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Very slow in sales
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PrettyPelican



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 6:26 pm    Post subject: Very slow in sales Reply with quote

I very seldom get a sale here, but trying to add some new listings to try to get things going.
I can't help feeling I might not be set up just right, but I've had 196 sales, so maybe it's just slow?
Has it been slow for everyone? or is it just me?
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13719

PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2017 8:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Currently things for me are slow. usually January through April are my busiest months. Not so this year. I looked at a few of your listings and would recommend a few things. On your patterns you don't mention the brand name in full, nor do you even say that it is a sewing pattern which means that it will be harder for someone to find when doing an internet search if they search by the brand name. You are allowed 100 characters in your titles and on one I counted barely 40 used so you are leaving valuable 'real estate' going free. On eCRATER in the main Marketplace, searches are only done of the titles not any of the descriptions so you need to put a lot of appropriate keywords in your titles. You need to make sure that your descriptions tell fully what you are selling with as much info as possible. You are allowed 10 photos so if possible, if your pattern ahs info on the back, make a scan of that.

I see that you have a blog. Do you also use Pinterest, and Facebook to promote your products? Are you using G+ to promote your goods as well? Using G+ helps get your listings onto google organic.

I think one of the problems these days with on-line sales is that the market is saturated with sellers. When I first started selling sewing patterns, I was one of the first sellers on ebay. Within a few years I was one of the biggest sellers on ebay. Then people that knew absolutely NOTHING about sewing or sewing patterns, started picking them up cheap at yards sales and started selling them for bottom of the barrel prices. I saw someone once selling a current MSRP $32 Vogue pattern for something like $4 and then I saw them selling a New Look pattern for $15! Obviously the seller knew nothing about the value of these patterns. They would even state on their listings that they knew nothing about them and they couldn't tell if they were all there, cut or not. I saw one seller last year (regularly a book seller) describe in detail the pattern envelope as if it were a dust jacket and yet never bothered to state what size it was or if cut or not!

So anyhow, pattern sellers are competing with idiots and lots of them now. Where at times I might have had the only listing for something, now many of my patterns have 10-20 competitors. Not saying this to be discouraging, but to lay out the truth of the matter. It didn't help that google went from being out friend to being our enemy it seemed. They changed so many rules and now we have to deal with attributes as well as everything else.

I'm working on slowly turning my business into a bit different one, but with one my size it is like steering a big boat, it takes a long time to get it going in the right direction. In the meantime, I am listing, tweaking, fixing attributes and promoting and as I have time working on my second business to make it easier to handle as I get older.
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lastade-designs



Posts: 1915

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was listing some patterns yesterday and some clueless sellers had them listed at a penny! It is becoming a crowded niche. One good thing about Pinterest and Google + promoting is that I have been selling more on Ecrater.

Pretty Pelican,
Your handmade items are beautiful. Do you do well with them? When I retire I plan on making more items to sell. I know it is a lot of work but I enjoy knitting and crocheting.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13719

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Lastade - Apparently those jokers figure that they will make up enough on excess S&H to make some 'profit'. But as I have mentioned before, unless I make enough to buy a candy bar it isn't worth my time! Even one candy bar isn't worth my time. It is all well and good to say they are just doing it for a hobby, but they are making things BAD for sellers that do it as professional sellers that are doing it to keep a roof over their heads, food on the table, medication as needed and the occassional candy bar for a treat!

It doesn't seem to matter what people sell, you are hearing reports of slow sales all over. Some blame tax day and others have their own conspiracy theories, but it just seems to be a very overcrowded in all niches so it is hard for any small seller to stand out from the crowd. That is why we need to be the best we can be in all areas of listing. That gets hard at times since it means for us smaller sellers that we wear a lot of hats in our business -- CEO, CFO, Accountant, Sales manager, Shipping clerk, Clerk/typist to list items, Whatever they call the person that sources inventory, PR manager, right down to janitor. The list is really longer but in all that we do for our business we have to also have a LIFE and deal with family, etc. There is never time to do everything! I'm glad this 'job' found me and I'm glad I choose to sell in a niche as I think that has really helped bump up sales more than those that sell an eclectic assortment of goods. I can't fathom trying to market items in 20 different categories that are all radically different.
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PrettyPelican



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thank you so much to you both; this has been a huge help. I've been concentrating on ebay and etsy for yrs. and have neglected this site miserably so that definitely has to change. I am leaving etsy so will have more time to work at my selling here and I see that I have lots of work ahead of me. But now, with your help, I at least have an inkling of what to do.
As for the handmades, they haven't been selling on ebay very well, but did better on etsy. However, etsy has changed so much in the last few yrs., I find it impossible to stay there. They are quite a 'glitchy' site with constantly making changes that I just don't want to keep up with. They are now forcing everyone to use their payment method with no support access at all.
Part of my pricing problem is trying to downsize my overfull house; breaks my heart to put low prices but, short of sending everything to a charity through Value Village, this is my attempt to get some order and my space back. (Too many crafts for too many yrs.).
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13719

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

While some complain that ecrater is 'old fashion' and not up to date, etc. I prefer it here as a seller and as a customer. I hate going to a site where everything is constantly changing just like at the grocery store. Just when you have figured out where something is, they move it again. I hate trying to figure out an ebay listing especially. Here it is all cut and dried and if the seller does what they are supposed to, very easy for the buyer to know what they are buying. I love it here, just wish google would stop making detrimental changes that effect all on line selling venues. I would love to get back to my 2011 selling numbers.

