAVE TO KNOW WHO TO PICK AS A MENTOR AND OR COPY, AND FOLLOW IT THROUGH!

    I PICKED ONE OF MY MOST LIKED COMPETITOR AND COPIED/APPLIED THERE WAY/MODEL OF DOING BUSINESS

    TO ME IF IT WORKS FOR THEM IT WILL WORK FOR ME EVEN BETTER WITH JUST ADDING A BIT OF BRAINSTORMING!

    Me and my wife have a board in one of our empty bedroom walls that we write on and brain storm. Every little idea that comes up we run to that board like no tomorrow just in case we we forget due to so many thing we have going. But like I tell my friends and family, brainstorming is just the beginning of success, to make it happened you need you need to follow it through by making it by steps and checking/analyzing those things that are finished and that need improvements.


    God Bless you,.
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  • What I'm wondering is why are you looking at what people are charging?

    'For sale' is not the same as 'sold.'

    What you'll need to do is actually find out the market worth of your items. If you're comparing your items against the people that aren't as successful, then you'll have their same results.

    On eBay, you'll want to replicate the 'smartest kids in class' in order to maximize your price.

    A common mistake people make is that they think 'If I just lower my price, I can increase my turnover.'

    Nothing could be further from the truth. If you RANK higher than your competition, you can INCREASE your turnover AND your sales.

    It's something I've been teaching for what seems like centuries.

    Enjoy!

    -ADE-
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    Famous for my '$1000 dollar challenge,' I've been teaching people how to DOMINATE on eBay for YEARS. Sell 100% of your items FOR A PROFIT. Rank higher, sell faster, sell more, and DESTROY your competition with a data-based approach. Quit listening to Guru's-in-training! Click now below!
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      I would not focus too much on etsy. I would learn (if you do not already know) how to take great pictures of your products and start focusing on Pinterest and Facebook.

      al
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      A bar of iron cost $5. Made into horseshoes, it's worth $12. Made into needles, it's worth $3500. Made into balance springs for watches, it's worth $300,000. Your value is determined by what you are able to make of yourself

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      • Profile picture of the author Lou Roggio
        Originally Posted by agmccall View Post

        I would not focus too much on etsy. I would learn (if you do not already know) how to take great pictures of your products and start focusing on Pinterest and Facebook.

        al
        We have great pictures on Facebook, and a dedicated Facebook page, but Pinterest is another option that we hadn't considered. Thanks!
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    • Profile picture of the author orangescamper
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      What I'm wondering is why are you looking at what people are charging?

      'For sale' is not the same as 'sold.'

      What you'll need to do is actually find out the market worth of your items. If you're comparing your items against the people that aren't as successful, then you'll have their same results.

      On eBay, you'll want to replicate the 'smartest kids in class' in order to maximize your price.

      A common mistake people make is that they think 'If I just lower my price, I can increase my turnover.'

      Nothing could be further from the truth. If you RANK higher than your competition, you can INCREASE your turnover AND your sales.

      It's something I've been teaching for what seems like centuries.

      Enjoy!

      -ADE-
      I see what your saying but what about situations where there are one or very few sellers dominating that product. I was looking at headphones. One guy has sold almost 12000 pairs and the next was like 500-800. So how are you going to rank higher than them? Yeah you may rank higher than the other 1000 people selling none but how about the others?
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      • Originally Posted by orangescamper View Post

        I see what your saying but what about situations where there are one or very few sellers dominating that product. I was looking at headphones. One guy has sold almost 12000 pairs and the next was like 500-800. So how are you going to rank higher than them? Yeah you may rank higher than the other 1000 people selling none but how about the others?
        It's actually quite easy.

        You need to increase your views to actions ratio.

        If you have your listings converting better - (Not just in sales, but in all actions) then eBay will rank you higher as your listing(s) are 'probably going to sell.'

        It makes eBay more money to sell items quickly and for a high price.

        It's not just the high-volume sellers, but the powersellers you can rank higher for.

        I've established for a while '3 rules of eBay' that explicitly talk about this very ranking issue.

        Many people think that lowering your price increases your conversion/turnover rate.

        Not the case - it's RANKING higher to leverage that traffic.

        Enjoy!

