Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Hi everybody. Anybody here that relies on ETSY as a good or decent percentage of your earnings?

I have an ETSY account, I don't put my 100% in it because I've been really busy creating for this Summer show season. I love to browse the site and I enjoy so much stuff that people sell there. I have never sold anything there but I've been so busy that probably I am doing it wrong . I guess I will study it in Fall or Winter when show season slows down for me.  Just wanted to see if there is good success stories, Thanks!

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Thank you Steph! Very helpful

I started out using etsy,, mind you I don't sell original artwork so it's probably a little different. I haven't done any craft shows yet, but that is my next venture. I make good sales on etsy, but like I said I think it is more geared for crafters and not so much original artwork. I have seen some shops with original art that sell well, but advertising is key. You have to be very active in the etsy community and on blogs. I do giveaways and get features on blogs that are geared for my products. So far so good!!


~ Leslie

I bought one thing from etsy and it was from an AFIer whose work I originally saw here.  It was a well photographed pair of earrings (Larry Berman would appreciate that) so not having seen them in person was not a problem.

If you don't sell off your website then you should have some presence on etsy.  It is a good complement to what people see at an art festival.  If I have seen your work at a show and end up looking at your work on etsy, I understand what I am seeing.  I know whether your paintings have deep brush strokes or your glass has a simple matte finish.  For jewelry, I know the quality of your stones or your weaving skill because I have seen it in person.   

Hope this makes sense.


I have an etsy account, but don't list on there any more.  In order to get your items seen on the main page, one had to spend a lot more money in their "ads" that only went on sale at odd times and not easily attained.  I have a "Pro" account at Artfire and use it.  Artfire offers a kiosk that you can incorporate into your own site which makes upkeep easier as you only have to upload and maintain one selling venue.  Plus, it is a lot easier if you are doing your website yourself as you don't have to work in those paypal buttons. 


Like so many, I have an Etsy shop, but don't put much time into it.  Why?

1.  I agree with whomever said they like to sell in person.  Online doesn't have the same rush for me, I like to talk to people, find out what they're looking for, have that connection.  


2.  Jewelry is completely over-saturated on Etsy.  Unless you devote time to constantly updating your site, joining "teams", posting on the message boards, etc., your work gets buried.


3.  In order to buy, you must have an Etsy account.  I've found most of the people who want to buy from me don't want to go thru the hassle (if I remember correctly, you have to supply a credit card number or paypal account to sign up) of creating an account.


4.  If I sell something OAK at a show, I need to remember to delete it from my Etsy store.  For that reason, I rarely put any OAK items in my Etsy shop, which sort of defeats the purpose.


I'm starting to move to a completely independent web shopping cart (if I can ever figure it out or find someone to build one for me!), and will likely ditch Etsy when I do make that move.

I just read an interesting article on Smaller Box that applies

Carla, I've had an etsy store for over a year now and have done very well. I don't network as much on it in the summer when it's show season. In the "off season" I kick it up, re-list my things a lot for higher exposure and participate in a lot of etsy community events. It has worked very well for me.

I think one of the reasons it has worked so well for me is because I do social networking, hand out a lot of cards in the summertime with the website address on it, and (most importantly) have it connected to my PERSONAL website so that those going directly to my website, go directly to my etsy shop. My wares are one of a kind and pricey, yet I still do pretty well on etsy. For me, however, it is a wonderful platform that offers good layout and is inexpensive, verifies my buyers as legidimate and ties me into efficient shipping platforms too. It is DEFINITELY worth a try! Good luck!

Etsy is a huge site, and you need an outside source to bring people to your page or you get overlooked.  I have links on my blog and website to my Etsy page.  I've sold about 16 items in four months.

I've been on etsy for 2 years, I am part of the etsy mud team and go in and out of spending my time there, also I agree with Taryn it really requires outside advertising, blog, facebook etc...

I use a renewing agent created by a Keith Phillips a potter on the mudteam it's called UncleGravy, it renews based on time or traffic. If I am faithful to keep Uncle Gravy going I usually make a couple of sales a week. Etsy does give you a sense of community once you find your place there, and it is easy to manage but is very time consuming, learning to photograph and write about your items. I also agree about art in person being so much better handling a piece of pottery is so important.

I've sold sculptures there, the highest were $550, one at $350 and I've sold to the Netherlands, Canada the U.K. and Australia. It works wonderfully as a gallery tool online presence, I've had a show use it as the jury photography.

I've thought about making some mugs with vaginas on them to see if I could get on Regretsy;)

I love your work Patricia, I went to favorite it, looks like I did a while back...


I've had items listed on Etsy since September.  I have to admit I'm not really putting any time into it.  One whole sale so far.  I probably won't renew my listings the next time they come up.  E-bay might cost more but more people know about it.  Artists know about Etsy but it doesn't seem like other people do.  A friend does well selling vintage items on the site.

My problem with Etsy is that when someone buys your piece and someone else asks them where they got it they say "I got it on Etsy" and forget your name. So instead of a piece by S Michelle Babcock it is a piece by Etsy.
I sell on Etsy and have had over 1000 sales there.  It has worked well for me although I am focusing more on my own site for online sales for the very reason S. Michelle Babcock mentioned:  that people often remember the Etsy brand rather than your own. (I'm guilty of it too and in the past have said of purchases that "I got it on Etsy.")


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