Tuesday, January 15, 2013

When NOT To Start A New Shop

As many of you know, last year I decided to split up my shop. I had hit over 400 items and was averaging a sale a day. I wanted to keep like items together. So, I go through the process of registering a new shop, designing new banners and buttons, fill out all the policies, link to my bank account, you know, the million and one things you do when you start a new shop. (<--- That is going to be a series in the very near future)

After having my main shop open for over a year, I had forgotten all the hard work that goes into starting a shop AND maintaining it! I take my inventory and start putting it into the new shop one at a time. I rephotographed each piece to match the theme of the shop. Rewrote each listing. Reworked all my tags and titles and so on. I had created a nearly perfect shop.

There was only one problem. No one was looking at any of my items! In the three months I had the shop open I made five sales. One was to a friend, three were right as I was closing up the shop and moving the items back to my original store, and one, well that one must have been blind luck. Given, I never had more than 50 items in the shop but I did advertise the heck out of it!

There are many good reasons to start a new shop. I did not have any of the good reasons to start a second shop and I am pretty sure that is why I did not do well. Here are some reasons to start a new shop:
1. You don't already have a shop.
2. Your items do not go well with each other. (baked goods and adult lingerie(I am sure that is up for debate(not by me, of course)))
3. You have someone to run your new shop.
4. You want to try out a new type of product line that does not match your current one.(See#2)
5. You have nothing but free time on your hands.

That is all for today. If you have started a second or 3rd or more shop and had a success or failure I would love to hear about it. I love to be able to help people learn from mistakes and successes! See you tomorrow!


  1. I have four shops.

    The first, sewing patterns and craft supplies, does well enough - about a sale every other day.

    The second, my parents' vintage jewelry, does well before Christmas, but slow year round.

    The third, dragon art dolls and vintage dolls and Christmas ornaments, is pathetic.

    The fourth and newest is for my mom's hand crocheted scarves. A little traffic there, a few sales. I thought about adding it to my pattern shop, but I was afraid the scarves would overwhelm the patterns! That was what happened with the jewelry, so I split them.

    1. Sounds like you are a very busy person! I am sure that with some keyword and title work all four shops can be doing well. That is if you have plenty of time to devote to them.

  2. I have two shops and it's working very well. My first shop had my handwovens, felted items plus hand-dyed roving for spinners and felters. When I became a dealer for Ashland Bay rovings I wanted a different shop for commercial roving as there would be so much and I didn't want it overwhelming my handmade items so I started my second shop. It took off and does very well. Just this past fall I decided I wanted to move my hand-dyed rovings over to the second shop as well and keep my first shop for handwovens - customers followed those hand-dyed rovings and it's doing very well. First shop with handwovens doesn't get as many visits but probably the same number for those particular items as before. So, it has worked for me but the shops are totally different - one handmade - one supplies.

    1. Yes, splitting out the supply shop was a very good move here. Once you get a supply shop well stocked it can practically run itself!

  3. I have 2 shops on Etsy ... and a 3rd that I reserved a name for (with plans for it but no time!).

    http://PrairiePrimitives.etsy.com, where I sell my primitive folk art, is starting to do ok ... after 6.5 years. December 2012 was my best month yet. 5 of the best-ever months for this shop were all in 2012! Today I had 2 sales in this shop; only about $25 total, but it's all good! Had a customer on Saturday buy 3 items; again, it only totalled about $25, but I'm not complaining!

    http://PrairiePrimitivesToo.etsy.com, where I sell destash craft supplies, cutter quilts, and digital collage sheets, is mostly just a place to unload stuff. I don't put a lot of effort into this shop. At all. The digital files started out in my main shop (see above), but when I made that shop more focused on primitive folk art, it didn't feel right to have them there. Many of the digital files are seasonal/holiday related. I created 2 new Valentine's collage files last week and I'm bummed that nobody has bought either of them yet. *sniff*

    1. Remember, people start shopping for holiday goods 2 to 3 months BEFORE the holiday! So, you should be concentrating on Easter items. Valentines is almost too late to worry with. That is my experience anyhow.