Bye bye, Etsy shop | How About Orange

March 16, 2010

Bye bye, Etsy shop

Speaking of Etsy, I've decided to close up my shop. I just don't have time to create and photograph and list and weigh and package and mail stuff anymore, along with my regular design work. Somebody should make an online quiz for people considering starting an Etsy shop. My result would have said: "Bookkeeping, repetitive tasks, standing in line at the post office, and earning approximately 10 cents an hour will make you want to shoot yourself. Consider other work." Then I would have ignored the result and tried it anyway, of course, just to see. I did love the thrill of creating designs and products, but I can find ways to do that without running my own shop.

Sewer/Mom, I'll miss bossing you around. I really enjoyed the power trip. Everyone else, thank you so much for all your support and encouragement, and the hundreds of purchases you made. Onward!

77 comments:

jessieg said...

Now you can say you've tried it! Will you be devoting that time to anything new? Love your blog!

laura said...

glad i already got my mouse pad! :)

Jennifer said...

Love your blog! And I completely understand. I closed my Etsy shop this past December for the exact same reasons!

Andrea said...

Beautiful colors.
andrea

Meekiyu said...

aww man you have got awesome stuff =( I do get all the stress and hassle that comes with it

Pink Velvet Bird said...

I'm with you...lots of effort...

Your items do make me smile :)

seemommysew said...

ummmm...yep! That pretty much sums up my reasons for closing down. Minus the waiting in post office lines...haven't you ever heard of printing postage online, silly?! ;)

Jess said...

I did print all the domestic postage online, but I always had lots of international orders that required customs forms, and the folks at the post office said you have to present those in person.

Kim said...

I can completely understand. I've "closed" mine so many times, but it always sucks me back in… maybe someday it will stick! I had no earthly idea how much time photographing, listing, shipping, bookkeeping and the myriad other little details would take.

Enjoy your freedom!

amycornwell said...

Good for you, if it wasn't working then you should take that step! I, however, love my Etsy shop. For some people it works. I hope you enjoy your new-found time!!

Melody Johnson said...

I agree. Hate mailing stuff that cost less than $10. Hours I'll never get back

Tara said...

I've been considering the same thing...wonder what we can do? There HAS got to be another way.

Email me:
elanvitalanthology@gmail.com

Best,
Tara
http://elanvitalanthology.blogspot.com

Grandma G said...

So now I don't have to call you "Boss" anymore, right? Whew!

But, I will miss the shop, too. *sniff* We need to find something else to do together, because that was the funnest part... being in it together.

Yes... thanks, everyone, for your many purchases! I truly enjoyed all the sewing!

Michelle Engel Bencsko said...

No regrets! A job well done and onward march.

However, you are making my cousin very unhappy because she's not able to buy a handbag like mine, which now has to be under lock and key for fear she will take it from me.

liberty said...

Are you going to be selling your products using any other online resource? I too have looked at etsy for selling some of my artwork, but the likely hood of gettng what I should get from my sales is very low on there. Maybe find another place to use for selling. Oh, and why are you shipping international? It's hard for small businesses to do that. Anyway. I hope you hang in there on making your great bags and ect!

-liberty

Jess said...

Yes, I told her she should attempt to break in and steal it from you, so watch out.

Katy said...

Photographing the items is what takes so long for me. Because I'm not a photographer and have just a regular no-frills camera, it is SO frustrating to get good shots. Good to hear how you feel about Etsy.

hi-d said...

Wow...it looks like you had some beautiful stuff for sale. I hope you find another outlet for getting your product out there. It's good to know the down and dirty about Etsy...that it can be more of a pain than it's worth. I wish you the BEST!!!

RuidosoRose said...

I closed mine when I went back to work full time. I'm just too unorganized to work two jobs!!
(It is technically still open but stands empty!)

Bo med barn said...

I know what you are saying! I've just closed my webshop and it feels GOOD!!

Love your:)

Christy said...

my thoughts exactly.

Jean said...

Oh no! I'm just about to open an etsy shop selling things I've designed, screen-printed and sewn. Right now I'm working from home, and I don't have any kids, so it seems like the ideal time to dive right in. But I'm open to other ideas! Right I sell things in stores, but wholesale is a bummer.

