RugsOfTurkey – Handmade Vintage Rugs

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message bb_tab_container=””]Niche : Home and Living
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Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…

I am more like a colletor to myself. There are lots of countries, regions to discover. All those places have huge history behind them and I like to discover that history by collecting their regional handmades

How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?

I am selling handmade rugs and there are not too many selling platforms that you can sell handmade items. After a couple of days of research, I decided that Etsy is the best platform for me. It wasn’t easy as I expected at the beginning because there were lots of things to learn but when you find your passion and joy source in your job, everything is possible. I just started with 50 rugs but now I have 650 and it’s still going up. When I look back, I see development, pride and passion.

What products do you sell, what type of materials are used in your creations, how do you design your products, what makes your products stand out?

I am selling handmade rugs. We don’t give much attention to rugs we barely think that they represent a whole region’s history. I’ve chosen rugs to sell because all of them are unique, all of them are one of their kind! When a customer buys a rug from the, he/she becomes the ONLY owner of that rug in the world! That mind-blowing fact dragged me into rugs.

How was your experience in learning to craft, are you self-taught or did you have a mentor, how long did it take for you to be satisfied with your creations

I am not fully making them because it takes so much time to make even one rug. I am modernizing them: cutting the unnecessary pile, cutting the ages, dying them with certain chemicals. Also, I am a person who likes to learn himself. I am still learning and it took me 8 months to become who I am now.

What was your original goal when you opened up an Etsy shop? What impacted your decision to start selling online? Do you consider online selling as a side-job, full-time job, or extra income to pay for your hobby?

I actually just wanted to take a step in my job life. I wasn’t expecting this job to become a full-time job for me but It is now and I really like it. I hope my job will grow up as the passion in my heart.

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Did you have any fears or reservations before opening up your Etsy shop? Were you worried about profitability or product competitiveness? What are some concerns and questions you had before you got started? How did you overcome them?

I always have fears and hesitances about my shop but I guess this is a natural fact of having responsibility. When you have such a responsibility everything can turn to fear and hesitate. It took me some time to realize that I have much more hope than fear in my heart. That’s what kept me going. I am always hopeful towards my job.

How long did it take for you to get your first sale? Did you ever think you would make a lot of sales in the first year? What was the goal you were hoping for? How many sales an average you get per week?

It took me 2 weeks to make my first sale because when you sell a vintage item, prices can be high for lots of people. Also I wasn’t experienced about Etsy’s SEO or something. I am selling approximately 15 rugs per week and I am happy with that.

Do you have a job outside Etsy? If not, are you able to commit full-time to online selling? How does your typical day look like? How do you manage time?

I am still a student and I am a student of mechanical engineering. Etsy plays huge part in my life but not in my daily schedule. I know what I got to do and I have quicker hands now. It approximately takes 2 hours per day to complete my daily tasks.

How does your manufacturing process look like for e.g. your best selling product? Do you create products ahead of the orders? Do you customize your products, if so how? What are the tools that you are using in the manufacturing process?

I don’t think that I can answer this question because I am not the creator of the items

What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?

Beauty! If it looks beautiful then It should worth good. This is the first question to ask myself but I am from Turkey and Turkish people always bargains! I always make discounts and give gifts. I am thinking about making %20 profit on my items.

What inspires you when you’re creating? How do you get ideas for new products? What are some methods or tools you use to get creative?

I don’t think that I can answer this question because I am not the creator of the items

Do you ship your product internationally? How do you handle postage pricing? What is the average time it takes from the order to the delivery? Do you use free shipping? If so, why? How do you package your products?

I am working with a friend who has a shipping company and he really helps me with my packages. It takes 2-4 workdays to ship an item from Turkey to the USA. I offer free shipping because it has a huge effect on customer’s minds. Also, I am very careful with my packaging and I make 3 layers of the package just to be sure that my customer’s order is safe!

Are you worried about competitors? Does it impact your business in any way? If there are a lot of similar products, how do you make your own standout?

I am very lucky about competitors because they don’t have any impact on me. Every rug has It’s own pattern and own story. That means there is no chance to be selling the same products.

How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?

I believe that ratings are the most important things for a customer. Not the item quality, not the cheap price, but rating! When I get the order, I always ask if there is anything more my customers ask. Also, I include small gifts for them. After the delivery, I always ask them If there was anything wrong with the delivery. When I get negative feedback, I refund their money and apologize even if I am the right one.

Has selling on Etsy changed your life in any way? If so, how? Did you ever think you would get this far with your shop? Have you ever been stressed about dealing with customers and manufacturing products? How did you deal with that?

I wasn’t stressed about dealing with customers because I’ve worked in so many side-jobs which I have to deal with customers. It was a easy thing to handle for me.

How important is social media for your shop? What are some common tactics you use to promote your products? Do you spend money on ads outside of Etsy? How do you generate excitement/hype around your products?

I don’t spend money for ads outside of Etsy because I think Etsy has enough opportunity to attract a customer. Beside that, social media has a major role in a selling job. When you are trying to sell a vintage rug, Instagram really helps you a lot.

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What are some things you don’t like about Etsy? If you could talk to the CEO of Etsy what recommendations would you tell him to improve sellers and customer satisfaction?

Database! Help Center! There are always problems with the website, I think due to database. Also It takes lifetimes to get a good response from help center.

What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?

SEO! I am still learning about it and Seo is the most important part of selling online. When you have a good Seo step up, sales will go insane

What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?

Make a good research about Seo. Always mesmerize your potential customer with good photos. Never fear from going down because that will lead you a making mistake


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