May 7, 2012

Revamping Old Products on Etsy

I often come across this piece of advice while reading articles about how to improve one's Etsy shop: if you have a product that does not sell well, trash it. Well, obviously, the articles are more eloquent in saying this. I get to the point: if it's not doing well, trash it. The articles warn that this may be a product line that you like quite a bit, but if it's not working, then it won't work.  Again, they were more eloquent.

I've come to the realization that they were talking about my Newsboy hats. Yes! They were specifically talking to me and specifically about that particular line of hats. Now, I have a love-lust relationship with these hats. Since I first created one, I have adored these hats and own half a dozen of them. Of course people would love them, too!

But, well, the sales told a different story. Newsboy hats did not sell well. Moreover, they didn't even get noticed--always being shoved aside by whimsical animal hats or glamorous flapper hats.

Scrap them altogether? I couldn't. I decide to revamp the image of them instead. What hats were popular in my shop and why? Many of these hats had some kind of flair (brooches, flowers, facial features), while the newsboys only had their hopes and dreams on which to rely. So in the grand tradition of Portlandia (well, almost), I decided to put a flower on it. (I may actually try putting a bird on it next. Post forthcoming.)

Suddenly, this:

Becomes this:

And this:

Another way in which I revamped the hats and their listings is by figuring out why I like them so much.  When I'm sledding, they're warm and they stay tightly on my head. Yet I also wear them in the summer: I pull them back on my head and wear them like slouchy hats. How come I hadn't mentioned this in the description before?

So here is my advice: before trashing a product line altogether, figure out how to revamp it.
  • Why do you like this product so much?
  • Have you mentioned the reason/s in your listing?
  • Is there anything you can change or add to make it trendier?
  • Can you put a bird on it?
  • Or maybe it's as simple as taking better pictures?


Jenny Hats said...

This is some great advice. I'm off to work on adding some accessories to my images now, haha. You're absolutely right, though. My hats with just a little bit more flair get a bunch more views and purchases than my blander ones.

PS: Love the Portlandia reference. Birds must go on everything.

Kelli said...

I just checked out your Etsy shop and I love your hats, Jenny!

Here's my problem (and probably the problem of any artisan who wants to earn some dough): I only want to make what I like...and not just what sells. And what I like doesn't always sell.

So maybe putting a bird on it is the way to compromise. ;)

Jenny Hats said...

Aw, thanks for dropping by!

I have the same problem. There are certain hats I just love making and personally think are cute - but they don't sell.

I started taking photos of the hats with flowers and saying that the flower was optional, and wouldn't you know - they sell faster that way. Who knew?

Maybe Portlandia is more genius than we ever could have imagined.