Jess, I'm sad you're closing your store - I should have jumped on that band-waggon when I could, and bought myself something fabulous! However, I bet that new free(er) time will feel great.

~Katie M., Lemonwheel Design

Jane said...

Bummer; I never got around to buying those postcards I wanted! But if it's not right for you, it's not right!

shelia day said...

I know what you mean about Etsy sucking up a lot time. My Etsy shops are so much work for how much money I make. Yes, I have two. Yikes. One with vintage supplies and one handmade. The supply shop seems to be the one that is worth my time.

secret cake said...

Good-- you can cross that off your list now : )

What you've described are my LEAST favorite parts about Etsy (well, that and I have shorted myself on shipping charges on more than one occasion...ahem...)

Here's to new adventures!

coolhntr said...

I can absolutely understand where you are coming from. It can be a lot of work for little return.

Keep designing!
jen wheat

oliveandbean said...

We will miss your shop!

FYI I am always a rule breaker...LOL I had a lot of international orders too and never went to the Post Office(i simply refused!). I printed my customs forms online and used the clear envelope to attach it to the box. I never had an issue with the Postman picking them up with my domestic packages...

Pretty Bindle said...

Any chance of getting ahold of the business card holder pattern, then, so I can make it myself?

Genevieve Gail said...

I feel ya on that one! Been thinking about shutting down too- just not that profitable once you break down how much time/energy goes into handmade products. Keep us posted on your new upcoming endeavors!

ANDROIDES said...

Well, we need changes sometimes.
Where will you sell your things?

Bek said...

I loved my Etsy shop, until my first child got old enough she wouldn't stay in one place anymore.

It was fun while it lasted...

But at least you can say you tried!

Whitney @ Whisker Graphics said...

Good for you for assessing what works for you and taking action!

Etsy is a great place to "test the waters" for your goods. But once you get some traffic it's a tad cumbersome. I'm always looking for numbers ($$) in those "Quit Your Day Job" articles.

Enjoy your new-found time. Can't wait to hear what fills it. :)

Dorkys Ramos said...

Thanks so much for sharing the real deal behind Etsy! You only get to see the pretty finished products for sale and never know about the logistics behind it. I have an account on there, but my shop is currently empty. Maybe someday I'll give it a shot like you just to try it out for myself.

three critters said...

I think it is a good encouragement to go ahead and try in spite of it all

Amy said...

Oh Lordie! I feel the same way yet I keep at it. Party because I am a stay at home mom and I don't have any other way of earning that extra dollar just short of NOT being a stay at home mom!
I gotta say I have never understood those die hard etsy folks who spend their days(and I do mean entire days) in the forums being cheerleaders way their pompoms insisting that etsy is like the online selling God! Very strange indeed!
Oh let's noth forget to mention those who undervalue their items making it so hard to price yours for what they are worth!

white nest said...

Oh man! I'm sorry to see you go...you've been an inspiration to me (secretly) and I opened my shop a few months ago...But now that I'm getting some sales and trying to keep a full time job in the design industry, it IS a lot of work! Good for you! Just please don't tell us your closing down your blog too! ;)

Cara Hall said...

I totally agree about the post office. I was just there to drop off a package and not only was there a line, but the person holding us up took 10 minutes, didn't have enough money to pay for his stuff, and proceeded to let out a huge fart for all of us to hear.

You can always sell locally, but then you lose a cut to consignment. It's a hard life for a maker!

Anne said...

Oh no! I love the bag I bought from you a year ago; it's the perfect size and the perfect weight and never slips off my shoulder and holds exactly my book and wallet and keys and phone and is perfectly orange and totally unique, and now I can't buy another in case something horrible - like a fire! Or an iceberg! - happens to this one!

But, in all seriousness, thank you for the wonderful shop. I'm glad I had the opportunity to buy something from you and I will always treasure it as my favorite purse.

Denise said...

Love you description of running an etsy shop! I can totally relate, although I'm not sure I am even making 10 cents an hour. LOL.

megan e said...

