Thursday, December 17, 2009

Steampunk Jewelry in Toronto

So every once in a blue moon I do a Craft show around Toronto. Eons ago when I did them in Montreal they were fantastic. Toronto though has more of a mixed reaction. I'm not complaining though - I always sell something at the shows, even when people around me aren't.

Last week though I had a strange experience. A couple came over to me and asked if Iworked for another person. (Dave?? I can't remember). No, I make all my own stuff all by myself. Sometimes the cat keeps me company but mostly its me & parts.

"But your jewelry is a lot like his!"
"Well, not really. Your work is very nice."
"We should tell Dave(?) to come and see your stuff. He's going to be Furious. He'll be soooo angry! We should tell him to come see your stuff!"
um... no really. Perhaps you should NOT send Dave(?)-the-Enraged-Jeweler to come see my stuff. I really don't want to meet him anymore.
"Oh it will be FUN! He'll be really upset but he'll get over it!"

This coming Sunday I'll be at the TRANZAC - a little space just south of Bloor Street, at 292 Brunswick Ave. I'm going to have a bunch of new work there. I love the vibe at these craft shows - its always amazing to meet other crafts people.

Somehow though I'm not sure I'm looking forward to meeting Dave(?) though. If you hear about an incident at a craft show.. think of me.

Friday, December 4, 2009

TIPS for ETS Sellers #2: Whats in a Tag - ETSY Tagging Tips

Last night at the Speakeasy Craft show in Toronto I started talking to someone about the tags they use on Etsy. I'm fairly certain that this would apply though to many, many other sites perhaps like artfire.

Most people think of tags as descriptions - and in Etsy's case they have some general rules around tagging. Certainly the right tags will get your product found - when you search for something on etsy after all you will notice the various categories. Mis-tagging can get you in trouble sometimes... listing something as vintage when it isn't... but general mistagging can just get your work buried.

If you ever browse the categories (and really - you should! Not only is it a good way to stumble over a great gift but its a great way to see how others are tagging their items) sometimes you'll find some piece of jewelry (or whatever) that is completely mis-tagged. Perhaps it is a newly created necklace that has somehow ended up in the "Supplies" category. These mistakes often go unnoticed by the seller - and what will happen is that your work will be buried in the zillions of supplies.

General rules - lets call these the Basics:

1. CATEGORIES - not all my work goes into the Geekery Category though certainly some of it does. The JEWELRY section is hundreds of pages deep but if that's where your item goes... thats where it should be.

2. SPELLING: is of course critical. One thing to consider though is that American vs British spellings can make it difficult to find some items. Since the majority of buyers are from the USA - consider your options carefully and I would suggest that if the majority of your customers are from the USA - then certainly appeal to them.

3. APPROPRIATE: its really critical that the tag you use is appropriate. You do yourself no favors by marking something with an inappropriate tag. No one wants to look for shoes and find your piece of jewelry made with a doll that happens to be wearing shoes. They won't click on it - and you have wasted one of your Limited number of tags. When I search for supplies it irks the crap out of me to search for steampunk and end up with teddy bear material. My reaction is WTF followed by annoyance. I immediately know someone is trying to take advantage of the popularity of steampunk............. or they just don't know what they are doing. I will NOT buy from someone who can't be bothered to find out about Steampunk Jewelry, or what is a good tag to use for their product.

There are only 14 tags on etsy so use them wisely!

Create a list of possible TAGS. Have a close look at what other people are using for their tags - it might not be the best choice but when you are trying to brainstorm some appropriate tags it can be easy to overlook some.

Now to the nitty-gritty of your Tags...

Tags help the buyers find your work, but with 45,000 tennis bracelets what will help them find you???

This is where a little site called CRAFTWEASEL will really come in handy. Here's the description of their Tag Finder tool: "Tag finder helps you choose the best set of tags for your items" - and pretty much it does what it says.

So lets have a look how this works - and I can give you an example. Since I'm fairly familiar with the term Steampunk... lets go with another tag that sometimes applies to my jewelry: GOTHIC.

Craftweasel tells me were 1100 items or so listed with this term - and the prices - the Mean/Median price. Right away I can see that most of my items will be out of the Mean And the Median price range. (google up the terms for an explanation). Immediately I know that this might not be a good tag for my products. Why? Because my price range is higher so if someone searches and lists "low to high" price my work will be buried...
Does this mean I should not use the tag "gothic"? Not necessarily... so lets look a bit deeper into the stats provided.

Personally the 2nd chart I look at is the graph: "Graph of related tags with most views/day"
Under the term "gothic" I find that jewelry is very low in this list - clothing related items being HIGH. It would be a great term if I made gothic clothing. Alas, its already dropping in my list of Possible tags.

Is that it? No.. Dig around look at the "RELATED TAGS". This is actually a fantastic bit of information. I always sort it by "Average Views per Day". What are the top few average views that are related to what YOU sell? Are any of those tags related to what you sell? What is the average price? Is there any YOU can use...

keep building your list of the best tags for your work you can find. It is how people FIND you on etsy. Check back periodically and see what getting more hits using CraftWeasel. Ask some friends - "if you were looking on google what terms would you use to find my work?".

And one final tip..........
every so often tag your shop name (or your personal name) in with the tags. You might also list your city or town. Not everyone knows to use the "shop local" option - and that only shows 100 shops anyway - so put your city down as a tag... not on every item but at least on one or two in your shop.

Did you find anything interesting in this post? Please let me know!