Merchant Talk: Etsy Seller Enjoys the Artistic Community of the Marketplace


“Merchant Talk” is a weekly talk with a genuine ecommerce merchant. With this setup we seen with Laurie Marshall who sells hand-sewn crafts and vintage goods on, an internet marketplace for artists and craftspeople. Marshall runs two shops on […]

“Merchant Talk” is a weekly talk with a genuine ecommerce merchant. With this setup we seen with Laurie Marshall who sells hand-sewn crafts and vintage goods on, an internet marketplace for artists and craftspeople. Marshall runs two shops on Etsy, and, and she talks about them below.

PeC: Please explain Etsy for us.

Laurie Marshall:“It is an online market intended for men and women that make their own products. There’s also a market there for classic items, which it considers to be 20 years or old. The principal focus of Etsy is for men and women that are artists, artisans, and crafters of handmade products. Crafts must be handmade by that individual who is selling.”


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PeC: Tell us about your stores on Etsy.

Marshall:“The first one is, which one is where I began. It’s all things that I created by hand, primarily sewn things. I mess up on a sewing machine and I sew a fairly decent straight line, so, anything I could make by doing this I set it up on there. I have tote bags and a few home décor items. It’s only a place for me to unleash my habit of picking up classic materials and making things together, and now I have an excuse.

“Another one is and that’s where I sell vintage items. I have some old documents and some glassware and a few classic supplies like sewing ephemera. I like to go thrifting and I really like to hang around at auctions and tag sales, and when I find something that I love at a excellent price, I put it up on Etsy and flip it around to someone else who enjoys it.”

PeC: When did you first begin selling on Etsy?

Marshall:“I began in January of 2007 after somebody that I gave a few things to at Christmas which were handmade said,’Have you ever heard of the place named Etsy?’ I had never heard of it so I started looking into it and decided I might also open up a store.”


PeC: Have you tried other marketplaces like eBay, for instance?

Marshall:“No, I have not. I had thought about eBay, but it seems harder, and Etsy was actual compact. You register for free and there were no fees. There is a $0.20 per item listing fee plus a 3 percent transaction fee, and to me, that was really straightforward.”

PeC: Is Running your 2 Etsy stores a fulltime job for you?

Marshall:“No, sadly. I have a job where I work as a fundraiser 30 hours per week, and then most of my spare time in the summer and autumn is spent on sewing [my crafts].

PeC: How many things do you sell on Etsy per month?

Marshall:“I do not do a great deal of sales on it. A good deal of people do far more than I do. I believe Girlchild would average one to two a month, and on Punkinhead I just sell one every six or eight months. I sell a good deal more at craft fairs because I think perhaps people like to manage [things ], and as soon as they see them in person and manage them a little bit, they are liking them more than simply seeing them at a picture.”

PeC: Perhaps you have contemplated launching your own website?

Marshall:“It is something which I am looking into for the long run on my spare time.”

PeC: How are payments handled in Etsy?

Marshall:“All of the individuals who purchased from me so far have paid through PayPal, and there is a fee associated with this of course, but it isn’t so much. And, I price my items so I have an adequate profit margin. You can even opt to take personal checks or money orders along with the store owner can decide that they prefer. But, I think the majority of the people which are shopping there use PayPal.” Editor’s note: Choice payment options not specified by Etsy are also provided.

PeC: How do you ship your products?

Marshall: “I use a postal service. The maximum prices I have is $40, but when I was selling a ring which was worth $275, I would likely use FedEx or somewhere where I could assure it a bit more easily and monitor it. I just have not had to mess with this up to now.”

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PeC: Would you exhibit more than 1 photograph of your product on Etsy?

Marshall:“You can put up five, and [the market ] is extremely visually focused. In case you’ve got a fantastic photograph, even if your product isn’t anything special, you can probably sell it for over somebody might get it for at a thrift shop just because it looks really great. On the forums everyone says’Get superior photos. It’s what is selling your product.’ The stores that get the most attention are those that have really nice pictures of the items.”

PeC: Inform us about the forums on Etsy.

Marshall:“They have forums for buyers and sellers, and they are pretty diverse. There are store critiques, and there are five or six different business topics where you are able to post. It is full of really great information.”

PeC: Are you aware of any merchants with brick-and-mortar shops and sites who cross-sell stock on Etsy?

Marshall:“Well, if it is something which isn’t handmade by that artist, you are not supposed to have the ability to sell that on Etsy, so there aren’t a great deal of people like this. They’ve had interviews with individuals who sell on Etsy as their fulltime organization, and so perhaps they have other marketplaces such as their own site or they might sell in a store. And, I know some artists which may have their things in different brick-and-mortar stores, but not always a store they own.”

PeC: What do you enjoy most about Etsy?

Marshall:“I believe one of my favourite things is only the neighborhood of it. There’s an understanding among people that are selling, especially the handmade folks, that we’re people who love to create things and we’re all men and women that are artistic and visual. It is always a help to a company if you’re able to hang out with people that are doing the exact thing you’re.”

PeC: Anything about Etsy that you are not happy with?

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Marshall:“One thing that disturbs me is the attention that’s paid to particular sellers and much less to other vendors. I am speaking in terms of putting people in the present guides and featuring them on the website, but when I state that I understand completely that the individuals that are featured are those which are top sellers. They’re the people who have branded themselves very clearly and they are a success story and they handle their business well, and so for them to have featured is clear. However, when it is the holiday season and I have a holiday thing that I would really like to have featured in the present guides but never gets set up, it is frustrating to find that other stores may have many things in the present guides. It just seems as if you can spread the love a little bit.”

PeC: Does an Etsy seller need to pay to maintain the present guides?

Marshall:“No, but they have attributes that you can purchase. They are like small advertisements which you can buy that go on the side. I have seen several forum threads (and my sister has bought a few ) and the consensus is they don’t really pay. So, I have not done anything like this.”

PeC: Any final thoughts for our readers?

Marshall:“Etsy is certainly something that’s growing and I think that it’s simple to use. I am looking forward to growing my business that I can begin branching out and hopefully this could be a fantastic start.”

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