Thoughts on whether there's really a need for this venue
  • I've gone back and forth on this one and would love everyone's thoughts on whether this site would fill a needed niche or not. As a seller, do you find that it might be interesting for you? What about as a shopper?
  • Okay, so as far as the indieCart vs. Etsy, (let's use etsy for now) I think both sellers and buyers alike will appreciate not having 47,000,000,000 other listings to compete with/sort through when searching. I know that is the all-time biggest thing that keeps me away from buying OR selling there. It's just all too overwhelming, and I really think we should market toward that. We can solve the "big problem" of being overwhelmed by offering a more cozy venue.

    Also, reselling sucks majorly. And I am certainly not the only person who feels that way, lol. When I search "yarn" on a site like Hyena Cart, Etsy, Big Cartel, etc. I do NOT want to see Lorna's Laces, Noro, etc. If I wanted that yarn, I'd google for it. Making this STRICTLY HANDMADE ONLY will appeal to all the right people; the ones who specifically want to be 'green' AND support WAHMs. That seems to be our biggest demographic at HC, but so many of us are moving on with our lives, out of the baby/diapering stage, and into the home-steading, home-schooling phase (not saying they all do that, but just this type of mind-set.) To have a HC-like site to shop that is moving on with us, I think, would be delightful.
  • I guess the only issue I see is how handmade is determined. If someone takes vintage pieces and reuses them in a unique way, will that be considered handmade? If someone uses stock yarn but dyes it themselves, is that handmade? I make dolls using cotton and wool, I make every inch of the dolls except the fabric itself so I'm not worried about my dolls or doll clothes being handmade since clearly they are, but I guess it's important to define what makes something handmade. I do consider dying yarn a handmade item even if it were stock yarn but I can imagine another doesn't. This is where etsy ended up allowing "resellers". There are beautiful vintage items there but are not altered in any way so my opinion would be not appropriate for this site.

    If though the person disassembles and reassembles the vintage piece into a unique one of a kind item then it's handmade. However I wouldn't want to see someone take a vintage brooch, add some epoxy and glue it to a hair pin and say handmade. This is where very clear handmade definitions will be necessary. Also I see a dress seller on etsy and can find those dresses on international websites all the time. They are clearly a reseller but they make big money for etsy so they continue to allow it. How do you avoid someone getting in the site that is actually reselling even though they claim handmade?

    Another issue for me personally is I do not knit. My stepmom knits sweaters and dresses for my dollies on Etsy I simply could list her as a shop member as she ships me the items, I list and sell and ship myself. How will this situation be handled?

    There are my thoughts! Thank you Karen for inviting me. I've been so busy I lost track of this endeavor and am excited to learn it is happening!
  • I'm thinking it would be well received, especially to older hc members who may not shop there anymore because their children have grown, etc.  Their needs have changed and if they are like me, they don't want to wade through thousands of diaper listings to find something natural that isn't baby related.
  • Hi Kandace -- you're right, and I'm probably going to play it by ear at first. I hate to write out some long, legalistic document with my definitions of handmade or not handmade. I'm going to take it case-by-case at first and learn as we go. Hopefully people will be ok with that.
  • I'm enticed by the low cost of this venue, but to be honest, I have been wanting a standalone site connected with my website but was not going to actively pursue that until later this year.  Etsy fees are killing me.

    If Indiecart does well in the interim, I will ask my web designer if she can make this site seem like a page on my website instead- does that make sense?  Sort of a seamless transition or click to a shopping page that looks just like my website.  So it won't be really standalone but will still serve my needs for an economical way of selling online.  I'm so clueless about website design and links and stuff, but I'm hoping that she can get it to work that way. 
  • Hi June -- I'm still on the fence about allowing the customization on indieCart. Just in the shops that have been set up today, you can see some of the issues it causes. For example, Karen's store is lovely:


    but because she's customized her links to show light blue, that's how they show in the menu bar and they're hardly legible. 

    Same for Rikki's store:


    I'm really conflicted on this one.

    For what it's worth, Hyena Cart will always allow the customizability, plus it only has that very narrow menu bar at the top (not like it is here with the indieCart logo, etc.). So if you want to make it seamless with your main site, I wonder if HC might not be better?
  • I guess I wonder if it's sort of like being a new auction site trying to compete with ebay.  I dont think indiecart is trying to be as big as ETSY, but when there is a big site out there it's harder to drive traffic to smaller sites I think.  ETSY got so big that it's a household name and unless it's a new niche site, like baby only or pottery only, I am left wondering if it can bring in the buyers.  It may very well move some of the sellers from HC to indiecart though. 

    I am excited about it though.  I like the idea a lot.

    On a side note, pinterest is a great way to drive traffic here.

  • June, you can do that ;) check out
    Hyena cart.com/doodlesjewels
    It would be similar. You just embed it.
    (Doodlesjewels.com) used to be this but currently it points to etsy. But you can mask that and have it say your domain name and not the cart name in the toolbar where it says doodlesjewels.com
    Make sense?
    Junko said:

    I'm enticed by the low cost of this venue, but to be honest, I have been wanting a standalone site connected with my website but was not going to actively pursue that until later this year.  Etsy fees are killing me.

    If Indiecart does well in the interim, I will ask my web designer if she can make this site seem like a page on my website instead- does that make sense?  Sort of a seamless transition or click to a shopping page that looks just like my website.  So it won't be really standalone but will still serve my needs for an economical way of selling online.  I'm so clueless about website design and links and stuff, but I'm hoping that she can get it to work that way. 



  • I like it. I hope to get some of my old HC traffic back. :)
  • I am excited for it.... Although I sell some baby related items, ei baby wipe bits and bath bars. I am considering cutting them for my line anyways and I do want a more of a venue where people dont have to wade threw hundreds of diapers like opp said.

