Monday, May 27, 2013

Etsy Tips: A quick introduction to selling on Etsy

Part of selling on Etsy involves learning how to meld your love for all things crafty and artsy with the business side of things. Selling online means you have to deal with things like taking pretty photographs and writing good descriptions, because how else will people know what they're buying? They can't see or feel your products in person, so this is the closest they will be able to get otherwise.

Knowing how to market yourself is also very important, since it's a quick and easy way to grab people's attention. It's not necessary, but maintaining a presence on Facebook, Twitter, blogs, or other social media networks can pay off in a big way. You can't expect people to find your shop if you don't work to get your name and products out there. Just because your shop is on Etsy doesn't automatically mean people will find your item in searches! Always try to think from a buyer's perspective - what makes YOU decide to click on a photograph or check out an item when shopping online?

Quick tips
  1. Read the Etsy Seller Handbook. There is so much valuable information here for new Etsy sellers. It doesn't cover everything, but it's a great start:
  2. Price your items correctly! One of my most frequently used tools is an Etsy fee calculator: You can input what you want to charge for an item + shipping/handling, and the calculator will tell you how much you'll really make as profit after Etsy fees, payment processing fees, and postage are taken out. Don't forget to compensate yourself fairly for your time as well as supplies. Here's a good blog post on this topic:
  3. Utilize your tags and titles! These are extremely important, because they influence where your items will show up both in the Etsy search and on Google. Read up on Etsy and how relevancy works. Everyone dreads learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), but it's an unavoidable aspect of selling online, regardless of whether you host your shop on a venue or have an independent website of your own. Here are some helpful links related to Etsy: 
  4. Photographs, photographs, photographs. Good photographs are another key aspect of selling online, but you don't need a fancy DSLR camera! You can get great photographs with a normal point-and-shoot digital camera by using the macro setting, adjusting white balance in combination with a light box, and utilizing free photo-editing programs like GIMP or Picmonkey
  5. Fill out your shop policies. Etsy automatically includes a link to your shop policies at the bottom of every listing in your shop, and they're very helpful when there's a problem: be clear about your return/exchange policies. I also included information about payment methods, processing times for made-to-order items, and shipping methods and estimated delivery times in my policies.
  6. Fill our your shop announcement. The shop announcement is important for being found on Google Searches. Use keywords relevant to your shop and incorporate them into a concise but descriptive introduction about your products. More info about that here:
  7. The more items, the better. It's just simple statistics - the more items you list in your shop, the more likely you are to have those items show up in the search. It's pretty difficult to be found with only 15 items in your shop. 
  8. Use social media to promote. Creating a Facebook business page is free and easy, and it can act as a portal for your business if you sell on more than one website or venue. It's a great way to introduce new products, promote sales, and increase your customer base. Don't forget to claim a unique username for your page! For instance, you can find the FB page for my shop at Here is Facebook's guide to setting up a business page:

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