When I first started, and sales were slow (I was a newbie and expected my items to fly off the shelves...LOL....ohhh c'mon you know you did that too!), I definitely checked out the other sellers. I was inspired for sure, on many different levels.
- The quality of their work. This made me fine tune my technique, making sure there were no sharp edges, and all of the wire ends were tucked away and out of site. I pushed myself to provide a better quality than what you can find when you buy mass produced jewelry.
- Their photography was amazing, which made me strive to learn how to take better photos. I've learned all I need or want to know about the Macro setting :) I've been back and forth between my light box and natural light...I prefer natural light, but once I get off of work I'm left with a very limited amount of time to take photos.
- The packaging, many show pictures of their gift boxes in their listing. Instead of purchasing boxes I wanted to make my own, so I learned how to make origami boxes just to add that additional personal touch. I may change this in the near future because it's actually more cost effective to order boxes, but I will continue to make my boxes while I still have the paper to do so.
- Last but not least, the shop appearance (below you'll see the different banners that I've had for my shop). Wow...it was a little intimidating to see the store fronts of these shops, especially for a newbie like me. Beautiful banner, great photos and the introduction on the front page of your shop is the first thing a buyer sees when they happen upon your little corner of the world. This is a time when first impressions really mean something. I used to have a short novel (not really but close) as my introduction, I changed it so I don't lose the interest of a potential customer.
Sept. 2007 banner (I made)
March 2008 banner (I made)
Aug. 2008 banner (made by decafjnr on Etsy)
A superb graphic designer, well priced, and wonderful to work with!
August 2008 banner (I made)
I know that I've made a lot of changes within this year, especially in such a short amount of time that it may confuse some of my buyers to the point that they don't recognize my shop anymore.
I have been working diligently over this past year to fine tune my techniques and to learn new ones, as I grow and change so does my store.