Thursday, November 10, 2011

Listing is a lonely process

With over 100 listings, some repeat items, on my fourth week of hosting Shopping Glightly, an Etsy store, I’ve arrived at the sad conclusion that listing is a lonely job.

Mr. Golightly thought I was playing the drama card. “You like it. It’s fun looking up stuff.” I gave him my best Beatrice Arthur glare from Maude and said, “No. It’s not fun. Not fun at all.”

I’ve taken the Meyers Briggs three times. Always ENTP. Something to note, very heavy on the E, the Extroversion. So heavy, I could be labeled an Extrovert Junkie. This is weird because many of my very close friends are introverts so why they tolerate me is beyond understanding. Guess that’s just love because we do have sincere fun, a lot of it and we laugh hard and often.

I tried making games of listing. When photographing items, I pretend I’m shooting for Vanity Fair, “Work it enamelware platter! Give me that gorgeous color. Show me that sheen! You're too sexy for the tabletop!” Even asked books to literally talk to me. They don’t and I scream, “You’ve tens of thousands of words in your pages! Can’t you say just one thing? One syllable? Sheesh!”

I’ve used my imagination. Hard. No matter how I try, I cannot make these inanimate items my peers, my work mates. I’ve lost that child in me that I witness as Piper, my Little Pie, has when she plays for hours with her Papo horses. Ugh!

Oh yeah, and now it’s chilly outside making photographing in natural light more unbearable. I’ve learned to run outside, snap a few shots and race back inside to do this silly dance to warm back up. I wear a red knit cap with earmuffs, finger-less gloves with my mukluks. Thankfully I only shoot in my backyard.

Then there’s the monotonous categorizing the item and writing its description. I’m already frustrated with the item because it cannot play or talk with me, so it’s hard writing something nice about it. I’ve cranked Carmen, Peter Gabriel, Charles Brown, Annie Lennox and I always end up wanting to jump around the house to the Ramones “I want to be sedated.” But I don’t because if I did, I’d hit replay 200x and be chronically late to pick up Piper from school. Then I’d have to write why I was late in the late pick up manual which would eventually warrant a meeting with her principal.

But sales! Sales are another story. A voice talks back and it’s lovely meeting people and learning why they bought the item. Like the kind woman in Virginia who bought the baby scale as a prop for photographing newborns. (She’s sending me a photo soon.) Or the retired teacher in Washington who collects typewriter tins, over 900 of them, and I happened to have one he did not. What are the odds of THAT? Or the mother of four in Texas who wanted something a bit different in her life, just something small, so she bought a bright teal stapler with a huge button to stamp for what I call “I mean it office work.” The kind woman in New York who makes hand bound books and has love of vintage bookplates. The gentleman in London who bought the magazine rack with the porcelain enameled “Keep clear of chute” sign, which I thought to be right on with British humor. The friend in Wyoming who immediately jumped on the vintage tablecloth who collects them for her home.

Etsy’s a pretty cool place, it’s a community. The listing just sucks. I’ve thought of hosting listing parties, but who’d want to come to that?

Any suggestions? Hey, I’m hip to kooky ones.

At least it’s reuse.

Maybe I could hire a psychic while listing to channel the former owner of the item or, even better, a person who had a part in it’s making. If I did that, I’d be running in the red. So far, I’m learning re-sale is not for those wanting a heavy profit. Well, maybe it just takes time and becoming more established. Few new ventures go gangbusters from the start.

Again, at least it’s reuse.


Shawna said...

I hear you, I mean, I've never had hundreds of things to list, but I can only imagine the excruciating solitude. Good luck!

Barb said...

hmmmmmm..for me, its taking the ever loving pictures. I am not a great picture taker and since my stuff is mainly crafts with some vintage added in I am having a heck of a time taking alot of pics at one time and getting the light right.

I do the listings while watching NCIS or monday nite football......

Serena said...

I list while watching (listening is more accurate) TV. I guess I'm "lucky" that I'm an introvert and like solitary work.

Maybe when you get yourself more established and are pulling in a regular income from your Etsy store, you could hire someone part time to list and photograph your items.

Regarding taking photos, you might want to look into investing in a photo studio set-up, complete with lamps and photo box/cube. You can probably find these on eBay.

Joy said...

I found an answer in your own words, inside today's post...Do have a party! A listing party! En-listing friends to pose with your goods...Maybe awakening their super models?! Raffle something super...something that won't bring so much on etsy, and that doesn't "belong" with you, any longer. Afterall, if it takes a village to raise a could take all my friends to raise my business?! I'm just sayin'...

Joy said...

And, hey! Let me add that your work with others is teaching re-selling...I'm workin' it, Shopping GoLightly...workin' it! ;-)

Shopping Golightly said...


I'll feed my friends Cabernet and let the objects speak to them.

BTW, everyone's too sexy for the listing, too sexy for the description, oh so sexy it hurts!

See ya'll on the resale catwalk!

OMG! How about an resale model show? Not clothing but items? Us sellers strut out our kitchen, tabletop, miscellaneous items to some house music. Yes, house music that's one helluva pun.

I'm currently listing and am a bit punch drunk. That's when my words are at they're best.

Odd to write like this and be sober.