The solution for me has been joining teams. I'm currently a member of three very diverse Etsy teams, and I get something different and valuable from each one.
The first team I joined was the Etsy D List team, which was started by Sandy (soulstone321 on Etsy) last fall as a place where sellers new to Etsy or who just hadn't had many sales yet could gather and share tips in a no-question-is-too-stupid atmosphere. (Seriously -- you should see some of the clueless things I posted to the group when I was starting out!) It's a very helpful and noncompetitive environment -- everyone works to share tips we've heard or ways to improve our shops and increase sales. I almost never miss a new Etsy feature, forum thread seeking out submissions, or neat hack for my shop, because one of my teammates saw it and posted it for all to share.
I am pretty sure that I'm the only gothically inclined person on this team, though I have seen some skully goodness in others' shops. My aesthetic is vastly different from most of my teammates', but thankfully no one laughs at me or runs away screaming when I post to the forums or our private message board squeeing about the latest skull- or bat-infested creation I've posted. (Or if they are, they're doing so quietly where I can't see or hear them, hahahaha).
We promote one another in treasuries, tweet and Facebook (that's a verb now, right?) one another's new items, and recently ran a buy-and-replace treasury in the forums resulting in 19 sales for the team. We also have a private message board which we use, among other things, to celebrate each other's successes and vent about whatever's not going well. In doing so, we discovered a curious phenomenon. If we posted to a thread whining about slow or nonexistent sales, one of us would immediately sell something. Seriously -- this happened to me at least three times -- once within 10 minutes of me posting my whiny vent -- and I am not the only one! Are we onto the secret to Etsy success?!
Since we started the team, several members have been featured in Etsy finds and the Storque, and some have even reached that holy grail of the Front Page. Does that mean we're now too successful to be called D-listers? I don't know, but I'm so very glad that I found these ladies!
Search for the "dteam" tag on Etsy to find items by these very talented teammates of mine -- you'll find everything from crochet to felted hats and purses to jewelry to paper ephemera. If you're a new or undiscovered seller and would like to join the team, send an Etsy convo to VintageCarolina, who's in charge of new membership.
If you sell on Etsy, have you joined any teams, and what's been your experience with them? What can we as crafters do to support one another?
Here are some of my favorite items, handmade by the Etsy D List team:
Felted cat phone cozy by Fiberpuppy:
Harry the Hipster comic book by NerdJerk:
Sassy Peg Leg Pirate Necklace by SassyBelleWares: (see, I told you -- skulls!)
Isn't It Dinner Time matted print by DeborahJulian:
Class of 2010 graduation scrapbook page by PinkyCrafts:
June birthstone earrings by JulieEllynDesigns:
Shades of Silver flower necklace by TheWhirlwind:
Wine crochet-top kitchen towels by HippieChickBoutique: