Meetings and the Web 2.0 Expo brought me out to San Francisco last week, which also gave me a chance to sit down with some of the members of the SF Bay Area Etsy Team and the California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) teams. We met at the Ferry Building, also the home of the farmers market, outside of Peet’s Coffee for an early morning chat. A random woman, who did not know of Etsy (or any of us) joined in. Turns out she designs shoes and localcolorist gave her the hard pitch to start selling her designs on Etsy!
I had checked out these sellers' shops before I got there, so I knew this was a very talented group. But when I met them, I found that not only were they passionate about their own work, but also the work of other Etsy sellers. Many talked about helping other sellers get started and what they learned from other sellers along the way. They were also brimming with ideas, outlined below:
- Ways to promote/highlight a sale in shop – handcranked suggested it would be great to have a way conduct a sale in your shop – either all items or a part of a shop, without having to re-enter all the prices in the shop. Also suggested:
- A way to easily shop sales, a promotional area where buyers will be likely to find it (probably unlikely buyers are in the forums).
- Alerts when an item or a shop in your favorites has a sale.
- Promo codes – ability to conduct sales with promo codes, to track where people are coming from.
- Ability to shop sales by price range
- More Offline Teams Events – Encourage teams to have more face-to-face interactions and partner with local artistic museums, shows, etc. It is great for sharing ideas and promoting Etsy in the offline world.
- Etsy-sponsored live events – Sponsored events across the country for sellers to come together and learn new skills and share ideas.
- Sort favorites – The group was in agreement that sorting favorites will make shopping much easier, driving increased sales.
- Ability to adjust for sales tax – Option to clearly state relevant taxes for specific items or specific states in the checkout process. Some items require taxes, some only require taxes in some states, etc.
- More ways to help and welcome newcomers to Etsy – Some thought Etsy can be overwhelming to some at first. Here are some suggestions to make learning how to use Etsy easier:
- Step-by-step instructions to use the site – Create a “how-to” that is easy for a new buyer or seller to find and easy for someone to direct a new person to. “The site can be intimidating to a lot of people at first.”
- FAQs on the top navigation bar
- Glossary – a list of “Etsy” terms for newbies and not so newbies
- Treasury notification – ability to opt in to get notified when you have been included in a treasury
- Favorites for forum threads - Easily keep track of threads that you may not have anything to contribute to but want to save.
All in all, a great discussion. So here's a little about the sellers. Localcolorist, formerly a stage set designer (sounds like a fun job!) now makes delicate orgami birds. Bemidesigns has a few businesses; she makes hemp jewelry, sells supplies in her withlovedesigns shop and has a letterpress business. Inspired by her twin sister, 2inspire creates cards and stationary. As a complement to this business, she also uses her own style of calligraphy to address invitations, tags, etc. Both Bemidesigns (letterpress) and 2inspire (cards and calligraphy) have seen a dramatic increase in sales after the handmade wedding series.
Theseawithin is talented in her own right, creating great bags. She is looking forward to teaming up with her sister who is a screenprint designer and use the screenprinted fabric designs for her bags.
Curbsidetreasure design mixed media collages and even brought her collage journal with her.
Oishiiknits (oishii means delicious in Japanese) is also a new seller on Etsy. She is currently in design school and has lots of artistic projects on her plate. Here she is showing all of us her adorable knitted baby hats.
A close-up of her hats — I love all the bright colors.
It was a great conversation. I got lots of ideas not only for Etsy, but for my own personal shopping (this could be dangerous). Thank you to all the sellers who came out to share their personal experiences.