Thursday 7 June 2018

Opening an Etsy shop to sell your vintage items.

 I thought I might do a little article on setting up a an Etsy shop to sell your vintage and antique items .

  A few years ago I was plugging away in my brick and mortar antiques store considering venturing into the online market , I explored Shopify, Ebay and many others until I stumbled upon  slightly lesser known online vintage outlet called Etsy , the feel of the site appealed to me , a very friendly and aesthetically pleasing website with a good reputation and a wide exposure , The fee's are also very reasonable! I decided I would try the website and dedicate some time to it.

  The first thing you need to do is sign up for an Etsy account which is very easy and then follow the instructions to set up a shop , you need to list 10 items to open the shop and get yourself going , I constantly listed products for months building my online store with very little sales which was frustrating ,  Until one day I decided to read blogs and forums to try and find out where I was going wrong , the answer was that I was expecting an Ebay style set-up where all of the customers are brought to your item via a constantly revolving auction ,  I realised that Etsy was totally different and more time was needed to be spent advertising and promoting my shop ,  I was given advice to start promoting my items by joining antique groups in the community section as well as advertising my items on social media by listing them on Pinterest , Facebook , Twitter or whatever social media sites you use , Suddenly I started noticing an improvement in views as well as sales in my shop the point where I could rely on is as a valid part of my business.

The fees on Etsy are really reasonable in comparison to other sites , The charge to create a listing is approx. 16p per listing and the total fee after an item sells is approx 5-6% which overall cheaper than Ebay and Amazon.

  I started to Brand all of my outlets with the same ''Empire Antiques and Vintage'' made a fancy banner to header all of my online outlets and social media pages and started to push on from there.

Images are extremely important on Etsy to sell your items , make them as bright , clear and as good as you can , They are the focal point that people see to decide if they will purchase your items or not .

Titles and descriptions are also very important , make sure you describe your item well with measurements , condition reports and maybe an idea of how they could be used in the home to push the sale through .

Keywords are specific words you use in Titles and listings to link your item to as many potential buyers as possible , for example a good title for the cup and saucer above would go '' Vintage tea cup and saucer with floral pattern - Paragon China vintage ceramic - tea party kitchen d├ęcor black white gold''  That way in your title alone you have mentioned all those different keywords that people might type into the Etsy of Google search bar when searching for a vintage tea cup. Use the whole title (all the words) to fit as many keywords into it as possible for the best chance of your item being seen.

When you have figured out how to make a good quality listing using all of the points I have mentioned then it is basically just like running any normal business , promote as much as you can on social media , join Groups on Etsy , this is a great way to promote your shop as everyone in the group works together to promote each others shops , Use paid advertising if you want , Google ads , Pinterest ads , Etsy ads , they all cost a small amount to use but can be a good tool to push your listings up the ladder on Etsy and Google images .

Sourcing stock is an important part of the business , something I will talk about in depth in the future , just like a normal brick and mortar shop new stock is vital to keep things fresh , So go ahead open an Etsy shop and start listing , If you have an interest in selling antiques and vintage it is the perfect place for you , lower fees than other competitors , friendly atmosphere and a user friendly website , You will enjoy it.

Here is a link to my shop so you can take a look.

Monday 4 June 2018

Eye opening trip to Amsterdam........


  Just back from a very relaxing and eye opening trip to Amsterdam , only meant to be a relaxing holiday to my favourite city but as usual I always end up with a partial busman's holiday as well .

  We left on the Monday morning arriving in a very warm Amsterdam and already feeling relaxed and in good mood we made the short trip from Schiphol airport to the hotel we were staying in , After booking in we left for the city Centre with already the thought of Chinese porcelain and antiques in the back of my mind .  with the Netherlands rich history of shipping ports it is the ideal place to see many different cultures and none more than the varied antiques from all over the world that Amsterdam is proud to be a haven for.

  There are quite a few antique shops in Amsterdam city Centre , most out of my budget but still a feast for the eyes for a student of antiques , along with wonderful museums showing exactly the vast history of trading throughout the world for many centuries past. 

  After visiting the museums and blowing my own mind voluntarily seeing porcelain, glass and other art and antiques from the Netherlands , China , Italy and many other places I was energized and biting at the bit to get out and find that elusive bargain that you can only dream of finding , I visited quite a few antique and book shops during the trip but as I mentioned earlier mostly as an interested spectator as most items were priced to the highest values.

  I was fully aware that on the Thursday , Amsterdam holds a large and exiting market along one of the canals in the city that is full of dealers selling almost anything from waffles to antiques , vintage clothing books and much more so I had something to look forward to and something I would recommend to any likeminded people with a passion for the business I am in , So I could bide my time.  When the Thursday came after many canal boat rides and attractions we made the sunny walk to the market and it was not a disappointment , I only wish we could have stayed in Amsterdam longer as I could have literally filled boxes full of unusual antique pieces ready to fill my antiques shop here at home , it really is a haven for all types of vintage antique and collectible pieces .

We thoroughly enjoyed our time in Amsterdam and It really opened my eyes to the opportunities available in the antiques trade if you dare to think bigger and venture into the continental market to purchase stock for the U.K Market ,  The selection is amazing and the prices very reasonable , definitely food for thought for the future.

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