September 19, 2019
Etsy’s Parker Gard Explains E-Commerce — and How You Can Make Money Online – Class Excerpt

Etsy’s Parker Gard Explains E-Commerce — and How You Can Make Money Online – Class Excerpt

– A marketplace is a community of people, it could be online, it could be offline, who come together to sell goods. Those of you watching this class have certainly been to
an in-person marketplace, whether it was a flea
market or a craft fair, even a shopping mall is a marketplace. I would venture to guess that all of you have been to online marketplaces as well, because that’s where we do
most of our shopping now, online in these large marketplaces. Obviously one of the most popular is Etsy. Online marketplaces are really effective because people more and more are doing their shopping online, one. But two, they’re plugged into
how people search online. So it allows people who are
shopping for unique goods, like a wealth of information. At the same time, it allows them to search
really specifically for things that they want. A really good example
is when people search for things online, you don’t necessarily
search for just like shirt. You search for the type of
shirt or the style of shirt or the color of shirt
or the size of shirt. Online marketplaces
allow people to connect with specific goods
that they’re looking for kind of more efficiently than traditional in-person shopping, where you have to do all
that work with your own eyes. I think you should consider
selling on an online marketplace if you want to benefit from
a built-in customer base. Also, if you’re just getting started and you don’t have that brand loyalty. So if you’re just starting your business and people don’t know you exist and you want to benefit from a marketplace that already has loyal shoppers, you’re probably a good candidate for selling in an online marketplace. So different marketplaces definitely have different cultures
and that’s something to consider when you’re thinking about where you’re gonna sell your goods online. Some marketplaces are based on getting you goods really quickly. Some marketplaces are based on curating certain types of goods. At Etsy, we’re really focused on creating a community between buyers and sellers and creating a really
authentic relationship between the person that you’re
buying your product from or you’re selling your product to. There are tons of examples
of different sellers and businesses that have been
really successful on Etsy. Anything from fashion
designers to furniture makers to vintage collectors to craft suppliers. There are certain examples of success that range in different ways, depending on what your goals are. So success for one seller might look like being able to quit their day job and really starting a business
that supports themselves and their families and
their life ambitions. Success for somebody else might just mean getting the justification to
make something that they love. One example of a seller
who’s had phenomenal success that comes to mind is Leanna Marshall. Some of you might recognize that name because she actually won
Project Runway a few years ago. She’s a wedding gown
and accessories designer and she’s just had huge
success on So she makes super unique, I mean really super unique, wedding gowns that are really for any budget. She’s had phenomenal success. People love her gowns. I think she’s also successful ’cause she understands her
target market really well. She understands that every
bride is really super unique and is gonna want something super personal for that special day. So she’s able to key into
that through her designs, through the way she curates her shop, through her photography, through the way that
she just kind of creates a buying experience
from you from the moment that you land in her shop. Another great example of a shop that’s been wildly successful
on is Goose Grease. Goose Grease is co-run by Anna and Juan and they hand-make these wooden dolls that are hand-painted and
they started selling them as cake toppers for weddings. They now make box sets of toys for kids. They make the wooden dolls
custom for different people, for different reasons. They’ve been able to expand
their business enough to support themselves, they run their business out of their home. They’re able to spend
more time with their kids. But also, they’ve expanded
to this small town in Columbia where Juan is from through the use of
responsible manufacturing. They’ve been able to also bring awareness around these cultural aspects
that we really love at Etsy, which are responsible
manufacturing and providing jobs in responsible and ethical way. So there’s a lot of examples of really successful sellers on Etsy, and that’s great because that’s something that you should definitely aspire to. We’re really excited
to help you get there. But you have to start, you
have to start at the beginning. In the beginning, it’s gonna
take a lot of motivation. It’s gonna take a lot of skills that maybe not all of
you have at this point. There’s that moment where
you become the maker or the collector or the curator, and then there’s that other moment where you become the business owner. That transition requires
building some specific skills. So that difference between being
the maker and the collector or the curator and being the
seller or the business owner, those skills are what we’re
gonna cover together today.

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