November 27, 2013

Wednesday favorites

I discovered this shop on Etsy this week, Mandarinasdetela, they have so many adorable items. It is hard to pick a favorite, the style is simply just my style ;)
This heart print knitted dress by Yumi for Newlook is so pretty! Over budget but hoping it'll be on sale next month. 

I love those 2 peacock pillows by Myrte. Check her shop, she also has yummy dresses and other things. You may remember that I met Myrte in the Netherlands a few years back. 

Gorgeous, gorgeous washi tapes by LilaRubyKingShop. Dreaming I am packing my Christmas presents with those... Anna has 2 shops on Etsy , afjewellery (amazing jewelry) and LilaRubyKingShop (amazing everything else).

This is a vintage holiday season card from Russia. That shop has plenty of delightfully kitschy vintage items. 

And , well, that would make a wonderful Christmas present ...for me anyway ... A R2D2 deckchair by Xtinct3D. These aren't the chairs you're looking for...

November 22, 2013

Dawanda commercial

This year Dawanda came up with this cute idea for your shop promotion.

Click to watch :)

November 20, 2013

Wednesday favorites

A woodland and critter selection this week.

 Some of my Ikea finds. Cute colorful owls and leaves paper clips and matching notebook. Not sure if they are still available.

A mushroom handbag from MKLdesign on Dawanda. I love the color, the mushrooms and the retro look!

A cat scarf ^_^ . It is adorable and made by TaniaSH. You can find different models in her Etsy shop. I am allergic to mohair or this would be mine already!
Another cat scarf...well, it is a scarf for your cat. Squirrel is the official model for You can follow him on Instagram too to have your feed filled with cuteness ;)
Pikachu if Tim Burton had designed it! Hatboy on Tumblr is a great artist in his own right! Check his store here too.

 And finally ,let's get in the Christmas mood with a Lorenzo the cat card! Available here!

November 13, 2013

My Wednesday favorites

I have a "thing" for Japanese Lolita fashion, I love the details, the intricate designs. I feel a bit too old to wear it myself but that doesn't stop me from drooling over dresses like those. That jellyfish design is by Krad Lanrete . I still think I could pull off the dark blue one though...if I had the money.

And wouldn't it be the perfect dress to watch (yet again) The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou ? This print is available here. I love all of Wes Anderson films but The Life Aquatic is special...with it's David Bowie soundtrack. If you're a fan too, you'll enjoy this Tumblr blog.

And to stay in the aquatic theme, I think those gurgle fish pots are awesome! Those are made by Nolasllc . They actually make gurgling sounds when you pour water. I read that the original gurgling pitchers were made in the Victorian era. 

Not sure they'd match the dress but those sure are cute! Women’s Wellie Polka Dot Rain Boot by, dare I say again?... Crocs 

A bunny with glasses *SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE* Have I mentioned I have a lot of things, mainly shirts, with bunnies? So, yes, bunnies are cute, but bunnies with glasses are even cuter!  That monster of adorableness is by trepuntozerocivette  (they also have a Doctor Who bear with fez...just saying...)

The obligatory ugly cute Christmas sweater. It is by Newlook. They really outdid themselves this year with their Christmas range. They even have some sweaters with built-in lights *_* 

November 09, 2013

Halloween in pictures

Halloween is my favorite holiday, so even if nobody around me shares my ethusiasm or is willing to come to my party, I still celebrate with the cats. I cook special food, prepare cinammon apple juice and get a cake and lots of candy!

 Frank Kitten
 A little Pepita gallery.

November 06, 2013

Wednesday favorites 4

Another shirt I love on Dawanda. The whole shop, THOKKTHOKK ORGANIC CLOTHING,
 is super too...they also have shirts for males (gift ideas...). I like the stripes and color combo of this one. Added to my wishlist!

A cute poodle brooch. I adore the retro feel of this one. It is from Ginnyandjudes on Etsy. I can picture it on my winter coat...

Let's get in the mood for Christmas with those irresistible holly cookie earrings by PetitPlat. If you don't know her work yet (you must have been living in a cave) check her shop right now! She is the queen of food miniatures!

