Takes Time, Hard Work, Willing To Learn
Getting the hang of buying and selling on the wonderful world of Etsy takes a while. There is a big learning curve, especially for sellers. It takes a lot of very hard work to build a successful shop. Of course it depends on your prior experience and your own personal definition of what a successful shop is. Then there’s the amount of time you have to put into it and your own self-motivation. But I think the biggest factor to consider when you decide to do Etsy is how much you will need to learn.
I thought (silly me) that my many, many years of retail sales, business management, time management, and creative output combined with my photography, artistic, writing, organization, and other life skills would make it easy for me. And I have been selling my vintage products, hand made jewelry, and my own art for a long, long time at other venues in stores, galleries, and on Ebay. While I’m sure that much of my personal skill set has benefited me in building my Etsy shop, I was not prepared for how I would struggle to learn the ins and outs of doing business on Etsy.
Why I Chose Etsy For My Online Shop
Since I have been selling my original art, hand made jewelry, and vintage goods in shops and shows and on Ebay for years, I have an established inventory (thank goodness!). With the downturn in the economy and an aging body, I decided that selling more of my merchandise online would be less physically demanding and give me a much broader audience of potential buyers. It didn’t take much research for me to know that Etsy was the venue for me. The fees are super low, you can accept credit cards or Paypal payments, you can sell world-wide, and you are in charge of your own shop policies. But the word is out…Etsy is a great place to be as both a buyer and a seller! And that means major competition to get your shop and its wonderful stuff found.
Policies, Payments, Photography, Personal Expectations
So after you’ve built your shop, set up your policies, written your story, photoshopped your pictures, posted your listings, guesstimated shipping charges, and made a lot of mistakes . . . the real hard work of learning truly begins. You must clearly define what a successful Etsy shop means to you and what you are willing to do to make it become a reality. This will be different for each of us depending on our own personal expectations, and how much time and effort we are willing or able to put into our Etsy shop.
While the wonderful folks at Etsy provide tons of support, we must make all the tough decisions: How should our shop look? How should it be organized? What is our brand? What policies are best? What type of payments to accept? How to get professional quality photos? Where will we ship and what are our shipping charges? How will we be different and better (or more accessible) than everyone else selling similar things? How many different ways can our shop and merchandise be found online? The list goes on and on.Tell us what you think…we’d love to hear from you.Let's Get This Show On The Road! | Tags: building, competition, Etsy, hand made jewelry, hard work, inventory, learn, learning how, original art, selling, shop, skills, successful, time, vintage | Comments (3,737)
I love vintage toys…especially vintage Fisher Price wooden pull toys. I have a huge collection in my living room and spilling over into my kitchen. Oh, so Retro! The 1955 Fisher Price Bucky Burro pull toy is one of my all-time favorites, and one you almost never see. This toy is quite rare, and the condition of this one is amazing! Yes, he’s for sale (I have another one).
Here is another rare vintage Fisher Price wooden pull toy. The plaid pants Buddy Bullfrog No. 728 pull toy was only made in 1961. Fisher Price originally made this wooden pull toy in a plain version in 1959 and 1960. In all my years of collecting pull toys, this is the only one I’ve ever seen! I’ve decided to let him hop over to a new home, and he is a major favorite on Etsy. He won’t last long.
This is a 1941 Mickey Mouse Drummer wooden pull toy No. 476 by Fisher Price that I am letting go from my pull toy stash. He goes great in a Disney or Mickey themed collection. These vintage Fisher Price wooden pull toys make great decorative accents in a child’s room or even in a kitchen. I’ve even seen them turned into lamps! Get them while you can because I don’t expect to find any more of these.Filed under Big Kid Toys | Tags: Bucky Burro, Buddy Bullfrog, collection, Drummer, Etsy, Fisher Price, Mickey Mouse, pull toys, rare, toys, vintage, wooden | Comments (4,660)
Mike and I sometimes buy miscellaneous, unsorted boxes of stuff at auctions and estate sales. We give it a quick look over and if there’s a few things in it we might use in our artwork or sell in one of our shops, we risk a few bucks to get it. Some of the things on our Looking For list are old photos, maps, military papers, birth certificates, historical records, and other paper ephemera. It is amazing how many personal life documents and photos end up for sale to the general public or headed for the dump! We see it all the time…box after box full of old letters (and bills), falling apart photo albums, junk drawer contents, dated travel brochures, loose photos, and half empty tissue boxes that someone’s kids didn’t want to deal with. Makes a good case for simplifying and organizing your life and its contents now, doesn’t it?
