February 09, 2011
I have had a few friends who have asked me if they should purchase a Success Kit or Guide on Etsy and Ebay. And here is my own experience with these paid Kits and Guides. I am not going to name any specific sellers or guides...But here is the general idea and review. Hopefully this will give you a better idea if you are planning on purchasing one.
So a little bit of background on my personal experiences purchasing these Success Kits and Guides on Etsy and Ebay. I have spent around $200+ (easy, if not more) on purchasing Success Kits and Guides on Etsy and Ebay hoping to see what I can do and learn to grow my business. The guides that I have purchased have range in price from $6 to $50+.
They are all advertised and packaged in some form of a KIT with many chapters, separate e-books, and series of e-books. These are some of the things that are promised to come included in the guide and kits: networking how tos, social media tips and tricks, business planner or calendar, Etsy Success guides, Ebay Success guides, Publicity kit, press kit, Internet marketing kits, tips, and how tos, twitter guide, seo guide, wholesale guides, Lists of boutiques, websites, and stores you can solicit for sales, and many more.
I will give you a synopsis of what each kit entails without exposing the names of the people that are trying to sell you these kits. Heck, Etsy had a notice on their website about a seller who was trying to sell an exact copy (pretty much copy/paste) of the Etsy Seller Handbook, that is available on Etsy by Etsy for FREE. And this one seller was selling it for like $5-10 a piece and have sold over 1000 copies. They got shut down, but Etsy did nothing to punish them besides deactivating their account. But they can always create a new account and start the SCAM all over again...Do you see my point! These information are out there for FREE. You do not have to pay for them. It just takes a little bit of digging and asking around. Save yourself lots of money just by Googling what you need answered.
Networking How tos: Pretty much tell your friends and family and everyone you know. Always carry around business cards and talk your shop like crazy. Carry samples and pictures of your stuff at all times. Always include your shop URL and Facebook in all of your emails, convos, and forums, and blogs. Have a twitter, facebook, and blog account. Chat it up in the forums. Write reviews of products/ services.
Social Media tips and tricks: There is really no secret to this, just that you have to blog and post everyday. Spend at least 30 minutes each day to post updates on all of your social media networks and blogs. Keep it current and interesting. Write about things that you are an expert in. Write about things that are important to you and that you care about.
Business Planners/ Calendars: This is just a simple monthly and yearly calendar that have all of the holidays listed in it...you can get this at a Dollar Store for $1 or online for FREE. And then they tell you that you should have certain goals written in your calendar and get it done by the date you would want your goals accomplished.
Etsy Success Guide: News Flash...this is FREE on the Etsy website. You should never have to pay for this. Basically it's always the same things: Take good photos, write detailed descriptions, use correct tags, list your location, fast shipping, good customer service, make treasuries, get involved in forums, be apart of an Etsy team.
Ebay Success Guide: News Flash...this is also FREE on the Ebay website. They even have how-to video guides. Never Never Never pay for these! I made this mistake when I was new on Ebay years ago...and I was so angry when I found out that it was for FREE....I felt like a sucker who just got ripped off!
Publicity Kit & Press Kit: The guides mentions that you should put a press kit together, but they NEVER tell you in detail how to put it together and what to include in it, and how to mail it off, and who to mail it off to....so this is no help at all! Plus, they don't talk about the $$$ costs that it will cost you to do all of this. One of my very best friend use to put together press kits together for a living and send it off the proper place...she knows all of the juicy details...and yes, I will be sharing this info with you soon.
Internet Marketing Kit, tips, tricks, and how tos:
Twitter Guide: Another FREE guide! Go to www.twitter.com and get the guide for FREE. Please don't pay for this.
SEO guide: Search Engine Optimization, just google it...this information is also FREE. I will also cover this topic in more detail later...stay tune.
Wholesaler guide: How to sell to wholesalers, how to price your items for wholesaling. These guides don't even tell you in detail how to approach wholesalers and the processes that you would have to go through for a wholesale account. Pricing for wholesaling is available in the Etsy Guide to Pricing online for FREE. But here is a quick summary:
(Material cost + utility cost + labor cost) x 2 = wholesale price
Wholesale price x 2 = sale price
*Material cost: the total costs of all of the materials the you used to make your product.
*Utility cost: Electricity, water, gas, ect...
*Labor cost: What are you paying yourself and base it on how long it took you to make the item. This is where most people are not being fair to themselves. They either don't consider this cost or pay themselves less than minimum wage.
I will cover more of the techniques to wholesaling in details later...so keep checking back to my blog for updates.
Lists of boutiques, websites, and stores: It is a list of names of boutiques around the country (and sometimes overseas), retail websites, and retail stores. But I have seen more than 10 different lists, and it is almost always the same names of websites and stores that are on these lists. Think about it, these lists have been purchased by at least 10,000+ people on Etsy and Ebay and who knows where else...so these websites and stores have had A LOT of solicitation for their business. You don't want to compete with that. So go local! That is the BEST way. Plus, there are so many small local shops that would love to support their local talented artists. And think about all of the money that you will be saving not having to send all of these shops and websites samples of your stuff...that costs a lot of $$$.
If you are contemplating on purchasing any of these types of guides about internet home businesses, selling online, Etsy Guides, or Ebay Guides...please, please, please do your research first before you decide to waste your money. I'm NOT saying that all of these guides sucks, I am just saying that there is nothing new in these guides. I have read so many different types of guides from many different sellers and they area always just the same stuff. These guides are definitely made for extreme newbies (but all of the info for newbies are available online for FREE). And if you are an intermediate or an advance who just wants some effective tips and tricks that can help you bump up your sales and exposures...these guides won't do that much for you. I know because I have read a lot of these types of guides and have applied all of the tips, tricks, how-tos. I'm not saying that these tips and tricks don't work, I'm just saying that the information that I paid for are always the same repeated advice and they can be found for FREE.
So my conclusion for these guides is that , buy it if you want, but the one or two tips that you will get out of it might not be worth the money that you paid for it. Plus, all of the info are out there for Free. It's just a matter of applying the principles. And the principles are simple...just get off your butt and do it! No Excuses! If you want to be successful then you should be doing everything and anything that you know you should be doing. Come-on, be honest with yourself! Are you doing Everything that the Etsy Guide or the Ebay Guide is telling you to do? If you follow the simple Basic Guide, you should be getting some sales. And if you need some extra boost in sales...follow some simple social media networking tips in the Etsy forums or gosh...I've given you plenty of tips and tricks already too...get out there and DO IT!
***There are just sooooooooo much stuff available out there for FREE. You just have to look for it....or you can check back to my blog often and I will be posting all of those important information on here for you.***