So, in writing a weekly post about different artisan marketplaces, you just have to include Etsy in there sooner or later! Etsy is the largest and has the highest traffic ranking of all artisan marketplaces.
Etsy has lots to offer - with good support, there are loads of groups you can join, an-overly active forum (which gets a bit too heated for me), virtual trunk shows, alchemy, community interactions,....gosh, it just has so much.
And while that top ranking is great in getting numbers of potential buyers, you can also easily get lost in Etsy and no one will ever find you.
It's quite daunting in a way. You list one of your items and in a few seconds, its buried in the millions of other items and only 6 people ever viewed it! Personally, it seems that only a few months ago did it get so overwhelming. When you listed something new then, it would always get a good number of views - but now, you blink and it's gone.
And if you haven't joined yet as a seller already - it is tricky to begin with. You do need to be found from the depths. When I first started, I did do two showcases. These are where your pieces are highlighted for the day and you pay a certain amount for that. While I didn't get any sales from either of them, I did get a lot of views and a lot of hearts. Hearts are the system that Etsy uses that people can tag your item to show that they like it - or they can tag a seller to add them to their favorites. I believe it is my wonderful team of taggers who are the ones that, some time down the road, become the buyers. To check out who hearts you - click on this link. Here's a view of my Etsy store:
Apart from showcases, other people favor posting often on the forum to promote their store but the forum messages change so quickly, unless you have a lot of time to do that, it seems the occasional comment just isn't going to have an impact. Others create a lot of treasuries which is where you make a collection of other people's items and these then get published and viewed. I'm afraid I'm just not quite the treasury maker. I wish I was...... but there are so many people wanting to get one that you have to sit and wait for one to become available. I don't have the patience for that.
What I do find that works for me is listing new items regularly. Nothing does better than this I think. Something fresh for people to see with good photos. Then also link to your Etsy store from outside of Etsy.
To be a seller on Etsy, it costs 20c to list an item for four months and then Etsy takes a 3.5% commission on what you sell. Most transactions come through paypal although there are other options.
There are lots of how-to guides, lots of ideas, and I think you just need to find your niche. Some people love it, some people hate it and some people are indifferent - but you can't get away from it's size!
I actually like it a lot. I get a reasonable number of sales, meet some lovely buyers and enjoy being part of the Etsy Metal clay group. If you are one of those people out there who isn't selling on Etsy - I hope you have taken a look at least!
For the rest of us, buried in the vast number of sellers and buyers - keep your head up and keep listing!