Saturday, September 20, 2008

Fall Back

After a lazy summer of gardening and collecting , I'm getting back into sewing and creating new products. Sales have definitely slowed for me on Etsy, where I used to get new customers without even trying . When I first started making my laptop sleeves, there was only one other person making them and theirs was a true bag, one with a zipper and handles. Gradually more sellers started producing bags and sleeves. Some truly gifted crafters, like Alice of Flickabags and workingclass hero, have essentially closed shop and gone elsewhere. Now there are dozens of people making sleeves and laptop bags. Since etsy allows cottage industries, I can post a bag in the morning and find it 20 pages back by noon . Not much chance of being seen by the casual browser.
The one thing that really bothers me is that if you do a search for laptop sleeve you may have to sift through a couple hundred listings to find one . Many sellers migrated over from ebay and use ridiculous titles like
Custom laptop notebook briefcase backpack messenger diaper tote bag purse sleeve
in order to drive traffic to their pages. Personally,I wouldn't buy from someone with an ebay type title ( unless I was on ebay), but that's just me. I can't say that I blame them as etsy's search feature is virtually useless . I just think it looks tacky .
I've thought of closing shop there but I 'm too stubborn to give up and leave what little new business I have to these interlopers.
So I have started selling on Icraft a Canadian site that screens it sellers for quality and has truly handcrafted items for sale. I haven't sold anything so far but I really like the look and feel of the site and I'm sure I will soon.
I'll also be participating in a few craft shows leading up to Christmas. I've only booked a few close to the holidays because I need to build up some stock. I'll post links soon.