Sharing tools, knowledge and support that help your lampshade making business grow is a key part of the Dannells company ethos and the second post in our new BEAM series (Business Expertise and Advice for Makers) is all about how to sell on Folksy.
Finding the right place to sell your lampshades online can be a minefield and in this post we’ll clearly outline what’s involved to start selling on Folksy, breakdown the costs and ask for first-hand advice from a Dannells' customer, who already use the Folksy platform.
Folksy need to knows
Folksy was started in 2008 in Sheffield and has around 10,000 sellers and to sell on the platform. To sell on the platform you have to based in the UK, making the site a niche for British craft. Folksy is used by around 300,000 shoppers a month, with well over 500,000 in the run-up to Christmas.
What percentage of Folksy products are handmade?
Folksy, unlike some other marketplaces such as Etsy, sell only on handmade items and don’t allow vintage or reselling. They do however allow sellers to list supplies, equipment and components for a wide variety of crafts.
What are the selling fees?
Listing Fees - £0.15 + VAT listing fee for each individual* item you put up to sell on the platform.
*even if your products are identical as long as you are selling them individually you will pay the £0.15 listing fee per product.
To work out the inc-VAT amount, multiply the ex-VAT amount by 1.2 (e.g. £1.50 x 1.2 = £1.80). (Source: Folksy.com)
Commission fees - We charge 6% + VAT sales commission on the selling price of all items, whether you are on the Basic Plan, or Folksy Plus.
Shipping Commission Fees- Commission is not charged on postage.
Payment transaction fees - Paypal and Stripe charge Folksy sellers a fixed fee and a percentage of the transaction:
Stripe transaction fee: 1.4% + 20p for transactions on European cards 2.9% + 20p for non-European cards
Note: If your buyer paid through Stripe, the fee is collected at the point of sale by Stripe. The Stripe fee charged therefore includes their transaction fee AND the Folksy commission fee.
Paypal transaction fee:
3.4% + 20p of the amount you receive.
Notes - Please note that the total amount charged by Stripe includes their transaction fee plus the the 6% + VAT Folksy sales fee.
VAT - Folksy Ltd. is a VAT registered business and so we have to charge VAT on our fees to sellers. 20% VAT is added to the subtotal of your listing and selling fees.
How easy is it to set up?
Folksy Shops are easily customisable, with your own banner and avatar – or if you prefer you can choose from one of Folksy’s ready-made designs.
In advance it’s good to have the following to hand:
Profile picture - ideally be 170 x 170 pixels square.
Banner - at least 978 pixels wide and 200 pixels high. Try creating one using Canva LINK using existing images of your lampshades or you can choose form one of Folksy’s stock images
You shop description i.e. 'buying from me' - check out other sellers to get a feel for what you can add here and check out the Folksy guidelines
Your shop tagline – a short summary of your shop that’s usually just one line
What are the benefits of selling on Folksy?
Free resources - as a new user you receive a bonus 3 free listing when you open a Folksy account and Free access when you open an account to the folksy ‘Make It Sell’ e-course and regular Seller Tips emails. Folksy also have extensive ‘tip guides’ on everything from writing good product descriptions list, how to take good product shots and how to sell to retailers.
Payment - as soon as a customer places an order and payment is made directly into your Stripe or Paypal account
Community – is a huge part of Folksy’s ethos and has a private Folksy Facebook Clubhouse group, a Talk Folksy Forum and a knowledge base where you can ask questions, exchange tips and network with other sellers.
Digitally savvy - the Folksy app launched in March 2021 and allow sellers to manage their listing from their phone, making listing quick and simple
Marketing - Over 70,000 shoppers receive the Folksy newsletter and Folksy run their own Google ad campaigns which are at no extra cost to sellers.
What are the cons of selling on Folksy?
If you sell both upcycled and vintage lampshades Folksy might not be the place for you as they don’t allow second hand or vintage items to be sold, meaning they some of your stock couldn’t be listed.
Dependent on the payment method your customer chooses (either Stripe or Paypal) your profit after fees will be different so it’s best to make calculations on the higher the fees to work out your margins.
Folksy isn’t as well know Etsy so you will need to work hard to promote your Folksy shop on socials and through your networks, as the platform doesn't have opt ins for shop ad campaigns.
There are two types of Folksy account – a Folksy Basic Account (pay as you go) and a Folksy Plus account :
A Folksy basic account includes:
First 3 listings are FREE
Thereafter £0.15 + VAT per item
All fees to be paid through PayPal (and Stripe, if applicable)
A Folksy Plus account :
If you intend to list a lot of items for sale, you can choose to pay for unlimited listings in advance by signing up to the Folksy Plus account. LINK
The Folksy Plus account costs £5 a month. This amount is payable by direct debit payment though GoCardless and is non-refundable after you have listed an item (i.e. once the service has commenced) or after 7 calendar days, whichever is soonest.
Commission fees are NOT INCLUDED, and will be billed and charged through PayPal or Stripe (see below)
Folksy has a huge resource base, that enables easy set up of your account and lots of tips and hints. Take a look at their webpage on Why to sell on Folksy and the Folksy Selling App.
Folksy is a supplementary platform for a number of our makers, particularly those who want to widen their reach beyond their own website or Etsy. We asked Julie of The Little Toucan, what she thinks of Folksy as a marketplace platform to sell her lampshades
The Little Toucan
How do you find Folksy as a selling platform for your lampshades?
As a selling platform I have found it easy and quick to add items and like the simple layout for my shop and products.
What are the benefits to you as a seller?
The benefits to me as a seller are that it enables me get more exposure of my products and have also received an order through my website from a New Zealand customer who found me on Folksy.
What made you choose Folksy over other platforms?
I have been a long standing seller on eBay but want to move away from them due to the high fees involved and I like the simple £5 a month fee with no listing fees and much lower final fees.
Tips for other sellers would be to ensure photos are a good quality and to include as much information as possible regarding sizes and fitting (I have in the past had customers order wrong fitting as description not clear enough).
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