        ADE
        Signature
        Famous for my '$1000 dollar challenge,' I've been teaching people how to DOMINATE on eBay for YEARS. Sell 100% of your items FOR A PROFIT. Rank higher, sell faster, sell more, and DESTROY your competition with a data-based approach. Quit listening to Guru's-in-training! Click now below!
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    • Profile picture of the author jkgultimate
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      What I'm wondering is why are you looking at what people are charging?

      'For sale' is not the same as 'sold.'

      What you'll need to do is actually find out the market worth of your items. If you're comparing your items against the people that aren't as successful, then you'll have their same results.

      On eBay, you'll want to replicate the 'smartest kids in class' in order to maximize your price.

      A common mistake people make is that they think 'If I just lower my price, I can increase my turnover.'

      Nothing could be further from the truth. If you RANK higher than your competition, you can INCREASE your turnover AND your sales.

      It's something I've been teaching for what seems like centuries.

      Enjoy!

      -ADE-
      I totally agree with this post, make sure you find out what keywords are heavily searched in your niche and make sure you place these keywords in the image description, Title and the description.

      Note, one of the most important thing in your listing is your Title. Think in terms of what a customer would use in keywords to search for your items.
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    • Profile picture of the author Lou Roggio
      Originally Posted by Auctiondebteliminator View Post

      What I'm wondering is why are you looking at what people are charging?

      'For sale' is not the same as 'sold.'

      What you'll need to do is actually find out the market worth of your items. If you're comparing your items against the people that aren't as successful, then you'll have their same results.

      On eBay, you'll want to replicate the 'smartest kids in class' in order to maximize your price.

      A common mistake people make is that they think 'If I just lower my price, I can increase my turnover.'

      Nothing could be further from the truth. If you RANK higher than your competition, you can INCREASE your turnover AND your sales.

      It's something I've been teaching for what seems like centuries.

      Enjoy!

      -ADE-
      Point well taken, and great advice. Sometimes curiosity kills the cat, of course. We probably shouldn't have even looked at pricing in the first place! Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
    Don't get too wrapped up in the flea market (second hand shop) mentality of some of the sellers on eBay. Who knows where those people are sourcing items, and might not actually be artisans so much as dealers who pick up hand crafted items via estate sales. So you should not be competing with those people.

    You need to focus on putting forth your own personal story with each item created. On your eBay sales page, tell a story of how each item is created, the laborious process. People don't want cheap when it comes to hand crafted items, or they would buy from any dollar store. They want awesome! And, that personalized touch (sharing your own story in your own words/voice, maybe even with videos showing yourself making the item), will take you further than anyone else there trying to sell cut rate goods. Best of luck with your eBay business.
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  • Profile picture of the author netlexis
    Do try Pinterest, especially in the your market. A number of my seller friends who specialize in used designer/vintage clothing say it's bringing in the customers.
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  • Profile picture of the author David Underwood
    Originally Posted by Lou Roggio View Post

    My husband and I, apart from being avid Internet Marketers, are craftsmen. He is a gifted Silversmith and jewelry fabricator, and I am a Wood Artist. We have spent so much time on Ebay and Etsy browsing the products and prices people are charging. It is absolutely disheartening! The silver and wood we use to make our unique items cost something....we notice hundreds of people practically giving away their goods. If we charged what they're charging, it would be quite a loss for us. And yet, I read of people making good incomes with their homemade crafts on these sites. What am I missing??
    Hi, I am new here, but I hope that my experience may help you in some way. I sell clothing and have frequently found myself in places where I am selling next to people with very big collections and lower prices than me. In markets, especially, there will be people selling T-shirts for £3! It seems that sellers chose one of two routes; low prices and very high volume of sales or higher end products and lower sales. I went for the second option. It is so tempting sometimes to cut prices when you see people do they same. I also wonder how anyone is making money sometimes.

    I actually started selling on Etsy before I got my own site and although there were people selling stuff for a lot less than me, I like to think the quality/exclusivity of what I was selling spoke for itself.

    My advice is to keep your prices where you want them and just be proud and confident in your brand. For every ten people that wants a piece of jewellery/an accessory for a dollar, there may be one person that wants to spend a lot, lot more. Those people will find you and they will buy from you.

    To be honest, I found my sales really started coming in when I got my own site, but I am actually thinking of opening an Etsy store again to add to my income. I hope you do really well.
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