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One of the things that keeps me going in my Etsy selling venture is seeking (and receiving!) inspiration from other successful vintage sellers. I devour their shops and stalk their sales. Not to copy. No. That would never work. Vintage selling is often a OOAK business…what I find and what you find will be completely different. Niches may be the same but the whole experience is unique.
No, I stalk these shops to remind myself that YES! this can be done. You can make money (good money!) by selling vintage on Etsy. You don’t even have to work it full time (as we’ll see today) but you can have a blast doing it!
So in that vein, I’d like to share a success story with you. This is the second in the series. The first post was an interview with Vintage in Bloom and can be found here: “Etsy Seller Success Story ~ An Interview with Vintage in Bloom”
Today we are speaking with Mary from Tipple and Snack. (great name!) Mary has been curating her eclectic finds on Etsy since 2008 and has had 4684 sales as of this writing! Mary has 202 listings currently available in her shop. Let’s see what tips we can glean from her experience!
We’ll start with an easy one, how long have you been selling on Etsy?
I’ve been selling on Etsy almost eight years, since November of 2008.
What made you choose Etsy as your selling venue?
I stumbled on Etsy when looking for vintage flashcards on-line. I had been selling on Ebay for years, and was intrigued by the Etsy format. I liked the idea of opening a shop rather than running week-long auctions. I’d just moved to a new state with a basement full of old stuff and took the plunge. I panicked slightly when I had to choose a shop name and decided to use the title to a favorite 1930’s cocktail guide, “tipple and snack”.
Do you sell anywhere else besides Etsy?
Other than Etsy, I put the occasional item on eBay, usually higher end items like railroad or steamship pieces. I include my shop business card with orders, and it’s amazing to me how many of my Ebay customers ask me “what’s Etsy”. They’re really missing out!
Do you sell on Etsy full-time?
Selling vintage is part-time for me. It ebbs and flows depending upon my schedule. I work in film and video production as a freelance line producer and occasional prop stylist. Etsy is a both a secondary source of income and fill-in between projects. But most importantly, it’s a creative outlet.
Well, your prop styling skills definitely show in your listings! Tell us a little bit about your process. You have such a variety of items! Is there a particular way you get things listed?
If by “my process”, do you mean piling inventory up in my kitchen until I get it sorted and photographed? I’m always on the hunt for cool stuff. I travel a lot for work and always fit shopping into one end of the trip or the other. Once I haul the stuff home, I sort it, clean it, research it, photograph it, edit the photos, and finally list. And those steps aren’t always linear, sometimes I get sidetracked.
Your “process” sounds really familiar. 🙂 Changing tacks a little bit, what are your top 2 favorite sales of all time from your Etsy shop?
I like any sale, big or small that puts a smile on a customer’s face. I’ve had a few of the “I’ve been looking for this exact thing for years!” emails. They always make me happy.
I have a thing for hands. I sold a set of carved, life-size ASL pieces that were really special. Another of my other favorite sales was a set of tiny early 1900’s sailing trophies. They were amazing. Kind of wish I’d kept those.
I remember those hands! What are your top 2 favorite items listed right now?
So hard to pick just two!
I love this little faceted garnet buckle I have up right now. I knew the minute I spied it that it would take a great photo. I think it would be fabulous repurposed into a pendant.
And, I bought a set of dressmaking stencils at Brimfield in the spring. They’re pretty wonderful.
Those are amazing! Where do you source most of your items?
Flea markets, thrift stores, auctions, group shops, garage sales, my basement… In addition, I’m currently helping an elderly friend divest herself of decades of collecting. She’s brought me really unique stuff that I would never have found in the wild.
What goals do you have for your shop in the future?
I’m constantly working on my shop photos. I think I’ve got the rustic look down and really want to master the clean white background. I’m working on greeting cards using some of my photographs, and a new logo is in the works, too. I’m excited about all that!
Fun stuff! Okay, so if you could travel back in time to when you started selling…what advice would you give your newbie self??
I’d tell my newbie self to jump in and enjoy the ride. Take advantage of all the advice out there. There are so many supportive teams and resources available. And work on your photos, they’re everything on Etsy!
Thank you so much, Mary, for sharing your experience with us! Your shop is fabulous and I love poking around it to see what new cool things you’ve found!
You can keep up with Mary and her shop Tipple and Snack on social media too! Check out these links:
Ready to get started on your own success story? Click the icon below and you’ll start off with 40 free listings. (affiliate alert: I will get 40 listings too!)