Since this article was first written, I’ve renamed my business from Hit the Spot to Monkeyshine. Hit the Spot wasn’t hitting my spot anymore. Monkeyshine is much more me!
Well, I finally bit the bullet and set up shop on Etsy. Yay! To celebrate the launch, I’m giving 20% off all orders until the end of November 2012 (discount excludes postage).
Use the coupon code “WEHAVELIFTOFF”.
Plus, I’m holding a draw for everyone who shares the Hit the Spot love and likes my Facebook page. At the end of November all Hit the Spot Likers will go into a draw to win one of two spotty-licious prizes:
- First Prize: a full set of 15 cards (1 of each design)
- Second Prize: a set of 6 Christmas Cards (3 each of 2 designs)
I’ve been deliberating over the “To Etsy or not to Etsy” question for far too long now and some dramatic action was required to haul me out of my deep ditch of procrastination. What’s been holding me back? Well, primarily the fact that as a web developer, I felt I really ought to be implementing my own shopping cart rather than requiring my lovely customers to leave the site in order to buy Hit the Spot goodies. The result was that instead of spending my time on developing the business side of Hit the Spot, I got somewhat sidetracked researching which cart solution to use.
All the while, I had the nagging thought that the actual shop infrastructure is not what I need most to propel Hit the Spot towards global domination of the greeting card market. What I really need is exposure and help with networking. But two other factors were also holding me back from diving into Etsy:
- Whilst Etsy gets heaps of visitors, it’s also a very crowded marketplace and standing out in that dense crowd is nigh on impossible; and
- It strikes me that the fees that Etsy charges could well add up very quickly.
So back to my research I went, but this time with a slightly different question. Which selling platform (Etsy, StorEnvy, BigCartel, Shopify … ) should I use to host my shop of marvellous wares? There are a lot of extremely useful blog articles out there by fellow maker-sellers who’ve confronted the same dilemma and I wouldn’t be Brigitte if I didn’t read every single one of those posts and weigh up every single pro and every single con before making my giant decision! Well, okay, I exaggerate. I didn’t actually read them all, but I did put my little browser through its paces. One article that I found particularly helpful was by Lauren of Whimsy Lane, who has written a very comprehensive comparison of Etsy, Big Cartel, StorEnvy and Shopify on her blog. Thank you, Lauren, your insights were invaluable!
I soon realised I was digging myself into another deep quagmire of procrastination so I made a snap decision, followed my instinct and chose Etsy. Just. Like. That. In time I hope to be able to post some insights regarding my concerns about the crowded marketplace and the fees. For now, however, I’m looking forward to being part of the Etsy community, learning what I can from their inspirational collection of resources and hopefully making a contribution myself via their forums and teams. At this stage I feel the fees are a fair trade-off for the potential market exposure and the aforementioned resources. And as for the crowded marketplace, well … isn’t everywhere crowded these days? I do feel this can be turned into a positive in that it will force me to be clear and consistent in my branding, and innovative in the way that I promote Hit the Spot and my cards.
I do still intend to implement my own shopping cart on this site in the not-too-distant future but at present my focus here is on getting better at blogging! Now when it comes to procrastinatory ditches, blogging is my Marianas Trench. I have never been good at writing. My brother is the wordsmith in our family and My Beloved writes the most beautiful letters, but I get an ulcer just at the thought of scribbling a short thank you note. In fact, that’s part of the reason I started making cards in the first place — I concluded that if I put extra effort into making a unique card, the recipient might not notice that I hadn’t actually written very much.