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My question is there another platform other then Etsy to sell your leather good. Since Etsy went public and there new CEO from eBay sale are down 95% + more or less wasting my time and money with all their additional fees. I do have a website but I don't get many sales. The problem is all mass-produced items resellers and drop shipping that they allow on there platform. The really sold out  the little guy and artisans it is a real shame. 

Thanks

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I didn't realize they'd changed leadership. That does explain the sudden tanking of the platform. I have repeatedly looked at Etsy and thought "How on earth would I compete with all the stores selling "hand made" products that are actually coming out of Malaysian sweat shops?".

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Esty stock was $11 in May of 2017, now $66 and change.  Their gross merchandise sales were up over 20% yoy at nearly $4B.  Silverman has been at the helm for a while now (May of 2017).

While I do disagree with their policy of allowing factory made items to be classified as handmade, and I don't sell there, I think it may be misleading to characterize Etsy sales as dropping 95%, and their platform as tanking, unless I am missing something from your statement or there is information I am unaware of.

YinTx

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With your own site, you (nearly) set your own rules.  If cutesy isn't your thing... why not?  If it's fees and rules, you'll have that with any site of that nature, and the only place i know you'll significantly reduce that is your own site.   If you "don't get many sales" on your own site, and your site doesn't have all that cheap crap, then cutesy's cheap crap may not be the issue.

Cutesy got big because it's EASY TO USE.  But SO MANY (most) people want to set something up, then have that work forever.  It usually doesn't' go that way -- you have to adapt a bit now n then.  The "down side" of cutesy (in addition to the sea of junk) is that IF you make some sales, you're still giving away your name in a way.  Many people will buy something FROM YOU, then when asked where they got it they say "FROM ETSY".  You are paying them to advertise for them :crazy:

BUT - they do keep the site updates current (this has to happen, since the rest of the 'net' changes, they have to change to still "work" with the 'net').  And they set up a structure so all you have to do is 'plug in' your picture and price.  They calculate and collect tax.  They purchase google ads that sellers benefit from.  I only mention these because if you use your own site these are things you will need to do yourself (or pay someone to do).

cutesy wants to increase their 'sales', just like you want to increase yours.  so they do what increases the revenue.  Makes sense.   I call 'em cutesy because they have ALWAYS been ACRES of cheap crap. They are RELYING on the fact that people DON'T THINK. Most aren't stupid, they're just way too used to getting their information from television and apps, or from others who got their information from tv and apps.  Whole planet of the blind leading the blind. 

I still have a few things over there, simply because the times I appear in Google Ads I DIDN'T PAY FOR is more than the fee I pay.  When they pay at cutesy, they get a quality JLS thingie... and a card that has my own site.

7 hours ago, YinTx said:

I do disagree with their policy of allowing factory made items to be classified as handmade

I don't have an issue with this.  VERY few items available anywhere can claim to be original.  There is sometimes not a hard clear line between "manufactured" and "hand made".  Two guys on this site buy a piece of leather,

  • one clicks out a front and back for a holster with a press and a die, sews it with a machine, calls it all 'hand made".
  • other cuts around a pattern with a knife, sews with a needle and awl, calls it "hand made".

When I go to buy something, I want something QUALITY.  "hand made" is a GRIFT, a SCAM, a HUSTLE.  MANY use that phrase to try to persuade you that their goods are "better", despite some being clearly NOT better. 

When I shop, I want WELL made.  I have good boots.  I have never asked how they assembled them, and I do not care. 

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This is maybe going to make you (or other angry)

First just to clarify I don't sell leather goods myself. 

Do you use Instagram? Do you sell anything through Instagram?

If not, you have to ask yourself a couple of questions.

1. Why should anyone buy your products? Do you have a unique design? if not a unique design, is your finish better than other sellers?

2. Are your prices too high? or too low? (Yes too low prices can be bad)

3. Decent photos of your products?

Because why should someone buy your product if there are hundreds of other sellers with the "exact same" product?

 

And yes, of course, if more people see your products, more people buy them. But if you have Instagram and no/few sells, then something is wrong.

 

Edit: After I wrote this I looked through your posts, and came to the conclusion that your products are very well done. (Some people don't sell because their products are substandard (They need more practice) You are certainly not one of them.

You have to reach your customers (People with bikes) Become a member on mc-forums, take good photos and share on Instagram and tag and follow "mc-people" Visit motorcycle fairs to show your products? Targeted Facebook ads to reach people with certain bikes (If possible and not crazy expensive?)

