Saturday, March 25, 2017

What to Make of Etsy Studio

New Etsy Crafts Market

Etsy Shop Manager Link to Etsy Studio
Accessing Etsy Studio
Do you sell any items that are considered craft supplies? Then your shop will be included in Etsy Studio.

There is the Etsy we all know and love (well, usually). And now there is Etsy Studio, which is just for craft supplies. They are separate markets, each with its own website.

Etsy Studio is an offshoot from Etsy, but still part of the website. Etsy hopes it will become the "go-to destination for craft supply enthusiasts."

Have you taken a peek at your new Etsy Studio shop? It IS different. How so?


1. Etsy Studio has a plainer, more streamlined look.
Etsy studio attributes on the left
Categories and attributes are on the left
2. There is no banner or cover, less individual shop branding.
3. Shop sections are not displayed. Instead, Etsy's categories will be displayed.
4. There is no favoriting of items on Etsy Studio.
5. Item photos are arranged differently.
Rather than a cart
Basket
6. Instead of a cart, you have a basket.
7. Individual items can have ratings if previous ones have been sold and rated.
8. Money order, check, and other forms of payment (like trades) are not accepted on Etsy Studio.
9. The item description is truncated.
10. You can sort feedback by star rating.
11. Attributes act like tags in ranking for search results.
12. Attributes and craft uses will be displayed
13. There are no shop updates.
14. There is no shop rearrange function.
15. Craft projects are integrated into (and integral to) Etsy Studio.
16. Items can have designations as handmade, vintage, recycled and organic. Here is Etsy's definition of "recycled."

Etsy Studio sewing sub categories
See the sewing sub-categories on the left? Shop names are not displayed in search results.

SEO for Etsy Studio


Regarding SEO, from admin: "For Etsy Studio's search ranking, previous listing performance on Etsy will be considered in search placement on Etsy Studio, including views and sales along with listing specific reviews. One important difference is that listing favorites don’t exist on Etsy Studio and so do not count towards search placement."

"Adding listing attributes helps buyers find your items by more specific item qualities such as size, color and material. These listing attributes along with titles and tags will continue to be important for search on Etsy Studio."

More information is here.

"Etsy Promoted Listings will work similarly on Etsy Studio as they do now on Etsy."

Individual item feedback is displayed on Etsy Studio. Take note of any listings with low feedback ratings. Avoid "renew sold" for those listings. Rather, consider "copy listing" to shake the negative feedback. Of course, your item feedback will then read zero.

No banners or shop covers
Our shop avi is front and center on Etsy Studio.

What to do now


Attributes are scheduled to go live on Monday, March 27.

  • Add your attributes.
  • Make sure your store avi looks good in the new format. There is no banner or shop cover in Etsy Studio.
  • Check your item categories. They will be displayed. Etsy auto-changed some.

Category changes


Etsy Studio is all about Craft Supplies and Tools. Many subcategories already found there have been adjusted, expanded, or renamed. Some categories have moved to Etsy Studio. (They have been added to the Craft Supplies & Tools main category.)

Below is a summary of these changes. The complete list of the seller categories is here.

  • Kids crafts 
    VintageMaineia Etsy Studio page
    Shop items in Etsy Studio listed by Etsy categories
  • Clip art 
  • All nail art related categories 
  • Bath & Beauty face-painting applicators 
  • Craft & Hobby Books 
  • Cameras and photography equipment 
  • Electronic maker supplies including 3D printing and robotics 
  • Electronic parts including electrical bulbs, tubes, parts, sockets, wiring, and testing & calibration 
  • Picture frames and displays 
  • Home improvement hardware including doors & locks, flooring, hinges, knobs & pulls, molding and trim, plumbing, and windows 
  • Bakeware including vintage 
  • Gardening tools, greenhouses and hydroponics, garden plants, seeds, seed bombs, and artificial flowers 
  • Gift wrap and wrapping accessories 
  • Origami paper, kits, and tools 
  • Paper ephemera 
  • Blank stationery including blank envelopes, folders, recipe cards, writing paper, stickers, and tags 
  • Party supplies including balloons, confetti, party lights and lanterns, straws, and tableware
Are you excited about Etsy Studio? I know that some of my items will be on the site. I hope it does well.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Big Changes at Etsy in 2017

Etsy is on the move! If you have sold there for any amount of time, you know that change is a constant on this vibrant online marketplace.

First, what changes were announced in Feb, 2017?


1. A new website called Etsy Studio has been created for those who sell supplies.
2. Many new categories were created for supplies. Your items may have been moved to new categories without your knowledge.
3. Shop Manager is available. It is an improved "all-in-one" interface to navigate the selling side of Etsy.
4. Enhanced search attributes are being added to all listings.


When is this happening? These changes are being rolled out over days and weeks. Possibly months. You may already have some of these changes. I know that I do. March 27 [date updated] has been announced as when the new attributes will begin to factor into buyer searches.

Etsy starts new supply selling site

Etsy Studio - Etsy's New DIY Marketplace


Right now, Etsy is a website for (1) handmade, (2) vintage or (3) supplies. If you sell supplies, this new development will affect your shop. Etsy Studio is born!

