Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Why on why my sales have die(d)

Traditionally, November and December are excellent months for my Etsy shop. I am not a full time Etsian, and my items appeal to very certain audiences (which I like to call "silly grownups", like myself) so I don't aim to sell 300 or even 30 items a month. A 10 sales month is great for me. A 16 sales month is excellent.

But this November was my worst ever (in fact, it was the worst sales month of 2009). I also got very few new item and shop hearts. Less than half of my usual rate. I have to wonder why.

This is what I've come up with so far:
  1. My short vacation cost me a week of promotions.
  2. I did not invest any money in paid ads this month.
  3. Etsy's SEO "improvements" cost me my Google ranking - it plummeted from 3/10 to 0/10 which effects my search engine result.
  4. In previous years I did some trades that showed up on my sales total. I no longer do that.
I am not quite sure what to do about this. There is a limit to how much I can invest in forum promotions, I already do too much of that. I want to spend less hours on this, not more. As far as the ranking goes, I contacted Etsy support after reading articles on the site and they just directed me back to articles I already read, which probably means there is nothing I can do.

I want December 2009 to be the best sales month I had this year. I want it to exceed 2007-8 sales rate for December. My last international shipping date for Christmas Eve is Sunday 6.12.09 which doesn't leave much time, as far as Christmas gifts are concerned (of course I offer express shipping that arrives in 4 workdays, but still).

Since I hardly had any revenue in November, I cannot invest in paid advertising now.

I find it hard to believe my shop suddenly fall out of taste, so I don't consider that as a possible reason. Perhaps my recent diversity in item categories (Flutterbutts, jewels, cards, headbands, and so on) has a negative effect?

Your thoughts, comments, ideas and of course - purchases are most welcome.

Update - is it possible the name Flutterbutt turns people off? Recently I found some nasty websites using this term. Maybe it is not as cute as I thought. Should I change it?


morin said...

I think the recession might have a major effect as well. People cut on all things and buy cheaper clothing and food. Any non-essentials may also be suffering.

Sharona R. said...

But wasn't it worse in 2008?

לובה said...

מקווה שהמכירות ישתפרו בקרוב

Sharona R. said...

גם אני. אני לא יכולה שלא לתהות אם לוותר על החנות וזהו

juniejo said...

This is so very sad !!! I do hope things pick up for you !!!!

Sharona R. said...

Me too! I am both worried and disappointed. Maybe people are just tired of my stuff?

TheFrogBag said...

I really think it is the recession! In 2008 people were scared but they still had jobs. Today I heard that unemployment was at almost 13% in my state. That's scary! I know I have less money now then this time last year, and everyone I know is the same way. I hope things pick up soon! Good luck!

Giftbearer said...

I'm running into the same thing. November yielded zero! I sure hope December is better. The economy won't ever get better if people don't start buying! I just bought something on Etsy bright and early this morning.

ConnieLou said...

Flutterbutt is a great name...not to be forgotten!

sewingmaniac said...

I'm in the same boat. No sales and no money
to do promoting. Always thought the
quality of my work spoke for itself, but
guess it's hard to see that in a picture.
I'll just hang in there and hope things get
better. You too!

Sharona R. said...

Thank you guys.

Maybe I am wrong thinking the rescission was worse last year.. I guess last year people were afraid but this year the financial consequences are setting in.

Still I wonder what I can do to fix this. I would hate to close my shop, but I also hate being disappointing on a daily basis.

irina said...

well, I have nothing to compare to, since I just had my first etsyversary last week ;-)
but I have noticed a tremendous decrease in views compared with last year, for twice as much work.

I think the best explanation for lack of sales is the competition!
I see alchemy requests at $30 and over every day, and I even see the occasional over $100! so the money is outthere...

- there are tens of thousands if not hundreds of thousands more sellers than there were last year
- the regular advertising channels are swamped with etsyans;
- you have lost an important promotion week;
- and not least, people are more locally-oriented this year... or so it seems to me;

since this is not your only source of income, why give it up?
stop expecting sales, maybe, but it's not all that expensive to keep around, and you never know when you might get a sale.
I've been promoting my newly listed and re-listed all the time, nearly from the first month I joined etsy, and never until this month, have I ever gotten a sale out of it.
I've been bidding on alchemies for at least 6 months, sometimes even 3 or 4 a day, and I never got accepted, until, in august, I got 2 bids accepted in the same month...

I hear your dissapointment, and I feel you are despondent, but maybe changing your view on etsy would be a better solution, than giving up?
besides, who's gonna lead our team if you quit?! ;->

Sharona R. said...

I guess there will not be a "quit your day job" feature about me anytime soon..