Edited by Danne

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I think JLSLeather said it pretty well.  Not going to quote-too long, why clutter up the space?

I've been selling on Etsy a couple years now.  I still like it.  I've looked at other hand made sales sites and so far I haven't found anything even close to them.  There are a couple with good ideas but they don't have the presence that Etsy has. I'll admit it's been a while since I last checked but I don't think anything has changed.  If I'm going to sell on an obscure site it might as well be my own.

Yes, there's junk on Etsy but don't compete at that level.  You can't unless you live somewhere where a dollar a day is a living wage.

I get around the  "I bought it on Etsy" thing by putting a big label with my shop's name on the boxes I send out.  That way my shop's name is the first thing the customer sees when they get their package.  I don't know if it helps but it doesn't hurt.

The alternatives are basically your own site or Facebook and Instagram.

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I have had very good years on esty 2017 when sales dropped off. I am on Instagram & Facebook I get a few sales there. This is just a hobby, I just like to make items out of leather and canvas keeps be out of trouble and the bar. 

Thanks for the info..

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20 hours ago, YinTx said:

Esty stock was $11 in May of 2017, now $66 and change.  Their gross merchandise sales were up over 20% yoy at nearly $4B.  Silverman has been at the helm for a while now (May of 2017).

While I do disagree with their policy of allowing factory made items to be classified as handmade, and I don't sell there, I think it may be misleading to characterize Etsy sales as dropping 95%, and their platform as tanking, unless I am missing something from your statement or there is information I am unaware of.

YinTx

This is true. I'm on my 2nd year on Etsy as I never thought it would be a good platform for my products (motorcycle related). I sell on Amazon, ebay and my own Website also. Amazon leads the pack, Feebay is in 2nd and my website in 3rd. That being said, My Etsy sales year to date are double what I made all year on Etsy. It's a pleasant surprise so far.  Are sure the problem is the venue? Trends come and go and very few products sell good forever.

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Etsy and EBay are often perceived as low cost sites or over priced sellers whilst Amazon is seen as a fair middle of the road seller

You seldon see top end products for sell in volume selling web sites but rather in specialised selected market area's

It's for the same reason you never see adverts for Rolls Royce, Ferrari, Hermes and other top end goods, they market to there higher spending customers

Facebook and Instergram type sites are not very good at selling a item, as people are not looking specifically to buy, but does bring the brand, to there notice and may in the long term bring in a few customers

I imagine your potential market is rather small, priced above the avergare worker and below the people who buy on the known brands

The internet whilst good for sales, there are other marketing ways to get to the right customers, for example In the UK we tend to have county magazines where they seem to concentrate on the more expensive markets and take in well written stories about trads people producing quality items that stand out as something different, maybe you have something simular, the better you write the story for them the more chance you have of them publishing it, just make sure you include, Who, What, Where, etc in the story with some great photo's, link to example

https://www.suffolknorfolklifemagazine.com/

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Email today stating that by middle of May, payments will no longer be run through PayPal on cutesy.  All cutesy sales will be run through cutesy payment system.  SOME sellers whinin' in the forums say 'last straw" and "they can't do that" and "I'm quitting cutesy".  In teh end, most of them will NOT leave, thus having to promote their own work.

I don't think I"ll QUIT them, but Im already in the process of NOT having any finished, ready to ship out goods. That alone will reduce sales volume ... many people these days "want it now".  Just refunded a guy.. asked if that item is ready to go, or if I 'really' meant it would be 3-4 weeks.  I didn't respond.  So he ordered it and payed ANYWAY, leaving a note "can I get it sooner".  But I don't care to work with them folk.. so I just send his money back and cancel.   Here's the thing... cutesy, my own site, some new place dont exist yet... whatever... MY stuff is MY way ;)

 

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7 minutes ago, JLSleather said:

Email today stating that by middle of May, payments will no longer be run through PayPal on cutesy.  All cutesy sales will be run through cutesy payment system.  SOME sellers whinin' in the forums say 'last straw" and "they can't do that" and "I'm quitting cutesy".  In teh end, most of them will NOT leave, thus having to promote their own work.

