This blog is now permanently located and updated regularly here -

Please visit my new blog URL!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Beginning - Shop Talk Tuesday

Do you have, or are you thinking of opening, an online store? I have been thinking of doing so for months, even years now, and have been doing a lot of research in this time. I would like to present to you a new series which will appear here every Tuesday:

Shop Talk Tuesday
As this blog is mainly focused on pursuing my creative personas, this series will encourage me (and maybe you) to:
  • actively work on my art practice
  • seek out new resources for information and assistance
  • try out different things - hey, if I try something and fail, at least I can report the outcome here!
  • chronicle my progress and therefore see where I may have gone wrong or where I can improve on things. Maybe it will also encourage me not to give up. 
What I will post:
  • my progress in different areas like shop exposure, skills I've learned...
  • interviews with online sellers who can offer advice to newbies
  • reviews of books or sites related to online businesses
  • lots of information and links to sources for helpful advice
  • information on the best widgets, apps and more related to online selling

I would love to have others share their resources and tips as well. If you have anything to offer, please email me or leave a comment! 

Where Should I Set Up Shop?
There are several online sites where I can set up shop. I know that there are others out there for people in the USA and UK and elsewhere, but they don't apply to me. The ones that I have looked into are:

  • Etsy - This is the first one most people think of when they think of online handmade marketplaces. I just recently (yesterday) decided to set up shop on Etsy. I was hesitant to do so because of the cost, but I think that the amount of exposure might be worth it. Most people seem to go to it for browsing, especially for items to feature and giveaway. I know that it was the first place I looked when doing my giveaway event last month! It is 20 cents to list an item plus 3.5% commission. I am told that this is a fair price, but I guess I am cheap. Still, a commission on a sale is better than not paying anything and not selling anything?!
  • Zibbet - I have an account there, but haven't done anything so far. There is a free account (with 25 free listings) and also a premium account ($9/month). 
  • Artfire - I have met a few really nice sellers on Artfire, 2 of which have provided items for giveaway last month (Ugabugabowls and Spiral). There is a free basic account and also a pro account, which is $15 a month with lots more features. You can have unlimited items posted.
Types of Items I will Sell:
-Original prints
-Letter Sets
-Gemstone Necklaces

What I have Done So Far: 

-I started a shop on Artfire and went 'pro' this month because they are having a $1 special. I have our bio, pictures and 15 items listed already. No sales so far, though.
-Started a shop on Etsy. I only have payment info and a few basic things so far. I will copy over some things I did on the Artfire shop for a start, soon. I want to have a nice banner and lots of information in my bio and descriptions.
-Started a Zibbet shop.
-Lots of research!

Shop Exposure: 
- So far, I just have people going to the Artfire shop from this blog and my Facebook page.
- I have done features for shops on this blog and would like to have some features of my own shop(s) as well.
-I would like to budget for advertising, but not just yet.
- I'd like to have enough items to be able to offer a few blogs some product for giveaways during BlogMania, enough to be a silver (2) or platinum (3) sponsor.

Plans For the Next Week:
- Add items and info to Zibbet and Etsy. I will have to split up the necklaces made because they are all one of a kind, but the stationary and prints can be added to to all stores.
-Go through the bookmarks I have for resources and start reading!

Helpful Sources and Articles:
I hope that this will be useful and interesting to my readers, even those of you that don't plan on selling anything online. If you have an online shop, I would love to exchange links or some other form of support!