Farewell to the Etsy store! It is an awful lot of work for not much income, crafters are never going to get rich, but the love in your handmade goodies is well appreciated. Good luck in any new ventures!

Anonymous said...

Searching for "buttercup bag" on etsy turns up a few bags made from your fabrics, so disconsolate readers can still get their bag fixes from other sellers.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/homebakedthread

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=42721588

kate said...

sad! but i love your blog and glad that you aren't getting rid of IT instead. :)

Shana said...

Yes I know what you mean....I did the same. Good luck!!

ellencrimitrent said...

I hear you woman.. its really not the money maker, but I like doing it here and there for fun!!

Lila said...

I agree with you! It's like being a mom almost! Alot of work with not enough pay!
Lila Ferraro
Queen Bedroom Sets

Ashley said...

Thank you! I have been contemplating selling stuff but have been hesitant. I'm not prepared for all that work, this post let me know that!

Anonymous said...

Hey, I spotted your fabric in the CG plans in this Knock Off Wood post: http://knockoffwood.blogspot.com/2010/03/plans-simple-spa-bench-inpsired-by.html

Awesome!

Emily said...

I'm so happy to hear you say that! I have considered and considered opening an etsy shop, but couldn't figure out how anyone made any $ on it. Now I know!!

kickpleat said...

I totally understand about closing up etsy. It's so true about all the work involved.

sal101010 said...

Awww! I shall miss lusting after your wonderful products that I can't afford, however I am now very pleased that I bought some things when I did!

Kosmika said...

With your mousepad here, under my mouse I'm a bit less sad... but just a bit...
any chance Grandma G. will keep the business alive??? :)

zamzam design said...

Totally understand. I did the same, nearly 6 months ago. My Etsy shop was so time, money, energy and sanity consuming, I just gave up! I was spending days taking photos, croping, adjusting uploading, listing... and not creating. Doesn't make sense to me. :)

Umatji said...

thanks - like others I was about to get into it and was concerned about the time factor but I guess you don't often here honest feedback - thanks you saved me a loop journey!

Cat Sitter in the City said...

I am sorry to hear you are shutting down your Etsy shop, but I understand the reasons why. It really is quite a taxing endeavor.

Sharon said...

I was thinking of opening one but I have put it off for those reasons...any OTHER suggestions? what's a crafter to do? I love the making, not so much the finding a way to sell...love to hear suggestions!

CitricSugar said...

I love my book-cover. But now that I can't get another, it makes mine that much more special. (Thanks, Grandma G!)

And your blog, as always, is fantastic. Though my boss is now miffed at me for turning him on to your Time-wasters section.... He's hooked.

teri said...

you are soo real! i love you, your blog and your work!!!

Paper Squid said...

Oh wow, you have such a beautiful etsy shop! But hey, everything is for the best! But I completely understand how you feel about etsy, lol. P.S. great blog!

Pascale said...

Interesting to read this as I'm considering to do exactly that starting an Etsy shop...

Peggy said...

Now I will weep a small tear as I finally got my "birthday" money with which to buy one of your purses... But I am SO HAPPY that your blog will remain up and running!

So I am correct that your fabric can still be purchased? Ah the angels rejoice!! I see some applique work on a plain jane shopping bag, in the somewhat near future. Okay once I find my sewing machine.. Ah the joys of moving into a smaller house and unpacking (but I wouldn't trade it for anything as it is a sweet, little house with lambs and chickens in the fields beyond!)

Keep up the good work and know that your shop will be missed! But your sanity is far more important than anything so congratulations on the decision!!

Jess said...

Yep, fabric and blog will remain.

I talked with "Grandma G" about taking over the shop, but she has declined.

I don't mean to dissuade anyone from starting their own shop; not my intention for this post. This was just my experience. Some people love their shops, and if you read Etsy's blog, apparently some people become quite successful. Perhaps that could be you, if you've got the time and enthusiasm to put into it. But it couldn't be me, because I love graphic design work and am married to it. Etsy was just my short fling on the side. Affair's over. :)

steph k said...