I don't think I"ll QUIT them, but Im already in the process of NOT having any finished, ready to ship out goods. That alone will reduce sales volume ... many people these days "want it now".  Just refunded a guy.. asked if that item is ready to go, or if I 'really' meant it would be 3-4 weeks.  I didn't respond.  So he ordered it and payed ANYWAY, leaving a note "can I get it sooner".  But I don't care to work with them folk.. so I just send his money back and cancel.   Here's the thing... cutesy, my own site, some new place dont exist yet... whatever... MY stuff is MY way ;)

 

"Of course it's ready to send, I deliver it in person in a couple of hours. I just wrote 3-4 weeks to boost sales" :D

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Everything I sell is made to order 1 to 3 weeks. I am not going to put many items on etsy anymore just a couple of my canvas bags.  I have pretty good luck selling gun belts at the gun shows in IL when I have time to get a table. The problem is we live in a Amazon & Kmart world. No one appreciates quality handmade goods.  

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Quote "No one appreciates quality handmade goods."

Bespoke items that are handmade mean a lot to people and being handmade for them adds that special selling point, Unfortunatly just stating handmade does nothing apart from indicating it will be a higher price than a production run item that looks the same, the fact it took you 2 days to make does not matter

Handmade does not mean quality, quality is a judgement of the product not how it was made

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4 hours ago, chrisash said:

Quote "No one appreciates quality handmade goods."

Bespoke items that are handmade mean a lot to people and being handmade for them adds that special selling point, Unfortunatly just stating handmade does nothing apart from indicating it will be a higher price than a production run item that looks the same, the fact it took you 2 days to make does not matter

Handmade does not mean quality, quality is a judgement of the product not how it was made

I take pride in my work. I use high quality materials that are made in America. All my leather and canvas work is custom made with the highest quality materials I can find. If people want to buy mass produced garbage from China and Amazon that is fine. 

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I wouldn't say NOBODY "appreciates quality handmade goods".  I certainly do appreciate them.  Just to be clear, I appreciate QUALITY.

The method almost doesn't matter.  Like:

If someone spent 20 hours doing what could have been done just as well (or better) in 4 hours, then the other 16 hours was of no value to me.  If it's not somehow BETTER, then it wasn't worth the added time.  Now, that time COULD still be of value to the MAKER, if they just did it for the enjoyment.

That time WOULD matter to me if I'm getting some OTHER benefit from it.  Like, the product is virtually the same quality as the NOT hand made item, but it was made entirely without burning any fossil fuels.  That would be of interest to me.  But that would be tough to do.  Even the leather itself comes with hours of chemicals and electricity already involved ... skinning the hide, curing, transporting, tanning, transporting, storing, ordering, then transporting... and that's all before it got to us!

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I cannot ever remember getting garbage from the Far East, I have seen well made items produced at low cost due to large production runs and low cost labour and fit for the purpose for the low income people there intended for or short term use

I buy from around the world though live in the UK and find quality items can be made all over and seldon does one country provide all my needs as we are after all a trading nation

 

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iphones , and virtually all cellphones in fact, and almost all computers are made in the far east, as are all their parts, hard drives, RAM , mother boards etc, likewise TV's, Monitors, Game consoles..probably the computer and screen that we are each reading this thread, or using to post too the site, are made in the Far East..usually China..

It is a long way from being garbage..unlike a lot of software , which is mainly made in the west, with some subcontracted out to India..

Lot of very high grade leatherwork and especially leather apparel is made in the far east, China, Pakistan or India..But the importers to the west ( the western companies with their brand names ) want it marked made in the USA, or Made in the UK, or Made in France etc, before it even leaves the eastern factories..Other western companies sew the "Made in" labels in when the shipments arrive in the west..I've said it here before..most of the leather apparel that you buy..In the USA or Europe, the "bikerwear" vest, jackets, boots , pants. skirts, tops, luggage , saddlebags, tool rolls, etc etc..including the biggest, oldest ( and in some cases the most expensive ) brands, are made for "the brands" for less than 10 % of what you pay for them in the west..

Then there is the fashion leather apparel..even the "designer" labels..made in the East and the Far East too..

Oh ..and Nike and all the other sportswear brands..and the footballs, basketballs, softballs, baseball etc ..made in Pakistan, or India, or China, or another far eastern country, for way less than you pay..the "brand" doesn't even pay 10% of what you pay for "the brand"..

