Oh wow! One of my patterns just sold from my Etsy shop! Hooray!
Except I'm at the playground with three kids and no laptop and after this we're going to piano lessons and then a playdate. We won't be home for at least three hours and when we do get home I have to cook dinner and monitor homework and get everyone bathed.
And now another sale! A customer just bought three patterns!
But my stress level is increasing. When will I be able to sit down at my computer?
If you sell digital products on Etsy I'll bet you know this feeling well. Etsy doesn't offer automated digital file delivery and that means if you sell digital goods you are delivering them to customers manually via email and this takes time.
Did you know, though, that Etsy allows third party developers to create programs that interface with Etsy to provide services that Etsy itself doesn't offer? Clever developers have come up with some pretty great products to meet the needs of Etsy sellers and one of these developers, Chris Marinic, has tackled digital file delivery with his service, CraftHub. Launched in August of 2012, CraftHub is an automated file delivery service for Etsy sellers and currently has 1,000 Etsy sellers using its service.
CraftHub's clients sell digital materials of all kinds including scrapbooking pages, PDF patterns for knitting, crochet, embroidery, and sewing, pre-designed Etsy banners, social media widgets, ebooks, and more. My bet is that when Etsy launched in 2006 the founders couldn't have imagined the scope of digital products its sellers would list in their shops. But here we are, in 2013, and many of us spend significant portions of our day, every day, emailing files to customers.
Chris originally designed CraftHub for his wife, Paula, to automate the delivery of the digital clipart she designs and sells through her Etsy shop, Fancy Dog Studio. Once word got out that Paula was delivering her files automatically, and instantly, to her customers, other Etsy sellers wanted the same service. And thus CraftHub was born.
I talked recently with a few Etsy sellers who currently use CraftHub in order to get a better picture of the service from a shop owner's perspective.
Cupcake Favor Box printable kit by Claudine Hellmuth.
Claudine Hellmuth has been using CraftHub since September of 2012. Claudine is an artist and illustrator and she sells printable kits for making paper dolls and favor boxes in her Etsy shop. Claudine told me,
"I love everything about CraftHub. I can be out of town or asleep and I know it's filling orders for me! It's so easy and they have such nice tech support. It's so worth the money each month and the prices are very reasonable!"
In fact, Claudine was at the Craft and Hobby Association trade show when we talked, but her Etsy shop was operating on auto-pilot. Pretty great if you ask me.
Monkey, a sewing pattern by Elf Pop.
Raynor Gellatly, a Scottish plush pattern designer with her own business, Elf Pop, is a new CraftHub user. Raynor signed up for the service just a month ago. I asked how it's going so far:
"There are quite a few benefits, mainly the quick delivery, although it's a shame to lose that personal touch you can add to a manually sent email. I worry about that."
I appreciated Raynor's concern and I wanted to find out more about how CraftHub works so I got in touch with Chris and was very happy that he agreed to speak with me.
In this interview we talk about:
- How customizable the emails sent to customers really are
- File security
- Why Etsy itself doesn't offer digital delivery
- How CraftHub really works
- Tracking your files via CraftHub (allowing you to see if a customer has opened the document, how many times they've downloaded it, and whether they've forwarded it to their friends)
I hope you enjoy my 24 minute talk with Chris and if you have a comment or question about CraftHub, or about anything else we mention in the interview, please comment below and either Chris or I will reply. Thank you!