I would like to spend some time on ways of busting your competition as a seller reseller on Etsy. A lot is said about settling up shop, but very little about dirty selling. As a matter of fact, dirty selling is quite common, not just on Etsy, but everywhere. Lets look at some points.
1. If you are a reseller or seller, “copy your competition quickly!
We have seen this done quite often on Etsy, particularly in clothing and earrings. Since there are dozens of wholesale shops in Thailand, its quite easy to find the product of the competition. That is why you see so many people saying they made the same product! If you cannot find the item, take a photo of their product around. You can also shop it around on wholesale websites. Often, you are only days away from getting the same product they have and are doing well with. You can collect photos of all the products people seem to be selling over and over, and either sell similar products, or order the same thing. One favorite trick is to find a lower grade product and say you have the better one. You can show this by price, promotion, and placement!
2. Bust their price! (If you can afford it) If you buy more, you will get a better price. If you make it undesirable to sell that item, eventually, you hope your competition will go away! You can even sell items below cost! Why? Because you have to keep re-listing items anyway, costing you money to promote. Why not just sell certain items cheaply. (The very ones your competition is doing well with) What if an item cost you $2 and your competition has been trying to get $10 for it. Once people see the item of .99, they won’t want to pay $10. If you are worried about losing money, just charge an extra$1 for shipping. Make sure your item is seen on the same page as theirs a number of times, and your photo looks as good. We call this “to commonize” a product. People may still buy the product anyway at the $10 price, but you may gain new customers that have never heard of you.
3. Open several stores with the same products, all with a different look, and shadow your competition. Some people on Etsy have 10-20 different stores under different names with different products. These are all re-sellers, not artists. When you see your competition listing an item, you can list one in front of them and one after them, the same or similar item, hoping to take away a sale. Its always better to do this with similar items.
4. Dominate a section with similar items. One way to bury your competition so that nobody finds them is to simply post more than they do. You can even try double posting the same item in different sections. A similar thing to do is to relist 20+ of your items to try to push your competition off the first page! This may or may not work and become costly.
5. Register different names and report other resellers with the same items as you! If you look at the earrings and clothing categories on Etsy, you will find the same items on wholesale sites and on Ebay. Keep a record of your competition. Don’t report too much in one day. Pick an item on Ebay, the same item being sold on Etsy, maybe from a different country and report it. Do it randomly, but be consistent. You may get lucky and remove some people. Right now Etsy is asking a lot more information about your business. Etsy Integrity may have you take photos and put a sign in there saying Etsy Blue to prove you have a shop, workroom, tools and workers. That means now it is harder to take photos off some website to try to prove you are an artist. Is this to try to keep people from reselling, or is they so they can perpetuate the illusion that they have checked people. Remember the old days, you wanted to get a merchant account and needed a storefront for the bank to examine you? You had to find a small bank, set an office up in your garage and try to convince the bank that you are really in business. After that, you clean out your garage and used the merchant account for something else. Its similar to this.
6. Don’t register under your name. You can register a business in your own city as Susan Cook doing business as Fred Martin doing business as Max Smith. When you make your checking account, leave off the “Co”, that way the checks will have only the name. Once you have a bank, its easy to get an ATM. If you want to be extreme about it , get the old book “The Paper Trip”. You take the name of a dead person by ordering their birth certificate and creating a whole new ID. This works well for people that don’t want to be known, did something they don’t want to catch up with them, or just for fun! Why leave tracks when you can be a new person. You can even get a new passport this way, start new credit, and throw off people you don’t want finding you
7. Make some websites with the same merchandise as your competition, use that to report them to etsy. Then later, you can post the same styles of clothing or merchandise they had before you eliminated them. I will give you some example of successful stores that are using this technique. If you really want to be dirty about this, you can set up a website using their photos, saying something like wholesale from China.This may not get them kicked off Etsy, but remember, every step you make adds up. You want to degrade their reputation as much as you can. Be sure and check your competition carefully to see what rules they are breaking. Spamming is the common thing people do.
Don’t forget, reselling on Etsy is currently more profitable than trying to be an artist. Think of all the years you are saving. Most items also have sweet spots, where they sell only for a period of time. That means when you see and item being sold by too many other shops, or the price is going down too much, you may want to dump it, use it for promotion, search for other products that you can resell on Etsy. Etsy does not want to lose their top selling merchants, but they don’t want artists to know they condone reselling on Etsy. In fact, it is just as profitable for them as it may be for you. They will do everything they can to keep you as a reseller if you are making them money. Remember, the new rules are not against you, they are to help you, make you more legal! They also don’t want to lose artists, because one of the most profitable businesses on Etsy is to sell supplies for people to make things! Who makes money before you even get any? Art schools and Art supply shops. The reason that other sites that artists are running to, to set up new shops don’t sell much is because in reality, people want to think they are buying from artists, but want the same price as a Chinese factory. People say they cannot compete with Chinese factories. This is correct. Nobody wants them to. Thats why my dad said be a electrician. Most artists he knows are now driving taxis. Be a reseller on Etsy, it will pay for your art supplies!