Etsy selling tips

January 26, 2013

Do you sell on Etsy and are looking for some great Etsy selling tips? Each week we reach out to you, our readers and followers and ask you to share your experience. Here are some great Etsy selling tips and if you have your own to share, please leave a comment at the end of this story.

  • The strategy that worked best for me, particularly starting out, was to be proactive in getting featured on relevant blogs.  I started with sites that I already read and which resonated with me, and that were appropriate for my product.  Later, I actively sought new places to pitch to.  For art photography, interior design blogs and art-specific blogs tended to be the most appropriate.  On the blog, there is often a link to contact or submit your work to the author.  I would do just that, being careful to follow any instructions and to personalize my pitch.  I certainly didn’t get featured everywhere, but I was successful enough to really jump start my sales and get my name out there. – Diana Brennan from D. S. Brennan Photography

  • Reply to every inquiry in a timely manner and try to make a connection with the lead to help make the sale…comment on their profile photo…ask them questions about their special event or the city where they live…just like you’d chat with a salesperson in a physical shop. – Coleen Akers from PaperFreckles

  • Original products, great photographs and superior customer service. I believe these three things are the foundation for having a successful Etsy shop. Most importantly, customers want to see an original product. Adding new designs, updating colors and staying “on-trend” keeps customers coming back to your shop. Secondly, it’s so important to have quality photographs. I like to shoot my products in little vignettes. This not only showcases the product itself, but it gives customers to a look at your personal style and brand (When photographing, my best tip is: Natural light is a must!). And last, but certainly not least, is superior customer service. People appreciate the one on one attention they get when shopping at a site like Etsy. Respond to inquiries as quickly as possible and stay in contact with customers throughout ordering and shipping process. Good communication goes a long way! – Elizabeth Johnson from Pretty Smitten

  • Etsy is where I got my start on creating handmade couture jewelry.  Since I have a full website (http://www.thepolishedtrinket.com), I put my best sellers on Etsy since it brings in a new crowd and an additional revenue source.  Without Etsy, I would have never jumped into launching my own business.  The best strategy for me was to cross-promote the products on Etsy, Pinterest, and  Facebook.  People ‘like’ the products and their friends see it on their wall.  Grabs new business and drives traffic to the Etsy page. Been selling since Sept 6, 2011. – Kim Bennet and Michael Wuest from The Polished Trinket

  • Pay attention to the way Etsy searches work and really zone in on what they call “relevancy” — writing titles, descriptions and keywords that will get you found. Think about the two or three words you would use if you were searching for the same product. People won’t buy your stuff if they can’t find you. Additionally, great photos, ones that are bright and cohesive throughout your shop, are a must on Etsy. Since people can’t pick up your item in a store, your images are speaking for you and your products. And on Etsy, where people build collections of pretty things with items they find on the site, nice images make you more likely to appear in those collections and possibly be featured on the front page or in the daily Etsy Finds email. – Stephanie Hinderer from Red Letter Paper Company

  • We enclose a small card with each bracelet we sell with brief information regarding the shop and the website so that satisfied customers can share with friends..word of mouth seems to work best. – Yasmin Qazilbash from Eden Autism Services

  • As for Etsy, my chief suggestion is for shop owners to take out a $7 weekly ad when you feel confident your shop has something “Killer” to offer. I did this during the Christmas season lead-up, aka “Advent”, and offered 7 different Advent calendars, which clearly resonated with international Etsy shoppers, sending $500 of them around the world. I will continue to build audience by adding to my “Circles”, which gives you greater intra-Etsy exposure. Lastly, I believe the hand-written note I sent with every order, the fact that every person who bought a calendar or item from my Shop is now added to my Christmas card list, and that mailing goes out shortly: Mid-January. Etsy is a universe unto itself, and there are some great business videos that the Etsy Team puts out that are worth watching to help with expanding one’s stream of income. Some shop owners grow their Etsy shops so strongly it becomes a BIG part of their income. I’m hopeful I can continue to grow my business with Etsy by leaps and bounds. – Chrisanne Robertson from Chrisanne Robertson

  • As a way to get eyeballs from all angles, I am constantly putting out updates on various sites. It’s a lot of work. I post information on Twitter, Google Plus, Facebook, Pinterest, LinkedIn groups, and my blog for SEO and marketing. It doesn’t matter how small the idea is. These posts cannot only be plugs for my work, but what makes me who I am – what I like, interesting things I’ve found online, what I do with my spare time, etc. Ultimately, who you are as a whole creates a brand around you. I’ve learned that when you develop a presence out there in social media, your posts have to be a conversation, not a never-ending stream of self-promotion. – Kim Piotrowski from kipi 

