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Hello,I'm feeling a bit despondent about my low sales on my new website and would very much appreciate some feed back, mainly about my photos.

(60 Posts)
blueish Mon 17-Dec-12 18:38:14

I find it hard to get the photos right, especially the lighting and it's very time consuming which I don't mind but I just can't seem to create that processional look and they always seem too dark. I'm not trying to advertise on here, I just want an unbiased opinion. I would post this in chat but I'm not sure I'm allowed to (am I).

Thank you.

blueish Mon 17-Dec-12 19:12:38

Thanks Neolara, I think you're so right. It might seem expensive but in 'this field' it's really not. Most of the fabric was made very small quantities in the thirties and the prices have gone through the roof. It's genuine vintage and has taken 20 years to collect.

LargeLatte Mon 17-Dec-12 19:13:14

First up - I've just read this back to myself and it sounds brutal, but I am trying to get my point across quickly while putting kids to bed so don't have time to edit and pretty it up.

Your titles are too long / the wrong way round. Because Etsy only displays an abbreviated title, all I can see on that page is 'a pretty selection of vintage'.... I don't know what it is a pretty selection of, and I can't tell from the photo.

How about 'Cut out shapes in vintage farbrics' or 'vintage fabric shapes' as the opening few words.

It's also not clear what you are getting for your money 'What you see in the photos is exactly what you'll receive' - which photo - there's four of them. Could you list the items. From the photos I can see £8 seems an awful lot for a few flowers, 3 or four cut out shapes and some strips of fabric. You say there are 10 pieces - that's 80p per piece. If someone intends to use these to make cards for example they will need to use 2-3 pieces, making the cost of the card £2.40 without any other materials already.

If its for a child to play with I think I'd have kittens if my children were gluing items that cost that much.

Also are th fabrics really vintage in the sense that they are old fashioned fabrics no longer available - because they look pretty modern to me. These are what I would consider to be 'vintage':

I like the concept, and there are probably plenty of scrapbookers who would be interested, but the price and execution I think needs work.

Good luck though - I admire anyone with the balls to make a go of it.

Elegantlybasted Mon 17-Dec-12 19:17:14

You have some very nice pieces on there, but they are quite expensive. I take your point that the material has increased in price but in a recession maybe people don't feel they can justify the cost.
One other thing I would mention, have you checked that you can use materials with Disney images on it? I understand that they are rather hot on protecting their copyright in relation to commercial use.

blueish Mon 17-Dec-12 19:24:36

Thank you all. I'm absorbing all of your advice. It's a good job I don't do this for a living as we'd be living on bread and water without the bread. Thank God for my day job !

MonsterBookOfTinsel Mon 17-Dec-12 19:31:28

I think the background is too busy, a blank white background would help make the items clearer to see.
The items are pretty though smile

fossil97 Mon 17-Dec-12 19:32:43


I love vintage-y fabric bunting stuff and do a lot of photographing things for ebay and my blog. I think you have a nice concept but it does look a bit too homegrown.

I wasn't sure why anyone would buy the pinked-out shapes but previous poster mentioned scrapbooking - good point!

I do think you need to nail better lighting and setting out of your pictures. Have you a decent camera/tripod/picture editing software? It can be a PITA doing good lighting in this weather but even a big sheet of white artist's card on a table next to a bright window would be better. I would prefer to see a plain background. like this?. For bunting put a couple of tiny nails in a clean well lit white wall in your house.

Are you stuck with Etsy giving that random photo stream of items or can it be laid out better? There are a few spelling mistakes that make it look rushed.

The patchwork isn't neat or ironed enough for me - it needs to look beautiful, as if it was from a shop IYSWIM. (I think).

I personally wouldn't go for the irregular bunting because I have enough vintage fabric of my own, but I don't want to down rate the value of what's basically your artistic input! Good luck with your business idea as you develop it. Sorry to mash in with more nitpicking, I hope it goes well.

TeeElfOnTeeShelf Mon 17-Dec-12 19:32:43

There you go, put it in the right topic, and tons of answers. smile

And I agree with what everyone else has said.

Overberries Mon 17-Dec-12 19:46:48

Yep, agree with other posters, it's not immediately obvious what things are. The other key thing I think is that you are not bringing the items to life in the photos. People sometimes need a bit of help to imagine how much they would love the bunting / cushion etc in thier own home. I know it's more work for you and might not be possible but if you could photograph the cushion on a lovely vintage chair, or hang the bunting in a baby's room or outside over a picnic table... Maybe think about shops etc that you really like and checkout how thier merchandise is visually displayed in catalogues or on websites. Good luck though, you've got some gorgeous things to sell!

MrsMerryMeeple Mon 17-Dec-12 19:48:47

The photos really aren't doing you any favours. Try googling for photo tips for craft bloggers, eg:

blueish Mon 17-Dec-12 20:16:43

Thank you all, very welcome and food for thought. fossil97 when I put things against a white background it always looks grey. I love that photo of the cushion but even that background looks grey. I bought a very simple little lumix. Should I get a tripod ? Picture editing software confused.

blueish Mon 17-Dec-12 20:17:37

Thank you Tee

fossil97 Mon 17-Dec-12 22:59:51

You need to set your camera to measure the exposure from the item only and then the background should not go too grey (spot or centre metering). Or you can lighten it up in the photo software. Does the Lumix come with the ViewNX software, I have that from my Nikon? It is not very intuitive to use but you can do basic lightening up etc with it, possibly you could find a tutorial? If you have a PC you might have Microsoft Picture Manager (IIRC) or on a Mac IPhoto will handle basic adjustments, cropping etc.