Etsy's CEO Chad Dickerson described his vision of the new one-stop crafting marketplace*. A venue with "joy" to compete with traditional craft stores. Etsy's new do-it-yourself marketplace seeks to provide an all-in-one crafting experience. People will refer to detailed tutorials for crafting projects. Etsy Studio will provide a list of all supplies needed for a project. Those supplies can be purchased on Etsy with one click.
Vintage Supply on Etsy Studio
How our items will appear on Etsy Studio. See the "Vintage" feature?

Money orders, checks and "other" payment will not be accepted in Studio.

A traditional new craft website would need some time to get off the ground. Etsy Studio has access to the millions of crafting items already for sale on Etsy. There will be no extra cost for sellers on Etsy Studio for the time being.

Sellers can expect that all of your items in the "supply" category will automatically be added to Etsy Studio.

On Etsy Studio, items can have a special designation feature of "vintage" or "recycled." We all are familiar with what vintage means. But what about recycled? Here are Etsy's guidelines about that.

Here is more information about Etsy Studio.

Enhanced Supply Categories


Etsy has updated the categories for materials and supplies. Etsy wanted to help sellers with these changes. They performed bulk category edits.

There have been some unintended consequences. For example, sellers report some framed art moved into "Supplies."

Additionally, you may wish to reevaluate whether additional items qualify as supplies. I found that my doorknobs and drawer pulls could be moved from "vintage" to "supplies." That way they will enjoy the extra exposure of Etsy Studio.

New Look Etsy Seller Dashboard
New look - Shop Manager dashboard

New Shop Manager


This is a centralized dashboard for Etsy shop owners.  It improves the visibility of important information, such as orders, buyer conversations, statistics, and inventory management. Sellers see right away what needs prompt attention, such as overdue orders.

Sellers can opt in and out of the Shop Manager for now. I find it beneficial to opt in rather early, as the change is coming anyway. If you wait a week, Etsy admin can get some of the bugs out.

A new capability is included. The new Shop Manager allows sellers to perform searches across multiple shop tools, including Conversations, listings, and orders. I am not sure how useful it is, but it does work.

Included is an improvement in inventory management, SKU numbers. SKU's are visible to the seller but no one else. This is a great innovation for those of us who have been known to {looking away} lose sold items. Here is more information about how to set up an effective SKU numbering system. I have seen complaints that the SKU system is not all that sellers had hoped for.

Search Attributes


Sellers will be able to able to add details about listings. Such "attributes" will eventually serve as filters when buyers search on Etsy. Attributes include:

  • Colors (primary and secondary)
  • Occasions
  • Holidays
  • Size: clothing, jewelry, pillows, dollhouse furniture, dolls, signs, wall hangings, fabric
  • Capacity: teacups, cups
  • Fiber content, potential use (and a lot of other aspects): fabric
Maine granite stones VintageMaineia
Quick Add Attributes for Etsy Studio itens

If you had an item in the "weddings" category, the "wedding" attribute should be pre-selected for you. Sellers report that some pre-selections are inaccurate, so you will need to recheck.

This is pretty straightforward for vintage sellers. If the attributes do not apply, no need to try to force them to fit. Conversely, if more than one attribute could apply, be sure to vary your attributes for different products. This way you will show up on more different buyer searches.

Here is more information about attributes.

Item Variations for Custom Colors


Item variations screen
Below the colors is an option for "more than one."
Item Variations are useful if you sell items like hand made jewelry. There you might have multiple options of lengths, colors and styles with different price, quantity, and SKU numbers. They have been broadened out with these changes. Here is more information about them.

Some have been upset about the color attribute choices. If you have an item that is maroon and cream, you have to call it "red" and "white." Turquoise becomes "blue" (or "green").

Etsy seller custom color workaround
On the screen that pops up, select "create a new option."
There is an interesting workaround. If you have colors that are not on the list, they can be added using Item Variations. Once you select "color," you will see a box with colors listed. At the bottom it has a spot to add your own color.

The custom color(s) you add to variations will be used in regular search. However, the colors will not be seen if the color search filters are used. (Search filters are not available yet. Well, they are but they are not really working. A working color filter will eventually become available.)


Pluses and Minuses


More details about your items will now be visible on the Etsy app on mobile. Item descriptions are hidden when buyers use the mobile app, so this in an improvement.

Attributes will act like "extra tags and titles." This means more opportunities for your items to be found by buyers.

Big shops will need to take some time to make the necessary changes to attributes. Etsy's promised bulk editing tool is available, but some users do not find it very helpful.

Will the new attributes affect how items are found via searches?


As mentioned, the new search attributes and variations will "become a factor in Etsy search" starting in late March. When it takes effect, both pre-set and custom variations and attributes will be searchable, same as tags and titles.

The filtering aspect will not be enabled until later. [Update: Etsy has begun testing filtering in June, 2017.]

It is impossible to know how Etsy's search algorithm will change. Stay tuned for more on Etsy search as information becomes available.

