After long thinking, I’ve decided to open my own Etsy store. I’ve been selling my cartoons through micro-stock agencies like Dreamstime and Shutterstock since 2008, however, I draw mostly cartoons for children, and I’d love to offer them to a new and more suitable audience – to the art and crafts crowd, card makers, small bloggers, moms with children, kindergarten teachers etc. People like that usually don’t have accounts on micro-stock sites, they use Etsy and similar marketplaces to get the artwork they need. And I want to get in:)
I need to do market research
So far, I still don’t know much about Etsy, but I’m willing to spend some time on learning about the marketplace, the customers and their needs. My plan is to bundle my older cartoons into different collections, sort them by themes, and offer them for a discounted price of ten dollars. I’m willing to grant people a license for the standard commercial use for every image, so they don’t have to worry about using my work in business for-profit setting.
I need to get some traffic
I heard that I should have about 50 product listings in my store before I can expect some traffic from the potential customers. Right now, I have four listings, I can create about eight to ten more if I use my current collection of cartoons, however, I don’t see myself getting to the desired 50. Every bundle will have around 20 to 30 cartoons, which would mean that I’d have to have somewhere between 1000 and 1500 images, and that’s a lot. Therefore, I need to find another way how to attract potential customers. I’m not really sure how I’ll do that.
I used to promote my old Zazzle store on tumblr, but I stopped using that platform four years ago. I can’t use Google and Facebook ads because I don’t want to become a business that has to pay value added taxes and I don’t want to break any law (thanks a lot EU, your laws really make sense!).
Storefront design for my Etsy store
I decided to keep the design of my Etsy store very simple. I sell cartoons, so I used only cartoons to define the appearance of my store. I also used images with white background to keep the store from looking overcrowded (which is easy to do when you use lots of brightly colored cartoons). In future I will update the store’s header and avatar depending on the season, holidays, etc.
The future of my Etsy store
I will keep you posted about my progress on Etsy, and about my potential successes or failings. If you have some advice or suggestion for me, don’t hesitate to comment. I’m always looking for other people’s thoughts and opinions.