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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Opening An Etsy Account

The actual opening of my Etsy account was a simple process for me.  I followed the instructions on the seller's page on the Etsy website.  Okay, okay the last time I will mention how important it is to choose a user name that is the same as the shop name.  The shop name that you want your shop to be identified with your product line, whether homemade, vintage or supplies.

I filled out the needed online forms following the prompts.  I quickly realized that I needed just a few items filled out to actually open the account.  This is why my shop is listed as starting on October 9, 2010 and in reality, it started on October 26, 2010 when I applied for and received my DBA with my county deeds office.

Of course, I then had the option to buy or sell on Etsy.  My Pay Pal account has been a great asset in facilitating purchases and sales.  I had the option to choose payment methods and sales tax charts. 

It was interesting to me to see how equipped I found the Etsy tools to be.  I would have taken much more time to get started if Etsy had not given so many simplified steps in opening my account.

I encourage again any of my blog readers who make homemade crafts, or have an interest in selling vintage items (20 years or older), to visit http://www.etsy.com/ to learn more about the opportunities.

I have not sold on Ebay as yet although I have friends and relatives who have accounts with varying degrees of success.  I like Etsy in that a price can be set and there is no waiting period to close a sale past the time it takes to have an interested buyer make a purchase.

I listed my first items last November and had my first sale at the end of the month.  Regrettably, the first sale was canceled due to mutual agreement on my part with the buyer.  However, another sale came two weeks later.  In the past year, I have had 67 sales with 5 refunded purchases. 

I again encourage readers of this post who either make homemade crafts, or sell vintage items, to consider Etsy.com as an additional resource.  I have discussed a few items that will be needed to open your own shop.  The best way to learn more about the opportunities on Etsy.com is to visit the website at http://www.etsy.com/ and read the information for sellers.  There is a plethora of information for greenhorns such as I was last year.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Your Etsy Shop Name

Today, I would like to continue with discussion on Your Etsy Shop Name.  It is important.  It is a name that should represent what items are being sold in your shop.

Many people might want to use adjectives which are near and dear to their hearts and personal preferences.  I was going to originally name my shop in conjunction with my dear dog Red.

I have seen Big Red in many genres including books, tobacco, vintage, soft drinks, Hondas, sports and more.  So, I decided to leave my big red dog, Red to my literary pursuits.  i.e. Jeanne's Travels which is a column I contribute to The Wilkes Gazette.  This column highlights pet-friendly places in and around Wilkes County.  I sign the column Jeanne Armonk and Red.

So, after some further consideration and the big blunder that I made initially with my user name, I put Wilkes Vintage Finds to the test.  I liked it immediately.  I do not know if my customers and site visitors feel the same.

If you are selling vintage items, then the following words may be useful in putting together your shop name: collectible, collectibles, rare, find, finds, antiques and vintage.  I decided to add the word Wilkes because Wilkes County is now my home.  The word Finds was an easy one for any bargain hunter and antique shop frequenter.

Of course, many of the items for sale currently listed on my shop for sale were not found in Wilkes.  However, if they were not originally, then they are now residents same as me for having been transported here.

I will discuss the first step to setting up an Etsy account in my next post.

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Importance of Your Etsy Shop Name

The importance of your Etsy shop name cannot be stressed enough.  So I learned the hard way last year when I was completing the online forms to start a new Etsy.com account.

I learned too late that the user name that I chose was also to be my shop name.  Of course, the name that I chose was a combination of letters and numbers that bore no resemblance to a vintage shop, whatsoever!

I set up the account.  I made my choices in my personal settings options and was ready to chose the shop name when I realized the incoherent user name was now my shop's name.  I thought I will just edit it.  Nothing doing. 

So, I went through the email process of contacting Etsy to deactivate the first shop.  Then, I was able to open a new account with the name for my shop.  This time I made certain that my account user name was also the name of my shop.

On October 9, 2010, Wilkes Vintage Finds was born.  At least, the Etsy account.  The shop did not list any items for sale until November 2010.  I was in need of a DBA (Doing Business As) certificate with my local county for an Internet shop.  I obtained the DBA near the end of October.  The cost here was $19 which included the cost for the notary republic.

