Saturday, May 22, 2010

Top Etsy Seller Study: Emily Martin of the Black Apple

Some girls 1939
Adorable Kitten Doll by Emily Martin aka The Black Apple . As he grins, he may tell us the secrets to his creator's success.
We all want to know how to be the next 'it' store. There are a lot of great resources for promoting your shop, for free, available to you. I think it's how much work you put into it and how you sell yourself, and your items. Many people complain they aren't selling anything at all, others have stores they can't keep up with. Let's start at the beginning. See who's selling.

If you go to the EtsyWiki page, you can find the top sellers, browse their store and see what they do. Most people look at this page and see the top sellers as being supply sellers and immediately freak out. Think about this: a supply seller who is offering $1 items, has to sell sixteen $1 items to equal your one $16 item, so don't let the numbers cloud your mind. My goal here is to show you HOW to increase overall sales by using examples of successful sellers.

I will use one ART example for this article because I hear all the time people aren't selling their art or handmade on Etsy and they are frustrated with no sales. Are you someone who wishes you had more sales? You've tried the Showcases and tried to sell but it's just not working? First ask yourself: Do you treat your store like a business or a hobby? I have to admit I don't put enough time into my art shop as I should, therefore, it is what it is. I put more into my vintage shop, and it treats me better. So folks, you can only blame youself if you are treating it like a hobby, and not a business. It's not all about listing items, so let's go to a Case Study.

So let's use this wonderful example to talk about: THEBLACKAPPLE - Emily Martin, Portland, Oregon
Tea for Two Print
"Tea for Two", Print by Emily Martin, $16 TheBlackApple on Etsy
STORE INFORMATION:

Sales as of Today 26961

Member since July 2005

Average Price of Item=$16 most art prints, other items average more or less. .

Average Items in Shop : 160-170 at a time, they sell so fast.

Summary: This artist offers adorable art prints, dolls, notebooks, jewelry, original art, and the like at a GREAT and FAIR price point to customers.

MILESTONE #1 Early on Emily was known for her cute and easy to make doll kits and dolls. By Oct 2007, she had made 8500 sales and was featured in TheStorque on Etsy which you can read Emily's secrets HERE.
Some girls 1974
Cute Handmade Dolls by Emily Martin.
MILESTONE #2 Soonafter, March 2008, she was on the Martha Stewart Show making her cute dolls with Martha !

MILESTONE #3 Spring 2009 she was secretly working on a cute series for Aladdin which has recently been unveiled on her blog and is available for purchase here.
ArtistMugEmilyMartin_mainEmily' Martin's Aladdin Series in the market Nov 2009 for sale!

TODAY Emily's shop is still going strong so I went to check out her current offerings and see what was the secret to her longevity.
BARGAINS GALORE: I could not believe her prints were only $16. Not only are they downright adorable, but a bargain price. I'm wondering how she can afford to sell that low when you figure in costs of making these on high quality papers with archival inks. (Printers can easily run $1000 or more, and papers alone can cost $2 and up each.....not to mention the cost of fancy inks.) Then Emily says they are shipped in a cello sleeve and flat mailer. A true bargain for the buyer! I soon realized she is selling MORE by offering for LESS. Better prices encourage more sales, repeat customers, so in this case, LESS has become MORE and then MUCH MORE and finally WAY MORE. She has built up a clientele and made a name for herself and just think of the amount of her artwork that is out there.

Girl and Bunny Print
"Girl and the Bunny Print" by Emily Martin, The Black Apple at Etsy
I then checked out her listings. What stood out to me is that SHE truly CARES about her customers. She explains about the archival ink lasting 82 years and talks about the quality of paper. Explanation to the customers about the quality of the item indicates she cares about what they are getting. Her profile page also lets you know she cares about making the customers happy. It goes on to explain if you are unsatisified in any way, she will make things right. Also, she offers print SETS at a very good price (even a bigger bargain) caring enough to give you the best deals possible! LOVE, LOVE, LOVE is written all over this store.

GOOD PHOTOS. She also cares about showing you what you are getting with professional looking photos that show close up of detail and are crystal clear.

When I noticed her main store page it said she had a blog called "Inside A Black Apple." Note she has chosen yet again the Black Apple name which is attached both to her blog and her store. A great tool for CROSS-PROMOTION. The blog is cute, consise, and markets her well. You can learn about Emily, see that the blog itself cross references her Etsy shop and anything she is currently doing (craft fairs, new works, etc.) She cross-promotes her store and offers support to other artists/sellers also.
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Newer creations by Emily Martin of The Black Apple.

Lastly, I went onto Google and googled her name. Her name and shop name came up in some FLICKR photo results. It appears she is offering some transfers via Sublime Stiching and her photos were appropriately labeled with her name and shop name ---a great way to get in the Google search results. Cross promoting and name branding via photos is also a great tool that many people overlook. Why not join a few FLICKR groups ang tag your photos? EXAMPLE: "Ira Mency of Retro Chalet Studio presents this Trash Art Umbrella..." (If you are interested in seeing Emily Martin's Transfers on Sublime Stiching GO HERE.)

Combine all of that with the fact that she has absolute true artistic talent, Emily is sure to stay in Etsy's Wiki for top sellers for a very, very, very long time.

So remember:
LESS IS MORE!
CARE ABOUT YOUR CUSTOMERS!
CROSS-PROMOTE!
STAY POSITIVE AND FOCUSED ON YOUR GOAL!
(and lastly, but more importantly, YOU MUST WORK AT IT)

Kudos to you Emily for having a super cool shop!

Note: All images are Copyright Emily Martin, The Black Apple, and used with permission for means of this article only and versions of this article I may publish on Associated Content about The Black Apple.

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