Monday, May 8, 2017

One Year on Etsy

It has now been one year since I closed my Bonanza booth and opened my shop on Etsy.  I made that change because my Bonanza booth was no longer getting views.  I tended to have one to three pages viewed per day on Bonanza during my final months there.  The site had died.  Even when I placed links to my booth here, I would get very little response.  There was no point to continuing there, since something was wrong.  I speculated about the possible reasons in this post.

Online selling goes in an endless circle as sites try new policies and then eventually change them back to what they were years before.  I quit using eBay in early 2009 because eBay's policies were hurting my sales.  I had great success on Bonanza (originally Bonanzle) in 2009 through 2011—really smashing success.  My best month ever on Bonanza was November 2011, detailed here.  In 2012, my Bonanza sales began to decline.  I reported a slow month in November 2012, and that was the final month that I reported my Bonanza sales in this blog.  In late 2012, Bonanza pulled out of Google's product search, and soon after, Bonanza placed Amazon affiliate links through its own search results on the Bonanza site.  It's no surprise that sales declined sharply.

In this post, I listed all of my Bonanza fees by month to show the sales decline that occurred on Bonanza during the final years my booth was open.

In 2013, I began selling on eBay again, since eBay had backed out of many of the negative changes that made me leave in 2009.  Just two months ago, I wrote about my growing concerns with some of eBay's latest changes, where they seem to be going back in the wrong direction.  The endless circle continues.

With that background, the purpose of this post is to detail what success I have had on Etsy in the last year.  Etsy helpfully makes it easy for sellers to know how many of their items have sold in the previous year.  eBay hides that information, so I had to go through my feedback left for others and actually count items sold in the last year.  I then had to count the recent items for which I have not left feedback.  I am probably off by a few, since I likely miscounted, but the eBay total should be close enough for this discussion.

I have sold 603 items on eBay and 225 items on Etsy in the last year.  The number of items I had listed on the two sites is also important.  I don't have the exact data, but I can make an educated guess.  I have always had significantly more items listed on eBay.  For most of the year, I had between 250 and 325 items listed on eBay at any given time which averages to roughly 288 items.  On Etsy, my total number of items listed was between 90 and 140, which averages to 115 items.  Neither average is the actual average since I do not have the complete data, but both numbers are good enough to give me an idea of my Etsy success rate as compared to eBay.

My Etsy sales of 225 items is 37.3% of my eBay sales of 603 items.  My average number of Etsy listings of 115 items is 39.9% of my average number of eBay listings of 288 items.  Since the percents are close, I can conclude that I am doing about as well on Etsy as I am on eBay with respect to the number of items up for sale.  I am quite pleased.

I have been very careful about which books I list on Etsy, since I must pay $0.20 to list each item.  I have found that Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls, and the Three Investigators books do the best on Etsy.  I have had poor success with the Hardy Boys and with most other series.

In fact, my care with listing quality items on Etsy is the reason why my Etsy sales are about as good as my eBay sales.  While I have sold more items on eBay and have listed more items on eBay, the average quality per item has been lower.

As long as I list the books that are the most likely to sell on Etsy, I have pretty steady sales.

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