Succulent starts, unusual or heirloom plants or seeds, manzanita branches, burlwood, grapevines, grapevine trunks, vintage boxes and barrels, wine bottles for whathaveyou, reclaimed old growth redwood lumber, interesting planters and pots, petroglyph reproductions, other yard art, etc.
Anyone a seller on there? Or a regular shopper? Tell me your experiences please!
1. Accurate price point, around the same as your competition. Too cheap and people think there's a catch; too expensive and they will just buy from someone else. Personally I LOVE when vendors offer free shipping. Sometimes the shipping cost can make or break my decision to buy from someone.
2. Really, really, really great communication. I have seen more rants about sellers who only respond during certain hours, sellers who don't respond on the weekend, sellers who don't respond at all, sellers who take three days to answer a simple question.... Etc.
3. Accurate, good photos. And lots of them. Show angles, use a clean background to show details, use other objects to show size, close ups when necessary, full size shots as a must.
4. Strong descriptions. My biggest pet peeve is vendors who copy and paste the entire lengthy description so that it's generic to all their products instead of specific to the one at hand. Use the same fabric for two dresses? C/p just that info! Include measurements, weights if applicable, materials, allergens if applicable, care instructions if they're going to surprise a buyer, etc.
5. Timeliness. I've also heard a lot of rants about products that were "sent" but never received, or sellers who were constantly asking for "just a few more days" to finish an order. Most people pay using PayPal (is there another option?), which I believe has a standard 45 day dispute time. As a buyer, I want to receive my products, at the worst, within that window. Because PayPal won't let you file a dispute if the vendor can claim to be working with you and just not finished with the product. It's a pretty common scam, actually. I've seen it a lot with custom stuff like wedding dresses, maybe a thousand dollar dress, it never materializes, but by the time the buyer expects to receive it, it's too late to file a claim.
See if you can find some local or national blogs where you could showcase your stuff to get attention.
A lower investment option might be finding a local shop/flea market/craft fair/farmers market where you could sell instead.
Hmmm. I don't want to be owned by my business.
Everyone I've known who has run a shop and not made it their exclusive employment has gotten burnt out quick, or not been able to turn a profit. I have one friend who does make really good money making custom paper sculptures, but she really was on email 10-12 hours a day, seven days a week. And her client rants were remarkable. Maybe she's got me jaded against it!
Her shop is currently down because she just had a baby. She took it down the same day she found out she was pregnant, because she didn't want to deal with the stress.