Last March I put my first item up for sale on Etsy.
I'd actually joined as a seller in December 2010, but it took me several months of studying how to do everything--reading articles to help new sellers and attending live Etsy symposiums with other newbies--before I felt confident enough to actually publish a listing.
That occurred on March 15, 2011. The next day I started this blog and made my first entry. And here's the item I put up:
This teapot had been in my own collection for many years, and I can't remember the price I put it up for initially but it was priced to sell. I had done the required search of prices on other similar teapots that were listed on Etsy and Ebay (though no one, I thought, had any quite as beautiful as mine!) and I tried with my price to be competitive.
As is usually true with any new Etsy shop, you have to put up a bunch of items, at least 24 to fill up a page, to even look like a reputable seller. You have to blog and tweet and set up a Facebook page, you have to join circles and Etsy teams, you have to attend Etsy forums and make comments, and on and on. This selling business on Etsy isn't easy!
I finally made my first sale weeks later, on April 5, 2011:
A young woman was getting married and wanted "something blue" for her new kitchen. The first sale: what a thrill!
It wasn't until May 1 that I made my second sale, a sterling Zuni ring...and then a rhinestone bracelet on May 12 and a pin and earrings set on May 26.
Sales jumped to 8 in June, then down to 6 in July, 11 in August, 11 in September, 16 in October, 15 in November, 15 in December, 17 in January, 13 in February, and now so far 19 in March ~ my math may be off and my counting, but Etsy tells me I've made 139 sales (there was a refund somewhere along the way, to a buyer who bought a quilt she wasn't happy with, which I later sold to someone else).
Anyway, the sales eventually became a fairly steady stream--not great but enough to help pay the bills--and I was having fun taking photographs and interacting with buyers and other sellers. I learned along the way that the items I liked and had been collecting for years--primarily in the cottage/farmhouse style--weren't the items that were "hot" on Etsy. Mid-century modern and industrial are the most sought after, it appears, or else something very unique and unusual.
Anyway, my colorful teapot just went unnoticed by most people, although it was "favorite"ed by several and featured in a treasury or two. I renewed it and just kept thinking that somewhere, sometime, someone would find it and think they just couldn't live without it....
And finally, on March 13, only a few weeks ago, I checked my shop and found, to my surprise and delight, that it had been SOLD to a buyer in Italy! What a great one-year anniversary present--my very first item!
I wrote a note of thanks to the buyer, who wrote back and we chatted happily about the teapot and how she was a tea afficionado and teapot collector. In fact, she has a page of pictures on Flickr and sent me the link--it's called Tea and Milk Time and is so colorful! I'm happy my teapot is going to live with Giovanna, whom I'm now friends with on Facebook as well as on Etsy. Here's a picture of her drinking tea:
and pouring tea:
and still drinking tea!
Don't you agree this is the perfect person to own my beautiful teapot?! I'm happy, she's happy ~ hey, why don't you help me celebrate this sale and my one-year anniversary by having a cuppa tea!
p.s. adding this later ~ Giovanna sent me a picture of the teapot with her in Italy ~ so happy that it arrived safely and looks so joyful in its new home!