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Garno

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I have never used it and have no idea how secure it all is.
A few of the forum members on here will no doubt give us the rundown as it does seem to be popular and growing.
Sorry to be of no help.
 

minilathe22

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Yes its similar to ebay, although I think its only buy it now prices, rather than bidding. The main difference is it has to be "hand made" which is a bit of a fuzzy definition, but limits the items for sale to arts and crafts type things. I put a woodturned bowl for sale there 2 years ago, no buyers yet!
 

D_W

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less exposure, generally lower fees ,but now heavily manipulated by their algorithms and more person to person contact encouraged from buyers to sellers.

I sold japanese natural stones on etsy for a while (perhaps between them and razors about 150 total) to undercut some unethical sellers. As in, I sold on a break even basis and kept a few things that I wanted - both for undercutting and also to get a look at a lot of stuff for nothing but the cost of my time.

It worked well. But you have to have something compelling or you'll list 20 things and get a sale every two months. I sold stuff hand over fist because I was selling it at cost and grading the stones honestly (which means that you do end up getting repeat buyers).

Experiences with messages of "do me a favor and don't charge so much and sell me X at half of the listed price. You're ripping people off" and such things were relatively few. Maybe five over a year and a half.

As is the case with the real world, I think you're better off selling things to the people who make things than making things and trying to sell them to people who don't. My hook with the razors and stones was to actually grade the stones based on what they did using a microscope and then comment on their use. I know more about the stones than 99.5% of the people who think they're enthusiasts, and telling people how the stones felt and what they did and how fine they actually were answer a whole lot more questions than selling woo (which is heavy in the japanese tool market). Out of all of the above transactions, I had one return.

Overall, it was pleasant. The behavior of the ripoff sellers wasn't "that guy is selling fake stones".

That's funny, I'm getting them from the mine distributors and the japanese barbershop pickers. Usually, the people making accusations were actually selling fake stuff or things that would be valueless in japan. It was easy to rebut.
 

D_W

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(emphasizing on what you're selling, though - look around on etsy, look at the price of items and look at the number of sales and the feedback trail. If you see someone with 20 of something listed like you want to list and they have 14 sales in 2 years, and that something that you want to list isn't high price, I'd expect fairly little turn over. A furniture maker here in the states listed a bunch of furniture on there for extremely reasonable prices (think $300 per hand made chair, etc) and went for a year with zero sales and eventually removed his listings.
 

Sean33

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..is it similar to the bay?
Cant comment on eBay but i can on Etsy. As a complete technophobe i managed to open a shop on there. Found it pretty slow to start with then thought i would try the ad spend thing. Does seem to work as they seem to get more traffic to your site and therefore sales. Not the cheapest as thet do charge a commission per sale. My biggest quibble is they charge VAT even if you are a sole trader. What i mean is you pay VAT on your timber, tools etc, you make a sale and they charge you VAT, apparently HMRC has told them thats how it has to be done.
On the plus side you get paid up front, very easy to communicate with whomever has bought from you and to those that ask a question before buying
hope this helps
 

minilathe22

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I have often considered trying to sell items I create on my wood lathe, but as earlier posters have mentioned the demand for materials to make things is much higher than the demand for homemade items. So at the moment I am content with letting them pile up around the house, and use them as gifts for brithdays and so on.

I use ebay quite alot for selling tools etc I no longer use. They do take a decent chunk out of the profit, but its a much quicker sale than forums in my experience.
 

J-G

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My biggest quibble is they charge VAT even if you are a sole trader. What i mean is you pay VAT on your timber, tools etc, you make a sale and they charge you VAT, apparently HMRC has told them thats how it has to be done.
The fact that you are a 'Sole Trader' is totally irrelevant as far as VAT is concerned.

You could tell HMRC that you wish to register for VAT and you could then claim back the VAT you pay on materials - but, you would then have to charge, and account for, VAT on any sales you made. It comes down to who your customer base is, if your customers are essentially VAT registered then you would be better off also being registered but if you generally sell to 'Joe Public' probably not. If your turnover exceeds £85k pa then you must be registered.

When VAT replaced Purchase Tax the T/O limit was (IIRC) £17.5k and although my T/O then was ~£5k I immediately registered because I was selling to commercial enterprises. I'm still registered, there is no 'cost' other than your time in completing a 'VAT Return' every 3 months -- takes me about 5 minutes.
 

thetyreman

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don't worry about tax until you actually start selling stuff! etsy isn't as good as it could be, there's very little organic traffic and like most things now you have to pay to push it and advertise it, I found that american buyers were far more interested in my stuff which was interesting, although I didn't sell anything and eventually took the listings down.
 
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