Folksy Ltd

Your advice and suggestions please!

Hello! I’ve been on Folksy a little while now and my sales are really low. I would be so grateful for fresh eyes and suggestions on how I can improve my shop and sales. Do I need to work on photos? Prices too high? Descriptions? I have a Pinterest board and try to post on forums daily and I am in the process of setting up an Instagram page for Bimble Bird. However, I didn’t find any change in sales or visits as a result of an Instagram page for another shop I have on a different site, so I am yet to be convinced of the usefulness of that, though willing to give it another go. I was thinking of setting up another shop here on Folksy selling only jewellery (I have another shop on E&$# selling contemporary handmade jewellery) as I wondered if my current shop is too ‘jumbled’ - selling too many different items? So your thoughts on that would be appreciated. However, I worry about opening another shop when this one has done so poorly, has anyone else done this? Any and all response welcomed! Becca x

I don’t have much advice to give, but if it’s any help, I’d like to say that I’m a big fan of your earrings, especially ones which have an art-deco look and I like the metal leaf details. It’s quite a distinctive style, when I see them, I know they are from Bimble Bird. I wonder how you feel about your different crafts, is jewellery the thing you like doing best?

Hi Plum Porridge, (sorry, don’t know your name!). Thank you. As I mentioned, I do have another shop which only sells jewellery, on another site. I decided to add some of these to Bimble Bird as a bit of a taster, to see how they would do. Now I wonder if that has just confused matters and made my shop too diverse! To answer your question, I do enjoy making jewellery, but I also love needle felting and sewing! Hence my dilemma. Do you think it might be a better idea to open another shop just selling my jewellery? Just want to get people’s different opinions.:blush:

I see no problem in having a variety of crafts in the one shop, that’s where the collections can be used to full advantage. I thought about having a second shop at some point but I think I’d have trouble keeping them both highly stocked. I know that I’d need 2 separate emails so it would either mean signing in and out of each one or have them open in separate browsers. Also if you want to have a plus account I think you’d have to have one for each shop.
Most people find things they want through item search rather than shop name search so it could work as an advantage as once in a shop I like to have a browse at all the different items. :slight_smile:

Hi Jan. Thanks for your reply. Yes, it is a bit of a pain signing in and out! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Hi Becca,

I’m relatively new to Folksy and indeed Instagram and find the Forum’s exceptionally friendly but at the same time, they are limited to Folksy folk- whilst it’s a safe space to share and bounce ideas off one another, I have also found the creative community on IG to be very inspiring and supportive also, so giving IG another go, it can’t hurt.

I agree with Amanda from @plumporridge I also really like your jewellery and it’s clear from the style they are yours. As a fellow needle felter, I understand the addiction to needle felting and your work is certainly beautiful and fairly priced. One of the things I would revise is perhaps the layout of the shop. For example seeing your jewellery all together and needle felted work all together and of course sewing- this is just an idea. I think as makers we are all revising and working on images because sadly we are in a visual world, so if you don’t feel especially comfortable, modelling, perhaps you might have a willing friend, to help you out? Might freshen up the images and invite new people to take a look.

I do think everyone’s selling journey is different, so it’s hard to give advice on this front- I can tell you that our needle felted pieces are considered purchases and don’t attract impulse buyers but I’m cool with that- it actually means more to me, knowing the customer has really thought about spending their hard earned cash on my pieces. At the same time, selling full time hasn’t really been on my radar until late 2020, so that might change too!

I don’t think you need to open another shop, many people have a mix of crafts and have plenty of sales- I think this is more about your expectations as a seller- what one seller defines as a good month, may not be for someone else (if that makes sense!)

These are just some of my thoughts Becca, they are by no means concrete- take from them as much or as a little as you want.

