[vc_row][vc_column][vc_message]Niche : Home and Living
Shop link : https://www.etsy.com/shop/WBCIndustriesSupply
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/WBCIndustries
Website : http://www.wbcindustries.com[/vc_message][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Tell us something about yourself, how did you get started, do you consider yourself a crafter, maker, artist…
I consider myself a creative person with an entrepreneurial spirit which has fueled the growth of my business. My company originally started out supplying materials to businesses within the Orthopedic and Prosthetic Industries. As we began to grow we realized the materials we were supplying could be used universally. This drove me to start a wholesale business available to anyone interested in buying larger quantity items. As the wholesale business continued to grow I knew it was time to offer our products to smaller businesses and crafters.
How did you discover Etsy? Did you have any previous experience in selling handmade products? Why did you start selling online?
Once I realized it was time to offer our products in smaller quantities, I began researching and found Etsy. Rather than creating my own site to sell small quantities, I found Etsy to be the most cost-effective and easiest option for me to reach my target audience. Prior to Etsy, I did not have any experience of selling directly to small customers.
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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?
I sell supplies for other stores to use that help create a finished product. We have a variety of webbing, hook and loop, hardware, and tools in our store. We strive to have competitive pricing and high-quality products.
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?
My learning experience with crafting has been self-taught. I feel that if I am going to sell products that help others craft, I need to be able to use them effectively. I now create demonstration videos using all of our tools and materials for customers to reference. You can find this on our website.
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?
My original goal when I opened the Etsy shop was to reach a new type of customer. After I decided that Etsy would be used as my selling avenue, I felt that the reward was greater than the risk involved. It has helped to take my business to new places. I consider this more of a side avenue compared to my main business.
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?
When I first opened my Etsy shop I did not have any fears or reservations. Etsy makes it so easy for you to set up a shop and to process orders. I felt that as long as I followed the advice Etsy was giving me that everything would be okay. They made it easy to set up and to connect to my social media pages to start marketing.
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 about four days to make my first sale. So far the sales have exceeded my original expectations for the shop. On average we receive anywhere from 20-30 orders per week. Our goal is to reach 500 orders by the end of the year.
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 do have a job outside of Etsy. I run WBC Industries our larger wholesale business. I typically come in each day and set aside the new products that I would like to add to the shop and process orders. After processing the Etsy orders I focus on the larger business unless orders come in during the day.
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?
Since we are a manufacturer of tools and supplies, we are lucky to not require a manufacturing process. We prepare all of our products in the quantities and colors they are offered in ahead of time to be as efficient as possible. We process and ship out all orders the same day.
What is the biggest impact on the profitability of your shop? How expensive are the materials you use? How do you price your products?
We price items based on what the market value is for the product. We create our pricing to be as reasonable as possible which may cause a loss at times but we want to be sure the customer is always happy.
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 shop is inspired by trends and seasons. We love thinking of new ways to use our products that benefit our customers. With the holidays around the corner, we have a few ideas on items that we will be adding to spark customer interest.
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?
Yes, our shop does ship internationally. We provide free shipping on domestic orders over $35.00. We offer two types of international shipping which the buyer can select during checkout.
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?
I am not worried about our competitors. My shop works hard to provide a product quickly, efficiently, and at a great price. I want our reviews to be a representation of why people choose my shop over others.
How do you deal with disputes or bad ratings/feedback? How do you manage presale and post-sale communication and customer satisfaction?
When a dispute arises, I like to speak with the customer as soon as possible to see what the problem might be. Responsive customer service is an important factor that buyers look at when choosing if they would like to purchase again.
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?
Selling on Etsy has opened my eyes to understanding the different types of products customers like to buy. Sometimes the specials we run seem to be like the perfect add-on to reach the free shipping threshold but customers choose to pay for shipping anyway.
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?
We have not actually used social media to advertise our shop. Currently, we only use Etsy ads on the site. We like to market through other outlets like print coupons in orders, emails, and creating a new special of the week. This has encouraged buyers to share and favorite our store.
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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?
I wish Etsy Partnered with more shipping partners. They primarily use USPS and lately, they have not been the most reliable when it comes to delivering packages. It would be great if we could link our FedEx or UPS account to our Etsy profile and provide shipping labels through the site that way.
What are some things you did to set your shop for success on Etsy? What is one lesson you learned the hard way?
One thing we did to set our shop up for success, in the beginning, was to be sure we processed orders quickly. We knew the products we were selling would be great and wanted to be sure the service met those standards if not better.
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 advice I would give to a new Etsy shop starting out would be is to make sure you provide great service along with a great product. If you can do both of those things your shop will continue to see success. Also, invest at the beginning with Etsy Ads. This will help get your shop off the ground.