Thursday, November 18, 2010

shop talk

i just added some of the zipper purses, as well as one patricia bag to my etsy shop. it has been quite a while since i have sold items through etsy, and i have been going back and forth about which shop to keep and which to close (etsy vs. bigcartel), or if i should have both open at once. i am going to have both open for the time being, and once i finish up the existing orders that i am behind on, i will add new items to the etsy shop. i have had mixed reactions from customers, so here id your platform to help me decide. which of my shops do you prefer-- etsy or bigcartel, and why?


Dreaming when I should be working said...

Hi Katie,

I like bigcartel for selfish reasons - your etsy shop always sells out so quickly!! I also kind of like the minimalist aesthetic, especially since etsy has exploded into a huge marketplace (good and bad, I guess).

However, I do like the fact that you can check your account on etsy to see when you purchased an item, when you paid, and when it was shipped (if the seller opts to include that info). I also LOVE looking through your sold bags on etsy. :)

I think you should keep both shops and update them at different times. I bet after a few months, you will have a clear preference.

Thanks for asking for feedback! Loving my new black and cream baby!

Angela {fussycut} said...

I definitely prefer bigcartel! I had been wanting a handbag fo quite sometime, and it was impossible to get one. It was very frustrarig and I eventually gave up. It was so much easier on bigcartel! I hope you stay there.

Lindsay @ Hello Hue said...

Well, I haven't used bigcartel, so I'm a little biased. But I have a lot of friends with bigcartel shops so I've seen them. I like etsy better--it appeals to me aesthetically and for me, it's more intuitive as far as searching and stuff.

So I'm on the etsy side of things but maybe I should buy something from a bigcartel shop before I solidify that stance :)

Ginny Grace said...

hey katie,
i'm a huge stalker of both sites. i must admit its alot easier to purchase things from your bigcartel shop the fact being your things don't sell out as quickly. its so hard to purchase a specific thing on etsy most of the time cause it sells out so quickly. i do love the fact that you can see your sold items too. you do such amazing work katie and i would love to get my hands on more of course!!!!
good luck with your decision.

cloudlover said...

BigCartel. I sell on BigCartel and Etsy (shifting away from Etsy myself) and I try to support BigCartel sellers as much as possible because I know how much the fees start to add up on Etsy. Plus, it's easy to stalk BigCartel shops by adding the RSS feed to Google reader... just sayin ;)

Unknown said...

to somewhat agree with everyone else, i like your big cartel shop better. while you can't see all your past sales on there, it is nice that bag seem to stay on sale longer on big cartel and you can see what has already sold out. in general, i like etsy better as in interface, but big cartel better for your shop. love your bags and hope to buy another purse through your big cartel shop soon!

jody cedzidlo (flytrap) said...

i prefer bigcartel because i want you to be able to pocket as much of my money as possible, but it definitely needs to have a banner and a link to your blog so i can stalk you more efficiently to see when something new is coming out!

Rachel said...

Hi Katie,

I do like big cartel because it's a bit easier to purchase on there and there isn't a huge rush to purchase your bags before they're snatched up. Plus it's nice that you can do coupon codes and purchasing seems a bit easier too.

However, it seems as though Etsy would benefit you more as a seller. I have no idea what the fee or profit cut differences are between the two sites, but I still think you have such a strong Etsy following that it's much easier to sell your items quickly on there. I also think Etsy is a bit more personalized and it feels like I'm walking into an actual madebyhank shop. I love that I can see all your past sold items and your feedback too. I think Etsy is more welcoming to first time buyers too because of that personalized touch.

I hope my comments help you make a decision :)

Melissa Villadiego said...

Even though I do sell on Etsy, I'm liking the big cartel feel. It's streamlined and clean.

True, I can't see your past bags, but I also follow your flickr page so I can see past designs.

Kristen Andrews said...

Big Cartel why give Etsy all those crazy fees when you don't have to. I like Big Cartel better and it seems to be where most are heading. I think Etsy has gotten too big and have been thinking about shifting over for my own shop. What I do like about Big Cartel is that you stay w/ in your shop when at Etsy it takes you off of the shop you want to be on too easily which I think is intentional I say stick w/ Big Cartel!

chense said...

I like etsy better as a buyer because I can check on my past buys and when they ship, leave feedback, view your sold items easily, etc. But if I were a seller I would probably choose bigcartel -- as most before me have pointed out, why give etsy all those crazy fees.

Jacquelyn said...

Bigcartel. I love that you switched!

Scarlet said...

Loving the big cartel shop for my own kind of selfish reasons, but all of your supporters know you will choose the platform that's right for you.

Hopefully you'll keep both open for a few more months to make sure it's what you want :)

Kristen said...

I agree with Dreaming when I should be working....since your Etsy Shop sells out so quickly I think I'll have a better chance at buying one of your bags on Bigcartel. For me it's a matter of timing: finding the right size/color bag listed & being able to afford to buy it at the time. So I'm hoping you keep your Bigcartel Shop :)

julie mack said...

