My Etsy shop has been on vacation mode for almost a year. Fear and self doubt were the primary reasons for my hiatus, but I am determined to overcome that this year. I am reopening my Etsy shop, but things will be a little different (and hopefully a whole lot better) in 2020.
2019 was NOT my year for Etsy profits. In fact, I made one sale. That’s right folks, one whopping sale, and on the second to last day of the year. Now in my defense, I also wasn’t trying to sell for reasons I will explain in just a moment. But for 2020 I’m shifting my focus and reopening my Etsy shop.
I put my shop in vacation mode in late 2018. If you aren’t familiar with the term, it’s basically a way for Etsy to allow makers to take a break from selling without having to close down their shop.
Vacation Mode lets you put your shop on hold for a period of time, and is helpful if:
•You’re temporarily unable to run your shop.
•An emergency keeps you from being able to manage your shop.
•You’re traveling or sick.
•You need a quick break to catch up on current orders.Etsy
There were various reasons that I decided to push the hold button on my shop and below are my top two:
I’ve alluded to this fact before, but I’m a major worrywart. Not the kind that occasionally feels a twinge of anxiety from time to time. I’m a full-on prisoner of fear that wakes up in a cold sweat in the middle of the night worrying that a child will choke on a safety eye. I may be exaggerating a tad, but fear has definitely played a role in my decision to stop selling toys online.
Self doubt is the big kahuna. I’ve been so worried that my toys would be a disappointment that I decided not to sell them altogether. I didn’t want someone to spend their hard earned money and then feel as if they it didn’t meet their expectations. While I use high quality materials and spend a great deal of time on each element, I’ve doubted that they were good enough.
A New Beginning
2019 was not a wasted year, not in the least. I focused heavily on this blog and growing my YouTube channel. The Create Your Blog Dream and Video for Bloggers Courses were instrumental in helping me achieve those goals and I’m so glad that I invested in myself. If you’re interested in starting your own blog or YouTube channel, do yourself a favor and check out these amazing courses from Lisa Bass from Farmhouse on Boone.
Fear and self doubt are no longer serving me and have been kicked to the curb. I’m now embracing my new friends, courage and creativity. I’m changing some things to better use my talents and to serve others well.
The biggest shift in my Etsy shop this year will be offering made-to-order toys. Customers will now be able to customize their orders to their specific needs and wants. If someone wants a grey and white bunny wearing a mustard, turquoise and white dress, then guess what? That’s exactly what they’ll get. I will be opening up twenty custom order spots for the year 2020 and they will be on a first come, first serve basis.
Providing custom orders will enable me to serve my customers in a new and more personal way. I am actually really excited about this and hope it will be a win-win situation for both parties.
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Ready to Ship
When time allows I will also be offering ready-to-ship toys. If I don’t have any custom orders in the works I would like to be able to have a few choices for those that need handmade toys more quickly. This will also allow me to try new things and experiment a little without the stress.
Some of you may be wondering why I’m reopening my Etsy shop at all. There have been a lot of sellers leaving the platform and offering their handmade wares elsewhere. I get it. Etsy has changed over the past few years and not everyone is happy about it.
Regardless of anything else, Etsy is still a place that buyers feel comfortable making purchases. Consumers looking to buy handmade products will frequently search Etsy first. There is a level of protection for both the seller and buyer which gives me some peace of mind.
Buyers Come to Etsy
Each year more and more people shop on Etsy. The numbers don’t lie and as of 2018 “active buyers grew 18.2% to 39.4 million.” That’s a whole lot of folks looking to buy handmade products. Those active buyers spent almost 4 billion dollars on handmade, vintage and craft supplies.
Etsy Makes it Easy
One of the biggest reasons I am reopening on Etsy is because it’s easy. And right now, easy is good. They take care of the payments, creating an attractive website and make shipping simple. All I need to do is create the listings, add the descriptions and take the photos. I can do that.
Etsy is also offering 40 free listings to anyone who uses my referral link to open up your own shop. Each listing is only $0.20 but any discount is a good discount in my book. And if you open a shop not only will you get free listings, but so will I! Woohoo! You get a free listing, you get a free listing… (best Oprah impersonation going on over here).
Reopening My Etsy Shop
I would love for you to stop by Etsy shop just for a look around or to place an order yourself. I’m committed to making this year less about fear and self doubt and more about courage and creativity. I will keep you all updated about how the shop is doing and if the changes I am making are working for me.
If you have an Etsy shop or sell handmade products, what’s your best advice for a gal wet behind the ears?