Ready to try again – (9) UBC Oct 2012


Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate
Monarch male showing its wings to attract a mate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


Dear Monarch Butterfly,


Several years ago I developed this dream of selling my own hand made creations, and proceeded to set up shop on Etsy. It never amounted to anything. I did everything that “they” tell you to do in order to be successful: listed new items regularly, used my description and pictures effectively (or at least what I thought was effective), and followed all of the research to better my business. After a year of struggling I finally had to close down shop. The time and effort was just not worth it anymore. What did I do wrong?


Sincerely, ready to try again.






Dear Ready,


You didn’t necessarily do anything wrong. The etsy community is extremely competitive. No matter what your niche is in selling, there are at least 10,000 other artists trying to sell the same thing. Don’t get discouraged if etsy just doesn’t work for you. Some people are highly successful on etsy, and some just aren’t.


Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase


You can be successful selling your handmade crafts, just not necessarily through etsy. Several people, who fail on etsy, find success through eBay, Facebook, or one of the other online venues specifically for selling crafts.


Maybe online selling is not the best option for you when it concerns selling your handmade creations. It could be your product, or your personality, or any other number of reasons. This doesn’t mean that you can’t still sell. Find a local craft show, set up a table, and try selling your wares face-to-face with your consumers. Get in touch with a consignment store or boutique and try resale. There are a lot of different directions you can take, just because you are unsuccessful in one of these venues does not mean that you are an unsuccessful entrepreneur.


-Monarch Butterfly


If you have a question for the Monarch Butterfly, please send an email to Every email will be answered, and you might just see yours up here one day!  don’t forget to comment with your own story of Etsy success or failure, we’d love to hear from you!





4 thoughts on “Ready to try again – (9) UBC Oct 2012

  1. I agree with you Etsy is not for everyone. I have thought long and hard about Etsy and have chosen to not go that route but I did manage to find another online place to sell my products and I believe that this place will be the right place for me. is a website that is just starting up for women to sell their crafts. I am going to give it a whirl and see what happens. Great information about other venues to try for selling your items.

  2. Very true indeed – Etsy, and online selling in general, is not for everyone and every product. For example, I sell my woodburnings better online than I do in person; the main reason being that the theme of my work is somewhat specific, and there are not enough people to appreciate it locally. I have a greater reach online, and therefore can stay more focused in what I create. My other half, on the other hand, sells much better in person. He creates handmade soap, most of which is designed for a specific purpose, with lots of research and intent put into the creation. He’s great at talking, so he can talk up a storm with customers in person, face-to-face, where they can handle and smell the soap up close. That just works better for him.
    Keep looking for that perfect outlet for your product, and if you can’t find it, consider changing the product itself….

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