There are about a gazillion places out there to sell your stuff. Do a quick search online and you will find endless results, all promising that their SEO or whatever will get you the most sales. Here is the one thing I have learned: That’s all crap.
It really is up to you to do all of the promoting, marketing, etc. That is why having a ton of shops can be overwhelming and perhaps a little counterproductive.
Let’s use me as an example!
Okay, so I have my stuff for sale in multiple places:
Why do I have so many stores after I just said that it is counter-productive? Because (1) I’m indecisive and (2) I’m taking them all for a good ol’ test drive.
You don’t buy a car without testing driving a few models to see which one you like best, right? Or maybe you do. You might be a better decision maker than myself. Anyway, I think the same thing applies for online stores. You want to see what gets the traffic and what doesn’t. You want to factor in quality, ease of use, and the speed of shipping. For my purposes, I am not able to manufacture anything other than the art you see on the prints and products. I have to leave the actual making of the items to the printers. I live in a small townhouse where there is literally NO ROOM for anything else in here. Also, I’m somewhat of a starving artist and having all of the production materials on hand is not cost effective for me.
So I am evaluating Printful to see how well they do with manufacturing and shipping. I hear mixed reviews but I will see how it goes. Printful handles the fulfillment of the orders for my PPS and Etsy shops. I have sold some things on Red Bubble and I have also purchased items off of Red Bubble…so I like them so far. Society 6 has zero purchases from me or customers so this one is up in the air. Plus, there was a weird phase last year where I would delete items that would still show up on my shop. Which is the most unhelpful thing ever. I’m on the fence as to whether or not I am keeping Society 6. Then there is Spoonflower which is nice but again, zero sales. Also their interface takes some getting used to. In my shop for Spoonflower, I converted my designs into patterned fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap. They are all cute, but Spoonflower, in my humble opinion, is a little pricey. So I am on the fence about them as well.
And finally, let me discuss my love/hate relationship with Etsy. If you have sold for some time on Etsy, you probably can relate to what I am about to say. They are horrible for sellers to some extent. Honestly, I don’t think they really give a crap about their sellers other than collecting their fees from your listings, etc. Also, Etsy just seems to have lost it’s community feel. It’s like another Amazon, but for crafters. So at this point, if I get rid of anything, it will be Etsy. I am testing it out with the Printful integration to see how smoothly it goes, but if it doesn’t work, it’s gone. I’m tired of dealing with the negative customers, fees, etc. at this point.
What I would like to do is eventually have everything on my shop here at my website. I would like to keep everything running out of one location. But in this economy, I am not sure if that is the wisest course of action. It could be smarter to have multiple shops going to reach more people.
But here is why I find it counterproductive to do so: You have to maintain the stores, load the listings and arrange the art, and promote and market the shops if you want to sell anything. I’m not sure if I want to direct people to five different places to buy something. Will that confuse people?
Anyone out there running multiple shops? What suggestions do you have – keep them all or limit them to a select few? What shops do you prefer?