Handmade Artists' Blog


Who do you blame for slow sales?

Your Venue? Resellers? Large collectives? Bad economy?

Any and all of the above can and will have an impact on our sales. And since they are out of our personal control, what do you think is the best way to rise above all or any one of them?

handamde cuffLately, I’ve seen so many online discussions in venue forums about low views and lack of sales and blaming it on everything under the sun.  Or saying they have tried everything and work very hard.  And when I look at the OPs’ shops, I see that there is much they could do from the inside out to improve. Without fail, they all have something they could do better.

But, as is with human nature, it’s always easier to blame external forces when things aren’t going well somewhere in our lives.

I’m not sitting on a high horse or standing on a soap box here. I feel what everyone else does. But I’m choosing to deal with it differently.

In my Etsy shop, I had one sale in February. ONE SALE!!! My average months historically have been 8-12 sales. Very low volume, but this is fairly normal for me and I’m good with that.

Having a rough post-holiday season was very, very discouraging.

Feeling sorry for myself though, was accomplishing nothing. Being angry at any or all of the above possible reasons for slow/or lack of sales was non-productive.  It felt good to put some of the blame on them, but it feels better to focus on what I can do to improve.

So for the third time in 15 months, I took a good, long hard look at my shop and inventory. When I came up empty with ideas, I consulted an Etsy friend whose marketing and business background I highly respect and trust.

Fabric Crochet CuffShe generously took the time to look at my shop and compare it to my competition who were enjoying consistent sales. Then gave me a very detailed analysis. It was quite eye opening and basically confirmed everything I knew, but even better, giving me a few new perspectives.

Based on that and some discussion with her afterwards, I made the drastic decision to empty half my shop by taking out items that didn’t fit in with my brand and vision. Things I had listed to boost my inventory.

My views took an enormous hit, going down by as much as two thirds. I’m struggling to make new product lines. I’m still trying to learn more about SEO and how to make it work to my advantage. I particularly dislike that part of it. But I know I’m on the right track and am working hard to rebuild properly. And I’ve had 5 sales the first two weeks in April. Back on my normal pace.  For now.  I also set up shop here on HAF and am learning my way around and hope to build a successful business here.

So consider the outside forces that you have no control over and how they affect your business, then turn your focus to your best resource——-YOU!  There is always room for improvement. Continually ask yourself “what more can I do?” If you’re honest, you’ll know there is a lot.

- redirect your energy from focusing on outside forces
- be open to honest constructive criticism
- keep learning SEO and maxmize it to your advantage
- analyze what your successful competition is doing if you wish to be as successful as them
- if you’re in a niche market, work to find your target audience, or
- consider a whole new line of items
- use your venue’s tools and features that can help you most
- ask for help from someone whose experience and knowledge you respect
- when you get good advice—TAKE IT!
- focus your positive energy where it will have the biggest impact
- never give up
- start over at the top of this list

There is more, I’m sure.  I just want everyone to reach their full potential, myself included. And we can help each other do that.

Written by Albina Rose

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Posted in Handmade, Selling Tips

8 Responses to “Who do you blame for slow sales?”

  • chainmaille says:

    Very well written! I think we all need to look internally as to what we can do to make ourselves stand out better.
    Especially with a venue like handmade artists, we are growing and any work that a vendor puts in helps the whole site.
    I think we need to ask ourselves though, especially if we sell on multiple venues, what do we tell the people we meet?
    Do we say you can find my work on etsy? Or do we take a minute and tell them about handmade artists?
    It only take one. One new buyer that you speak too, who tells a friend, who tells another ect. Then the chain goes, but that is what we need around here, help and promotion from everyone involved and we will all be a success.

    • AlbinaRose says:

      Andrew, I understand your question about what do we tell people when we sell on multiple venues. I am still trying to learn my way around HAF as well as make some new product lines. And it’s going slower than I like right now. My long term plan is to have my domain name point to HAF as soon as I have enough product listed. And promote it on my Facebook page. It is going to be a bit of a transition. Thanks for your comment!

      • chainmaille says:

        That’s a great plan. The only reason why I brought that up, is I find that people do not put in the time and effort to get started here. We have many join and leave within a month or two, I don’t know what the turn around is on other venues but I assume there is quite a bit.
        It really does take time to establish yourself in a business. The ones that bounce around and do not take time to establish themselves really are wasting their time.

  • Sunworx says:

    What? You don’t have rocket karma? Me neither !!! For those that do, and they are easy to spot, I too celebrate your good fortune. The rest of us seem to have anchors tied to our left foot, and our buyers have them too. Is this our fault or the fault of a relative seven generations back? Who knows? There are so many variables both market and personal that I doubt we will ever know. I quit asking why.

    Aside from being invited there are two other reasons I am here. I like the community here (except when the wimmen’s occasionally start male bashing) then I take a short leave for a while. You know how it is…when all your best qualities are systematically dragged through the muck…lol. It’s part of life I guess….anyways what I am speaking about is the art community. Looking at the creations of the artists is both uplifting and stimulating. It is a higher form of existence, and one to be thankful for.

    The second reason is adding one’s own arts and crafts to this higher level venue enhances both the venue and artisan. Yes, occasional sales are greatly appreciated but, the chance to care and share with other artisans is where the richness lies. Simple materialism is a curse. Artful living is itself an art and worth doing.

  • lisianblue says:

    Great article!!

    Well said Sam!

    I mostly blame me – and one of these days maybe life will get to where I can do what I need to do with my shop!

    Peace

  • There are definitely forces at work in the economy, etc., but mainly it rests on the backs of the sellers/artists to try to promote. I believe that our internal motivations for what we are doing will guide us to the right customers. I have never had as many customers as some (referring to my other site), but each one brings something for me to learn or appreciate. So far, creating has brought me self-expression, a venue to share and a deep sense of purpose.

    I could do a lot more to promote, actually. However, I am the last person on the planet with dial-up and it does slow me down!

    Thanks for the wonderfully written article!


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