Are you someone who is creative, craftsperson or collector of vintage items and wondering how to start your own business with it, then you should consider selling your work on Etsy. This eCommerce platform is a credible global marketplace that has millions of active sellers. More and more crafters are ditching their jobs as they are starting their own Etsy Shop. Although it is very easy to startup on Etsy, it would be wise to do some homework so that you can stand out amongst several sellers. Now, to get you started on Etsy, I have compiled some tips and tricks that most of the Etsy sellers have used and succeeded.
- Get the right Username
Many don’t think much while registering their username, but the name is what matters the most. You are represented by your username or full name, and by your shop name on Etsy. You cannot change the username once it is already set up, so choose it carefully as it will stick forever. It would be best if you can choose the username same as what you would name your shop. But if that is not available, then choose something that relates well with your shop.
- Create an Eye-Catching Store
Personalise your Etsy store to make it stand out from the crowd and to promote it as well. Give your shop a nice title that would sum up about your store. Add a striking banner which you can make by using different graphic tools like Adobe Photoshop, Picasa or even Windows Paint or try these tools. Also, don’t skip on choosing a strong avatar because it is your profile picture and it will represent you as well as your shop.
- High-Quality Photographs
Talk to anyone who sells or buys on Etsy and they will tell you that whether your products get purchased or not boils down to the photographs you put up. Photos are the most important aspect when it comes to selling on Etsy because your Photos are the Products here depending on which people make their buying decisions. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, but if you make sure of certain things like camera angle, lighting and background then even your cell phone camera can do wonders. Try to create a clean and clutter free photo. Also as Etsy allows you to add up to five photographs, choose only the best ones even if that number is less than five. Remember that your customers cannot touch and feel your product so your photographs need to convince them of the quality that they are buying.
- Product Names and Details
Every product of yours will need an item title which truly does the job of grabbing buyer’s attention and enticing them to check out further. The good practice is to keep the name short, use strong words and keep a good mix of upper and lowercase letters. Also, make sure that you name your product what it truly is because that is what people are searching for. You need to make the best of your shop, and so you need your shop and products to land up into people’s search results. The best way to do this is to visualise what the customer would search for and accordingly name your product. While you perfect on the product name, make sure you also give all right descriptions about your product such as the size, colour, material and if there is something unique about it.
- Patience is the Key
Every seller’s advice on Etsy will be to have patience as success does not happen overnight. Most people who start on Etsy get their first order after months. As you wait patiently, you also need to keep making enhancements to your shop with more items, pictures, and tags. Take lessons in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and view your shop stats to study what is attracting the traffic. If you don’t take efforts to make the best of your shop, then you will get left behind in this game.
- Price is Right
If you want to earn profit from your Etsy business, then you must price your items right. Pricing your products might seem like a challenge, especially if you have never done anything like it before. You just need to be little comfortable with playing with math and you will get the perfect price for your products. Below is a tried and tested pricing formula that many Etsy Sellers use.
Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale
Retail = Wholesale x 2
The cost of materials that you consider should be for one single piece and not the whole lot that you bought. Labour costs are your hourly rate multiplied by the time spent to make one piece and the expenses are mainly everything that is needed to run your business like tools and supplies. Remember that if you are not making money then it is just a hobby, so make sure of your pricing is right.
- Have a Great Customer Service
A great customer service is vital to a successful business. Treat your customers just like how you would expect to be treated and even go beyond that. Return customers are essential because they know you and they trust your brand. Make your customers feel special and they will give you free publicity by spreading the word around about your great service. Be clear about your shipping turnaround times, refunds and exchanges, how you handle customs and duty fees, and payment methods that are acceptable to you. Also, make sure that you respond in a timely fashion to the emails and convos because if you take longer than the recommended time of 24 hours, then the chances are high that the customer would have moved on to some other shop.
- Spread the word and advertise
Once you are all set with your shop, it is time to spread the word. Start advertising on blog posts and keep up with your activity feed. The most inexpensive and easiest way is to connect with family and friends on social media. Although you may not get daily sales, advertising helps build your brand. You can use several built-in promotional tools for great marketing such as coupon codes and widgets. Coupon codes help to increase sales, rewards customers and create brand awareness while creating a special widget for websites will help steer people to your Etsy shop. Once you have grown with your business and can spend some extra over advertising, then you can also run search ads that would appear on the top of search results page. Just remember that ultimate aim here is to build brand recognition.
- Join the Etsy Team
One best thing about Etsy is what they call as Teams. These are groups of Etsy sellers with common interests such as someone living in a particular area, or stay at home mums, or you sell similar items. Etsy is all about these teams and these teams have great influences. If a customer has a bad experience, then it would not be long before the word starts to spread and ratings fall. The same would be the case with good service, where the teams will know of it and will reflect in positive reviews. Being a part of the team gives you an opportunity to learn from your fellow ‘teamies’, and you never know someone might just turn out to be a really good friend.
- Have quantifiable goals and track them
As this is going to be your business you need to have certain goals. You can term your goals depending on the number of products you have to sell, the number of views your products get or any criteria that you feel comfortable with. Make that the starting point and then track your progress to make changes as needed and adjusting your goal as your business starts growing.
So if you like to make crafty goods or have a unique collection of vintage jewellery that you want to sell then don’t wait, just go to www.etsy.com and register yourself to be the next popular Etsy seller!
Business Analyst by profession but truly a travel enthusiast, animal lover, dancer, and an avid reader that has brought me to writing. A reliable team player living in the present with utmost positive attitude who cannot live without friends and family. And I am one of the best persons you will ever meet unless you mess with me :)