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Folksy etc anyone using?

(12 Posts)
DozyDorissimo Thu 12-Jan-17 11:07:36

I've just listed some of my work on the site but feel pretty negative about it (jewellery.)

There are just so many people doing the same thing and it looks like a bit of a price war! Some sellers are pricing their handmade work so cheaply (ie £10 for handmade/forged silver earrings that would take at least an hour to make) they are clearly not accounting for their time or expertise, just a tiny mark up on materials. It's a bit depressing and although it's early days, I can't see this as an outlet for my work.

I just wondered if anyone else had any good news about this way of selling or alternatives? (excluding craft fairs etc.)

SoupDragon Thu 12-Jan-17 12:50:09

I'm not a seller but I've bought stuff from Folksy/Etsy by spotting things on a Facebook page called British Crafters. They see to have "promote your stuff" themes where you post a link you your business FB page, which then has a link through to your website or Folksy/etsy page.

From this, I've come to the conclusion that Folksy etc are great as the actual selling platform but you need to do your promotion elsewhere as there is just too much stuff to wade through.

DozyDorissimo Thu 12-Jan-17 13:33:41

That's helpful, thanks.

YouCrazyDiamond Thu 12-Jan-17 14:59:06

I sell on Etsy.

I started on Folksy and swapped over. I found Etsy better for networking and raising shop profile, although I believe Folksy has improved since I left.

Totally agree with Soupdragon promotion is key. You are responsible for driving people to your shop. Etsy has teams which are very helpful in this respect. As is social media.

British Crafters are brilliant, and there are also regular Twitter hours for promotion.

You are right though, lots of people don't price themselves appropriately. I've been guilty of that myself (some people might think I still am) but I find that for every customer who's after a bargain, there will be those who are prepared to pay for the craftsmanship.

Jewellery is a massively over saturated market but if you have your own style, am sure you can find customers who will appreciate it.

When did you start your shop? It does take a bit of time to gain interest, don't give up too early! smile

DozyDorissimo Thu 12-Jan-17 15:18:56

I started my shop last night smile

Am I right in thinking my own website is key and somewhere like Folksy and Etsy are add-ons, or is it the other way round?

I've got a website already for it though it's not properly SEOd as I made it myself using a company / templates. So far I've sold a few things through friends and family and am hoping face to face local networking will help. I've got mates in PR/ media and I've run my own business before (not this line of work) so am happy using media.

I'm struggling a bit with 'style' though and need to find a niche so it's different and for that to happen I need to learn more techniques.

SoupDragon Thu 12-Jan-17 15:43:43

Yes, I think your website and/or Facebook etc are the key areas. They would then direct people to Folksy/etsy to make the actual purchase (so the "shop" link on your website would redirect to there).

From looking at British Crafters and following links, I found it irritating if I couldn't find the shop link immediately. Some FB pages had it listed under "shop" and these are the places I'm norre likely to buy from - if I have to faff about trying to hunt down the shop from a web page or directly in Folksy/Etsy I am less likely to bother. I think you need to assume that buyers are both lazy and stupid!!

YouCrazyDiamond Thu 12-Jan-17 15:56:59

That's interesting to know about FB Soupdragon from a potential shoppers pov. Mine links directly from the FB shop now link, but before that was introduced I thought I had my Etsy shop link fairly prominent but who knows how easy it was for people to find.

Dozy I don't have my own website, just Etsy and various social media, but I do know that lots of people do.

If your shop has only been open a day it probably hasn't come up in searches yet.

I do recommend joining a couple of teams. Craft Hour/Buzz (recent name change) is excellent and runs a very busy twitter hour on Sunday evening.

SoupDragon Thu 12-Jan-17 16:05:13

I've just noticed that not everyone had it listed or had a website that then didn't seen to link to the shop.

Most were easy and clear though.

DozyDorissimo Thu 12-Jan-17 16:49:38

This is all very helpful but the thing is...unless I'm missing something...if people want to buy things, why would they not buy directly from me on my website (and I'd not lose money by paying Folksy and Etsy?) What's the point linking my own site to another one which takes commission?

YouCrazyDiamond Thu 12-Jan-17 17:34:59

Well if you want to focus on your own site of course you should do that, different strokes and all that, but that wasn't the question you asked in your OP.

The fact that Etsy is a known entity and one that people will turn to when looking for handcrafted items, the structure that is in place, plus the support that is offered there, outweighs any benefits that having my own website may offer and for me is worth the commission. Customers trust the site I think, and as you make sales and get positive reviews (so far only 5 stars for me, yay grin ), your individual shop within Etsy becomes more attractive too. Etsy makes it easy for me to produce my stuff, list it and get on with the rest of my life. This may change in the future of course, but at the moment it works for me.

Your OP mentions concern with competition and price wars, that isn't unique to Etsy/Folksy, I imagine you'll encounter this on the internet at large too.

I think alot will depend on your website - if it looks sleek and professional then it might attract people willing to pay for quality, but if not, who knows.

But I don't think that is likely to happen overnight . If you opened your Folksy shop last night and thought that sales would instantly flood in, then I think your expectations were a little unrealistic. Sorry.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

DozyDorissimo Thu 12-Jan-17 20:29:44

The reason I chose Folksy over Etsy was that Etsy seemed huge and US based. I also felt that Folksy was more fussy about who they allowed on the site- ie there has to be evidence that something has been made, not just a charm slotted onto a necklace.

Isn't it even harder to sell on Etsy because there are so many more sellers listed?

Genuine question- not disagreeing with you!

There are two local silversmith / jewellers on my doorstep neither of whom use Etsy/ Folksy because - assume- they have items that are pretty pricey and they also have full shopping cart etc on their own websites.

I didn't expect to have sales overnight- no way!- my post was really about how much there was on the site and how hard it might be to be noticed.

Thanks

YouCrazyDiamond Fri 13-Jan-17 09:26:38

Sorry I think you have misunderstood me. You asked why Etsy/Folksy and not your own website, and voiced concerns about commission charges/competition and I was just volunteering my experience.

I actually see Etsy and Folksy as broadly comparable, I was just speaking of Etsy as it is my most recent experience. Etsy may still have more functionality but I think Folksy has improved a lot since I stopped listing there in 2014. In fact I was planning to reboot my Folksy shop this year and run it alongside the Etsy one to check it out.

Etsy is bigger, and of course there is more competition, but UK buyers do use it, and I think it is more well known than Folksy. Plus of course if you want to reach an international audience (you haven't mentioned this) then Etsy has the advantage. Also UK buyers can refine their Etsy search to only shops based in the UK, it's in their best interests due to postage/customs charges. I know I do this.

But there are MNrs that are far more successful on Etsy than me with a lot more knowledge and experience about these things, maybe they'll be along to help you out. Or have you tried searching MN using Etsy and Folksy as a keyword, might give you some pointers in the meantime. I know these threads pop up from time to time.

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