The mushroom furniture set in Animal Crossing New Leaf. I got that Nintendo game for my birthday back in June and I am addicted. If you're not familiar with the game, in short, you're the mayor of a cute little town and you can buy/collect (among zillions of other things) furniture sets to put in your house. The sets change with season and holidays. This is the fall set. I was completely stoked when I found my first mushroom piece!

I have told you already about my Mothman obsession here and now MaidenVoyageClothing, who made my cool cryptozoology shirt, is also making patches. This one is my fav of course, but I like the whole set too. I might need them sooner or later. Have no idea what to sew them on yet though.
A bunny...I have a slight obsession with bunnies too. OK, to be exact this is a baby hare made by TheLeveretsNest. They make the cutest things...and you always need a bunny baby hare. 

November 05, 2013

Where to sell online?

I get asked that question a lot.  I currently have 5 online shops, though I tried some more platforms. Let me guide yout through the plus and minus points of each site. It will reflect my won personal experiences with though sites and might not be representative, so be warned!

I guess it is still the leader in the handmade field though it is losing ground to its competitors quite fast after another batch of policiy changes.
Technically it is still a handmade site, though they did remove the "handmade" part from their logo long ago.

* It is really easy to list, the listing form is simple and the photo uploader works great. You can actually work on your description while the photos are loading.
The uploaded photos look really good (well depending on what you started with , that is ;) ).
* It is pretty easy to manage your shop, your items are easily found, the layout is clear. It'd be nice to be able to search through your ended or unlisted items, but that is not the most vital part of a shop.
*It is now a multi language and currency platform. Though I found sticking to English and us$ works best. I also list in French as it is my mother tongue and doesn't take much effort but I think I only ever got 4 or 5 sales from the French version of my shop. I suppose I could also list in German and Dutch,   but I am not sure it is worth the effort at the moment, given the amount of work involved.
* It is still the place where you'll get the most views even though it takes work (aka listing or relisting very regularly).
* Super easy to copy an existing listing, the photos also get uploaded. Easy to edit too.
* The search engine is efficient.
* Many forms of payments available, Paypal, Direct Checkout, Voucher. Even direct bank payment if you set your shop in Euro.
* The Street Team system is nice. Teams are group of sellers with similar interest/location. I made some good friends there.

* It has become a really unfriendly place. There is no mean of direct communication with the administrators any longer, you only get standard emails from them.
* You have to compete with LOTS of resellers, and I mean lots..sometimes while browsing I really wonder if I got side-tracked to Alibaba. The new policies allowing manufactured items sure won't help.
* The admins have pretty much the right of life or death on your shop. They don't like you, poof, you're gone. That happened to friends, to team members... And you'll get no explanations.
So don't make Etsy your main shop and make sure you get a backup of all your listings and photos.
* It costs 20 cents per listing for 4 months. Doesn't seem much but it can quickly add up if you list a lot.
* Page layout is cluttered with all sorts of useless things, font choice is not ideal (being unreadable with some browers/Windows version).

It is good to have a shop there for visibility but don't make it your main one.

Dawanda is the most direct Etsy competitor. It is based in Europe (Germany). It is on the whole a lot friendlier than Etsy.It is currently my main shop.

* If you are not based in Germany, listing is free (yay).
* It is really easy to manage your shop. You can search active, ended or unlisted items.
* Resellers are a bit less of an issue than on Etsy (though there are still some)
* It is multi language and multi currency. I list in French, German and English there and only use Euro.
* You get personal answers to your inquiries.

* The listing process is loooong. It consists in 3 different pages. First one with title and product description, second one (completely useless one) list your items in categories according to style and material. Most of my stuff doesn't fit in there. Third page is the photo uploader. It works poorly though you can now uplaod all your photos at once. The process is long, you cannot do anything else while waiting and the photos won't load in any specific order which means you'll have to re-order them and thus wait again. Add to that you also have to choose 2 colors most representative of your items, and wait again while page reloads. Long and laborious.
* It is getting better but unless you can list in both French and German, your views will stay really low. Let's face it 99% of my buyers there are either French or German so far. All my items are listed in English too though as I chose the English platform when I signed up for Dawanda. I never tried the zillion other languages, so I have no idea whether those works.
* Their copyright rules are not very clear. OK, I know it is not OK to use copyrighted items but I'd like to know where to stand. Why are my obscure animé characters removed when blatant copyrighted infringement t-shirts are OK and even promoted on the site?
* Doesn't accept direct checkout payment yet.
* Search tool for individual shops doesn't work.