I don't blame you! I've registered for Etsy shops before and never done anything with them because while I love making things, I'm too busy "designing for the man" to have the energy to do more later...

Your stuff was awesome though!

Sweeter Hours said...

Aww. But I totally get it. Its such a time suck. Just think of how you will have way more time for other things :)

able mabel said...

I can understand why you decided it's not worth your time. Especially when you have other design work that is more appealing to you. Good for you for giving it a shot! Your products are beautiful!

For me, Etsy has been a lifesaver! I stay at home with my kids and don't rely on my Etsy income to pay bills. I look at it as a hobby that supports itself. I create when I want to create and my family allows it. It's the perfect "out" for me!

brainella said...

Oh no! I was never able to score any of your storage bins! I do understand though; Etsy can be a time sucking endeavor.

Patti said...

All those things you mentioned are things that keep me from trying. Unless I decide to try to sell fine art for hundreds of dollars, but shipping that would be quite difficult. Small craft items take so long to create, I figure I could only make about $2.00/hr before I factor in the driving to the post office, standing in line and bookkeeping. Maybe someday?

Katy_Potaty said...

No! You can't!
I've been lurking for ages, and had finally decided on a gazillion things to buy, and now you are closed!
So sad, but glad you are trying to make more time for the things that make you happy.
Katy

ohbrooke said...

Congrats on a closed chapter. Being successful on etsy is not easy, and you were! Always lessons learned, and I know we'll see something even more fabulous out of you!

Jacinda said...

Shoot! I was hoping to snag a few more of your awesome buckets. Maybe Grandma G will have to do a DIY for us?? It's really perfectly functional. Glad I got my hands on one!

Allie said...

Thanks for keeping it open as long as you did. I really love my green sprig mousepad! :)

Megan said...

I'm always a bit sad to hear when a great shop goes down! But I really truly understand- I converted my shop to selling of patterns only. Works great- NO time at the PO....ever! :)
I hope you and your Mom get to create something else fun together!
Best wishes.

dogtoysco said...

Funny how little this side of things are talked about. Thanks for your honesty and straightforwardness. Do you think you'd do things differently next time? Maybe stick with a limited type of inventory? No international shipping? Stuff like that? Oh, and where do you think you'll sell your wears now? Best Wishes!

AJ said...

Yes, it is tough. I completely understand. Love your stuff though!

Content in a Cottage said...

You are hilarious. I was thinking of opening an Etsy Shop. Silly me. I've already closed my eBay store. You saved me with your sage advice: "Bookkeeping, repetitive tasks, standing in line at the post office, and earning approximately 10 cents an hour will make you want to shoot yourself. Consider other work."
Thank you, Rosemary

Anonymous said...

If you make paper art like greeting cards, scrapbooks, paper jewelry, home decor made from paper, etc., check out eWillow.com. You can pay one low fee and be done it for the year, then just concentrate on setting up your storefront and selling. There aren't any pesky little fees to keep track of, which make the accounting part easy.

Lindsay said...

This just concreted my decision to leave. I have been faltering lately, wondering if closing my shop in January was a good idea, then I read that one of my favorite bloggers closed theirs for basically the same reason. I am satisfied with my decision and look forward to wholesaling locally.

I am a graphic designer by trade as well, but haven't worked in 3 years. Kinda depressing. lol. At least I can still design my branding: tags, logo, marketing. Off to sew some more.

Katherine Herriman said...

Hi, I've been building an online business for the past few months and have done a lot of reading on the topic. Some things I've learnt from my reading, which are relevant here are:
- it should cost the customer $50 or more, anything less is not going to be worth the effort
- do not ship internationally, the customs forms are too time consuming
- do not guarantee next day shipping, batch your orders instead
- price high to create an image of quality (the customer will buy yours because it costs more and is therefore better quality than your competitor's)
- think about things you can create that will provide a passive income, i.e., you only make them once and then sell them over and over again, such as digital patterns, ebooks, etc

There are tons of business resources out there but a good place to start is the book the "4 Hour Work Week" by Tim Ferriss. I could write a blog post on the resources I've found useful if enough people are interested - just comment on my blog.

I hope this was helpful.

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