I have an etsy shop too ( and have been thinking about making the switch to big cartel/onto my own site and I've sort of started a list of pros and cons to each.

I feel like Big Cartel is more legit artisan (which you most certainly are!) and etsy is a gateway drug. I think for your particular shop, it would benefit to put your handbags and amazing ruffle purses on Big Cartel. I think etsy is a good for your smaller & less expensive items and use it as a spring board to your more expensive and intricate items listed on Big Cartel.

Etsy has great exposure and Big Cartel is growing certainly but I feel like people still need some pointing in that direction.

By putting your bigger ticket items on Big Cartel, which is a flat monthly fee and then your more inexpensive items onto etsy (which has a listing fee + 3.5% of your total sales price). If you used this set up, you would get to keep more of your revenue to reinvest into your shops.

Villa Designs brings up a good point about your flickr page. I think it's important to keep your "portfolio" of past works available for people to see and flickr is an excellent venue for that. Additionally, it's an opportunity to garner more traffic towards your shops without too much additional work.

Cheers to you & your gorgeous bags! I hope you figure out what works best for you. :D

julia said...

hey katie! oh gosh, this has been a battle for me too since i opened my big cartel shop last january! i really wanted to switch over completely from etsy because all the fees were really adding up and i think etsy is getting bigger and bigger by the day so it's hard to stand out as much. (and i think big cartel looks much more clean and professional.) however, it's been wicked hard for me to direct any traffic to my big cartel site, so i ended up going back to etsy...and now i have both! i hope you find a good solution that works for you- i can really see the pros and cons to both :)

Lori P said...

I am going to agree that you should have both and really like the idea of putting your less expensive things on Etsy and your higher priced items on BC.

OR... as I added in my earlier email, you could have the Big Cartel shop and offer exclusive "trunk shows" to your email, blog, flickr, etc. customers. Etsy is still important for bringing in new business, though.

I wholeheartedly vote for both. :)

{ MELBOURNE ROAD } said...

reading here for future decisions of my etsy shop too....seem to be getting lost in all of the shuffle over at etsy.
love your bags :o)

Studio 251 said...

Dear Katie, both shops have pros and cons, it will ultimately come down to two things for you: which shop do your customers prefer and which shop will allow you to make a higher profit.

Right now, etsy allows us, your customers to not only view what you have for sale, but we can also find your blog and see the amazing history of your bags.

bigcartel allows your customers to see what has sold out but it seems like we have a bigger opportunity to actually purchase an item before it is completely gone like on Etsy. I wonder if that is because bigcartel is not as well known as Etsy yet and it will only be a matter of time before your customers have the same experience on bigcartel as on etsy.

Keep both shops for now, then after the holiday season, compare the units sold, profitability and traffic. Take another poll after December and ask us which shop gave us the best experience and would make us come back.

I love my zipper clutch and will be buying a few for xmas for my girlfriends who always ask "where did you get that?".

rivka said...

Katie, I think you're asking the wrong people. I bet your buyers and stalkers (: like the Big Cartel shop better, because 'the little people' have a chance of scoring a bag. The Etsy shop is crazy in that you have to be ready to pounce and push buttons the minute your bags go up. As a business woman wouldn't you rather things get sold right away? But as a human being with a heart....don't you want us slower people to have a wah-wah-waah bag tooooo? Not sure how it all works but maybe you could keep both shops open and stocked? It doesn't matter though because the etsy buyers will find you on Big Cartel eventually anyway.

Do what is right for you, bottom line. We want you happy.

kristina said...

I was lucky to buy a couple madebyhank items just as Katie was getting so well- known........I am not a seller and will not, most likely, ever be one! But I just wanted to add a comment about BigCartel, in that i think it is possible (though it might take some finagling) to link buyers to your blog and sold items. I'm sure you've seen Sandra Juto's shop; she has links in her sidebar to sold items and, in her shop header, the address to her blog etc.

Also wanted to say, I've given quite a few little tough ruffle pouches to friends and cousins and they are universally loved and adored.

Unknown said...

I say keep both!

Big Cartel - I love the big cartel shop b/c I want you to get a higher cut and it's easier for me to get a bag when I want one.

Etsy - I think you will have more luck drawing new customers through Etsy, as they have a better interface for finding new goodies that you've never seen before.

Let Etsy help bring you new customers, and reward your old customers by giving them a chance at actually getting a bag on your big cartel site.

Jodie / Lova Revolutionary said...

It is a tough decision to make! It was awesome when you opened your shop on Big Cartel, I had been trying to stalk your etsy shop for quite some time just to get a hold of one of your bags! Finally got my second one! I can definitely see where Etsy is starting to get expensive on the fees - between Etsy & Paypal it really cuts in to your profits. Plus the more you the sell, the more fees you rack up. Ultimately, you should do whats right for you, its obvious that so much care & hard work goes into your bags!

Unknown said...

katie, this is of no help to your decision but i think its pretty obvious that i would follow you to some fourth-class siberian website run by illiterate ex-cons. xoxo, gwen