Friday, March 2, 2012

Etsy Teams

Part of the community building aspect of Etsy are teams. There are vast varieties of teams, anything from local teams (eg. country or province), to trade (bookbinding, jewelry, vintage), to helps (tips, advice, store cretique), or just plain fun. There is a team for everything, and if there isn't one you want you can make one. Etsy encourages sellers to be part of a team. This is not a requirement, but the people down at Etsy know that it helps a lot. Etsy even awards grants every month to various teams. These grants are awarded based on application from the team. This money may go toward different things such as hosting an event or class, or a get together for you team. Neat, eh?

It was not hard to find some teams which I wanted to be part of.

Winnipeg Etsy Street Team

First, I live in Winnipeg. So naturally I wondered if there was a Winnipeg Team. There is! It's called W.E.S.T, "Winnipeg Etsy Street Team." This team is definitely the most active of the teams of which I am a part of. Makes sense too, since these are people right in my area. The team forum has lots of helpful information that matter to me as a Manitoban. I can ask about shipping from not only Canada, but Manitoba as well. There are lots of information about local craft shows (way too much for me to think about right now). Also the teams meets together once a month. I'm looking forward to the March meeting, as that will be my first.

Bookbinding Etsy Street Team

Another Team that I am a part of is BEST, "Bookbinding Etsy Street Team". This is actually one blog I stumbled on a few times long before even thinking about selling on Etsy. Originally I browsed the blog for great bookbinding tutorials. This a great place for meeting other bookbinders. Among other things, Best regularly hosts book swaps for it's members for those who wish to take part. 

Etsy For Charity

Finally I am part of "Etsy For Charity". On this team everyone involved donates funds (different percents depending on person) from their Etsy stores to charities of their choice. Since this is my main goal of my Etsy store, this team was a natural choice.

What else does a team do?

Teams are also a great way to get you motivated to try something new. For example WEST just listed it's March Design Challenge to it's members. From that challenge, an idea sparked for a new design (soon to be posted), one which I am doubtful if I would've come up with otherwise.

I also find it a lot more comfortable asking members of my fellow team questions as I'm not just asking a general void. I can ask specific questions in a more relevant circle (eg. shipping a book from the Bookbinder Team, or shipping from Winnipeg from the WEST Team).

You can also shop by team. Team members tag items with their team name making their items easy to find by other team members or sellers. As a seller, if you wanted to buy something specifically that would help a charity you would search for "etsyforcharity" and the items from that team would come up.

It's also a way to support other team members. Creating treasuries from team members items are a great way to get their product noticed more. Tips are given from other team members, and often teams have threads showing off new items.

So if you have an Etsy store or are thinking about opening one, check out the teams. There are a lot of them so take your time thinking about which one(s) you want to join. You don't need to join them all (that's over 4000!) and you don't need to be a member to view much of the threads in the team forum. For me three was a good amount to be part of. But as I say, check it out!

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