A selection of items from August’s most visited shops
Hello and welcome to another edition of the Folksy Monthly Update. September marks the beginning of the autumn season on Folksy and the planning for the Christmas period is well under way. We have lots to tell you this month about the site development work and our Christmas PR campaign so read on, this will also be our last Monthly update as we’ve decided to include this information in the seller email starting next week.
- Orders for August were up 47% compared to August 2010.
- We had visits from 314,154 different people, this is an increase of 75% on August 2010.
- The 5 most popular search terms in August were: Christmas, Bunting, cards, crochet, cushion
- Congratulations to Nikki McWilliams, CutiePies, SewYou Handmade, Pants and Paper and Gemma Nemer who were our most visited shops in August.
We’re delighted to announce that the site re-design work has officially started. We have wanted to make improvements to the site navigation for quite some time and also allow buyers to find easier ways to discover items on the site. The first phase of the site re-design will be finished in November, this work will concentrate on the homepage, site navigation and categories, after this launch in November, work on some of the other pages on the site will continue to be rolled out. Our next update in October will include some information about changes to the category system but good news for our Supplies sellers is that we will be introducing categories for Supplies.
As most of you know we’re working hard to make Folksy the best place to find handmade gifts and craft supplies and in the process supporting UK makers and designers. We’re growing, and as a consequence we’ve passed the VAT threshold, currently 20% in the UK (Most other countries and states seem to have lower sales tax). You’ll start to see the VAT on your bill soon. For the last two months we’ve paid VAT on all the bills (listing fees and commission fees) and we’re going to continue to do this for another two months, until the new site has launched in early November. From November we’ll be charging VAT and collectively we’ll be making our own contribution to the UK coffers. We hope that you’ll see the benefit of this small increase in fees reflected in the work on the site and PR and of course, sales. You may want to pass this small increase on in the price of your items.
What can I sell on Folksy?
We have recently made some changes to clarify Folksy’s position on the What you can and can’t sell articles on Knowledgebase, these have now been combined into one page of information. Part of this recent clarification concerns what Folksy considers to be a handmade item so we have split this clearly into two different areas. At least one of the following criteria must be met to list a handmade item on Folksy:
- Majority Handmade: The item is handmade by you and includes a majority of handmade components or is made through a craft practice for example knitting, drawing, lino cutting or woodwork.
- Original Design: The only exception to the point above is when the item has an original design, such as knitted garments made using mass produced wool or handbags made using mass produced fabric. Also, the item may not be made by you (e.g. prints of illustrations or decals of original artwork) but must be your original design and not a copy of someone else’s.
This clarification will mean that some products that were previously sold on the site will now not fall under these criteria. We have decided to put this policy into place from now for all new items listed. For items that are currently on the site, the policy will apply from 1st November. That gives any affected sellers 2 months to sell their stock, delist or edit to alter the listing to a suitable item.
The first seller specific email newsletter was sent out last week and included some important information for sellers about recent changes to terms on Folksy. The second email will be sent next week and will include the Monthly update information. We understand not all of our sellers read the blog or visit the forums so direct seller emails are the best way to communicate effectively with all our sellers. The seller newsletter will be sent out monthly and will include the information that is usually posted in the monthly update blog posts such as statistics and important site news, then additional content will be added over time such as helpful seller articles as the newsletter develops. We’d like to make these newsletters as useful as possible so please let us know what you would like us to include by adding a comment to this post.
Christmas PR campaign
The PR work is being set up and we’ll be doing regular feature lists of items and crafts people to send out to journalists. We may be contacting you to source high resolution images of your work and your studio (or work space) in the coming months for our regular journalists’ pack. We’re hiring a PR and Marketing intern in to help us with some of this work. If you know of anyone who might be interested please share the post http://blog.folksy.com/jobs with them.
Thank you for supporting Folksy! If you have any questions or queries then please contact Support on firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be back in touch soon with all your useful seller information in the next Seller newsletter, bye for now.
:) The Folksy Team – Sarah, James, Andrew, Doug, Frankie, Sian and Emily.