selling online: finding what works for you


Late last year, I made the decision to leave Etsy and open a Big Cartel store.   I loved the idea of building my own website, so after much thought I decided to give it a try.  After a month of using Big Cartel, I decided that Etsy was  better suited for my needs.  It was hard to “admit” that I made a mistake, but it is also worse to keep going down a path that does not seem right.  Many shops have had much success with Big Cartel, so this is a very personal decision.

Why did I go back to Esty?  For several reasons, but mainly the behind the scenes (back office) work was easier for me.  This is very important, because I’m a one woman show.  This means when an order is placed, I cut, sew, package and ship that order.  So, anything that makes something a little more complicated just doesn’t work for me.

The reasons I love Etsy are plenty, but here are a few:

  • Opening a shop has little risk.
  • Great behind the scenes order detail.
  • Easy to communicate with customers via their conversation system.
  • Built in advertising.
  • Built in SEO (search engine optimization).
  • Easily close your shop with “vacation mode”.  Customers can sign up to be notified when you are open again.  Great for catching up on orders or even taking a vacation!
  • Coupon codes can be used.
  • Buyers can read feedback from other buyers.  (I think this really helps to build trust).
  • A clear understanding that the item being purchased is handmade.
  • Many magazines are now looking at Etsy for features.  I was contacted by Pregnancy & Newborn magazine while selling nursing covers.
  • Newsletters and other great information provided by Etsy to their sellers.  Sign up even if you don’t have a seller account.

There are several other on-line venues for selling handmade, so I encourage you to find what works for you.

Please feel free to share your thoughts or experiences.


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  1. says

    I totally know what you mean! I did the same thing… I was on etsy then switched to big cartel and realized that *for me* etsy was better :) Have a good weekend!! :)

  2. says

    I totally admire your courage to try something new and even greater courage to make the choice to do what really works for you and your business:) Cheering for you!
    Your work is lovely! I am super blessed and excited that I was one of the winners of your giveaway over at Gussy Sews and will soon be sporting one of your beautiful pieces. Best Wishes with your shop in 2012!:)

  3. says

    This was great info. I have been working on making the finishing touches to my etsy shop. I like to know that someone switched back to etsy because I have been wondering about the etsy vs. big cartel dilemma. You’ve helped tremendously! Love your totes by the way. :)

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