You should see my sewing room! Stopped at the thrift store yesterday and found three baggies of pieces of Christmas fabric. All from the same quilter. Wish I knew what she had been planning on making, but a bunch of the Christmas fabric and pieces were new to me and that is why I buy things like that. NOt because I need more fabric, that is for sure! I love having options. My packet of pieces last week was all batiks, which in this area is not that easy to find and too expensive for my budget! But for a quarter I got some nice pieces that will go nicely with other batiks that I have found along the way. I just love my thrift store here in town. Good thing it is only open three days a week otherwise I would be itching to go everyday. The goodwill and SA are too far away for me to drive.
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thelivesandlovesofmaggiethecat



Posts: 9612

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pretty Pelican, love your bearded hats. So great for children who always lose them.

I have a question about your shipping. I live in Canada and try to ship small items as light packet air to keep shipping as low as possible. If you put your hats and booties in padded envelopes they should qualify and the weight goes up to 200 grams. I list shipping in US dollars and $6 US will cover the currency conversion and allow enough to cover the cost of the envelope. Light packet also tends to travel faster.
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PrettyPelican



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, my, you're a lady after my own heart. I have now got to stay away from yard, garage sales and thrift stores. They only make more trouble for me.
And yes, this is one reason I am leaving Etsy, constant changes for no reason. I get along quite well with Ebay and find it quite easy and convenient and I've been on there for a lot of years. I mostly like it for the built-in traffic, so I just use the 50 free listings per month.
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PrettyPelican



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2017 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, I've used Lt pkt, air but most of my things can't go through the
"slot of doom", they're too thick so they generally have to go as Sm pkt Air.
Seems every 6 months to a yr. the shipping goes up and I think that has severely cut down on the buying.
Which, now that you mention it, I'm going to have to go back and make sure that I'm doing the correct conversion.
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Leathergloves



Posts: 10

PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:07 pm    Post subject: No sales ! Reply with quote

Hi guys, what about if I have no any sales at all, I opened store 3-4 maybe more months ago. Is it normal or I have done something wrong? Sad
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Shaelily



Posts: 283

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:35 am    Post subject: Re: No sales ! Reply with quote

Leathergloves wrote:
Hi guys, what about if I have no any sales at all, I opened store 3-4 maybe more months ago. Is it normal or I have done something wrong? Sad

It is normal to have a slow start unless you are selling extremely popular items (like the newest iPad or something like that). And it appears to have been slow not just here, but most everywhere, in terms of sales. It's picking up now for me but I've heard sellers complaining across venues that it's been bad. Sometimes the economy is terrible and Google search is constantly evolving so sales volume can be out of our control. But there are a lot of other factors to consider when trying to figure out why sales are slow and every store is different.

I took a quick peek at your store and I spotted a few things that are likely affecting your sales.
1. You are selling gloves and only gloves. It's a niche market for a very specific buyer and season. Unfortunately, at least in the USA, we are not in the season for buying/selling gloves. I see that you do have driving gloves which are not restricted to season but are restricted to a very, very specific buyer.
2. It takes a while for Google to find a new store. It is said that proper search engine optimization (SEO) starts seeing results in 6-12 months. You haven't quite reached that point yet. It will just take time. How is the view count on your items each month? Is it rising?
3. You have very few items listed in your store and your store hasn't been updated since March 5th. The more items you list, the more visibility you will have. Also, Google doesn't like stale stores. Try to add new inventory at least once a week if possible. If you can't, try at least tweaking the listing a little bit by changing the title or description slightly, update or add new photos, etc.
4. Since you have a niche market it is extremely import to promote yourself. Do all you can to advertise and reach your target customers.

While those points are specifically directed towards your store, the same principles affect all sellers no matter what you are selling: Is your inventory desirable/popular? Are you doing proper SEO to have the most visibility that you can? Are you regularly adding new items or at least updating content? Are you promoting or advertising? Following these tips doesn't guarantee sales but it does help Cool It's a lot harder to sell online now than it was 10-15 years ago! It used to be that you could list some items, sit and wait, and they would sell. Not so anymore!
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13719

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
While those points are specifically directed towards your store, the same principles affect all sellers no matter what you are selling: Is your inventory desirable/popular? Are you doing proper SEO to have the most visibility that you can? Are you regularly adding new items or at least updating content? Are you promoting or advertising? Following these tips doesn't guarantee sales but it does help Cool It's a lot harder to sell online now than it was 10-15 years ago! It used to be that you could list some items, sit and wait, and they would sell. Not so anymore!


Absolutely true! I remember at one point here when Google was first starting to screw around with us, a seller said that they had never had to do any promotions and weren't about to now! Unfortunately that was just the beginning. Some sellers seem to think that they can list a few items and they will instantly be picked up by buyers and sold. Just doesn't happen like that anymore.
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PrettyPelican



Posts: 31

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 9:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was just checking and my last sale was July/2016, no wonder I thought it was a bit slow. I've been using pinterest, google, facebook and twitter, but lots of views, no sales. Just a slow period I guess. I'm also on ebay and it's just a little busier there.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 13719

PostPosted: Tue May 30, 2017 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm busier on my other site as well, but have had 12 eCRATER orders here this month, but then I have around 8000 items in inventory. This is why I made the suggestion on the other thread. The more pages for customers to find the better Very Happy

This is one of the reasons that we would really like to push for ALL crafters to help and join forces to promote crafts on eCRATER, hopefully pull more crafters in, etc. We need help in doing so for sure. I sell items to make crafts with, but would like to start making some to sell as I have time (I need to live to be about 783 to get everything done on my To Do list!). I think if we can get this pushing going good this summer working up towards Christmas it should help. It won't be instant, but it is how you eat an elephant, one bite at a time!
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lastade-designs



Posts: 1915

PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2017 4:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Pretty Pelican
I have invited you to post your handmade Ecrater items on our Handmade Items for sale created by Ecrater Artisans Pinterest board. Your baby sandals are adorable.
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