Etsy Quick Add Screen Attributes Tool
Quick Add screen for new attributes

What do you need to do right now?


1. Make sure all your items are properly categorized. Etsy may have changed the categories for your items without your knowledge. You will want to recheck every item's category during this process.

2. Use Etsy's new "Quick Add Attributes" tool. Mine had a little thermometer-style indicator [for a while] that told me that I have only 609 listings to go... It takes you quickly through the process of adding attributes and fine-tuning categories (but nothing else). Unfortunately, if you have already made changes, it will still take you into the listing. It has a reputation for being buggy as well.

If you have a large shop, this task may seem daunting. Try breaking it up into smaller pieces, like sections.

The new search attributes will eventually become important to getting found when buyers search Etsy. They will begin to factor into buyer searches on March 27.

[June 20, 2017 update: most of these changes are not yet fully implemented. Attributes are not up and running to any degree. Custom variations still cannot be searched. Etsy's recent tests hardly even using the attributes. Etsy Studio has very few sales as of yet.]
*Here is Etsy's former CEO Chad Dickerson's interview about Etsy Studio:
http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/etsy-ceo-reveals-new-craft-supply-market-studio/

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Basics of Vintage Pricing

How should vintage items be priced?
In the old days before Etsy, pricing was easy. You put your vintage item up for bid. The auction price was what it sold for.

With the advent of set prices and buy-it-now, we must figure out prices for our items. How is that done for vintage items?

Start with five basic questions


1. What is the demand for the item? Is its color popular?
2. What is its condition? For some types of items, condition is more important than others.
3. Is the item complete? Is it truly usable, or only displayable? Are the box and parts present?
4. Will the shipping add a tremendous amount to the final price?
5. How long can we wait to sell the piece? Can we easily store it and be patient to wait for our price? Or do we need to ask a lower amount to move the item quickly?

vintage market price research
Pricing Research

Next, research prices


  • Search Etsy for the item... check how your direct competition is pricing.
  • Search the Internet for the item... in a broad image search you can see what is out there.
  • Search eBay for the item... low end sold prices are visible when you check the box in the left column.
  • Search Ruby Lane for the item... there we see more expensive pricing.

For special types of items, there are more websites. For example, www.replacements.com can be helpful for china, glass and flatware. Amazon.com and AbeBooks work well for books.

Consider what you have into the item. What did you pay for it? What kind of profit margin do you need? Can you factor in a 10-20% discount for coupons or those who ask for a better price?

Take a realistic look at the piece. How does it compare with what is already for sale? What have similar items sold for?

We must view our item within the context of the market and price it accordingly.


We walk a fine line. 


should be ask a high price?
If the item is priced at the bottom, shoppers may assume that something is wrong with it and pass it right by. If we shoot for the moon, the high price could also turn off potential buyers.

I picture myself shopping. I make a search and see a page of results. I filter as to price. Which item would I choose based on the selection?

However, not everyone shops that way.

This brings up the questions of who are our buyers, and how do they shop?


Pricing goes hand in hand with marketing and branding.


are we the cheapest or the best?
are we the cheapest or best?
I took a marketing class many years ago. My takeaway was that you can market yourself as either the cheapest or the best.

Given the choice I try to market myself as the best... but with more moderate pricing. That is because my Etsy shop has a bit of a primitive Maine theme.

Niche shops can add a bit to their prices in general. Vintage sellers who specialize can attract more repeat buyers. They have less overall research to do. Here is more information why specialization is a good idea.

How do we attract better buyers?


Most of us would rather market toward upscale buyers. They are willing to pay more, right?

Ways we appeal to higher end buyers:

1. Make your shop look complete with everything filled out, your about page, banner, avi, etc.
2. Photograph your items well.
3. Have interesting items that appeal to upscale buyers.
4. Emit an aura of quality.

To whom are we marketing our items? Who is our target audience?

Here are some more ideas for raising the bar for your vintage shop.

Availability


If the item is rare, you can price it higher. However, there has to be enough demand for it so that someone will want to pay the price. As vintage sellers, we must pay heed to trends in design and fashion.

If there are a lot of the item already for sale on Etsy, I tend to price mine toward the bottom. That is how I handle the issue of direct competition based on price.

price points for vintage selling
pennies or whole dollar increments?

What are your price points?


When you go shopping, take notice of prices. Upscale stores usually round to whole-dollar amounts.

Discounted pricing usually end with penny amounts like .95, .99, .88 and the like.

If we are marketing to upscale buyers, then round to whole dollars. If we aim to be the cheapest, then use "discount" price points.

My own take on price points? On the other E where it can be a race to the bottom, I use .95. On Etsy, I use whole numbers. The exception? Items in my bargain section are generally priced with the .99 ending.
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How comfortable are you with pricing your vintage goods? Do your prices reflect all of your costs including time and effort?

What tactics do you use when setting prices on Etsy?

Etsy now announcing some tests

A step forward in transparency Oh no, another test... Have you ever complained about it? I know I have. It can be hard to navigate a sit...