Don’t Do This: EVER

How To Sell Your Stuff Online

Do you make your own jewelry? Are you a vintage-collector extraordinaire? Maybe you’ve considered starting your own online shop, but have shied away from it, thinking it would be too difficult to do. Well, it actually isn’t as hard or as costly to get started as you may think, but certainly requires hard work and determination for your shop to be successful.

how-to-sell-your-stuff-online nylon article

the smart girl’s guide to starting an online shop of your very own

Source: How To Sell Your Stuff Online | NYLON

Our Analysis Below:

The outline is standard fare:

  1. Build Your Brand & Do Your Research

  2. Actually Build Your Shop

  3. Kill It on Social Media

  4. Keep Pushing!

Well maybe not the “Kill it on Social Media” but they all say that to one degree or another, and promise it is so easy. Which will lead people who get lots of likes/shares from their stuff to think that this is the primary focus. After viewing both the shop & social media presences of the interviewees the advice seemed rather slim. It doesn’t in anyway offer any actionable advice but presumes that you already have these skills, since as a millennial you have already done these things personally for so long.

It doesn’t, and this is key, tell you how to measure your success, suggest benchmarks (other than vanity metrics) and lacks the most basic advice one should have. Tell a story. Brand narrative is the most key element, and behind every viral success there is one. Usually, if you look closer than this blurb pieces confess.


A kick-ass logo. Well visual identity is a very key element. Yet this almost seems elementary, and then only goes on to say something entirely too basic. Surely this article is designed to be an entry-level approach, not disputing that, but a logo, in and of itself is useless. Many of our clients have great logos, yet if they are not sized, in the appropriate format, etc… then they show up all over the place misrepresenting or doing your “brand” harm. For a visual identity is much more than a “logo” alone. It is how through, and these are all basic elements you will need, just out of the gate, a cover photo, an avi, many variations and sizes for each of these for each site. Then to top it off, video, pictures of the process, other behind-the-scenes materials.

In a world of overshare too, you have to be able to distinguish the ones who are following you for *apirational* reasons from those that will actually buy. Your metrics can teach you the difference, some solid A/B testing will too. You don’t need 10k followers either. They are your focus group, but a lot of thought goes into the questions asked, and removing your personal bias from the equation. Which is why it is better to have the advice of someone

“Really reasearch your hosting/web companies, make a list, really research” Telling someone who is just starting out, and perhaps is very naive about this or particularly biased seems dangerous. There are so many factors here that have to be considered. The right choice for right now, is usually the worst choice down the road. Which means this wisdom & knowledge isn’t going to come from streaming an explainer video on YouTube. Your friends & family, even other creatives, will have different needs or criteria. So really this is where most end up with a website that a few years after blowing up gets shut down b/c it went to their cousin who set it up. Or it tried to auto-renew off of that credit card you lost after a night on the town.

10k Followers doing something right. Vanity Metrics 101. That is not sales, those are empty followers who can like/comment on your stuff, not actual buyers. A store owner knows that if you had 10k walk through and only 10 bought something, you’d think you were doing something wrong. what is right about that, creativity crowd-sourcing and getting that feedback is good. Will help on some level, but if you are only managing it by what your eyes can see, then we’re not sure you are doing it right. Listen but measure methodically.

Post Constantly. Ummmm, no. Just no, really more like HELL NO! Free advertising is the “best advertising” for a bunch of consumerist drones, maybe. For anyone who becomes successful they know a good marketing campaign requires a narrative, thought & planning. You have to bring them along, in a serial fashion, as you grow or expand, and take this journey with you. The narrative is almost always starring them too, not you & your art. It is what your art does FOR them, not the fear of missing out. That is why so many are Internet Famous and still broke.



So in conclusion it is this sort of advice from people looking to turn their hobby into a revenue stream, and strike it big that is really harmful. You can spend endless hours doing what they’ve said, and then be no further along than you were before. You might get noticed, be a flash in the pan, but if you aren’t planning and working actively towards goals, and measuring them then you aren’t really trying to win.

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