Thursday, February 24, 2011
Paying The Price Part 2; Websites, Blogs, Ebay & Etsy
The second disclaimer is that I want you to understand this is just my opinion. It's your business and how you run it is up to you. What works for one person might not work for another. That being said, on with the post!
A couple weeks ago I got the new issue of Romantic Homes magazine. I was looking through it when an ad caught my attention. It was a truly beautiful Victorian sort of pic advertising some jewelry and other little items. I went to the computer and plugged in the URL which looked like a regular website URL.
What opened up was a blog page. My initial reaction was confusion. I thought I must have typed it in wrong. But no, it was in fact the right thing. The first post I was presented with was a recipe for some type of dessert. I scrolled down a little and saw three more personal posts before I found the first item for sale. The entire blog was a bit dreary in color too. The photo of the item I found for sale was not clear and it said to e-mail to order. I looked on the sidebar to see if there was a website link or and etsy link or anything at all that would take me to a place to see all the items for sale grouped together. There wasn't. I closed it, sale lost. I like to read blogs but I don't want to have search through hundreds of personal posts to figure out what you have for sale. Nor am I interested in you yet. When I have a shopping fever, I want to shop. THEN maybe I will develop an interest in you and want to read your blog. I guess my expectations are if you can take out an ad in a mainsteam publication you will of course have a website to back it up.
I have never bought anything from a blog directly. If I already know you and follow your blog I want to see what you are working on, and what you have for sale. But I also want a link that takes me to where it's for sale somewhere else. I don't know why, it's just a thing. If I buy it directly from your blog that feels like I am buying it across your kitchen table. Now I am sure I am in the minority in feeling this way/.
A while back I read an article online about a woman who made these lovely flowers that you could wear in your hair or on your lapel. They were really above and beyond and so pretty, there was a link to her website. I clicked the link and what came up was a very pretty website. I decided to read her bio before I got to the things she had for sale. Very nice page, told about how she began making the flowers and a little personal stuff about her. Then I clicked the link that said things for sale...and her Etsy shop opened up. Wait...now what? Why would you do this amazing website if you're just going to send me to Etsy? I clicked the X and sale lost. This is quite common. I don't want to chase you all over the Internet to give you my money.
Now I have this weird love/hate relationship with Etsy. If you have an Etsy link on your blog, I will go look and might buy from you. If I find you by wandering aimlessly about Etsy looking for something I will be happy to buy from you. But I don't want to go from your website to Etsy. To me that's a step backwards.
I can get caught up looking at Etsy, there is everything in the world on that site. I can do a search for ANYTHING and usually find it. The thing I hate about Etsy is that it's run by very young people who really don't have a clue what they are doing when it comes to programming and making things easy for sellers. For such a large site, they should have better programming. I had an issue with them a while back where I cancelled a sale because my buyer didn't pay. But it takes 24-48 hours for it to actually leave the system. After I cancelled it, she paid. I contacted them about it and they wanted me to do the listing again and have her re-buy it. I told them that I had a hard enough time getting her to pay in the first place, I somehow didn't see that happening again. Through a series of e-mails back and forth I realized they couldn't just go in and adjust it. The kicker was at the end of it, in the last mail the admin from Etsy told me at least I learned a lesson! Um...what lesson did I learn now? The only lesson that I learned is that their programming can't support something simple that probably happens a lot, and that e-mailing them is like talking to a wall.
The last thing I want to cover is ebay. Ebay has made stars out of a some of artists. They consistently sell things at really high prices, and that's great for you if you are one of those people. I will not begrudge someone the money they earn. However, I will not, under any circumstances buy anything from you on ebay either. For starters auctions stress me out. In the past when I did try to buy things on ebay, I would bid on something...wait the long 3-5 days with my money tied up, feeling hopeful and excited and get sniped in the last few seconds every single time. Also I abhore Ebay's business practices. So if you are one of those people who is making ebay work for you, that's great. But remember there are other potential customers out there who would like to buy from you but won't do it on ebay. Maybe be offer a piece just once in a while for sale another way. You will definitely pick up a few new customers.
The bottom line is we all work very hard for our money, most of us don't have a huge amount of disposable income. It's an honor not an inconvenience if we choose to give to you. So please make it easy for us to give you our money. I am never going to work that hard to give it to you, I already worked hard to earn it.