As I reached 1000 sales in my Etsy shop, I felt pretty excited. I've been growing my shop on Etsy for 5 years! It's a wonderful online marketplace for handcrafted and vintage things!
Actually there were more than 1000 sales, including some returns, cancellations, breakage and refunds,, and multiple purchases counting as one.
Selling Etsy from home is time consuming, and takes a lot of space. If I had a storefront it could be displayed somewhere else, and not so invasive in my home. But, an online store reaches more people, and there are benefits of working from home..
I feel as though it serves some remote customers and even helps people. I imagine some folks can't get out to shop for many reasons, or don''t have antique and vintage, collectibles shops nearby. Some people say, online selling is impersonal, but I have a lot of satisfaction interacting with my customers.
She seldom wore a dress, and was hesitant to buy it. But once she did, she just loved this green beaded gown. It made her feel so beautiful for the first time, at her son's wedding, that she sent me a picture! I felt so good, that she was able to look stunning in a gown from my shop!
One time a woman ordered some Sporto Canvas slingback shoes. She thought they were fabulous and wore them to work. By the end of the day, the sole was entirely loose and flapping. She got many laughs. I felt terrible, imagining her embarassment, because they looked fine when I shipped them, until they came apart!. But she said she wanted to keep them and would like a partial refund, just to pay cobbler repairs. I talked her into trying a good shoe glue, "Shoe Goo" that I had used and gave her the money to buy it. She used it and the problem was solved.
Another time a young woman bought a small vintage purse and later wrote me a lovely letter.
She told me her elderly father had owned the company that made these bags.
He designed and manufactured these leather bags many years ago. Since she was a little girl, her life's dream was to help her daddy design handbags.
So when she Googled and found a Perlina bag, she had to have one of his creations. When she received it, he was so pleased to see one on his proud pieces still existed and in such good condition! She'll always cherish it, and is inspired to reproduce an updated version of that design and make it again, now that she manages the company! She made me so happy!
|A Perlina Bag|
Here's my secrets for selling vintage in your Etsy shop:☆ Write a really good description, with good measurements. You can't say too much about the item, they will ask you for details many times if you don't give enough details.
⛤ Use all five photos! Sometimes my photography is not so great, but I will go
back later, when I have more time, and edit - adding better retakes.
⛤Add a little personal comment, funny remark or suggestion,
as though you were talking to the person live, in your shop.
☆ Be truthful about flaws, They won't mind complaining and returning items that aren't perfect!
But probably will accept imperfections if you state them and price accordingly.
Naturally, Vintage is used, older, and of course, it sometimes shows a little wear or discoloration,
( we call it patina) so be up front about that. Somebody will still want it, but you have to represent it honestly.
☆ If you sell out of something, and someone else "favorited" it, Then you acquire another one.... Take the time to notify that potential customer that you are listing it again, and quickly list it again. This may lead to another quick sale.
☆ Communication is so important. if I can't find an item that is ordered within a week, I have learned to tell the customer the truth, Simply, " I am sorry, but I can't locate the item".
Sometimes I cancel the sale, promptly give a full refund, and tell them I'll notify them
when I find it. They are usually very understanding. I got my only bad feedback from
a lady I didn't notify, because I kept searching for the item for over 10 days, and didn't t
ell her I couldn't find it. Even though I did send it within 14 days of when she ordered it,
she gave me only 1 star and complained that I didn't communicate.
All my other feedbacks are ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ ! My perfect reputation ruined!
☆ I try to ship in 2-3 days, and tell the customer if it will be longer. Be considerate, especially if you already have their money!
☆ I spend the extra money to insure breakables. Sounds like common sense, but I learned the hard way when customers claimed items I had packed very well were broken upon arrival.
|I suspect customer may have lied and said this lid arrived broken, |
but I hadn't insured it, so I got stuck with giving a full refund.
Now I own this cute little set, minus the lid!
☆ Clearly state your return policy. I give a full refund if the customer returns the item within 14 days, for whatever reason, Customer pays return shipping.
Have fun with it. If you enjoy dealing with vintage, your joy will show through and your customers will feel it. They are looking at your vintage shop, because they like old things too!
I think if I didn't have fun doing this, it wouldn't be worth it!
Vintage is a way of life. My home is filled with old things, which I prefer over new things.
I am delighted when I find a dingy hand crocheted tablecloth that needs TLC, but I appreciate it and love the challenge of washing it, drying it in the sun and watching it become a restored beauty.
I don't mind craze lines and small chips. I keep and use the unsaleables that are damaged, but still pretty!
I only regret when I have to sell something that I really wanted to keep!
The funniest thing I ever sold in my Etsy shop, was my ex-husband's old swim trunks from when he was a teenager! They said "Grubb" all over them.
But I have fun handling my vintage treasures in the process of putting them in my Etsy or my booth at the antiques mall. I love doing the display work. I am always up for the hunt for vintage treasures, seeing the quality in handcrafted items, and the beauty in things used long ago, in another era.
Occasionally I enjoy exhibiting at local antique shows and rubbing shoulders with the other dealers. I learn so much from them. I make good connections, hear about other venues, and find out where to shop for more vintage treasures.