I’m launching a new shop window, and I’m changing platform.
As you may know, I’m a small-scale, hobby-ist turned semi-professional artist, still fairly new to the world of selling what I produce. It’s just 21months since I was (half) convinced by my son that people would buy the things that I was beginning to make, based (mostly and at times, loosely) on the tradition of Dorset Button making. Etsy seemed a good, reputable option used by many craftspeople.
I was surprised at it’s success, but then we were in an online, pandemic context where people had disposable income that they weren’t spending on holidays, or fuel bills.
But we are no longer in that world, and as the cost-of-living has risen, sales dropped off, and my costs/sale increased – at least unless I generated them myself, largely by word-of-mouth and sharing shop items myself via my own social media links.
I also noticed that Etsy was less-and-less focused on hand-crafted, small-scale items; items a bit like mine. Only once did I sell anything abroad, and even that was a sale generated by a friend-of-a-friend connection I think. Admittedly I’ve built up a good relationship with a couple of art-yarn suppliers via Etsy, but I know they too are struggling with issues like commission costs.
At the same time, as is well documented elsewhere, the cost of selling things via Etsy has increased:
– There’s $0.20/item listed, which lasts for 4 months, after which you pay it again.
– With a sale Etsy take a 6% commission fee AND a transaction fee for money-handling of 4% + another 20p (off the whole amount, including shipping).
– If you make a sale through an Etsy-generated advert, I gather they will then take another 15%; I’m guessing that’s like if they use your product in a Facebook ad or something – I wouldn’t know, I’m not producing stuff they feature.
So, what to do? I’m told that what I am creating is becoming a better product. I think it’s more sustainably-sourced, increasingly unique. Yes, I make for my own enjoyment and mental-health, but I also create to connect with other people, to connect them with the things they love, and to help them realise, like I have belatedly done, that many of us have a creative streak that others want to share in!
So, I’ve looked at other options:
There’s CraftMe; originally an Australian platform and now world-wide. It appears to be fee-free, though I’m not sure how they support that given they are a platform that boasts a lot of social media connections, though their hand-made only policy looks great. However I hadn’t seen it advertised anywhere, either as a buying or a selling site, plus when I looked at what is listed on it, and where those items are from, it seemed to have very little traction in the UK.
Then I came across nuMonday. It’s UK based, which is a plus point as I’d like to be among fellow-creatives that perhaps one-day. I’ve seen it advertised on my Facebook feed and elsewhere – which says they are willing to put time and effort into promoting it. Their pitch is that they charge what I’m calling a subscription fee (monthly or annual, and it’s not astronomical at £24/year) so we craftspeople can expect nuMonday to put some effort into selling on our behalf! But they don’t charge commission and they don’t charge listing fees. The only additional cost is a small fee for their transaction provider Stripe of £1.4% plus 20p – much better than Etsy’s handling fee! No, there is no restriction on what you can sell (it doesn’t have to be hand-crafted items) but realistically, it feels on the face of it as better suited to a small-scale British creative, like me.
There may be others, but I’ve not heard of them. Have you? If so who are they, and where are they?
So, I’ve gone for launching a nuMonday shop, as I need somewhere without prohibitive charges to sell things, that I’m only just covering costs on anyway (pricing hand-made items being a whole different mine-field!) I’m busy loading my backlog of wall-hangings, jewellry and other delights into my new, nuMonday, shop. I’ve also joined the nuMonday Promotions group on Facebook, and following what I hope are the nuMonday feeds on Instagram. I hope I won’t be disappointed.
No, the nuMonday dashboard interface isn’t quite as wizzy as Etsy, and limits you to 6 images, but that’s plenty for my purposes. You’ve got the usual descriptive powers, but with a less overwhelming number of choices and niches into which to fit – which makes the process quicker and simpler, as long as you know what you want to say and are clear what your items a made of. The Settings tab allows you to do free shipping, or not, as suits you and your pricing. I’ve gone for free-shipping initially, but set my prices accordingly.
Do I know if this is the right thing to do?
Am I sure I’ll get paid promptly via Stripe?
Will I sell anything this side of Christmas, when I should be able to sell?
The honest answer is “I don’t know.”
Perhaps if you’ve read this far, please could you share your experience in the comments, for whatever selling platform you use – for sales or purchases!
In the meantime, feel free to peruse my nuMonday shop – and possibly even buy something!