Today I am reflecting on this past year of business my online shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds on Etsy.com. I am pleased to say that the store has now reached 60 sales in its first year of being open for business. This exceeded my goal of 50 sales for one year. This year I plan to double my goal to 100 sales for the second year.
I have learned so much over these past 12 months. Still, I can see that I have much more to learn about online shop keeping. In fact, I have no retail experience at all!
I have mentioned my shop here in this blog as I have grown in sales experience.
I first learned about Etsy.com while reading a Woman's Day magazine. One of the articles highlighted 10 ways to make money at home. As I perused the various suggestions and ideas for home-based businesses, I focused my attention on Etsy.com.
I have learned that this Brooklyn, NY- based business was started in 2005. It has more than 800,000 members worldwide. Etsy offers selling and buying opportunities within the areas of homemade crafts, supplies and vintage items.
It was the vintage items that really caught my eye. I really do not feel that I have much talent with making homemade crafts. I have painted some things and crocheted a few things. That is pretty much the extent of my craft making abilities.
However, vintage items I felt was my niche. Rather, the selling of vintage items. I have had a number of vintage items pass through my hands through the years. In fact, some bona fide antiques with ages of 100 years or more. I just sold a Canadian Silver Quarter dated 1874. It has an H located on the reverse side near the bottom of the coin.
I had lived through some tough times were I found the need to sell family heirlooms and gifts. These items included diamond rings, paintings, Tiffany sterling, Mahogany tables, photos and vintage jewelry.
Often, the selling experience of antiques is a frustrating experience. There are markdowns due to various grading systems, commission fees, criticisms, and not much revenue when selling to consignment shops and antique shops.
Now, since I have learned about Etsy.com and opened my own shop, I feel that I have more control over my pricing and sales. Etsy only charges $0.20 per item to be listed on a shop website. Also, Etsy only charges 3.5% commission on the sale of an item. So, an item that sells for $100 would have a commission fee of $3.50. A refreshing change from the 25% to 50% commissions that I have been charged by others.
The opportunity to increase shop revenues can be realized with such lower fees currently being charged by Etsy. Now, aftert one year in business, I am happy to say that Wilkes Vintage Finds had its 60th sale yesterday. That averages 5 sales per month. For a new online entrepreneur in a very competitive Internet market, I am pleased with my mild success.
I am going to redirect this blog for the month of November to discuss how my readers can learn how to open their own Etsy shops. As someone who has experienced periods of unemployment in the past, I want to share some of my experiences as a sole proprietor.
Please continue to visit this blog to see how you also may be able to set up an online shop at Etsy.com. It can be a very rewarding endeavor.
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- Valerie Jeanne Hynson
- Wilkesboro, NC, United States
- My interest with writing began by composing poems about nature in my childhood. I also co-wrote a play in my 4th grade class when I lived in New Rochelle, NY. It generated enough positive feedback that my class put on the play in the school auditorium. I was fortunate to have a lead part. After my high school graduation, I entered the working world. For over 30 years I have been steadily gaining writing, editing and digital publishing skills. I began by composing letters and emails to company clients. I contributed to articles written for The Commuters Register based in Windsor, CT. Since 2009, I have added social media, digital publishing and blogging here in Wilkesboro, NC. Since 2010, I write ad copy for the listing descriptions for each of my 3 Internet shops open at Etsy.com. In 2012, I entered a poem about my dog Red in the World Poetry Contest. The poem was chosen for publication. I have written articles for the Winston-Salem Frugal Living Examiner and Hub Pages. In 2012, I acquired The Wilkes Gazette digital newspaper that was renamed the Wilkes County Gazette in 2014. I write under both my own name and my pen name, Jeanne Armonk.