Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Observations about Series Buyer Behavior

Sales and views have gone down for me on Etsy in the last couple of months, even when I mention my shop in this blog.  This may have more to do with changes that Etsy has made in how its search functions, but that's outside the topic I want to cover.

I have observed that some people who apparently follow this blog and read my posts do not check to see what I have on Etsy.  Some collectors only check eBay and will never look elsewhere for books.  I confess that I am an eBay fanatic, and I don't check Etsy very often.  However, I do run several searches on Etsy at least once or twice per month, just in case.  I purchase something on Etsy at least once every few months.  However, it's apparent that most series book collectors do not check Etsy at all ever.

I had the same experience when I sold on Bonanza.  I'd have books listed on Bonanza for months.  I would finally move them to eBay, and the books would sell immediately to collectors known to me.  They weren't checking my Bonanza listings.

My extra books have been building up for a number of months.  In part this is because I haven't felt like listing many of them.  However, I also chose to list dozens of them on Etsy at reasonable prices thinking that the books would actually sell.  Some of them should have, but collectors are not checking Etsy.

During the last week, I moved 65 books from Etsy to eBay.  I hated doing it, since I paid $0.20 for each of those Etsy listings, but I need to get some of those books out of here.

The books that were moved to eBay were priced low on Etsy, so the lack of interest had nothing to do with inflated prices.  When I moved the books to eBay, I raised the prices, mainly because of the higher fees but also because I knew that the books would be more likely to sell.  15 of the books sold immediately on eBay at the higher prices.

I have concluded that many collectors, some of whom follow this blog, simply are not interested in viewing my Etsy listings and will not look outside of eBay.  The books that I moved had been listed for at least one to five months on Etsy.  I gave the books a good chance on Etsy, but they simply will not sell when the people who want them buy only on eBay.

That's why I pay eBay's appalling fees and continue to sell there.  eBay is currently an excellent place to sell aside from the fees.  eBay has a large customer base that visits eBay solely for the purpose of making purchases.  What more could a seller want?  Most of the eBay problems that I blogged about 10 or more years ago are no longer issues.

In order to help my Etsy sales, I could advertise more in the Facebook groups that allow it.  But you know what?  I'm feeling stubborn.  I have advertised before.  I'm sorry, but that should have been sufficient.  I shouldn't have to wave flags in people's faces to try to get them to notice that books are being sold outside eBay.

For that matter, another group of collectors wishes only to purchase books in person or on Facebook directly from another collector.  Furthermore, the books have to be priced very low.  Those people are going to stay on their island and won't look at my Etsy shop or my eBay store.  Those people are the ones who continue to remark how they can't find books that are actually rather common online.  They won't take action, and we can't help them.

I am also done with mentioning that I have certain books for sale when people ask on Facebook if anyone has those books.  I have answered several queries in the past, and the person who asks never takes any action.  I assume that the reason is because they only want to buy in person or on Facebook.  Following a link to eBay or Etsy is too difficult or undesirable for some reason.  They may also just want the books to be practically free.

Very recently, someone asked about whether anyone has Spanish Trixie Belden books available.  Guess who does on eBay?  I almost answered, but then I didn't.  Why bother?  My books are probably too high, even though they are listed at a slight loss.  It's rather expensive collecting international editions, if you weren't aware.  In most cases, you have to pay a lot for the books.  That's just the way it works with international postage costs and currency conversion fees.

I received a listing promotion on eBay early in December that resulted in me having a lot of extra listings left over at the end of the month.  I listed over 100 books on eBay in the last week.  Not only did I move 65 books from Etsy, but I added several dozen new listings.

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

For Etsy, I am currently focusing on Nancy Drew books.  Nancy Drew is the most popular series and sells the easiest on Etsy.  I have sold a total of 807 books on Etsy.  494 of them were Nancy Drew books, and 114 were Dana Girls books.  Those two series account for 75% of my Etsy sales.  I find that the less popular series and the boys' series are very hard to sell on Etsy due to a lack of buyers.

Jennifer's Series Books on Etsy

I have listed a couple dozen new books on Etsy in the last week, but they do not show as new items.  I am gradually taking my deactivated Etsy listings that were moved to eBay and reactivating them as something else.  I have a small stack of Nancy Drew books ready to list, but I'm waiting to see if any of the deactivated listings sell on eBay.  If they do, then I will list a few more of the books.

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