We just opened our Etsy shop (www.etsy.com/shop/MiniMynagerie) about a month ago, and we still have a lot of questions and a lot of tinkering to do. We were hoping that some of you veteran sellers (especially on Etsy, but on other online venues as well) could help us out. We would also love to hear from prospective buyers about what you want to see in our shop!
Here are several areas that we'd like help with:
1. Ordering Mechanics:
Since we offer made-to-order figurines where the basic design can be ordered in many styles (including several price tiers for custom orders), we are afraid that our current ordering system is too complicated
. Currently, we have one listing for each figurine design, where the user can select "Style" and "Color." The Styles are: White, Solid Color, Marbled (white+1 color), Clear, Tinted, Clear Marbled (clear+1 color), Shimmer (1 color), Glow-in-the-Dark, and 4 tiers of custom, where the price varies with all of these options. We include a table in the images for the listing to give buyers examples of what each of these options looks like, but we are afraid that some people don't see the table/don't understand how to use it
. Ordering can get a little complicated because if you select White, Clear, Glow-in-the-Dark, or custom, then you must select "None" for color, and if you want a custom figurine, then you need to message us before ordering to describe wha you want, so that we can price it (we don't want you making assumptions about what price tier it will fall under).
This is made so complicated by the fact that on Etsy, you can ONLY include two drop-down menus in a listing
, which is how we landed on the Style/Color scheme that we currently have. Each listing also costs a certain amount of money (though small) to create and renew, so we don't want to have a separate listing for absolutely every design in absolutely every style that we offer. But friends and relatives (especially less technically-savvy ones) have told us that they find our ordering process hard to navigate, so any recommendations for improvement would be much appreciated
We are still trying to figure out what the optimal pricing is for our figurines. Currently, they range from $15-27 for one of our listed styles, and $25-50 for a custom style (such as custom painting). We realize this is a little on the pricey end, but the process is pretty labor-intensive and has required us to buy a vacuum pump/chamber and a pressure tank/pot, both of which are quite expensive. On the other hand, our order volume is lower than we hoped, so maybe we need to lower the prices a bit. What do you think of the pricing for the various styles?
E.g. should Glow-in-the-Dark be more expensive than Shimmer? What would you pay for these figurines?
We think we need to work on our branding. In particular, we think the profile picture and banner image (same image as our current DA avatar) is too cluttered and makes it difficult to see the actual figurines
. We are thinking about something a little cleaner/more organized, maybe with lighter/brighter colors and more of a cohesive color scheme. We have also started to get more creative with our product images, but think there is still a lot of room for improvement. Suggestions?
We have several social media accounts (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest) for our shop, but we are not sure how to best utilize these platforms
. We also created a promo code, MYNAGERIECONSERVES10, that when used at checkout before Feb. 1 guarantees that 10% of your order price will be donated to the Wildlife Conservation Society, but so far no one has used this code. We're not sure if that's because we did a bad job of spreading the word, because people aren't really interested in promo codes that don't give them a discount, or because people don't actually believe that we'll make the donation (we'll provide screenshots, we promise!!!). What do you do to promote your art/shop?
5. General Advice: Do you have any other general words of wisdom?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read this post and offer us your advice!
a.k.a. the MiniMynagerie Team