Etsy versus Dawanda? Ideas?

Today I’m looking for ideas and thoughts on selling platforms and thinking that maybe you will be able to help me make the right decision:)

So when I launched Knitting in France in 2011 I had my very own e-commerce website and it did quite well. When I moved to Normandy in 2013 I closed the website and moved everything to the Etsy platform where I have been ever since. I actually had opened a shop there a long time ago selling my own handmades but it had never taken off and so the shop was partly set up and it seemed like an easy solution to just go there at the time. The idea behind the move was to lower cost and I thought that maybe I could reach a broader audience also.

I’m ok on Etsy although my shop is still a small shop and I’m not making a living selling my yarns and stitch markers. I think Etsy has changed a lot lately and the competition is fierce as there are a million other hand dyers and makers there competing for the same audience so it is difficult to stand out. And lately I’ve also noticed that a number of shops I like are moving off Etsy and opening their own e-commerce website so I’m thinking that I probably went about this in the wrong way.

There is another large platform out there called Dawanda and this year they have contacted me 3 times to incite me to open a shop on their platform and now I’m wondering if I should. Only I’m not very familiar with Dawanda, I have never tried selling there and I have never even purchased anything from there. Setting up a second shop, even if it is on a platform such as Dawanda, is a lot of work. It is time consuming in the beginning to set everything up and list all the items but of course I could just open with 10-20 skeins of yarn to begin with and then add more stuff gradually. But it also means that I’ll have to run 2 shops and 2 inventories because I cannot list the same item in both shops (what if I sell the item on Etsy and before I have the time to take down the listing on Dawanda someone else buys it there? That would be a hassle and not a good experience for the buyer). Also I’d need more time and maybe money for publicity and social media sharing etc.

So is it worth the effort? Do you shop on Dawanda? Do you know anyone who has a shop on Dawanda and know if they are happy there?

Or maybe I should just open up my own e-commerce website again? I own a domain I’m not using for that currently….What are your thoughts?

I sometimes (mostly all the time) feel like the snake that bites its tail (don’t know if that expression exists in English but it does in Icelandic so here goes). I want so very much for my enterprise to succeed, I dream of doing this full time and I have a gazillion ideas for how to make this happen and what I’d like to do but I just don’t have the time as I’m working full time and I have a family of 5 (3 kids). I need more time to expand but I don’t have any time to do so. So I sometimes feel like I’m setting myself up for failure because of that. But maybe a second shop would increase my sales and visibility and bring me more money which in turn would help me to go from a 100% job to a 80% job or something like that. Wouldn’t that be wonderful? 🙂

The other day I was reading up on crowdfunding and I just started to daydream. Wow, if I had the money I’d leave my current job, buy/rent a studio space where I’d have a dye kitchen with space for drying and reskeining, a small office space for accounting, blogging and just general computer work like updating the shop and putting up new listings, a room where I could stock/expose my yarns and have a table for preparing shipping of orders and a couch and chairs and so on to be able to maybe open up 2 days a week or something for people to come and buy in person and to organise meet-ups where people could meet and spend a couple of hours chatting and making friends while knitting/crocheting or spinning and maybe I could even do classes – I could see one where you come and dye your own yarn for a project you want to make. Wouldn’t that be great for someone who is not looking to dye professionally and just wants to try it out once but not on her/his own ? Ohh so many dreams! Well, it’s ok to daydream:)

Back to reality! So basically I’m wondering if trying to launch a shop on Dawanda or not. Maybe I should just go for it, go small to begin with (although I feel that a shop with very few listing does not look enticing nor professional). Do you have any thoughts on the matter? I’d love to hear from you:)

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