- is it all it's cracked up to be for selling craft work?

I have been trying to sell some art and my craft work on Etsy for a few weeks and am interested in hearing form anyone else who has opinions on this site. Do you sell stuff with them or have you ever bought items from Etsy? There are thousands of sellers, and the US market is vast. However from reading the internet on how to increase sales it seems one needs to Twitter, Blog and use Facebook to increase traffic to ones "shop". All very time consuming and maybe I'm better off working on my art than working on the computer. What do you think?

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Hi Khadine

I agree, definitely time consuming to keep your shop up and running with new stock all the time. Yes I have now and then left some photos on if it is for an article I can easily remake. Otherwise it's just not practical to keep retaking photos all the time.

For banners, avatars etc., ALM used to provide some for you - all you needed to do was select one - but they don't seem to be there anymore, so perhaps the system has changed? I have found Etsy a fantastic place to buy banners. Just search for "Etsy shop banner". There are thousands of them and you can filter by price - many only cost about 2€. The creator will then add your chosen text and e-mail it.

Good luck with the markets Khadine!

Hi Jillian and Claire,

Nice to not feel alone in all this. I ended up not doing any markets unfortunately. Sometimes think I am trying to juggle too much and at that time, the craft side had to give. I have 4 children aged 3-8 who use up a lot of my time and energy!!

I am planning on taking part in markets this year though. There is a local one monthly which I will try out in April (when it is a bit fairer out there!! and I have enough stock made up for it) and a popular one at xmas closeby too.

Claire, I have sold stuff outside of ALM or Dawanda but left the item on (as I could easily remake it) so the stock of photos stays on there. Not sure if that is what others do?? I didn't want to see me shop diminish either!

In general I am happy with my photos, though I have relied on natural light and at this time of year in Brittany, we are not so blessed! I have noticed a difference in them so I must get 2 good lamps and some backing to take them so they are reliably uniform.

Banner/logo tips: I tried to put one on ALM but could only acces my own photos, yet on the advice pages they state you can use theirs....can you point me in the right direction? Are they any good even?! Do you have any links to sites for logos? Have exhausted the free ones and cheaper ones. I am finding it difficult to find one that I like that represents what I do, feel I want an object but not too childish....any pointers will be much appreciated.

I have been playing the ALM game too Jillian! and yes, I can see that visits increase if I 'do as they say' time consuming though. Trying to work out if it will be worth it or whether to concentrate on sales in the 'real world'... Time will tell I suppose.

I have added you to my faves Jillian, will go and check out your boutique now Claire and do the same.

Happy Sunday!

Ok, I just visited your shop Claire, some lovely items. I too love the pyjamas though I must say my first thought was 'has that been taken on a bed?' Maybe try taking your photos with a plain background, either neutral or dark I think works well depending on the colour of your item and they will instantly look more professional and in turn make the item look more appealing. As you can see by my photos I am far from an expert in this field (!!) but hope this helps you a little.

Thanks Claire for adding me to your favourites. I will also have a look to see what courses are available from my Chambre de Metiers.

As for photos, I would love to learn how to take better photos, rather than my hit and miss technique at the moment! At present, that seems to take me longer than making the actual jewellery...

I've added you to my favourites and will keep sending you a few votes! The childrens' pyjamas are adorable :-)

Nice Work both of you. I have also been doing my best to make time to pay more attention to my ALM boutique

I will like your boutiques if you would have the kindness to like mine in return.

I have made some sales but I find my worst problem is that I put items up for sale and then sell them myself and I have to suspend or delete the items. So I do get discouraged about spending time pouting things on-line.

I have asked to participate in a stage with the chambre des metiers which is amelior votre e boutique, to see if that will give me the push I need. I have begun one also for the work I do with my husband but just can't get going on that one just one item up for sale

I think I also need a course in how to take a good photo .

Hi Khadine, lovely to catch up with you again. Had a look at your ALM boutique, which is gorgeous! :-) Have added you to my favourites. I'm "Perles de la Madeleine".

Did you take part in any of the markets? If so, how did it go?

Can't believe it's nearly a year since we last discussed this! Well, around September last year, I reworked a lot of photos, added a new banner and then started making and adding one item to my shop nearly every day (a lot of late nights:-) ). The good news is it worked and I made a lot more sales! So it can be done :-)

Since Christmas though, I haven't had the time to make new items and my sales have dropped accordingly.

I've been reading the ALM forum too and agree, there's a lot of solidarity between fellow creators! I did read on one of the threads though that to gain visibility for your shop and make sales, you should be adding around one item a day! And also that the more items you have, with various 'tags', the more 'hits' you will get for your shop, so makes sense.

On that note, I had better get cracking with some more items :-) Best of luck and keep us posted!

It has been a while since I have been back on and am hoping you are all doing well with your etsy/dawanda/ALM shops????

I have now opened up a boutique on ALM and finding it to have a very friendly group of members who are active in the forum. Here is a link to my shop

It is a time consuming experience but hopefully all the hard work will pay off....please tell me it will!!

I would be happy to add any of you to my 'favourites' on ALM or DaWanda and also to share our FB pages. We all need a little bit of help after all. Hope there is a sense of solidarity between us fellow crafters to give us all the boost we need to keep going!

Please share some stories of fab sales and encouragement!!

Thanks for the sound advice Jillian...of course there had to be a need for more paperwork, didn't there?! I better get a wriggle on then to get that started as am sure like everything else it may take a while and I want to be ready for when they start...

Thanks for the heads up.

Hi Khadine, I participated in various summer "nocturne" markets last year. The cost varies massively - from 2€ per metre table up to 35€....the more expensive markets do not necessarily mean more sales though.