    Anyhow like June mentioned, ETSY fees are killing me. That is what has set me back every month from actually "making" money. All my vendor bills are paid and I am like, "Oh yeah, I got a profit this month!", Then "Your Etsy Bill" arrived.... In the last three months I have paid over 500.00 to Etsy and I cannot rightfully afford to keep doing that. As my prices are already low and I do not wanna keep jacking up the price on my customers! Not their fault.

    All in all, I really want and hope indiecart was in fact the perfect thing to start and I hope it takes off, but like every other new site on the internet, it is gonna take time and patience. And lots of ad and marketing. WE CAN DO THIS AS A TEAM. I know we can :)
  • June, you can do that ;) check out
    Hyena cart.com/doodlesjewels
    It would be similar. You just embed it.
    (Doodlesjewels.com) used to be this but currently it points to etsy. But you can mask that and have it say your domain name and not the cart name in the toolbar where it says doodlesjewels.com
    Make sense?

    Junko said:

    I'm enticed by the low cost of this venue, but to be honest, I have been wanting a standalone site connected with my website but was not going to actively pursue that until later this year.  Etsy fees are killing me.

    If Indiecart does well in the interim, I will ask my web designer if she can make this site seem like a page on my website instead- does that make sense?  Sort of a seamless transition or click to a shopping page that looks just like my website.  So it won't be really standalone but will still serve my needs for an economical way of selling online.  I'm so clueless about website design and links and stuff, but I'm hoping that she can get it to work that way. 





    Not a bit of sense, but that's why I have a web designer!  I'm glad to know it can be done- yay!

  • Erin said:

     I dont think indiecart is trying to be as big as ETSY, but when there is a big site out there it's harder to drive traffic to smaller sites I think.  ETSY got so big that it's a household name and unless it's a new niche site, like baby only or pottery only, I am left wondering if it can bring in the buyers. 



    ^^ Right. This is what I have been thinking on, too. So let's try to figure out how we can market iC as "better." ETSY is a household name now, for sure, but what are people saying when they talk about it? Are they saying good things? How can we make those things that they love happen for them here? Are they complaining about ETSY? How so? How can we make things easier/better in a way that will cause them not only to choose iC over ETSY, but to recommend us, as well?

    I think ETSY is mostly about arts and crafts. Now, y'all don't hurt me for saying that ;) On a grand scale, of course, it's about lots of things: handmade, vintage, etc. BUT what it all comes down to is this: pretty, cute, different, unique. In essence, ART. There are of course other things are not artsy at all, but it seems to me that "how things look" is the kicker.

    Now, I've seen everyone here, their shops and items, and honestly, they are all LOVELY! We have some serious artistic talent up in here. Could we, perhaps, take a slightly different angle, though, and talk up the practicality, the usefulness, of this sight? I mean, as far as being kind to the earth, saving money, and keeping dangerous chemicals and such out of the home? 

    I'm just rambling, but hoping to say something that sticks, which we can build on. :)
  • I've gotten some great input from a few sellers on what iC offers that Etsy doesn't:

    1) unlimited categories for the shop and sub cats too . Sellers on Etsy really want this and they never give it to us. We are limited to 10 cats( I think) and no sub cats
    2) being able to customize shipping options
    3) being able to have size and style options, they just added this on Etsy recently. But we can't add on for the cost. I mean, if something costs more in a larger size etc we would have to make a new listing. This is a real positive for your site. Neither Etsy not Artfire has this option
    4) Being able to add pics in the body of the listing, PLUS, having a WYSIWYG editor. Neither Etsy or AF have this
    5) Bulk editing, this will be popular!
    6) Options for showing categories or items on the landing page
    7) Being able to control the order in which listings show

    Also, our site will be juried so we'll do our best to ensure there are no resellers or businesses that are employing multiple (say more than 4-5) people.

    I'm going to be creating some more marketing-ish pages to let people know about those features, so hopefully that will give people more reasons to join :)



  • I have always loved the bulk editing, preview, and customizing shipping options of HC!
  • Junko said:

    I have always loved the bulk editing, preview, and customizing shipping options of HC!



    Yep, what June said!
  • The idea of sites like Etsy or Ebay scare me.  I get lost bad enough in Hyena Cart amongst the cloth diapers and all of the products that go with them.  Smaller venues appeal to me and I don't have to deal with being a stand alone.

    As far as customers go, I know Karen promotes her Hyena Cart and I am sure it will happen with indie Cart.  But I feel over all as vendors it is our duty to bring in our own following of customers.  Each customer that each one of us brings in as an individual vendor benefits all of us as a whole.  I know as a shopper, I look at all the pretties I can find.  I have been on Hyena Cart since 2007 and my boys were well out of diapers when I started, but you would not believe the countless number of diapers I have bought for others as gifts.  So just because I am here looking for ABC doesn't mean I won't see XYZ and buy it also.
  • Hey, I am Ulla. I make waldorf style dolls. I opened a shop on HC over a year ago. But honestly, I have never figured out how to sell here. I sent some of my Etsy customers over here and they were complained. I am feeling very lost myself. Still learning how this site works. I find the pictures the hardest.

    I don't understand how the stocking calendar works and it's importance? What I really like about this site HC and IC is that one can have auctions. I would like to sell more of my dolls auctionstyle and would appreciate any advice on that.

  • Hi there - we'd love to make the site easier to use for both you and your shoppers.

    For pictures, can you let us know what has been hard for you?

    For the shoppers that complained, do you have specifics on what bothered them about the site?

    The stocking calendar lists stores based on when they have items stocking. Your store will show up automatically based on the start time of your listings. Shoppers can use the calendar to find out what stores are listing new items each day.
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