To Etsy or Not?


Basic Granny Square Pattern- Done with double strands and a variety of yarns; cotton, acrylic and bamboo.

This dilemma is known to so many creative folks. First, we get ‘into’ something. I mean really into it. We dive in, spend our fun money (and sometimes more), research, watch videos and even end up on websites written in languages foreign to us just so we can immerse ourselves into our craft, our art. We want to know about pigments and processes and soon, we’ve taken our hobby, smeared it all over our lives like a cream cheese frosting and we’re inviting others to take big, luscious bites.

So what are we to do when our cream cheese craft saturated lives don’t seem to provide enough of an outlet for us? We sell our wares. Enter Age Old Dilemma…Who will buy it? What do we charge? How much do we invest? Can we really charge for our time? Where do I buy my materials in bulk? Should I get an e-commerce site? Do I need business cards? How do I get a logo? And so on with the infinite questions. We almost talk ourselves right out of it, almost.

So we go for it! We make stuff, work on price lists, come up with a handful of products to make and then we start ‘shopping’ for the perfect way to have a ‘shop’  online. Etsy? Craftsy? Folksy? Artfire? Ebay? Ravelry? Facebook ‘Ready to Ship’ album? And this is where I completely bog down.

I’ve already gone to the trouble of setting up an Etsy shop (about 2 years ago when I had high hopes getting organized enough to have something to sell…). And now that I’m feeling antsy to try again, I think I’m gonna upload some photos and give it a spin.

How do you sell your creations? And what made you finally ‘go for it’?

Here are a couple of blankets I’m working on now, perhaps I’ll follow all the way through this time and get them in the shop. Time will tell, but I just can’t help myself. I liken it to an addict that ends up a dealer. I’ve been an addict for a long time, now I need to fund my habit, let the dealing begin!

Chocolate Box Granny Square Pattern

14 comment on “To Etsy or Not?”

  1. Luvs2knit,

    I know how you feel except I have been procrastinating for way longer than that. One of my issues is that I am addicted to making cartoon charts & looking for graphics to make the charts & looking @ other peoples patterns so I never actually get to make vary much. I have sold a few things but no where near what I could be. I know I have the skills & creativity to do my own stuff with out even using a pattern but my mind is too busy thinking of what I could do instead of just doing it 🙁

  2. Monica,

    I know this is an older post, but if you are looking for an online place to sell with less of the fees, check out Zibbet. I was selling over at Etsy but was quickly getting frustrated with how huge a cut they take (and it doesn’t seem like they offer much in return- but that’s a long story with me, maybe they do and I’m wrong but that isn’t the point). Zibbet you can choose to sell as a free member (and only pay commission IF you sell- no listing fees), or pay a monthly rate and gets a bunch of perks. I’m really feeling it as the win-win to online selling. Plus the communication from their staff is incredible. I really can’t recommend them enough and I’ve only been there a few months.

  3. Kathy,

    You come up with the most amazing color combinations and designs. I have been crocheting for 50 years and am no where near as talented or as good of a crocheter as you. Your creations make me want to cry, they are so beautiful. I wish you were my daughter so you could give me stuff!

  4. Allie,

    I also crochet blankets! Yours are stunning. 🙂

    I am selling to try and make a little money, but its more to be able to crochet as many blankets as I want and they don’t have to just sit around my house, not used, because I have too many blankets. 😛

    I have not had much success on Etsy though. They say to be successful you need to work hard at it and list items regularly, but since blankets take so long to make I can’t list at a very fast pace. So my stock is very low! On top of that I am having a hard time figuring out how to price my afghans. Since they take so long to make, I am making very little per hour.

    1. Comment author madme,

      Allie, thanks for your response. I agree that pricing is the trickiest part of crafting, and the most uncreative as well. I’ve seen the prices all over the place on Etsy so it’s really no help to go and see what others are doing either. I’m working on a chart right now, and a formula, to figure out how much time I actually spend on a blanket, then I’ll know what to charge to ad to the materials. I’m hoping to come up with a fair and reasonable pricing system for MadMadme. I’ll keep you posted on the progress.

  5. Mandy Donohue,

    Go for it!!! I thought the exact same thing! I started my etsy shop in September just on the encouragement of several friends who I made items for that in turn had friends wanting to purchase 🙂 I sold more than I thought I would, and it is a great creative outlet. Not to mention, as a stay-at-home-mom, it gives me the sense that I am contributing financially to the family, not to mention a great sense of accomplishment. Don’t get me wrong, I have not made much, but I enjoy crocheting at night after my kiddos go to bed, its not like work, its just fun 🙂 http://www.maybematilda.com has a few great blogs about getting your etsy shop started up…lots of helpful hints and tips. I wish you the best of luck! I also have a crochet shop (www.etsy.com/shops/elizaraycreations) so if you have any questions or want to bounce pricing off of someone, I would be happy to help 🙂

    1. Comment author madme,

      Mandy! You are a gem! Thank you for the tips and the links to learn more. I’m excited and hopeful, I’m gonna visit your etsy shop soon.

  6. Mary,

    You make some really pretty things.. like those blanket pictures.. they should sell pretty quickly.. I myself.. havent been doing to well on the selling front but my stuffs not all that attractive looking (fugly camera’s fault) But sometimes its just because people arent in the buying mood.. christmas seems to be the best time though.

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