I had needed to do some extensive research to ascertain if the name I wanted for my shop was already taken.  I found other names with Vintage and Wilkes but not together.  I also contacted the IRS regarding my business tax id number which I already had for Jeanne Armonk Enterprises.  I learned that the IRS said that I was too use the same ID number for the new business as well.  Both of my businesses are sole proprietorships. 

I will post more on naming your shop and opening a new Etsy account in my next blog post.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Freelance Writer Hones Copywriting Skills on Etsy

This freelance writer of 2 1/2 years has been honing her copywriting skills on Etsy.  I should say more specifically that I have honed my skills on my online shop's web page found at Etsy.com.

When someone says starting a business involves hours of work, then I have to agree completely.  One of the most important skills that I have needed to muster, in order to develop my shop's website more fully, has been that of copywriter. 

It has been fun, exhausting, challenging, competitive and mind sharpening to say the least!  I currently have 124 items for sale on Wilkes Vintage Finds.  I have sold 61 items to date.

It has taken me hours of researching, copywriting, and editing to develop a web page for each of the items currently for sale.

I have found with time that whatever information that I include on a listing often needs to be updated.  I will reassess the measurements or quality of the photos in order that my customers can get a clearer understanding of the size, weight, color, wear and tear regarding a particular item for sale.

These hours have come and gone.  However, I have grown in knowledge as a freelance writer and as a copywriter.  The better a listing is written as far as description, history, value, dimensions, etc., then  hopefully the more an item will attract a potential customer.

It is important to be accurate.  It also is very important to be honest in one's assessment of an item's condition.  There are certain terminologies that pertain to various items whether scientific, literary, NASCAR related, vintage jewelry or the Carte de Visites Photographs that I have for sale on my shop.

I will discuss more about the importance of copywriting for an Etsy shop in my next post.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Deciding What Vintage Items To List On My Etsy Shop

Here we are already into the 3rd day of November 2011.  I am going to be highlighting my Etsy shop, Wilkes Vintage Finds this month in my blog posts.

Again, it has been a rewarding experience owning an online shop.  I have learned much in regards to marketing, copy writing, photography, and shipping these past 12 months.

I originally thought Wilkes Vintage Finds would be kept separate from my freelance writing.  However, I began to realize that the success of my shop would hinge partially on my writing, editing and researching abilities.  Hours and hours have been spent on my item listings.  Currently, I have 124 items for sale in the shop.

I have 61 sales showing, however, I had refunded and subsequently canceled 4 other sales transactions.  I watched my listings like a hen hovering over her eggs.  I learned that like some eggs, some of my item listings would not be successful.  I told myself it was okay to let some listings become expired without renewing them.  This allowed me to focus on newer items that seemed to gain more page views for one reason or another.

I have been amazed that some vintage items that had cracks, paint chips and missing parts were still very desirable to some buyers.  One example was a 1989 Barrel of Monkeys game.  It happened to contain 12 red plastic monkeys along with a yellow barrel.  This is like the game depicted in Toy Story.

However, the barrel had sustained a long crack on one side.  I hesitated to even list the item.  I was a new shop owner and in need of items to list.  So, I decided to list the game.  I made certain to take pictures of the cracked side along with the monkeys, the Milton Bradley trademark and the year.

On Etsy, vintage items for sale are to be at least 20 years old.  This game was 22 years old.  I listed the item for the Etsy listing fee of $0.20.  I was amazed to see the page views mounting and one day, a customer did indeed purchase the game. 

She gave very favorable feedback.  She wrote to me the very morning she received the Barrel of Monkeys game.  I learned from her positive feedback that she had in mind to use the game for projects (she did not elaborate.)

So, I have listed some items on my store that are showing wear and tear from age and use.  It is certainly true that "one man's trash is another man's treasure."  With this in mind, I now have to say that my criteria to list a vintage item is very broad-minded!

Over the past year, the items that have sold have gone out to customers across the US.  At this point, I do not ship outside the USA.  As I can more knowledge and confidence, especially with needed customs forms and requirements, I may reconsider my shipping policy.

Today, I have also added to this blog site a link to my Etsy shop.  The items pictured under Wilke Vintage Finds Vintage Items for Sale are part of Etsy marketing tools for sellers.  This is an Etsy Mini to assist my readers who may wish to visit the online shop by providing links via the item photos. 

In my next post, I will begin outlining and discussing the steps needed to open a shop on Etsy.

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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.

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