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Saturday, 4 February 2017

Read This if You Sell Patterns on Craftsy...

If you sell patterns on Craftsy, be sure to read this post...
A couple of weeks ago, I posted about how Craftsy's 2016 site makeover has managed to turn our user experiences upside down.

In response to Daryl's comment, I told her that I had had a similar result while searching through the free sewing patterns... in that I managed to page through all of them even though it couldn't have been all of them.

That is, I did not see all of my own free patterns pass before my eyes.

I decided to take the advice of the Craftsy engineers and edit each of my patterns (i.e., manually touch each record) to ensure that they would be filtered out properly and be seen.

How to ensure your patterns are filtered properly on Craftsy
More work for designers to do after Craftsy's site revamp...

Since February of 2014, Craftsy has been my sole source of pattern sales. As of this writing, I have twenty patterns listed in my shop. I don't know on average how many patterns a Craftsy indie designer has, but when I decided to undertake this database refreshing, I was super-duper glad that I didn't have 147 patterns to revisit like Deby at So Sew Easy.

I figured there had be some advantage in not being prolific!


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Anyway, I had seen this recommendation from Craftsy before, but never thought it would apply to me. (I just figured that when I originally uploaded those patterns, I made the correct selections as to what category they belonged to, so why should I worry?) What I discovered is worth sharing, so I decided to write up this post. If you've had similar feelings — about the above not applying to you — maybe you'll feel differently after you read this.

Here is what I found:
  • A few of my patterns were not categorized at all beyond just SEWING (there are still two subcategories underneath)
  • Virtually all of my patterns were incorrectly categorized as being Made For CHILDREN (not WOMEN and CHILDREN; just CHILDREN)

Since none of my patterns are aimed at rug rats, I was completely befuddled as to how they got tagged as such. (It was certainly not by me.) This proved to be a real eye-opener in terms of how the data from the pattern sales side of things was treated during Craftsy's site revamp.

Low priority, perhaps?


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By the way, I like how the instructions say "don't worry, you don't actually need to change anything, you just need to open them as if you were going to edit" in terms of that touching process that you'll have to do with every pattern. (Tell that to folks like Deby who's going to have to do that 147 times or more.)

Further to those instructions, all you have to do with the patterns is "save them again, and that will act as hard refresh to ensure they appear". Hmm... take a look here:

Sample Craftsy Pattern Sales Page
How do I save my changes?

This is what the screen looks like when you enter EDIT mode on one of your pattern pages. Do you see a SAVE button anywhere?

To be fair, if you actually go into an individual section and make a change, you will subsequently see a Save button.

A Save button!

The bottom line is, you'll have to click a couple of times in order to save your pattern. However, it's my guess that you'll see enough bad data that you'll want to make changes anyway.

Not exactly an efficient process that's been put on the shoulders of the users, but then — again I say — perhaps the indie pattern marketplace is just not a Craftsy priority?


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There's still more to this.

In order to be found, a pattern has to be categorized in a way that a customer might search for it. Therefore, what might make or break a pattern in terms of its success is whether it is categorized properly.

Unfortunately, the headings Craftsy offers are by no means complete. For example, how you would classify my Shopping List and Coupon Holder? Or my Scissors Sheath? Or my Waxcloth Correspondence Folder?

Under the main category of SEWING, there are subcategories of CLOTHING, ACCESSORIES, HOME and TOYS. Since I have no patterns for clothing or toys, I'll focus on the ACCESSORIES and HOME subcategories.

Under ACCESSORIES, you'll find the sub-subcategories of BAG, COWL, FOOTWEAR, GLOVES, HAT, MITTENS, SCARF, WRAP, and OTHER.

Under HOME, you'll find the sub-subcategories of BLANKET, HOLIDAY, KITCHEN ACCESSORY, PILLOW, TABLE ACCESSORY, WINDOW ACCESSORY, and OTHER. (How many blanket and pillow patterns might there be on Craftsy for there to be individual categories for them??)

You'd think that they would have a sewing accessories category under HOME... or, how about a category for organizers? I actually did a search for "organizers" filtered by sewing, patterns, free and it came up with thirty-two results. One of them was for a wire-wrapped heart ring. That's right, not sewing and not an organizer. But it was free.

So on top of everything else, it seems we have to put our faith in a wonky search engine.

But I don't want to beat this to death. All I really wanted to say today is that if you have patterns listed on Craftsy — for sale or for free — I highly recommend you go in and refresh them so that (maybe) they can be found on the revamped site.


2 comments:

  1. Thank you Rochelle! I will go and update each pattern today. I hope it works and makes it easier to be found. Craftsy used to email me every time I made a "sale", whether it was free or paid for. Every single day I would "sell" several of my free patterns. Now I have no idea if anyone is downloading any of them. That would be an indication if my patterns are being found.

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  2. Update: I went to Craftsy to edit things on all my patterns, however several patterns nothing would pop up for me to click on for the category and who is the item made for. So my hands were tied on those patterns and I could not edit anything. I did edit whatever I could on the others. I'll see if I notice anything different now.

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