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But that's not solid reasoning. There are millions upon millions of web users in the world, all unique individuals. Some shop while at work, at home, in the library after class, during class, while waiting for flights, to alleviate boredom & to distract from life. Hundreds if not thousands of reasons to buy exist for all these individuals.
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Yes, the economy is bumpy. In my state of California, unemployment hovers around 12% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's bad news. But let's look at this a new way. If you were told you had a life threatening disease, how would you feel if the doctor looked you in the eye and said you only had 88% chance of survival? I'd be over the moon with joy!
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I am an optimist. I find that helps me get through times such as this and enables me to see through the mental clutter that fills the airwaves. 88% of the California population is employed! Those are all potential customers. Rather than bemoan lack of sales, let's figure out how to reach them. As many have mentioned, people are buying on eBay. If that's true, then we know people are buying-just not where we want them to. The question is, how can we get them to Etsy?
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Facebook. I know it's a bad word for some folks, but try to remain open minded. Because if you're willing to sell on eBay and pay between 10-15%, you should consider Facebook. I pay for an ad on there. I have it capped at $3 a day. I pay for each click to my Nachokitty Facebook page-around .30 a customer. That's a lot cheaper and it provides me with a captive audience to advertise to that loves vintage. (You do need to update your page often, and not just with sales pitches)
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Expand your Audience. Are you selling Internationally? Is EACH of your ads explicit by outlining shipping to individual countries? Imagine a buyer sitting in Ireland browsing Etsy. She finds a mid century piece she adores and looks at the shipping to see this:
|Shipping info found on every Etsy sellers page|
It's intimidating. It doesn't say Ireland. What does Everywhere Else really mean? She doesn't want to be stuck buying the item and then dealing with getting the money back if the seller won't ship to her. She decides to surf to the next shop. I am shipping over 1/2 of my items out of the country: China, Japan, Luxembourg, Austria, South Korea, Australia, Russia etc. I've never had a problem, but caution should be exercised. Common sense is always a good idea.
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Use other websites to your advanage. I just recently set up a new shop on eBay. On my ME page, I link directly to my Etsy profile page. I put a few very desirable high end items on the site and waited. Within 12 hours two people had come over to my Etsy shop and purchased things. For the 10 days those items were listed I received 49 visits from my ME page and 12 sales. One for over $1800. (Which is significant when you consider what it would have cost to sell that on eBay vs Etsy) Yes, a few things sold on eBay too, but the big winner was the Etsy shop.
I've been told there may be issues with this on eBay. I'm not linking directly to my shop, so I feel fine with it. Use your own judgement.
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Are you blogging? Promote it. Reach out to other blogs. Yes, it takes time, but it's free. Find a voice for your blog and start being consistent. Then promote it on your Facebook page. Take your camera with you everywhere. Give your opinions about items you find or see. Be an active blogger and you will get found. It takes a little time, but when combined with your Facebook page it'll be quicker than you expect.
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Customers are out there. Millions of them. We just need to think outside the box and find new ways to reach them. Look at your shop objectively. Make it user friendly, promote it, promote your brand, promote your items and stay involved. I always thought June was a terrible month. This year it was busy for me. Go figure!