What Selling on Etsy for 5 Years Has Taught Me

What Selling on Etsy for 5 Years Has Taught Me

After 5 radical years of selling on Etsy, I am retiring. Here’s what I learned during my time hawking vintage.

My Origin Story

I originally started up an Etsy shop because I love old stuff and saw it as being a better option than eBay to sell my treasures.

Through the years I evolved my personal style (more on that in a sec!) and the shop finally became something I was proud of.

The Power of Personal Branding

Just as I’ve changed physically/mentally over the years, so has my taste and style. I was once pretty shy about expressing myself but have since embraced my quirks and love for all things weird.

This has been reflected in the way I present myself online. I now understand the power of personal branding and my Etsy shop has a lot to do with that! Through taking web classes, reading guides from other bloggers, and trusting my own intuition; I’ve created an aesthetic that I love.

By having a unique image online (or IRL!) it becomes like a calling card to others. I love when you guys tell me you saw a cassette tape and thought of me or bought red lipstick because I empowered you to try it (you really should buy the lipstick!). That’s personal branding in action. How cool is that?!

It’s Hard Work

Some might see running a blog and a YouTube channel as a breeze but there is so much behind-the-scenes work you don’t see (unless you watch my vlogs) so to throw running a store on top of that load, I felt very overwhelmed.

In a perfect world, I would probably need to focus 100% of my time to just my Etsy shop. Shopping, researching, photographing, listing, marketing, etc etc etc. It’s a lot to try and balance with life, if you’re doing it right. I gave it one heck of a shot!

What Selling on Etsy for 5 Years Has Taught Me

My Decision To Close Up Shop

The shop eventually became too much work. There wasn’t enough payoff for what I was putting into it. Even after re-branding and going hard on the marketing, 2016 was one of my worst years financially for the shop.

That, coupled with a recent onset of depression, led to burning out. I had to decide what was important and what I could manage. It wasn’t easy but I knew my Etsy shop was sucking too much of my resources and it was time to move on.

It’s Not For Me

While I’ve had a lot of fun and it’s been awesome to learn the ins-n-outs of the business world, I now know it’s not for me. I might have the skills and talents for running a shop but they’re better off being used elsewhere right now. It’s important to recognize your limits and walk away when you’ve had enough.

What’s Next

What’s next for my Etsy shop? I’m going to let it sit dormant on the internet, in case I get some irrational idea in the future that I should open it up again. It’s all over June 22ndhttps://www.etsy.com/shop/shop1980something

But for now I’m very fulfilled with my blog and YouTube channel and don’t see myself taking on any lofty ventures again for a very long time!


So that’s the scoop! I would love to hear your stories about selling on Etsy. The good, bad, and ugly. Share them with me in the comments!

Also, please be sure to Pin & share this this post with others if you found it helpful!

What Selling on Etsy for 5 Years Has Taught Me

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  • Okay…I’m out to lunch. I didn’t even know you had an Etsy shop! Oops.

    I agree that working as a vintage reseller is lots of work. More than most people will ever know.

    I’m in awe of sellers that can thrift shop every morning and then manage to list all of their finds in the afternoon.

    It takes me ages to prepare the clothing I sell. Everything has to be washed, dried, ironed, photographed and then finally listed. In fact finding the pieces is the most fun and easiest part of the whole equation. That is why I currently have probably another 300 or more items that need to be listed yet.

    I’m getting concerned that my basement is starting to look board line hoarder.

    I’m just back from a full day of thrifting and I’m exhausted. It’s work people!

    I also noticed that here in Canada, Value Village which is the same as your Savers has now raised the average price of their dresses to $25 prior tax (so $29 with tax). I saw one dress there (not even a high end brand) that they were selling for $39. WTF? Seriously? They are a business but they will be losing my business. As a reseller there is no way I can make profit on something that is just average and priced higher than what they are selling it for in H&M.

    The business of thrifting has strayed significantly from helping the community. The prices reflect the greed of the store owners as each location is privately owned.

    People donated that product. They didn’t pay a dime for it.

    Yeah…I could go on and on about the difficulties of being a vintage reseller…as you can see : )

    So I totally understand your decision.

    bisous
    Suzanne

    • It’s ok to vent. LET IT OUT! This is a safe space. 😉

      Some people make it look so easy to be an online seller. I hope that by sharing my un-success story that it sheds some light on just what it takes to make it.

      I’m glad to hear that you can relate to the struggles of selling online! You’re doing an awesome job and I love your unique eye for finds. Keep up all the hard work!

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