  • My best tip would be for sellers to have Good Communication- Many shoppers in my shop are especially pleased when I update them continually about the status of their order and respond to their questions and concerns within a few hours. I like to keep a personal relationship with each of my customers because this reduces some of the anonymity associated with online shopping and people feel more inclined to give me positive feedback later on. This can also bring sellers one step closer to getting more repeat customers, which is the key to having a strong customer base. – Yamini Kukreja from Kangaroo Crafts

  • Tag your items properly!  Think of different ways your product can be used, follow commonly-searched themes, keep upcoming holidays in mind, and tag accordingly! Great products and great pictures don’t mean anything unless people can find it! – Michelle Cavanaugh from The Shower Planner

  • My number one tip would be to tell everyone you know about your business. My family and friends have been wonderful supporters. Even if they don’t buy from me, they tell others about my products. I also let everyone know by adding my website as my email signature and gifting my products at every opportunity. I’ve gained numerous customers who fell in love with my items after receiving them from me as birthday, holiday, coach or teacher gifts. – Angie Barrett from Angie’s Suds ‘N Such

  • Word of mouth still seems to be the most effective way for us to sell stuff. When we share our items on sites like Facebook or Reddit we see a massive increase in traffic to our Etsy page. When we first started our page people told us to space out launching our products so that we’d have something on the main page for as long as possible. We decided to upload everything at once since we had more than 5 products – the plan was to show the whole line of toys and make us look like more established. This worked well for us. As we’ve introduced new products we’ve added them to the site 1 by 1 and never seen as much traffic as we did when we launched. – JB Israel from Sonech•co Toys

  • Participate in teams — list my own items as appropriate and asked for, take part in mutual promotion, and share in team discussions — generally being a good team member — much of my sales come from other team members and team promotions, like treasuries. – Elizabeth Cogliati from Lizbeth’s Garden

  • Dark and unfocused pictures do not give a buyer confidence about your work.  Take great photos.  You are asking people to buy your work unseen and untouched, except for the photographs.  Make sure the photos are crisp, uncluttered, and show your work at its best. – Liz Stewart from Lush Beads

  • This may sound counter-intuitive but don’t focus on selling.  Focus on quality, persistence, and a good story and they (the buyers!) will come. Also, renew your listing often to let others know you are in business. – Maryann Reid from TheRedWorkshop

  • Best advice I can give is to: (1) Create a very unique product. What can you create that not many others can? Turn that skill into a great quality product. (2) Who is your target market/buyer? Promote to those people. I would also look for a target market that has disposable income to spend. If they don’t have the money to spend, then they can’t buy. (3) Always keep looking for new opportunities to promote your business. Mainly, I mean free opportunities. Free social media “pin”-style sites, free marketplaces, free events, etc. Or if there is a fee…do lots of research to see if it might really turn into profits for you.  This knowledge has helped me establish my small business and continue to help it steadily grow. – AnnMarie Cernoch from ElectronicGirlGifts

  • Your best tip to selling your products on Etsy: Price your products for a realistic profit margin, and remove all products that do not allow you to make that profit margin. Bundle items together for increased average sales, if it makes sense for your product offerings. Think quality of jobs vs just the number of jobs. – Kristi Richardson from Bloomed to Last

  • Be personal and tell descriptive stories about your product. Since most of the items on my site are vintage, people want to know where it came from, who owned it and why. I give as much info as possible and show several photos of each item. For example, a vintage dress that is new on my site was worn to President Lyndon Johnson’s Inaugural Ball in the 1960s. Now that’s something to talk about so I have all kinds of details about that affair along with documents and photos. Be honest and positive and tell everything you know about your item for sale. – Anna Donahue from TheLandofColor

  • Effective Tip:  Title, Description and Tags are most important- use them to your advantage. – Beth Picard from Great Graphics

  • My best tip is, promote and sell in real life. I mostly wholesale my work and have used my Etsy shop to approach wholesale buyers off site so they can take a look at my product. I simply find out who the potential buyer is and their email and send them a link to my shop. This is how I landed a wholesale account with (DNC) in Yosemite National Park. My work has my contact info on it and my sales have increased greatly just from tourists seeing and buying it at the Ahwahnee Hotel gift shop. If you’re thinking of wholesaling be sure to have consistent retail pricing in your Etsy shop so that you’re not undercutting your retail outlets. They tend to frown on that. – Dana Morton from Earthborne Art

2 Comments. Leave new

Kathy Dannel-Vitcak
January 28, 2013 4:16 am

Treat your ETSY shop like you would a brick & mortar “real-life” store. Go in every day and straighten the virtual racks, move products around, tweak your tags, dust off the shelves..devote just a few minutes a day to your shop.

Ask friends to put a fresh set of eyes upon your shop every now and then. And to be brutally honest with you.

Pay attention and put your intention into your shop and it will flourish!

Reply

Great tips, many are easy to implement. Becoming a successful Etsy Shop owner is definitely not easy! One thing that can help is to research your product(s). What is selling in your category of products. In other words, don’t make a ton of products that has no or very little sales history.

Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>