My favorite thing to find in these junk boxes we buy is old black and white photos. During the 1940′s and 1950′s, portable and affordable cameras became readily available. The average person could take snapshots of their lives for the first time. And what did everyone take photos of? Their babies, cars, Christmas trees, and vacations, of course! The 1950′s saw a whole lot of babies and cars being produced! Christmas and vacations were celebrated like never before! Baby Boomers ruled the world..mostly in black and white:)
Now the babies in those 1950′s black and white photos are taking snapshots of their grandkids with their cell phone and sending them out into cyberspace. And when their household is dismantled or downsized, no one knows what to do with all the old photo albums! They end up in a box of junk at an auction or estate sell, and maybe someone like me comes along and thinks There’s got to be some way to appreciate these old things again…upcycle, reuse, repurpose, recreate, or just share? Any ideas? I have a few, but would love to hear how you would put these old photos to use today! Your emails and comments will be appreciated and responded to quickly! becky<at>retrofitstyle.com
Filed under Repurpose Projects | Tags: 1950's, auction, babies, Baby Boomers, black and white, box, cameras, estate sale, junk, kids, photographs, photos, snapshots | Comments (5,831)
I painted a series of acrylic paintings on canvas several years ago I called the Bonkers Cats. Bonkers is what I call fun art, as opposed to fine art. The original paintings have been sold, but I had a few fine art giclee prints professionally made of my three favorite Bonkers paintings. I have these prints available for sale on Etsy right now. This one’s called “Hollywood”.
Now, I’ve always had a cat or two…in addition to dogs. I love my critters, but it can get costly to keep them healthy and safe. Sophie, the resident cat around here, has an evil streak in her. She is the first cat I’ve ever had that tears up my furniture and curtains. Talk about expensive to keep!
I think every cat I’ve ever had has climbed my screen door. This is “Elvis Wants In”. I have sets of note cards for sale with these images on them also. They are currently available at The Downtown Antique Mall in New Braunfels, Texas, but if anyone is interested I can list some on Etsy.
I also have a fine art (as opposed to fun art) web site if you are interested in seeing more of my recent work www.beckyroeslerart.com. I promise making the art is fun whether it’s categorized as “fine” or “fun”. The big difference is where I sell it…online, in a Gallery, or at an outdoor fair. Also, the work I display on my other website is oil or pastel paintings that have been professionally framed and displayed in an art gallery or at an art show. The items I sell at other venues are usually unframed, or prints and cards. Mike does some really great collage work that he is going to list on Etsy also. I’ll post pictures once we get them together.
Filed under Our Artwork | Tags: acrylic, art, artwork, Becky Roesler, cat, cat art, cats, display, fine art, fun art, giclee, original, original art, paintings, prints | Comments (4,733)
This amazing vintage accordion is waiting for you to give it a new home at the Downtown Antique Mall in New Braunfels, Texas. We have a huge booth there full of all kinds of interesting and unique vintage treasures. If you are anywhere nearby, you really need to check out this great store. It is a gigantic mall with about 50 dealers and is probably one of the nicest you will ever see! All of us keep our booths clean and neat, and you can’t beat the prices! We get lots of big city dealers coming down to buy from us, so you know it’s got to be a good one. Email me and I’ll meet you over there sometime!
Filed under Let's Get This Show On The Road! | Tags: accordion, Antique Mall, Beleek, Downtown, New Braunfels, store, Texas | Comments (5,671)
Just wanted to let you know that we had to re-do our blog. Yep, had to start over from scratch. We’ve got lots of great stuff to share with you and I will be reposting much of what was on the original blog. This photo is a closeup view of a huge vintage Japanese fan that I will be putting on Etsy today. I’ve been busy building our Etsy shop so go over and check it out when you get a chance. I also have been having soooooo much fun going crazy on Pinterest! You’ll have to see my masterpieces. Lots more coming this week. See you real soon.Filed under Let's Get This Show On The Road! | Comments (7,176)
You will find all kinds of goodies here at Retrofit Style. We are Mike & Becky Roesler, a couple of creative, quirky souls whose passion for the treasure hunt has just about turned us into hoarders! We are into rescuing well-loved or discarded items (good junk) and reusing, upcycling, and repurposing these things into useful, interesting and unique treasures to adorn your home and gardens.
I’ve been buying, selling, and collecting vintage items, art, antiques, and collectibles for many years. Now Mike has joined in on the fun! We welcome you to join us in our journey through this new phase of our lives together. We love to hear from you! Visit our website, like us on Facebook, check out our Etsy store, or become a linky follower.Filed under Let's Get This Show On The Road! | Comments (7,022)