Annie x

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Hi Annie. Thank you, I value your comments. I agree with you about the supportive aspect of Folksy and IG which is lovely, the problem being when you’re running a business, you need sales too! Although I have bought many items on Folksy, I haven’t knowingly sold anything to other sellers (apart from one, to my knowledge). So as far as selling, the forums may be good for more exposure ((as well as valuable advice and shared experience) but have not proved good for sales, at least not in my experience. I will certainly take a look at some photos and maybe freshen them up a bit. I don’t have someone who can regularly model but I did buy an earring ‘dummy’ which I could use more to show size/proportion etc. Also, grouping things together more is a good idea, so will work on that. Thanks again, and you have some lovely felted creations too. Love your cacti! I don’t have the patience to get them so smooth!:grin:

No worries Becca- hope some of that will act as reassurance and some as encouragement to keep going!

x

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Hi Becca,

I like all three aspects of your shop. I agree with Jan, @HandcraftedbyPicto , if I was shopping on Folksy I would use the search function to find what I wanted. If I see something I really like on Instagram, I go and visit the shop. I do think it will be better if the Instagram shopping thing ever works… but even the link in the bio can bring you customers. I have bought from a Folksy seller I saw on Instagram, one I saw in the Folksy shop page on Facebook and others I found by searching. I don’t know how other crafts are doing but when I scroll through the best sellers, the sewers aren’t doing well generally compared to other crafts…maybe because lots of people are taking it up themselves! I have had 15 Folksy sales since October but only one this year so I do sympathise with you and I am constantly trying to think how I could do better.

I thing @PoppyDarling 's suggestion of grouping things is sensible. Instagram certainly can’t hurt. Another shop might just be an additional stress but perhaps Pauline @OswestryJewels could advise?

Kirsty

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Thank you Kirsty. I will eventually get round to doing my Bimble Bird page on IG. Jury still out on the Folksy jewellery shop…don’t want to throw good money after bad as they say! I just much prefer the ethos on Folksy to E…y, so wanted to eventually move that jewellery shop over here and also because I’m virtually invisible on the ‘dark side’ anyway!

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The first thing I noticed is that you don’t have a banner in your shop - you could show off some of your lovely creations in it and it makes your shop looked more ‘cared for’. And I would second (or third) the suggestion of using the shopkeeping function to group your items - they are so different from each other that they are a bit confusing all mixed together.

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Hi Helen. Thank you. That is one of the problems - what would I put in my banner?!! :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes: You are right though, it would look more professional if done right. That is something to think about. Grouping items is something I will definitely do this week.

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Hi Becca I think that the answer is network, network, network and then do some more. I know it is a chore and takes up a lot of time but as Folksy don’t actually advertise their sellers apart from inhouse and the one or two who make it to seller of the month.
As for having two shops it is two lots of networking which takes up a my mornings and sometimes some of the afternoons as well.
I wish you luck with whatever you decide to do.
There is a lot of discussion over the last few days in daily listing thread about pinterest and how stats have dropped in the last few months.

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Hi Pauline. Thank you. Can I ask where and how often you post/network? Has IG been successful in terms of sales in your opinion (if you’re on there). Not sure that Pinterest is very effective? (Not for me anyway!). I already have 2 shops (2 on E**y - Bimble Bird and my jewellery shop) and Bimble Bird on Folksy. Just need to focus the energy where I can get most return.:blush:

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I do get views on IG but no sales. I have started getting quite a few sales via facebook.
I network everyday on the daily listing thread and other forums on fb, not so much on pinterest now as I have been finding out some quite disturbing facts about pins. For example only about 25 pins per day are recognised and how some pins and their views etc are not counted and therefore you pins are not shown to a very wide audience. I use Twitter and get views from there.
Hope this helps

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That’s interesting. Thanks for the info.:blush:

I am in the same boat. I too sell multiple items as I like making different things. To get round this I have put items that are the same into categories, like hand knitted socks, hand dyed yarn etc, so that anyone looking can go to the category that interests them.
That said, my sales are very slow, so I too would welcome some critic on my shop.

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Hi Molly. Yes, I already have categories and yesterday I grouped all the items together in my shop, as advised by the lovely, helpful folks here. I can’t really offer you much advice, us being in the same boat! The one thing I did notice is some of your photos are cut off, maybe you need to pull back so each item can be seen clearly, with some space around them, and also maybe they need lightening up as they are a bit dark. I know it’s tricky to take good photos but I use Snapseed which is a free photo editing app, if that might help? Fingers crossed for us both !!:blush:

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Your shop looks good, the prices don’t seem excessive. One piece of advice I was given was always use whole pounds as prices, art is always sold that way, 50p or anything like that smacks of supermarkets apparently.

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Hi Ley. Thank you. Yes, I see what you mean about the prices! I did that initially because I was including shipping and packaging prices and had calculated that amount, but I may take another look at this.:blush: