Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Thinking of Setting up a Second Online Shop

This is a mulling and musing kind of post, so you may need a cup of tea...

I do love my Etsy shop, but something has been nagging at me recently. I think it's partly my tendency to be a control freak, and I know it's definitely because of the fluctuating exchange rate, but Etsy is no longer enough. I love it and I'm staying but I need to spread my wings a little. I need to be able to mess up my own html. I need to be able to list and sell in pounds sterling.

So, a little research: I got Googling and it turns out a lot of people are way ahead of me, looking for second (or even third) online venues to run alongside their Etsy stores. By far the best article comparing the options is this Guide to Setting Up Shop Online by Asking for Trouble. This is a very well laid out, logical comparison of online venues. There is also a huge list of Etsy Alternatives here at Psilology. The Etsy forums are a mine of information too.

Choosing a second venue depends very much on what you need. For me, I need the Great British Pound to feature in my listings. I started doing craft fairs at the end of summer 08 and they snowballed and resulted in a lot of new visits to my online shop, but people were confused by the US dollar pricing. Then there's the need to control everything, I have no understanding of coding, but if there's one thing I've learnt from Blogger it's that fiddling with your code is fun - even magical at times. (When I started with Blogger the Page Element feature didn't exist, you had to search the help centre to change things on your blog).

So do you run more than one online shop? Have you experimented with online venues other than Etsy? Where would you recommend? Where would you not? For me, I'm currently "sampling" Big Cartel. I'm using the free plan so only five listings (but you can put multiple options in one listing, so really I'm listing nine things). If I upgrade it becomes customizable, which would be cool... This is how it looks now: simple, clean, a bit small... but it has those elusive prices in pounds... and it's all mine...


lisa said...

I just adore your toys (with everything going on with legislation in the US now I wonder if it is still OK to use that term!), wanted to drop by and say hello! I am considering another shop although my Etsy store is very new. I will watch with interest to see where you decide is best for you!
I'm glad I have found your blog,

Kerrie (andyANDmolly) said...

Congratulations on your new site - it looks absolutely divine!

syko kajsa said...

I have quite a few British customers finding my Etsy shop, but of my 500 sales I think under 5 were to customers in Finland, so that would be my problem. I was contacted by a Finnish company who is builing a small Finnish "Etsy", so that might be the solution for me. I have tried dawanda, but I haven't been motivated enough to promote that shop, too similar to Etsy, I guess.

Your new shop looks great! Good luck! The more you learn, the more you want to do yourself! That's why I wanted to build my own website too!

marceline said...

Glad my post was helpful! If you like tinkering with code then I think you would enjoy Shopify - it's very logical and the opposite of blogger's crazy over-coding.

Shopify asked me to design a template for them that is aimed at Etsy sellers moving onwards and upwards so it could provide a good base for your own design. Have a look at http://prettify.myshopify.com, and good luck!

If you need any help, feel free to email me :)

Swirlyarts said...

I use Etsy, Dawanda and Folksy (all with the name Swirlyarts) and Etsy is my most profitable. I really do like Folksy though and need to put more effort into it and my Dawanda shops.

Sasparilla Sue said...

I only have one shop and I have trouble with getting motivated to make things for it so it's enough for me. I do know quite a few people that have more than one, though. Probably for similar reasons, too. I think it's a good idea, especially if you wanted one shop to have a certain vibe but wanted the other to have a different one. I think that you just have to find the one that's the right fit for you personally.

smarterdeals.com said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
paper-and-string said...

hi :-)
etsy and folksy are both great but my best online venue has to be my own website...take a look at www.mrsite.co.uk you get all you need to build your own website and the best bit? you will be able to do it if you can use etsy and blogger (it's logical and straightforward, and you can phone them if you get stuck!)
I never looked into BigCartel though so can't compare with that!
Hope that helps!
Sarah x

47cats said...

Hi, I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here. :) Why not talk to Etsy about setting up a conversion chart for the main types of monies in the world. One that you could click to or something. I personally like Etsy (I don't sell) because it is in US currency (yes, I'm from US). I have a little chart here by the computer that I found on the internet that gives me a rough idea of the pound/US dollar conversion.

I think everyone (websites, etc.) that sells to multiple countries should have some kind of conversion rate chart available so the buyer has some idea of what the item including shipping is going to cost.

BTW...I love your new linen kitties. :)

Lynn (47cats)

Blueberry Park said...

Hi Net. Your big cartel site looks fab. I also use Folksy which I love as a Brit's site. You are more than one step ahead of me as I have no idea what coding is. I'm going to have to go look right now :-) x

Tinniegirl said...

I totally agree. I love my Etsy shop but I would love to have something going in AUS dollars.