Sunday, November 02, 2008

A day with Savor: Holiday prep

Last Sunday, I helped Lisa from Savor Soap wrap/label/package soaps for shipping!

I was going to talk today about how an Etsy top seller (Lisa, not me!) organizes, but I thought I'd insert some thoughts about preparing for the holidays, something we talked about while working!

There are a few camps of thoughts in Etsy's forums (a place I don't spend a lot of time in anymore ... too much negative weirdness!):
  • I haven't sold much/anything all year, but I'll sell out my shop and become a millionaire over the holidays.
  • The economy stinks so I won't sell a thing and will be bankrupt over the holidays.
  • My holiday success is entirely dependent on the work I've put into my shop and business.
I'm in the last camp. I've put a lot of work in my shop, but can still (and will continue) to improve things. I've got my holiday ads/gift guide/online markets lined up. I just wish I had more time to KNIT -- still working on orders, but hope to be caught up this week.

Lisa's in an incredible position for the holidays: solid sales, huge customer base, items that can be turned out quickly in relatively high quantity (for an indie business), AND she's uber organized and can ship in her sleep! She's also been through one holiday season!

We talked about product ideas for the holidays. Lisa has some GREAT new goodies coming up -- I can't wait to see them in action! I listed my first holiday item week! Three month neckwarmer subscriptions! I have other new surprises specific to the holidays coming up!

We also talked about holiday wrapping and packaging. I'm torn between a couple of ideas right now, but will finalize by next weekend, so that I can update my shop with holiday wrapping options. Lisa has her's all lined up (I saw it -- totally cute!!!)!

If you've been selling well/steadily, now's the time to increase your inventory, stock up on packaging/shipping materials, stock up on printer toner, etc. It's almost too late, but you still have time ... like a week!

You still also have time to get an ad or two up! Project Wonderful is a place to start. Advertising on a blog or site that gets no traffic will result in no traffic to your own site! Lisa's pretty outspoken about the need to bring new business from outside of Etsy into your shop, and I have to agree. I'm a firm believer in advertising and marketing that does the work for you while you sleep/create/work/do many other things, so advertising on blogs with high traffic is a great approach. More about this in a separate post, though.

(p.s., Please don't advertise until your shop looks professional and fabulous! I'd hate for you spend money on that if your shop doesn't pull people in when they come for a visit. You want to convert visitors from ads into buyers!)

Note: 2nd photo from top is from Lisa's own flickr pool from earlier this year!


Yellow Lux said...

Phydeaux, I have NO idea what to expect for the holidays. I've only just started up my shop, but I'm hoping I'll get some business between now and Christmas. But it's hard to know if I should prepare myself by stocking up, or just sort of wait and see what happens. On the one hand, my name isn't out there yet, although I've started a blog, post in the forums, and will have an item featured in the next giveaway. On the other hand, if I start selling, I may be totally unprepared! It's such a toss up - but I guess we'll see.

How long did it take you to start getting regular sales, and what did you do to get that way?

Brenda // Phydeaux Designs said...

You've captured the crux for every seller! Your item on an Indie Fixx giveaway is brilliant!

My own experience is that order fulfillment is the biggest challenge: wrapping, packaging, labelling, postage, shipping.

Your necklaces are perfect for holiday gifts!

I hate to say this out loud, but my first scarf sold the day after I listed it. I was brand new, clueless, and maybe selling 4 items a month, then the summer slow down, but I used that time to work on my shop, build inventory, improve my skills, figure out shipping (still doing that sometimes!), etc.

I guess I feel a little more like I have regular sales as of September, which makes sense for scarves ...