These are usually, although not always, organised by the local Mairies (and these tend to be cheaper than those organised by private organisations). For the Mairie run markets, you need to be registered with the Chambre de Metiers as an AE "non sedentaire/ ambulante" you are not selling from one single fixed location. Once you are registered as such, the Chambre de Metiers will send you a "carte ambulante". A copy of this, plus an attestation of Assurance Responsibilte Civile Professionelle, are required by the Mairies when you first apply to participate in the markets.

Hope this helps!!

Good points about the summer art/craft markets. You have reminded me about them as I love them myself...the ones in the evenings?? I will need to investigate how much a stall would be...out of interest how much have you paid for these in your region? Differs from commune to commune I expect but just as a rough guide, it would help me to work out my costings.

Do you need to have a licence to do these or is just being registered as AE enough?

Another route I am taking is to get my items into shops.....I know there is a % to pay to the owner BUT it is advertising my business and getting my name about. I now have the cards in 2 shops and boards and cards to be in two other shops soon, all of course with business cards/adverts on the stands etc. I also got one of those photobooks made up, look very professional and not expensive....have put one of these in a hairdressers with business cards alongside, customers can flick through the photos to see my style while they wait for their hair to be done, brilliant! Trying not to miss any opportunity!

...and of cards everywhere, library, bakery, hairdressers....

Interesting point about pricing Susan...I have found too that people are willing to pay more for items at summer markets, where they can see items at first hand - on the internet, I need to price items much lower in order to sell them.

I keep getting e-mails from Etsy about how to calculate your prices i.e. materials + overheads + labour x 2 reality, I've found the only pricing system that works for me is finding out how low you need to price an item in order to sell it! This usually just about covers my costs but certainly nothing more....I'm not in a position where I could make a living from what I sell.

Good luck with the website - will check it out when you're up and running!

Yes Etsy was an exciting hope that took me ages to set up...being over 60 and preferring a 4B pencil to a keyboard... but I quickly realised that I was unlikely to sell my work - water colours and ceramics at anywhere near the prices I had been getting in the UK before I moved to France and particularly with the added shipping costs. So I closed it all down after 2 months and am enjoying the extra time.

I have done a few summer town art markets and made a reasonable amount of money and sitting in a square with other artists has been fun and informative. I must say I think selling art here is much harder than in UK and it seems to be tourists and ex-pats who do the buying. Where I live there is no art in french people's homes, no sculpture or even pictures. In the few galleries I have found there seems to be an interest in only one style of energetic, brightly coloured 'modern' painting, so little hope for me!

I am very lucky, being retired with a reasonable pension, so I just carry on working and hoping sales will at least pay for my materials. I cannot imagine anyone can earn a living with their art work. I am now sorting out a website so that I can visit galleries without carting my work around in boxes. With the endless powercuts and loss of telephone and internet connection it is taking a long time. It will be reached on in the next few days but at the moment is found If you think of setting up your own website I can recommend wix as I found it really easy to use.

good luck.

Hello to all!

I have just joined up and am very interested in this topic as I have just opened up a boutique on DaWanda selling my handmade memo boards/greeting cards/dummy clips etc...I looked at all the others and well, chose this one. Can be completely in both languages and hopefully then access more customers. I think if I do another, I will go for Alittlemarket as I see, have other DaWanda members. I just started last week so early days, have had views on items but no sales yet, impatient, I know!

From what I have read in this thread, I shouldn't expect many sales very soon! I am finding that word of mouth is the best way and so maybe think that this is the way to go...get the word out, advertise everywhere, talk, talk and talk some more to anyone who will listen, and then use the website purely as a window for those to see my creations. Is this how some of you operate or is it purely through the 'virtual shops'?

I have no idea what will work yet, just love what I do and hope for it to be a small additional income for us. I am interested to hear from anyone with tips on how to advertise and love the idea of us all scratching each others backs and spreading the word for our shops. It is hard work, hey?!

I am registered as AE too...only way to do it, no?

Hi, not lurking!!! lol

Andrew Hearne did start a thread on AEs some time back...can't search now, sorry, have to rush out

Thank you Jillian !!

I haven't had an appointment with the Auto entrepreneur lot yet (I believe they meet you to discuss your project in Albi... if you have questions)

I presume that doesn't apply for markets and vide greniers...

ps... sorry Helen, I'm slipping off your original subject :-( I should maybe take a look at the other groups too)
In any case... Etsy or foreign shipping is a no no for me... my gargoyle friends are too heavy to post.. and delicate. I think I will have to stick local.

While no expert, my understanding is that as an Auto entrepreneur, I currently pay tax (social contribution charges) and for the first 2 years or so of business I am exonerated from further charges. After this, I believe I will have to pay contributions towards maternity benefits, apprenticeships etc…so not sure whether registering as an Auto entrepreneur is the best option for what is an extended hobby.

If you post the same comment in the Auto entrepreneurs group, I think there are some experts there who probably know a lot more than me :slight_smile:

Thanks Ron...

Sorry if I have missed the correct procedure somewhere... I am new to this and am just finding my way.

As for 'registration'... I don't know. I just make gargoyles and have decided I could possibly sell them (now that I have a few !)... If anyone has more info on selling pastime crafts in France.... with the minimum of paperwork... I would love to know !

I was thinking the same question about how one can sell without registration or simply not?

I'm curious as to how you can create and sell if you aren't an auto entrepeneur? Are you with maison des artistes ? I ask as my mother is looking into the best way to be proper for her handmade cards which are realy an extended hobby but she doesn't want to sell without registration. Obviously full artisan regisration will be too much for her. We had ben thinking that auto entrepeneur would be the way to go for her as she is already retired and doesn't need to worry about making over large contributions towards her pension now. I know that some autoentrpereurs are going to be short of making the amount of contributions needed to have a full pension.

Sorry if this is wandering awxay from the main topic