Operating an Etsy Shop from the Road: Q&A Session with the Etsy Sales Group

Last week the Esty Sales Group on Facebook invited us to do a live Q&A session regarding our mobile Etsy shop. The conversation included everything from storage & shipping to life on the road.

Below you will find an organized and edited version of the session. If you have any additional questions to ask please leave it in the comment section below.

The preface the discussion, here’s a quick summary of our lifestyle: We’re Olivia, Kyle, and our pup River. We travel North America fulltime in our vintage camper and operate an Etsy Shop from the road. Our mission is to live a free and deliberate life, full of enriching experiences and relationships.

Q: How long have you been traveling and what’s been the highlight, so far?

A: We’ve been on the road for over two months now. During the first month we traveled through numerous National Parks. They were beautiful, and something totally new to both of us.

Q: Before we drill down into the details of your shop, etc. how best can other Etsy sellers support you in your journey?

A: We think the best thing Etsy sellers can do to support us and all other sellers, is spread the Etsy message! So many people still don’t know what Etsy is. We love to encourage folks to visit the site and create their own shop. If anyone wants to follow our journey directly – like us on Facebook, or keep up with our blog!

Q: Tell us about your shop. What do you sell and is it different from what you sold before the road trip, with consideration of space, etc?

A: We sell vintage maps, prints, and photos. When we started selling, we sold all things vintage. Once we began planning to live on the road, we streamlined our shop into selling only vintage items that would store flat and ship in an envelope.

Q: Do you carry all the inventory you need, or do you source along the way, and do sometimes go to place just because there’s a resource for the type of goods for you buy for resale?

A: We have 1700 items listed now, and have about 500 “to be listed”. We search for new material whenever we’re out and about. At our home base in Alabama we have about 2000 unlisted items.

Q: I bet you have a lot of fun searching for treasures as you go!! Do you ship as you get an order and search for a post office or do you have certain days you ship packages?

A: We scout out the post office in every town as we arrive. If it’s feasible, we’ll ship items five days a week. We take a break on the weekend.

Q: Tell us about the lifestyle. I know I have “boundary issues” in my own home. Are you able to (is there a need to) create boundaries for dedicated time/space for personal/business?

A: We live a very “chill” life. Our Etsy work is rarely too much. We spend 30 minutes a day packaging items. And, maybe 5 hours a month taking photos and listing items. If we’re laying around on the computer we might do some Etsy PR. But our life is usually easing from one chill thing to another.

Q: I would love to hear more about what made you decide to refurbish the vintage trailer (which is very cute, by the way) versus other mobile housing options?

A: We decided on our travel trailer because of its size and weight. We wanted something we could tow easily with the truck we already had. It was in pretty good condition when we bought it, but we wanted to make some modifications and add solar power. We wanted to start with more money in savings, rather than invested in an RV. This vintage trailer allowed us to do that.

Q: Do you ever do fairs and festivals along the way?

A: We don’t. For us, we don’t really want 100s of people thumbing through our delicate inventory. We like the idea of fairs, but haven’t found a good way to do that process yet.

Q: How do you deal with deliveries, I sell shirts and am ordering new inventory almost once a week, how do you organize mail or packages?

A: We use “general delivery” at the local post office. Since we’re there almost every day, we get to know the employees well, and they’re extremely helpful.

Help support our mission – to live freely and deliberately – by checking out our Etsy store or treating us to a virtual latte!

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