Tuesday, June 7, 2016

One Month on Etsy

On May 6 and 7, I moved all of my Bonanza items to eBay and Etsy due to a lack of sales.  While I want to say that I had no sales on Bonanza, this is not true.  I did still have some sales, but I had such low traffic that I did not feel it worthwhile to continue on Bonanza.  The site is like a ghost town, and I don't see the owners doing anything to change that.

In the spirit of full disclosure, these are my sales on Bonanza in the final five months my booth was open.

December 2015:  3 orders with a total of 7 items sold
January 2016:  5 orders with a total of 22 items sold
February 2016:  4 orders with a total of 9 items sold
March 2016:  5 orders with a total of 9 items sold
April 2016:  2 orders with a total of 10 items sold

So yes, I did still have a few sales.  The problem is that on Bonanza four to five years ago I was accustomed to 30 to 40 orders per month with over 100 items sold per month.  That's why I see the above sales as nothing.

eBay has been rather slow the last few months, meaning that eBay has been slow as compared to how eBay usually is.  That was probably mostly my fault, since I was not listing new items in my store.  I get higher sales when I consistently add new items.  It's such a simple concept, and it works!  Even with my lack of effort at listing new items, I have still had around 30 items sold per month on eBay.

I did get back to listing new items on eBay at the end of May.  As a result, I have sold 20 items on eBay in just the last week.  In a good month, I can easily sell 80 to 100 items per month on eBay, just like I used to do on Bonanza when Bonanza was the only place I sold.

So you can see why selling 10 or fewer items on Bonanza per month seemed a waste of effort.  I'd list some really good books on Bonanza at bargain prices, and nobody would even look at them.

It's like my Bonanza booth had a force field around it which prevented anyone from looking at the items.  Or like someone sprayed repellent on the Bonanza site, keeping everyone way.

In recent months, I continued to promote my Bonanza booth here and on Facebook, although I'll admit it was halfheartedly.  My Bonanza booth showed little traffic increase each time.  Something was preventing people from even wanting to take a look at the Bonanza booth.  My theory is that something about the Bonanza site turns people off, such as the verbiage used in Bonanza's message system.  For instance, who really wants to receive a message that opens with "Huzzah!" when one makes a purchase online?   It could be that a number of people have been turned off by that over the years and finally decided not to look at my booth anymore.

It could also be that a number of people have been victims of glitches.  The Bonanza site is riddled with glitches, so perhaps more people than I can realize have been turned off by that.  Regardless, something about Bonanza was repelling site visitors.  By that I mean that they wouldn't follow my links to Bonanza!

I knew keeping my Bonanza booth was pretty pointless by late 2014.  That was when I registered on Etsy and went halfway through the shop setup.  It took me until one month ago to finally have the courage to let go of Bonanza.  After all, I loved that booth for at least five years, and I hated letting it go.  But it was time.

Most of those Bonanza items that I moved to eBay and Etsy would have gone unsold on Bonanza.  Not including January, I was selling no more than 10 items per month, and my booth traffic continued to drop.  Within a few more months, I was probably going to sell no more than a couple of items per month.  So, how did those items do on eBay and Etsy instead of remaining stagnant on Bonanza?

I moved a total of 121 items from my Bonanza booth.  58 items were moved to eBay, and 63 were moved to Etsy.  One month later, 26 of those items have sold on eBay, and 12 have sold on Etsy.  Nearly half of the items moved to eBay sold in just one month.  Overall nearly one-third of my former Bonanza inventory has sold in the last month on eBay and Etsy.  That's pretty good and better than if the items had stayed on Bonanza.

On eBay, I pay a monthly subscriber fee for my eBay store, which is worth it for the interface that eBay provides to store owners and for the ability to set up store categories.  I do not pay a fee to list my items since I get 250 free listings per month.  I can usually float a higher number of items on my 250 free listings since eBay runs extra free listing promotions on a regular basis. 

I get a 20% discount in final value fees on eBay since I am a top-rated seller.  That takes final value fees down to 8% from the usual 10%, but with the store subscriber fee, the overall fees are equivalent to a 10% final value fee.

The big concern with Etsy is that I have to pay $0.20 to list each item, although each listing is good for four months.  $0.20 per item adds up very fast.  However, I have sold 28 items on Etsy in the last month, which has brought in enough revenue to cover my listing fees for all items including current unsold listings. 

I figured up the listing fees and the final value fees so far on Etsy.  I then looked at the revenue and figured out that the fees I owe average out to 10% of my revenue so far, which is equivalent to what it costs on eBay.  If more of my items sell in the next few months, then the overall cost for Etsy will be lower than eBay.

So far Etsy looks to be a viable selling venue for me and is better than what Bonanza has been in recent months.

eBay is by far the best venue with the most traffic.  Etsy has good traffic but nowhere near the level that eBay has.  Bonanza's traffic is less than what Etsy has.

You will pay the highest fees on eBay, but you will get the best traffic and the most sales.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

1 comment:

Amanda said...

Hello Jennifer,

I read your previous blog article about giving up selling at Bonanza and beginning to sell over at Etsy. First of all, I hope your sales are doing well! :-)

Etsy.....geeze, I'll never forget when I snagged 2 hard-to-find copies there (roughly 3 years ago). The first one was a True First "Larkspur Lane" (with both the 1932 and 1933 copyright dates) with a dust jacket-----for, get this, $5.00!! I check Etsy numerous times a day, because you just never know.
The 2nd "find" I purchased was First Format "Clue In The Diary" (but without the dust jacket) for just $10. I think only now I'm recovering from my heart attack. LOL
Some sellers simply don't know the worth of the books they're selling.
And the icing on the cake is that when I received the box containing that True First "Larkspur Lane", the seller (Diane) slipped a note inside the front cover, which read, "Thank you! Thank you!"
Thank ME?

But Etsy is a good site. I don't think you'll be disappointed either by your buying or selling endeavours.
All my best.....