My Etsy shop opened three years ago today https://www.etsy.com/shop/queenofsienna. A year ago, to mark my second anniversary, I composed the following post to sum up those first two years:
While there have been some changes at Etsy over the past year, some good, some not so good (in my opinion), I am still enjoying the Etsy experience. I like the community and general structure of Etsy. And I am not aware of another on-line marketplace that can match it value-wise.
I sell mostly antique and vintage goods on Etsy. Many of those items are relatively unique. I thoroughly research the things I list, and I swear sometimes I think I have the only one of something in existence. It’s kind of hard to price something when you can’t find another one to compare it with. I want to find a good home for everything I sell, and it gives me great satisfaction when I know I have accomplished that. And I think thoroughly researching something will help me find the right buyer.
I’ve sold a poster for a play to an actor who is about to produce a revival of that play. I’ve sold a Jello ad to the daughter-in-law of the artist who is compiling a collection of her father-in-law’s artwork for her sons; a Westinghouse fan advertisement to an electric fan museum; an introductory Latin book to a Catholic college; drum T-bars and claws to a drummer of an English band; antique sheet music to the school of music of a university and a Good Year lawn hose ad to the artist’s son. That’s what I mean about finding a good home…and it makes me happy when this happens.
And I might go overboard on the research aspect, I know. But, I’m learning things, interesting things, that I would otherwise never have discovered. I’ve used this blog as a repository for that research, writing posts on different topics that I find interesting. If I find it interesting, I know there are others out there who find it interesting as well. And my blog stats show that many others search for and find my topics interesting.
Sometimes I research things solely because I’m curious about it. For example, I had a book entitled “Beyond Good and Evil” by Friedrick Nietzsche. On the title page was handwritten “Property of ‘Jack’ Bliss”. The penmanship was beautiful and the name intrigued me. Jack Bliss, who was Jack Bliss? This edition of the book was published in 1917. So with that name and that date, I started my search. And I found several individuals with the name Jack Bliss (among them a baseball player, a cartoonist and an actor). However, I ruled all of them out (comparing signatures) except for one. And I received the following comment to that post:
“Hi! In the amazement of ancestry.com & google, I came across your entree here. Jack Bliss was my grandfather. I never knew him. He & my grandmother divorced in 1947, 4 years before I was born. I knew he invented the rollers for piano’s, but didn’t realize he also composed. If you still have this book, I’d be interested in it. I’d love the photos, too, since I have no photos of him. Let me know whatever you know about him. Thanks.”
I contacted this person and gave her all of the photos and various information I had gathered on her grandfather. As luck would have it, someone else had purchased this book a couple of days prior to her comment. I contacted the buyer and explained the situation; the buyer was willing to sell the book to the granddaughter and I provided them with contact information. Obviously, this unexpected outcome delighted me. You can read about it all here in my post “Searching for Bliss”:
And although most of my shop items are antiques and vintage, this past year I have also sold damaged or pruned branches from trees in my yard! Knowing the talented and creative individuals who sell handmade items on Etsy, I searched the word “yew” and found over 600 handmade items. Those artisans were making wands, rune tiles, buttons, fountain pens, bracelets and all kind of things with yew. So I tested the waters and listed a piece of yew branch and it quickly sold. So I listed more…and that sold. Over and over again I had success selling yew branches.
Hawthorn branches with their long sharp thorns have also been popular sellers.
And a nice long 3 foot piece of maple sold in no time as well.
Knowing that these pieces of wood have gone to good homes, to be put to use and live again in another form makes me happy.
Also this past year, an item that I’ve offered to be used in an alternative form, and not as it was originally itended, is the nut pick. Antique silver plated nut picks measure under 5 inches in length. They work wonderfully well as cocktail picks…olive, onion, lemon peel, cherry, you name it. I’ve been delighted to have been able to sell these nut picks for such use (as confirmed by the buyer).
The “Lorne” pattern nut picks (as shown below) are still availabe here (as well as other selections) at my Etsy shop https://www.etsy.com/listing/155125075/rogers-bro-silver-plate-nut-picks-lorne
There are those on Etsy who believe that treasuries are an avenue to selling. That might well be for handmade items and the more common vintage items. I’ve sold very few, if any, items as a result of being featured in a treasury . I know that because of the marvelous Etsy “shop stats” provided. These stats tell me where a search comes from, be it through Etsy, Google, “direct traffic” or others. It tells me the keywords searched and the pages viewed. It’s pretty easy to identify where the search of a sold item originated…and for my shop, at least, the majority are through a Google search. And a good number of the purchasers are first time Etsy buyers. That means they have to sign up on Etsy to purchase the item.
Many of my shop views and resulting sales have come as a result of this blog! Thanks to WordPress for also providing great stats…I know when someone clicks over to my Etsy shop and I know what item is being viewed. Technology is great….