Etsy Insider: A seller’s perspective – OldBaltimoreVintage
Happy to introduce our weekly featurette called Etsy Insider – in which I’ll be posting brief interviews with various Etsy sellers about the ups, downs and highlights of being an online shop owner. If you’re an Etsy seller and want us to showcase your store, leave a comment or you can contact us on Etsy, Facebook or Twitter – we’ll be glad to make arrangements!
Our first Etsy showcase of this week is actually a friend of mine located in Baltimore City, MD. (Love to support the locals!) Since opening her shop in May of 2009, Jenny Andrzejewski has been selling one-of-a-kind, handpicked vintage clothing to Etsy users throughout the U.S as well as overseas. You can visit her shop at OldBaltimoreVintage.
Here’s what Jenny had to share with us:
A: Tell us a bit about your Etsy shop. What makes your shop unique?
J: I would say… because I sell things of all different era’s and styles. As long as I can imagine someone looking good wearing something, I’ll list it. It could be a pair of bright red Reebok’s from the 80s, a tooled purse from the 70s, or Mad Men-looking pumps from the 50’s.
A: What are your hottest selling items?
J: My hottest selling items are designer pieces or really awesome stuff from the 70’s. If I get a Fendi bag, or a pair of studded platform heels, chances are they will sell within in a few days of me putting them up for sale. But really, it’s hard to say what will sell. I think that’s why retail can be so frustrating and random. Things I thought would never sell sometimes sell instantly, and amazing stuff can sit around for a few weeks. It’s all so random.
A: What is it that you enjoy most about the Etsy community?
J: I like that people are really kind and understanding on Etsy. Most people who sell on Etsy also sold on eBay at one point. Although eBay is an amazing marketplace where you can sell virtually anything, there are a lot of scammers and crazy people on eBay who will either try to rip you off or hold you hostage with PayPal’s chargeback option. I’ve never had those kinds of problems on Etsy. If someone has a problem with something I sent them, I’ve always been able to work it out through email. No one has ever been really rude or threatening. It makes it such a more pleasant and enjoyable experience. So I would say my favorite thing about the Etsy community are how cool the members are.
A: What would you like to improve about your Etsy selling experience, if anything?
J: I really can’t think of too much I would improve about Etsy. I think they do an amazing job with the site. Because I’m on Etsy for hours every day, I notice all the little changes they make to the layout, listing process, etc. I love that they are constantly tweaking the site to make it more efficient and user-friendly. Actually there is one thing I would like to change about Etsy: the shop owner’s ability to change the shop name. I choose “Old Baltimore Vintage” on a whim in 2009 and I’ve been stuck with it ever since. I wish I could change it to something more edgy and less generic sounding.
A: What do you usually spend the most time on as an Etsy seller, that you’d prefer to eliminate or reduce?
J: Another reason Etsy is great is that I don’t feel like I’m spending a lot of unnecessary time on the site. I know exactly where every tool is that I need and I can get there with three clicks or less. Not to knock eBay, but the design of the site is so cluttered and confusing that I’m really glad I don’t have to mess with it anymore. Etsy’s layout is streamlined and intuitive – I’m really thankful for that!
A: What are some tools that you use as an Etsy seller?
J: The tool that I use the most is a site called CraftCult. It shows you the amount of hits that your shop gets on a daily basis, as well as the hits of each individual item for sale. It also shows you which items get “Favorited” the most so you can get a sense of what people like and are looking for. I also use Google Analytics. All the information available on there boggles my mind a little, but it’s really awesome to be able to see where all the internet traffic is coming from. For instance, Google Analytics can tell me that in the last 30 days I’ve had 5,300 hits from the US, 475 from Canada, 430 from Australia, 285 from the UK, 250 from France, 100 from Germany, 90 from Singapore, 80 from China, 80 from Spain and 60 from New Zealand.
At first glance it may be hard to understand how that information can help my business, but if I think about it a little more, it’s basically telling me that I should make sure I have customizable shipping rates for all of those top countries – which Etsy allows me to do. Having a flat shipping rate of $17 for all international packages is definitely easier – but, if 20% of all my traffic is coming from out of the country, it is probably a good idea to have individual shipping prices for each country, which will probably be less that $17, thus encouraging people to order from me.
A: Do you have any other online stores? If so, how do they relate to your Etsy shop?
J: I had another Etsy shop called “Monokuro” where I sold some of my drawings. It was cool because in addition to selling my art, I could funnel some traffic to my other Etsy. Selling your own art also feels really good.
¤ ¤ ¤
Posted by: Anna Song, Community Manager
Special thanks to Jenny Andrzejewski for taking the time to chat with us!