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Nature Manipulated (NM) creates visual, wearable and practical art that reflects upon nature and all of its elements. At NM, we believe that everything is a part of nature, some things are just "nature manipulated."

NM specializes in one-of-a-kind handcrafted jewelry, handmade greeting cards, nature photography and other unique accessories.

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Saturday, January 24, 2009

One Shop or Two?

I've been wondering for awhile now if it's better to have one shop or two if you sell a variety of items. I've seen lots of people on Etsy with more than one shop and wonder if I should do the same. It seems as if it is double the work and double the expense if you advertise, make business cards and other promo items. On the other hand, I think it looks nicer when you go to someone's shop and the items are all somehow tied together.

A while back I decided to post a thread in the Etsy forums and get peoples opinions on this subject. Since then, I have also searched the forums for similar threads. These are some of the thoughts and pros and cons for having two shops that I pulled out.

Pros
1. Your shop is more cohesive and professional
2. Your shop, mission and message is more identifiable

Cons
1. It takes a lot of time to promote two shops
2. With two shops your customers do not get to see all of your items

Thoughts
1. If you have one shop with many items, be sure to use the "Sections" feature.
2. Keep in mind that Etsy does not have a feature that allows you to link shops or switch usernames without signing on and off. This can become annoying when switching back and forth between shops.
3. As long as the general look and feel of your shop works together, it is better to keep it all in one place. Find a look that doesn't make the shop look all over the place.
4. Different sections brings diverse customers to your shop.
5. Make sure the name of your shop can apply to all the items you sell.
5. COnsider what you want to be known for.

From everything I read in the forums, it doesn't seem like too many people are turned off by a variety of items in a shop as long as the sections are clearly marked. If you are thinking about opening a second shop, you may want to first try adding the items that would go in the second shop to your original shop and see how it goes. The variety might add a great touch.

As for my shop, I don't think I have enough time to run more than one although I am still considering it. In the meantime, please let us know your thoughts on this topic. Also, if you haven't already, please take a look at my shop and let me know if you think there is too much variety. Your opinion really matters to me.

Thanks!

8 comments:

storybeader said...

I agree with using your sections - even with all of one type of product, subcategories are always a help, for some people. Others just like to stroll the aisles, and can bring unexpected sales.

memoriesforlifescrapbooks said...

I like your thoughts on having well defined sections and bringing in a more diverse market with having a variety of items.
I say, stay with one shop for now...it looks great :)

Audrey said...

Great post!! I have sections - can barely keep up with updated and promoting one shop - couldn't imagine having two!!

MagdaleneJewels said...

When I started listing some of my knitted and crocheted items - I, too wondered if I should open another shop. Although they have nothing to do with my jewelry, I decided to stick with one shop. My friends and those who shop, are aquainted with MagdaleneJewels; and also in the Spring I will probably take out knitted items. So I said stay with one shop!

Rose Works Jewelry said...

I just opened a second shop - and it was motivated by two things. One, my name specifically says that I sell jewelry, so I thought it would be kinda weird to sell non-jewelry items in the shop! Two, my Mom wanted to open one with me :P

Mommy Bee said...

I hate it when people don't use their sections ESPECIALLY if they are sold out of one type of item (ie, I'd like to know that they do have it sometimes, so it's worth checking back), or if they have more than a dozen items (because that's a lot to just browse though).

I do have two shops--I tie them together via my blog, and use that to promote both...I do usually promote just one at a time though, and go back and forth...perhaps I should go back to one, I don't know.
I usually log into one on firefox and the other on explorer and then I can do stuff for both shops at once. heeheehee!

Nature Manipulated said...

That's not a bad idea MommyBee - open two browsers and work that way, although it seems like that could get confusing.

Cards By Jenna said...

Great thoughts, you brought up things I haven't even thought about...I only have one shop on etsy but I can only imagine having to log in and out just to manage your stores. It would be pretty time consuming.

I tend to agree with the majority. If your shop has clear sections I think it's fine to have a selection of items.

~Jenna
cardsbyjenna.etsy.com

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