Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Etsy vs Us

It's been a big question over my little head for a while.
Do our customers prefer to shop Etsy or get a little more personal and shop via our website?
I know what I prefer...
I love Etsy, I really do, but the costs involved can be a little much.
Sure, it's not much to list items but it does cost none the less.
I am an Etsy shopper, I love to browse and find things but as of late I've found businesses via Etsy then have found that they also have their own website.
I prefer a more personal shop. I like to browse the pages of a website to get more of a 'feel' of what that company is about. I also want to see pictures of the owners/owner.
I think that when you are making something by hand and putting it up for sale most customers want to see YOU..the person.
ANYBODY can list on Etsy can't they? Anybody!
So...when I find a really lovely website with really lovely things I am more inclined to buy from there if it makes me feel like I'm getting to know the people behind it all.
There are literally billions of us in the world and I want to at least try to get to know a few more people than I already do, and if I can do that by purchasing something from them then all the better for all concerned.

Which brings me to my own website. I've worked so hard on producing something of interest. I change colours, I change pages and I add lots of pics to make it more 'poppy'. This is something Etsy can't do for us artisans.
I've recently added new pages with even more info about what it is that we do here in the middle of England.
I've added a page called 'Handmade Soap' to give everybody more of an idea about what goes into making handmade soap.
I've added a page called 'Natural Soap' to show some of the rawness, which goes into every batch of soap.
I've also added a page called 'Fair Trade Soap' to show how we try to always source fairly traded, sustainable raw ingredients.
Again...you can't do this on Etsy as you only have 1 page.
What use is 1 page?!
So...what I'm saying is please do come visit http://www.futureprimitivesoap.com/ and grab some goodies from us over there sometime. The postage costs are the same (the absolute minimum we can go to), we ship worldwide and there are many more interesting things to read about other than....'THIS IS ME AND THIS IS MY SHOP'!


Kari said...

I use Etsy, but have found it a little user-unfriendly when I'm looking for a certain artist or maker. I've sold a few things, but agree that buying directly is preferable. I try to do that with artists whose work I like, so that they get as much of the money as possible.

You're right that on Etsy, you really can't get to know the maker either, especially now that they've condensed the announcement area on the first page.

Britton said...

I agree with you 100% This is why we're moving off Etsy, the bill, the convo system (don't get me started!), the inability to provide customers with more information!

We're still working on our website a bit, need to put up an about us page, etc. And I love the idea of putting a face to the name!

Your website looks great lady ;) I love that you have photos of the soap making in progress, wonderful idea!


TheSoapSister said...

I agree. I've recently combined my website and blog via WordPress, using BigCartel as my shopping cart, which I'm hoping will tie it all together. I just wish that Blogger had a similar blog/website combo.:(

Amy Warden said...

I've never had an etsy store. Can't keep track of one website, let alone two! :) But your post does remind me that I need to add more of that personal touch. There's one photo of me on my website, and I'm not even looking at the camera.

Soapchick said...

I really dont like Etsy much, not that I have had a store there. I dont really like it as a buyer either, there is just sooooo much to trawl through I get a bit punch drunk especially as the pages all look the same and a lot have nothing or just one or two items on. Perhaps I get bored quickly, I dont know. I agree with Amy, its difficult enough keeping tabs on one website, blogs, facebook, twitter, google ads and the rest, I dont know how you do both. Great post though, I also need to put more personal stuff on my site. Go for the website 100%, I would, its lovely too X

Platypus Dreams said...

I was on etsy a couple of yrs ago and pulled out. For tax purposes it was a pain with my book keeping, it was all in US$ and working out conversions on tiny little sales was a waste of time as I already had a website before etsy became popular.

AU people wanted to pay in their currency, the amt of US sales were minimal and at the end it was not worth the effort. Etsy didn't like any reference back to my website where I could talk about who I was and give better laid out descriptions of my soap etc so I ended up canning them totally. I felt my energies could be better spent elsewhere.

Etsy is awesome for US sellers IMO.

Platypus Dreams said...

Oh forgot to mention Tiggy you are doing a fab job you your website etc and I know it will be many hours/days/weeks of effort. I noticed you had changed lots the other day and it does give a better feel for what you do and want us to feel when experiencing Future Primitive. Well done give yourself a pat on the back. Hugs Sharon

Topcat said...

Tiggy, I love how your site is developing. Being an Aussie, I have never purchased from Etsy - I know I can, just haven't been drawn to it. Having said that, I do love to browse through sellers pages there and when I see one I really like I look for a website link :)

Patrice-The Soap Seduction said...

And this is why I love you! You tell it like it T-I, tis! I'm still on Etsy as I work on my own website. I think Etsy is a great base to sort of build a clientele and a following, but it's not a user-friendly site for new visitors who come there specifically to buy from you. I've lost so many sales because the checkout process has been a nightmare for so many, and the fees are outrageous-$.20 adds up!

Celine Blacow said...

I totally agree - I far far far prefer a website that is personal to the store I'm buying from. Etsy is not unlike going into a huge department store with tons and tons of concessions - you get so much to look at that, soon, you can find what you're looking for at all. Too much choice. Too impersonal even at times. I go on Etsy and look at everything but I never buy - why? Because I'm punch drunk looking at every single thing there - too much choice. I prefer the more personal route of going to a website and getting more of feeling about that person. I hope I'm making sense! I love your soaps Tiggy and they just don't deserve to be lost amongst the other millions of soaps on Etsy - they need to stand out!!

Cocobong Soaps said...

I can't add anything new to what's already been said. I've never shopped at ETSY because it is just too overwhelming. I get lost. Love the personal shops, love seeing the people behind the works, lovelovelove the intimate feel of personal customers service. I'll pay more for a product just to receive that kind of treatment. My partner and I ran an international online business for almost 10 years, selling Birkenstocks throughout the world. What kept our customers happy and coming was the personal service we could provide and the warm, 'crunchy' (as in oatmeal) feel of our site. Yours is looking wonderful and what's so great about all the effort you put into it, is that in the end..it's yours!

FuturePrimitive said...

hmmm...seems we all kinda feel the same.
I want to say thank you for your input everybody, it means a lot to me to hear your thoughts.
Oh, and thank you all for your comments about the website. I'm pleased with what I've done so far...but no doubt I'll keep changing it as I can't help meself!

Jackie @ Windmill Hill Soap Works said...

Etsy is great to look around and get a feel for what's available, but working in US$ would be too much. I love your website, your products look great. In order to make an impact there has to be a story and you certainly have that. You make it personal, like chatting with the person behind the counter of an up-market store. We looked at Etsy but decided to do our own website instead, we tweak it constantly to try to get the right feel. Keep up the good work Tiggy.

Jill said...

I started out on etsy back in '07, it was so much smaller then, but I got my own bigcartel site in January of this year. I love how simple it is to list, the flat monthly fee (YES!!!) and how I can personalize the look of the pages. The only thing I miss about etsy is the feedback system, but I can always refer people to my etsy page to see how others like my products.

Your soap looks awesome btw! :)