Sunday, November 23, 2014

Etsy Wholesale Review


Remember my post about applying for Etsy Wholesale?  Well I wanted to give you a little update and review of the program now that I've been in it for almost a month.

When I was doing research about Etsy Wholesale I couldn't find much information about how it was working for people.  I found a lot of articles talking about how it functioned, and it's potential, but not a lot of reviews of actual people using it (and I don't count the ones on Etsy's own site because you have no idea if those are "real people" if you know what I mean).  On the Etsy blog for wholesale sellers, there also didn't seem to be much information about success.  It appeared people were making sales, but I really had no idea how BeBe Babies would do.  I'm hoping that this post will help others who are considering taking the leap and applying.

Let me first say that the reason I have been slow writing blog posts, and haven't been sharing much on Facebook lately, is because Etsy Wholesale has been what I consider a giant success for me.  Since starting about a month ago I have completed 4 wholesale orders.  I am averaging about one a week.  This is huge for me because as you know I have been searching high and low for wholesale accounts and have had 0 success until Etsy Wholesale.

I also mentioned that I was going to try to start doing trade shows, but due to the success I am having on Etsy, I have decided to hold off on that.  Trade shows are very expensive and a nightmare logistically for me, so I am really hoping the success I'm having on Etsy Wholesale continues.  I really believe this is the future for small businesses who are not ready to put down the money to attend a trade show.  I believe that Etsy Wholesale is a great stepping stone to a larger market.  I really think shows will be a thing of the past as more people use the convenience of online buying.  I'm happy to be a part of the movement.

A typical trade show can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $5,000 or more to attend when you calculate travel expenses, etc.  Etsy Wholesale costs $100 to join and an additional 3.5% transaction fee on the order.  The $100 is a one time charge and when you really compare the cost to doing a trade show it is more than worth the price.  In one sale I paid for the cost to join.  Also one thing I didn't know before signing up is that listing products in your Etsy Wholesale line sheet doesn't cost anything.  This makes it possible to list all of my dolls and color combinations without paying more.  You also can list things on your line sheet that are not listed in your Etsy shop, which helps to make it look fuller and more exciting.

I am anxious to see if these sales continue, decrease, or increase after the holidays.  My guess is that it will be slower after December but I really have no idea.  Brick and mortar stores need products all year round so my prediction might be completely wrong, and my wholesale business will continue to grow.  I'm also excited to see how my current wholesale orders are received by the store owners and their customers.  All of it makes me very anxious.

At the moment I'm focusing on improving the look of my wholesale shop by listing every doll option I have available, getting my sewing studio better organized for photos, and building my fabric stock.  The first snag I fell into was not having enough of the fabric on hand to fulfill the order.  For instance, one store ordered 4 Blankie BeBes in pink but I only had enough fabric here to make 2 of them.  It is a good thing that it is winter in Mexico and the fabric stores here are stocked with that type of fabric.  It will probably take me a while to know what, and how much, of each doll style I need to have on hand in order to offer them at wholesale.

Now I have Blankie BeBes in this pink color.


Another problem I'm encountering is having enough time to do everything and complete these orders.  I am completing the orders in a timely manner, but am finding that means I am not working on anything for my retail shop, not writing blog posts, not working on videos, not doing contests, not working on holiday series, not resting, etc.  Obviously I don't see this as a major problem as it means I am making money and growing my business, but I won't be able to sustain it long without help.  Which means I will be taking the plunge into hiring sewing help very soon or going part-time at my day job.  This makes me very very anxious but that's a whole 'nother blog post.

This is definitely a learning process for me, but it's an exciting one I hope to share with you all as you work to grow your businesses as well.  Look for updates as I continue on this journey and feel free to comment or email me with questions.

12 comments:

  1. Please share with me how you found your customers. I, too, am on Etsy Wholesale and find this to be a puzzle.

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  2. Hi Judy, There really is no way to "find" wholesale customers (or at least that I have found). They have to find you and order so there is a lot of waiting. The only other option would be to send emails to stores outside of Etsy but I've never had much luck with that.

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  3. Hello, Casie - thank you for the great review! Is Etsy Wholesale still working well for you? Much appreciated!

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    1. Hello there! Yes I am continuing to get orders and a very nice pace. It's good because I don't have much time to work with my little guy in the house so it is just the right pace. I'm really happy with it.

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  4. Do you have to pay a transaction fee and a credit card processing fee? Thank you for your advise.

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    1. Right now all payments are sent through Paypal as Etsy doesn't have their own processing system for wholesale. There is a transaction fee for Etsy and then the regular fees for Paypal. The Etsy transaction fee is 3.5%. Thanks for reading!

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  5. This is a good common sense blog. I am very glad to read this.
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  6. Hi there,

    Thanks for your great post. Glad to hear you are having success with the Etsy Wholesale and hope it continues to grow! Thanks for clearing some things for me as i agree that there wasn't much information from Etsy and other blogs. I too am curious how many retailers are actually on Etsy and are aware of the wholesale option. Is etsy doing their own marketing to invite retailers to browse through? Have you reached out to retailers who then made purchases through the etsy platform? Thanks for your time and look forward to your reply

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    1. Hi Dave! Thank you for your comment. I have not reached out to my retailers to find out how they heard of Etsy Wholesale but it is a good idea. I will see if I can make contact with my past customers and if not I will be sure to ask the next retailer and post about here if I can get an answer.

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  7. Hello! I just would like to give a huge thumbs up for the great info you have here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.

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  8. Great information...Just what I was looking for specially when considering doing something brand new. I am definitely investing 100 on etsy wholesale soon!

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  9. It's not much information out there about Etsy Wholesale from a seller or buyer view. Thanks for you detailed personal account on the program. SOooo helpful!

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