Edited by mikesc

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@mikesc You nailed it on this one and the reason that we are all purchasing this stuff that has been made abroad is because all of our Countries have sold out to the lower wage nations which has killed the true artisan and our trades.  I have seen some good quality products come out of the East and I have seen some serious garbage come out of there as well and it is safe to say that it is about a 50/50 mix in all honesty.  Quality and consistency is what separates a great brand and product from a not so great brand and product and even the big names have trouble keeping these two point in line because they don't control what comes off the line in those low wage piece work factories; they get what is in the container when it hits your ports and that is what makes it to the shelf of your local foreign nation support store.

I am also one who wants quality over anything else and when it comes to leather items I have a very high standard and know what to look out for.  In fact, one of my biggest and most consistent requests is from all of those women who have spent thousands of dollars on a Louis Vuitton handbag that has garbage straps/handles that fall apart after a few months.  I actually replace these on such a consistent basis that it has caused me to purchase extra lightweight sides and to stock them just so I can have enough leather on hand for that line of work alone.  I even get phone calls from people who received my name from a friend who had their purse repaired by me.  I don't even advertise that I do this type of work yet it alone keeps the lights on.  Just because it has a big name doesn't mean that it is quality and we all know that the LV line is just as mass produced as anything on the bargain market shelf.  Hell, they even sell of their branded (logoed) leather now to anyone who wants to buy it and there are a couple of sellers on Etsy who are selling LV handbags even though it is in clear violation of the Etsy policies and Etsy won't do a damn thing about it because they don't care as long as they are getting their cut of each sale.

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I spent YEARS trying to find others willing to adhere to a strict standard of quality.  I didn't find them.  And I was looking IN THE US.

But that's another topic, nothing to do with Cutesy.

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Richard..I couldn't agree more with you about LV :)..My wife has some of the LV bags ( and some Hérmes ) she bought when we lived in Cannes back in the 90s, and from ( before we met ) when she was there in the late 80s.that was from before they"sold out"..new ones from LV are nowhere near as good..and the price of the Hérmes ones , you could buy a house ( or even a small château* ) with what they want..

I don't think it is so much that it is "because all of our Countries have sold out to the lower wage nations", so much as ..
The people at the top of the retail "food chains" and the "brands" got really greedy, they don't care how poor most people have become relative to them, or how many small businesses they crowd out , or how many people they exploit in any country, just as long as they keep getting richer..it isn't like they are working to get rich, they are just getting their friends to create "legal loopholes" for them, and then exploiting both the producers of the goods and the end buyers of the goods..and frequently lying , or being vague about the origins of the goods..

Case in point..Last week I received a "trade catalogue" from a German company..They call themselves a "German Toy Manufacturer" , right there on the cover..100 plus page catalogue of children's toys all made in wood, all eco friendly no toxic paints etc etc etc ..So..I phone them , and I say "Your toys are very interestingly priced, where in Germany are they made ? ..The sales rep ( for France ) tells me.."Oh..We don't make them in Germany, that would be too expensive, they are made for us in China"..

Someone must have changed the meaning and definition of the word "manufacturer"..

*Some parts of France you can still get a small château ( needs some work, but liveable ) for less than the price of a Hérmes bag..

btw..to keep on topic :)..the German company I mentioned above, has some people selling their "Handmade" wooden toys on Etsy..I know a French guy who makes wooden children's toys, he can't compete with their prices, he makes them in his workshop in a little town about 25kms from me..His are beautiful work , excellent, superb quality..

Edited by mikesc

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Mind you we used to years ago buy Dickies overalls made i think in Texas or thereabouts, maybe 20 years they were the world leaders and great quality,  they changed manufacture to Indonesia and the quality was crap, in the end the UK overalls were better and cheaper still made outside UK bet with better QC inspections at the manufacturers

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I'm old enough to remember when "Made in Japan" was a derisive phrase that implied cheap crap.  Today, what comes to mind when you see "Made in Japan"?  High quality, right? “Made in China” no longer necessarily means cheap or knock-off, though that still exists. China has the expertise, the engineers, and the infrastructure to make quality products, and is doing so. It also has the necessary drivers: a growing middle class with buying power, and the desire to improve the “made in China” brand and compete head-to-head in the global market. Another two decades?  Globalization fellas, get used to it.  Money doesn't care what country it originates from. 

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The far east is capable of producing quality products.  The problem is the people who import those products don't ask "How well can you make this?"  They ask "How cheap can you make this?" instead.  Quality costs more no matter where it's from.

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