A good site whose main focus is still handmade (with hiccups, granted).

A French platform. Small and friendly. It works fairly well for me.

* Super easy and fast layout to list your items. Everything is on one page like Etsy but works even faster.
* Listing is free.
* Small business, so it is still human sized.
* As the site is not cluttered, you get views with minimal work
* Really handmade, resellers are quickly kicked out.
* Paypal, bank payment, direct checkout.

* In French only. They have a sister site in Italian but it is not yet possible to list in both languages from the same place.
* It is not very easy to search your ended or unlisted items. A minor problem as their listing page is so easy to use, I just make a new listing.
* They change the shop admin layout a bit too often for me and any change you make to your shop (like changing a banner) takes hours to show.
* A bit paranoid about resellers, they still doubt my items are handmade but they haven't closed my shop yet. I REALLY was not happy when I got their mail on the subject. I still didn't comply to their request. I hope they don't close my shop.

A really good site if you speak French.

Storenvy is a free platform where you can sell anything as long as it is legal. Not specifically for handmade items.

* It is free. No listing fee, no fee on sold items. Free. You can buy upgrades but unless you sell a lot, they won't be necessary.
* Nice adminsitration pannel, fairly easy listing manager.
* Lots of views with no promo.

* Paypal only
* Only so-so listing process. Easy but a bit annoying to have to save at every single step. Photos also load at random but it is really quick to re-order them in the desired spots.
* Not possible to remove items from your store in batch. You have to edit every single lsiting one at a time.
* Lots of views but not many sales. It might be because I am based in Europe and Storenvy is really US centered.

Maybe not ideal for handmade items, but free and easy to use and with a growing community.

Probably the friendliest selling venue of them all but also the most amateurish. I opened a (free) shop there long ago but never did  much with it. Views were really poor and I never had a sale. When Etsy made its infamous policy changes a couple months back, I decided to try again, with the paying version this time.

* Friendly. You ask for help, you get help.
* $9.95 per month for unlimited number of items. Free if you choose the basic formula which allows you 50 items.
* You can easily transfer all your Etsy listings there.

* The listing process is just as laborious as on Dawanda. It is obvious you don't pay per listing when you are faced with that antique listing form. It is spread over 2 pages, one for description, one for uploading photos. The description page is OK, not fabulous, but OK (still very annoyed by the 4 stage category thingy, that you have to go through even when copying a listing). The main problem is the photo uploader. Yes, you can put up to 8 photos with a paying account... but you have to upload them one at a time O.o and it's not really quick either. If you are using Internet Explorer it is even longer, as you have to choose the photo you want to upload, then click again to confirm.
* The photos. Zibbet, the land of blur. Unless your photos are the exact size recommended by the site (800X600 px, all of mine are bigger, as most other site won't even let you upload anything smaller than 1000px wide photos) they will appear blurry on the site. So, no your shop doesn't look too good.
* Search tool inside shop doesn't work.
* Poor views. Even with promo views are incredibly low.

So far, into my second month with a paying account, no sale and about 400 views. So unless some Christmas miracle happens, I'll cancel that account soon. Listing takes too long for zero result.

I also tried Artfire but, though views were OK, I only ever had one sale there. A bit like Storenvy I think it is mainly marketing to the US public. And it still looks a bit "cheap" to me despite the changes it went through in the last year.
I had a Big Cartel shop too at one point. But that really didn't fit my need. A bit expensive for a limited number of items, very poor views. Not sure who it is targeting, but it sure wasn't my type of items.
And finally I had a brief stint on Feemain, it really appealed to me as it was a one dedicated person business. But it was too "buddy-buddy", like I had to wait 6 weeks ( yes, 6 weeks) for a payment because they would not cancel my sale because the buyer was a friend of the site owner. I guess that says it all.

EDIT: Not sure why people commenting assume I didn't do any promo for my Zibbet shop when I actually wrote I did...and I did more promo than for any of my other shops in the last month. Still only get about 10 views per day and zero sale.