Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
Hello. I’m Melda! I am an electrical and electronic engineer. I love working with wooden. For this reason, I design and take part in wooden products. This is a passion.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
The exchange rate rose in my country and I found that earning in different countries’ currencies is a better option for my future. And ETSY offered me this opportunity. Before, I was designing handmade products and gifting them to my friends. I can take advantage of that now.
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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?
We are working on wood. We work with pine trees, spruce trees, walnut, and many types of trees. I usually use AutoCAD for my drawings. I think there are a variety and color options that highlight my products. We also offer size and many customization options as we manufacture it entirely by ourselves.
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 learned to use Autocad during my university education. Later, by improving the education I had received, I started to make 2D and partly 3D drawings. When did I start to like the products I made? If my friends said okay, everything is fine!
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?
Indeed, the large exchange rate difference allows me to do this job as a full-time job. In this way, I can market the products I produce in my country to the whole world. Maybe I’ll get an office one day! why not 🙂
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?
ETSY allows us to minimize such questions. You do not have problems with payments, this is very important. And opening a store is completely free! Therefore there is nothing to fear! You just do your job and Etsy supports you. As long as you produce the most beautiful products.
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?
I made about 20 sales the month I opened it. That was great! It was more than I expected. Because I came across the shopping festival!
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?
ETSY is my only job right now. There is no time for another job anyway. Because clients want some customization and I may need to refresh the drawings. Some want to put it in the corner, some want to increase the measure, etc. Then I supply the wood and cut it! My favorite part is to give shape to wood!
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 have a small cutting tool and with it, I can cut wood at any angle I want. All that’s left is screwing and painting! Our production process starts with supplying wood according to the order because we manufacture in a small parking lot. A lot of orders came this month and the lack of stock put me in a difficult position. Now I produce new products and put them aside to keep stock. When the order arrives, the only painting will remain.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
I think my products are expensive. This increases risk. Because if there is damage to the cargo, you have to satisfy your customer by undertaking the large shipping costs. I also have to make such hikes in prices. But again, my competitors determine the price.
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?
My friends inspire me in production. We decide how the arms should be, how the body should be.
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?
We wrap our products in airy nylons and thin foams. Then we put it in a box and wrap it with airy nylons. I send products to all countries. There are no restrictions! My cargo agreement is strong 🙂 I can send it to even the most remote islands. Let try us if you want 🙂
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 stand out?
Actually, I don’t have many competitors. There are several vendors that produce such products. Few are as varied as me. We work customer-oriented. We think in advance what they will want and produce 1 and photograph it. Then we list this sample product at an affordable price. The first person to get this does not know he is lucky. The price goes up after he gets it 🙂
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
Customer satisfaction is very important. It is even more important than anything else. Therefore, I do my best to satisfy my customers. If a customer buys a lot of products, I also put some gifts for him.
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?
For now, ETSY can’t say change our lives. I’m so new But I see the future 🙂 If I can sell on ETSY for 1 year, my life will change completely. I hope this happens. I want this so much. I have no problem dealing with customers. But I had a hard time on Black Friday because the products will not grow. but still sent it early. I also stock up so that it doesn’t happen after that.
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 only use Pinterest. I do not use ads other than ETSY.
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?
I do not think ETSY ads give sufficient results. I can say that this is not just my opinion, but the general opinion on Etsy chat platforms in my country. I think a better way should be found for ETSY ads to reach the target audience.
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What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
I learned from an Etsy consultant what the correct labels are for my products. That’s how I started listing my products.
What piece of advice would you give to new or established sellers or those considering selling on Etsy? How can they avoid beginner mistakes?
The biggest startup mistake means let’s open the store and then edit it. But it is best to start by preparing everything from the beginning.
Anything you wish to add, feel free to do so here. We value your opinion
What else can I say? Thank you.