February 20, 2008.
So....if you have noticed my posts have been, um a tad bit "lacking" and not as frequent as they used to be. What you did not notice? You did not wonder what happened to me? Well, if you are interested, hold on uhum, uhuuum (clearing throat), "I AM STILL FRICKING SICK!"
That is right two weeks and three days after attending the infamous Crab Feed with many a friend, many a dancing and many a (um maybe just two) margaritas I am officially still coughing, sneezing, blowing my nose, coughing fits, blowing nose, more sneezing...and lots of whining, and a double ear infection. I went back to the doctor today (with another $35.0 co-pay thank you very much) to have them finally give me some antibiotics:
I am Watching You Etsy....Now
I think I have mentioned before that I had sort of ignored Etsy, not given it much thought, then one Sunday morning I woke up to a fire storm of emails that had my heart racing and my fingers a typin'. Etsy was brought up in the frenzy, so I started to poke around Etsy, and quick like and I kept on poking, and listening to what others had to say about Etsy.
From my very technically sophisticated research, or you can read: me on Etsy for two hours this morning waiting for a doctor's appointment....I found the following out:
- Etsy let's your customers list you as a "favorite" (now this time not me doing air quotes, my on line friend who has been very successful on Etsy, gave me some information), and this helps with your listings and your standings. Etsy shoppers are like Ebay Shoppers, they are loyal and they shop all the time.
- Etsy is a community of crafters and artisans that seem to loathe (watch the video) Wal Mart and products not handmade. They make everything themselves (though this is open to interpretation).
- Etsy is international and products can be sold to people in countries all over the world.
- Etsy's sellers charge about $2.00 to $5.00 for shipping ANY WHERE in the country - GAH!
- Etsy uses PayPal and takes a percentage of every sale, as does Etsy - it works out to only about 2-2.5% per sale for the two companies, combined.
- Etsy does not follow up on copyrights (oops how did THAT one get in here?)
- I am actually considering using Etsy....there I said it, I might.
Let me dissect and explain every "bullet point" for you.....um kay?
Etsy All Naked and Exposed (well gosh, we hope not literally naked)
- Etsy seems to have figured how to get customers to an international Craft Bazaar if you will. They use key words, RSS feeds, blog rings and get a ton of visitors, buyers and sellers. The place has tons of original product, beautiful artwork, jewelry and looks like some very creative people.
- Why I wonder are they so angry and hateful of big box stores? I mean I am not a fan of Wal Mart (really can't stand the store), but I don't have to bad talk it every chance I get. Why be a hater? Can't you just make your nice little drink cozy or knitted pot holder and be happy? I am a sometimes closet crafter and I am an artist, but I don't despise either sector.
- Okay NOT a fan of shipping over seas - it costs me roughly $20.00 to ship to Alaska and Hawaii, must I ship to Italy for $46.00? I found almost all artisans charging $3.00 or $5.00 for shipping - who do they use? Pigeons?
- The post office was $6.75 for the coasters I shipped, Fed Ex is $10.95, and don't even get me started on my UPS charges. Who makes money on shipping when they charge $3.00? The customer saves, this is good - but those of us that have overhead costs like rent, employees, insurance - I personally can not afford to lose $8.95 on shipping.
- Not a fan of Pay Pal myself - but I guess I could use it. The fact that they take such a small percentage is great, and seemed like a good deal. Then I noticed you pay a fee to post every new product - not a big fee at all, but a fee. I found artisans on some blogs a bit peeved at the fee they were charged, claiming Etsy did nothing. I just had to laugh out loud - come on they host the site, they advertise, they get publicity, they drive traffic to your site, they process the order, blah, blah, blah.
- I happen to know they do not follow up on copy rights when you send them a nice email that someone is copying you. Oh wait, they do but you must jump through 14 hoops, send 32 emails and prove to them beyond a reasonable doubt that it is your design before they will pounce on someone. Then they have the gall to suggest you contact the artist direct - okay? This would not be such a big deal had they not um stood behind copyrights, and had it all over the site....Psst, the one on the right is the real one, the left - copy cat lady on Etsy.
- The ceramic community I call "my industry or my peeps" is all up in arms, and Etsy has some serious offenders(um look at the photos). They are a very, very close rip-off of our designs that are copyrighted. I wish they would be a bit harder on these culprits - yes, they are the few and far between - but still frustrating.
Could You Etsy?
Don't shoot the messenger, I have a line of products that does not kill it, really I don't give it any attention. I would call it my red headed step-child, but um I have a red head at home, and she may read this some day. The pet line started two years ago, Posh Pet Gifts by Jamie has never done much in revenue. We were even featured on The Ellen DeGenneres Show late last year - and to use my favorite word, this division is not making a bunch of money. So, I figure what do I have to lose if I post the pet products?
I think the traffic is good, I think the "concept" (somebody STOP me before I hurt myself with these air quotes, I am getting a cramp in my right pinkie) is great, and some success stories are hard to ignore. I do not have the time or energy to focus on Pet websites and stores, really I have to draw the line somewhere. I want the pet line to succeed, I really do and I feel like it may succeed in this venue.
I am thinking that I can approach it like an experiment, and post on it (well duh) to let you know how I am doing. I am very curious to get in there and really embrace the community, like I stated earlier there seems to be some great things going on there....minus the copyrights, ripping of Walt Disney and the uh $3.00 shipping charges.
A New Copy Cat On The Fence
Which, brings me to a real "gem" of a find I found today. I found someone using my artwork, I did, I did. It was not actually on Etsy, it was on her (you knew it was a her) site that was linked directly to Etsy. She took one of my copyrighted pieces (from 2004 none the less) and put it on a light switch thingie plate.
She even listed it as "new products" - come on now, be smart and list it as old from 2003 if you want to copy me! She even had the gall to do my lines I use - you know dot, line, dot, dot line thing...my signature, she did do it. I would not be so concerned, well ya I would, but I would not be so ready to send a letter had she not listed her sales channels on the site...um 5 of them that I am on, and I am ALL over these sites. Gee, wonder where she got the idea?
So readers I would love, love, love (willing to pay even) for some advice, thoughts? Comments? Etsy good or Etsy bad? And go ahead, you can tell me if I am crazy and that carriage does not look a thing like mine.....really, I swear I will listen. Right after I finish painting light switch covers, I am almost finished with them....
I am still not sure about Etsy, I do know I am very intrigued by it and would love some feed back from others that used it, liked it, hated it - any information. I only have so much free time to poke around on these sites, and this one has me scratching my head and saying....maybe I could join this site, it could be a good thing.