October 6, 2013

Hundreds of thousands sell handmade, vintage goods on Etsy

The online marketplace has more than 300 million members in 200 countries.

By Virginia Bridges
Mcclatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Debbie Rothstein, right, checks out laminate hoop earrings made by Kiona van Rhee, owner of Lucky Accessories, in van Rhee’s studio in Raleigh, N.C. Van Rhee uses her Etsy shop as her retail outlet for her handmade items.

Photos by Ethan Hyman/Raleigh News & Observer

click image to enlarge

Kiona van Rhee, owner of Lucky Accessories, works on an enamel initial pendant in her North Carolina studio.


Review your “about” page. Be sure your story is clear and gives your customers a glimpse into your business.

Polish your policy and shipping information so it’s easy for customers to understand.

Keep your shelves stocked.

Describe your item in a personal way in the “overview” section.

Use quality photos of your items. Presentation is key.

Source: Etsy

Over the years, the quality of items and the competition on Etsy has increased, but van Rhee has stuck by the company as it has incorporated improvements that have made it easier for her to accept coupons and print shopping labels.

“I just really like what they do, and I really like how they grow,” she said. “In general, I think they are a huge part of the average consumer buying handmade goods.”

Etsy also recently introduced a payment platform that makes it easier for buyers around the world to make online purchases using their own currency and method of payment, Mauriello said. The company is also helping sellers increase revenue through seller-support programs and a wholesale marketplace that connects sellers with small boutiques and larger buyers such as Nordstrom.

“One thing that we heard from our sellers is that they are active in, and looking to grow in multiple sales channels, including wholesale,” Mauriello said. “We also believe that one of the best ways that we can support our sellers is through empowering them with information and improvements to Shop Stats,” where sellers go to gauge the health of their business on Etsy.

Maczka started selling her gloves on Etsy in early 2010 as a side gig to her full-time job in quality assurance for a game development company.

In 2009, Maczka started experimenting with making gloves after she grew tired of store-bought gloves that fell apart.

“I have a background in sewing. I love fabric already, and I have all this material sitting around, what if I just try to make a couple?” she said. “Once I started designing, I couldn’t stop.”

By July, sales started to pick up after word of the gloves spread, and she started promoting the items through Twitter and other social media sites. Maczka left her full-time job that fall. Her revenue reached six figures in the company’s first year.

While Maczka loves her work, the life isn’t necessarily easy. She works on weekends, through holidays and pulls all-nighters.

“I sew and sew and sew until I pass out,” she said.

“I am huge on customization. One of the great things about Etsy is that it allows you to connect with a customer on a personal level.”

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