Friday, August 31, 2012

I took the plunge!

I've been hemming and hawing about Etsy's "new" (not so new anymore, I guess) feature called "Direct Checkout." This feature is still an option for Etsy sellers, although many expect it to be required at some time in the future.

My main concern about Direct Checkout is that Etsy expects requires me to ship items paid for via Direct Checkout BEFORE I have access to the funds/payment for the item. With PayPal, which I've used for 12+ years, the payment is available to me immediately (literally!); I have the PayPal debit card and I can use it to shop locally or online immediately after receiving payment for an item. Etsy, however, is holding seller's funds/payment for THREE DAYS, and after that it will likely take another day or two (at least!) for the funds to appear in my bank account and be available for me to spend.

Many sellers feel that Etsy is profiting from the "float" (interest) on the money. With tens of thousands of sellers on the Etsy web site, many of whom are using Direct Checkout, there is probably quite a sizeable amount of money being floated at any given time -- likely thousands of dollars, if not tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars! After all, Etsy sellers sell MILLIONS of dollars worth of goods each and every month! Here's the link to the latest (July 2012 Weather Report), which is Etsy's monthly public reporting of many numbers associated with the site. In July 2012, for example, $69.5 million dollars of goods were sold on the Etsy site (this number takes into account refunds and cancelled sales). Now, of course, not all 69 million dollars of goods were paid for with Direct Checkout, and I haven't yet seen where (or if) Etsy is releasing any numbers regarding the amount of sales paid for via Direct Checkout, OR how many Etsy sellers are using Direct Checkout.

If you are using Direct Checkout, I'd love if you'd leave a comment here! Let me know how you like it, if it has generated increased sales for you, or if you've had any problems with it. Thanks!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Got an idea this morning that involved using paint in a container I couldn't get open. I have never liked the large "jar" type paint containers -- talkin' house paint here, folks, not craft paint. These containers are too large to grasp easily and, if the lid has gotten stuck on by dried paint, opening them is a real challenge!

First, I tried the usual trick of banging the edge of the lid with a knife handle (ok, so I used a screwdriver this time ... same thing!), but the lid still wouldn't budge. You may have done this with ketchup bottles or jars of pasta sauce -- and if you haven't, DO give it a try, as it has always worked for me! Anyway, since this was latex (water-based) paint, I thought maybe a little warm water would help.

I set a timer for two minutes so I didn't forget about it ... it happens, ya know?! And just about two minutes later, voila! 

Now to get back to my project ... 

What is the most ingenious thing you've done lately?

Friday, July 27, 2012

A Primitive Shop in ... JAPAN!

Today I received this picture from one of my wholesale customers in Japan. She ordered these hearts recently and yesterday she took this pic and posted it on her store's blog and her store's web site ... she says the hearts almost sold out right away!

The store is Nantucket Country and has been buying from me since about 1998. Masami found one of my early attempts at a web site shortly after she opened her store and bought things from me for a few years. My style then became "too primitive" (grungy & stained) for her customers, but earlier this year she found my Etsy shop and saw that I was still making things and has placed two orders in the last few months!

If you're in or near Kobe, or have the opportunity to visit in the future, I hope you will stop in at Nantucket Country and say hi for me!

And if you're a store owner who is interested in buying wholesale, please contact me for wholesale prices! Besides the hearts, I make grungy & grubby "extreme" primitive dolls (i.e., the grungier the better for me!), stockings for Christmas and other seasons, pillows, and a variety of things (mostly sewn or fabric). I love to work with antique quilts and other vintage textiles. Today I'm starting to work on Fall and Halloween dolls for a few customers and have already shipped some Santas to other wholesale customers!


Sunday, April 22, 2012

A Sad Day on Etsy

Etsy has a "Featured Seller" section on their front page. Usually this space is filled by a seller who makes things in their own studio with their own two hands. But they blew it this time. BIG TIME. They're currently featuring an Etsy seller who sells furniture and accessories which appear to be imported from Indonesia. I apologize for not providing any links but I don't want to provide anything which could be helpful to this Featured Seller.

For those of you who feel I may be a little harsh here, Etsy has a list of "Do's and Don'ts" which they usually take very seriously (sometimes a bit TOO seriously). If you click on the Do's and Don'ts link, you'll see a list of rules regarding who can help an Etsy seller produce their work. These include:
  • An assistant, under the direct supervision of the seller, may: assist with a portion of the creation process, list items in a shop, ship items, communicate with buyers, accounting or other record keeping.
  • A third-party vendor may be used for intermediary tasks in some crafts. Acceptable examples include, but are not limited to: printing the seller's original artwork, metal casting from the seller's original mold, or kiln firing the seller's handcrafted ceramic work.
  • A third-party vendor may not fulfill your orders to your Etsy customers on your behalf (no drop-shipping).
  • An assistant or third-party vendor's involvement may not comprise a majority share of a handmade item's creation.
And then there's the current Featured Seller. Research indicates that she may be the owner of a gallery in Malibu, California which imports the items being offered in her Etsy shop. She willingly provides the information that she has four carpenters helping her, and I'm willing to bet that their "assistance" comprises a majority share of the creation of these items! (See the fourth bullet point above.)

Resellers on Etsy are nothing new. Hundreds of Etsy sellers have their items flagged for review every day because someone believes the item(s) are not handmade or at least not handmade primarily by the seller. Unfortunately, Etsy rarely (if ever) takes action to shut these shops down. And now they've gone and featured one of these shops as a Featured Seller?!

Etsy, you owe us, the REAL artisans on your site, a huge apology.

If you would like to support a true American artist (and one residing in California!), please visit my Etsy shop: Prairie Primitives. Thank you!