That is a good link of MrsMerry <bookmarks it>

(I ended up buying a cheap book on digital photography because I was struggling to understand the features of the camera)

If you are doing a "lifestyle" picture - the background must not compete too much but must be poncy aspirational - a shabby chic shelf like your pretty blue one, or a scrubbed pine table. Have a look at Country Living magazine or something - that's your target market grin.

It doesn't matter too much if the background is a little grey as long as the colours and details of the item pop out.

this is one of mine, taken outdoors in front of my big white bit of cardboard (you can see the torn corner!) Shade better than sunshine... then I adjusted the colours a bit with the editing program. Quite often a tweak to brightness, contrast and colour saturation makes a world of difference.

MrsMargoLeadbetter Mon 17-Dec-12 23:00:00

Lots of helpful feedback on here. I'd agree with what others have said, clearer titles, descriptions and improve your pictures.

Are you looking at your stats? Are people viewing and not buying or not viewing?

Definately spend some time (if you haven't already) searching the competiton on Etsy as that what is your potential customers are doing. Thinking about what your different audiences might search, so crafters, scrapbookers, parents etc.

Successful Etsy sellers I know use it as it is a cheap and easy online shop, however they all have other sites and social media to drive traffic to their shops. I appreciate that might not be feasible for you now, but worth keeping that in mind.

Well done for being willing to ask for feedback, not everyone is as brave! Hope that 2013 brings you better sales.

blueish Tue 18-Dec-12 17:07:09

Well all this advice has been invaluable, thank you all so much. Lots of food for thought and lots to do over the holidays. fossil97 did you do all that knitting ? That's amazing ! MargotLeadbetter (used to love that) I do have all the social media to drive traffic to my shop, just haven't felt much like doing it as I wasn't happy with the pics. Still, I've only been on Etsy for a few weeks so it's all new to me.

Thanks again every one & Happy Christmas xxx

WeWilsonAMerryChristmas Thu 20-Dec-12 10:40:52

It's not the pics that are the problem, it's your descriptions. I've been on your page for 1 minute (the most I ever allow for a 'first look' if someone wants feedback) and I don't really know what you sell. So no motivation to click into the pics, as I don't know if I want to buy your products. You need to focus on your description at the top - Gorgeous Vintage doesn't really tell me anything iyswim?

givemeaclue Thu 20-Dec-12 10:57:01

Hi, some very pretty things but not really clear what you are selling, mixture of vintage sheets, craft bits etc. You need a clearer message about what you are selling I would perhaps change name to reflect the goods as well.

In the descriptions avoid "I" eg "I made this, I bought this" etc just describe the products.

Good luck

Nancy66 Thu 20-Dec-12 15:43:27

lose the bunting it looks very amateur and badly made and will reflect on your other products.

lynniep Thu 20-Dec-12 15:51:25

also its 'variety' not verity smile

SantasComingEarlyHisSackIsFull Thu 20-Dec-12 15:56:39

Just wanted to say, I like the cards, they are are pretty and a good price; maybe highlight those in some way as a "hook".

nickelbabylyinginamanger Thu 20-Dec-12 16:03:04

I agree with Nancy about the bunting, sorry.

the other stuff looks very pretty.

definitely agree that you should photograph stuff against a plain background. the heart with the green wooden background is so much easier to look at than the one against the garden.

and if you get a photo editting suite like photoshop Elements (cheap enough for this sort of thing), or a freebie like photoscape ans adjust the lighting.

do it in natural light rather than inside, but as Fossil says, not in bright sunshine.

that cushion is gorgeous, but needs to be ironed.
this one is a prime example of the photography. get it on a plain piece of white card and outside in the garden for its photographs

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 20-Dec-12 16:04:37

It's not clear what you are selling and how are people going to find you

You need to put lots of words in your descriptions so that when someone googles that type of item they come to you

If I was looking for vintage cushions I'd out it into google and come up with

BlipbipMerrynHigh Sat 22-Dec-12 19:16:27

your backgrounds are too busy and your descriptions too wordy. The lighting is fine but on the home page where you have lots of pictures you need to make the description under each photo be very short so you don't have to click on the photo to find out what it is.

I don't buy this sort of thing so have no idea what the price should be.


FuckityFuckFuck Sat 22-Dec-12 19:26:44

I only had a quick look, and as others have said you can't tell what it is your selling without clicking on all the individual products.

Also, I cannot read that word 'vintage' that many times in a minute or so without starting to get sick of seeing it. As the shop is Gorgeous Vintage, could you not just have a description at the top stating that everything is <shudder> vintage and then leave it off the individual products?

Wickaninnish Sat 22-Dec-12 19:43:17

My input is that I think you need to sharpen up your images & descriptions

If marketing on line you have only seconds to grab a buyers attention before they hit the next button.

The background should be clean. It can be coloured but ensure that the background does not detract from the item you are selling.

Make sure the initial description is clear and concise. Remember that initially most buyers will only browse descriptions. It is only when the description and pictures convince them that they are looking at something that interests them, that they will read more about it.

I also think that your pricing is quite high!

There is a really good book written by the ladies who started up 'Not on the High Street'. Masses of useful information to support your business.

AppleAndBlackberry Sat 22-Dec-12 20:35:02

I think you don't need descriptions like "a lovely" or "a pretty" or "good quality", it's what you get on ebay but not really on etsy, not very classy.

Other than that just seems a bit expensive. I really like your cards and the craft packs, but I think the craft packs should be about half the price...

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