Sunday, August 8, 2010

Team Interview: Selling in Person

We all know that Etsy is just one of the many venues for selling our products. Of course there are other online platforms, but some etsians also sell at craft shows, trunk shows, in boutiques, or consignment shops. And we all know that selling online is different than selling in person.

Q: Do you sell your products at other venues such as craft shows, trunk shows, in boutiques, stores, etc? If so, what do you like/dislike about selling in person vs. online?

A: PersonallySpeaking- While a lot of my sales are from Etsy, I do get quite a few from my Nestie friends, and a large amount from my daughter's dance studio. I've been making shirts for the competition moms/dancers/teachers for the past few years now.

I also work with a woman who runs a kiosk at the local mall. I offer products she doesn't stock, so she takes special orders for me.

Honestly, sometimes it's easier in person because any questions can be asked and answered real-time and the customer has a sample in-hand for sizing, color, etc.

My cupcake business has all been through word of mouth and I've had more orders in one month than I had this year from Etsy. I'm baking hundreds of cupcakes every weekend.


JessicaRaeJewellry- Most of my sales come via word of mouth and my face book fan page - I only do a small number of sales through Etsy.
I recently had my jewellery in a local boutique and it did VERY well there, however the owner's lease was up and decided not to renew so I am going to be putting together a catalogue of sorts soon and applying to more boutiques since my last experience was so good!

I did my first artist market recently and was very happy with that experience. I love being face to face with my customers!!!

I have teamed up with local fundraisers a few times and really enjoed that as well - I was just asked to take part in a BIG one coming up in Sept Im excited about !

I also plan in the near future to hold an "open house" at my home/studio for locals to come in and SHOP :D I have also had many people ask though no one follow through as of yet regarding home parties :)

I like face to face - its more personal :)


MadasPlace and MadasPlaceBaby- I sell at shows a few times a year, and I'm looking into boutiques. I love shows! It's great to hear feedback from browsers and buyers. It feels really cool when someone says "Hey, I saw you on Etsy/at another show." And it's super flattering when people say "Do you have a store? No? You should!" It's my long term goal :)

I like being able to interact with other crafters. I really like being able to interact with customers. I get great feedback on my fabric choices and even suggestions on what I could make or changes I could do to improve. The income potential for a good show is another benefit. I often take home more than I make in 3 months on Etsy.

There are drawbacks to shows, too. I have to work and work and workfor 6-8 weeks leading up to one, and it can be hard not to let Etsyfall by the wayside during that period. The weather can be unpredictable and hot and humid or cold and rainy. The days are long but it's totally worth it to me.

EmbellishedBayou- I sell some of my products at a local consignment boutique, as well as by word of mouth through friends. I have also done one home show with my frames & tins, and got a few custom orders that way. I don't have enough stock right now to do a craft show, especially since a lot ofmy things are custom.

I think it's good to have a brick & mortar presence, because sometimes the true beauty and uniqueness of my products doesn't come through in a photo online. Some customers have to actually see the item to realize how cute it is! I love selling online, too, though, because I can reach a much wider customer base than just people in my town who tend to shop at certain places.

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