7 Tips to Making It as an Etsy Seller

Lauren Powell
by Lauren Powell
PHOTO:

Julia Stotz

Are you one of those clever, side-hustling creatives who dreams of leaving their nine-to-five in pursuit of their passion? Well if your side hustle involves creating handmade or vintage goods, allow us to get that balling rolling (on a quick downhill slope) for you. One of our favourite community marketplace’s, Etsy, is your knight in shining armour.

The e-commerce platform, where people from all around the globe sell and buy unique good,s has just launched Etsy Resolution—a free email course that guides you through the process of starting a creative business and is quite possibly your answer to taking your side hustle to your all-day-every-day hustle. In the meantime, we’ve rounded up the top tips you need to know now to becoming an online seller, according to the Etsy team themselves. Makers and designers, read on.

1. What’s in a name?  

Choosing a shop name is the first step you’ll take in creating an identity for your business on Etsy. Your shop name will be displayed at the top of your online storefront and it will be part of the URL (web address) of your unique Etsy shop—it’s your brand on Etsy.

Start by brainstorming your ideas and then putting pen to paper. Write down the words you think most sum up you, your products and your shop. Be sure to check the name isn’t already being used by another Etsy shop or is not too similar to another shop’s name. But don’t worry about making your shop name perfect straight up—you can come back to this step and change your shop name as many times as you like before you complete the shop open process.

2. Great photos are a must

Good quality product is a must for an online shop, and Etsy is no different. Images that do your products justice are more likely to attract customers and with them, sales. Clean, uncluttered photos will let your products speak for themselves. Your customers will want to view items from different angles to get a better appreciation of their potential purchase. Try shooting in natural light and taking photos from different angles, close-ups and proportionate shots to give customers an idea of size. If possible, try to include one in situation so your product is shown in context to the way it will be used. This could be as simple as photographing food in bowls or clothes on a model. You don’t need a flashy camera—your smartphone should do the trick along with some tweaks using free web-based photo editing tools like Pic Monkey.

3. Stock up

The more products you list for sale in your shop, the greater your chances of getting found when people search Etsy. So get listing (using all your great product photography and making sure to include clear titles and product descriptions) the items you’ve created or vintage pieces you’ve curated.

4. Know your keywords

The words you use in your listing titles, descriptions, and tags are what help your items get found when customers search on Etsy (also known as Search Engine Optimisation, or SEO). When listing your products, think about the words customers will be using to search for your item and use those words in your product title, description, and tags. For example, if you are selling a necklace, don't call it 'The Alice', give it a descriptive title such as ‘Sterling silver heart necklace 20cm chain’. Doing this helps search engines to identify your product as a relevant search result.

5. Price it right

Putting a price on an item you’ve made or collected can be nerve-racking. First and foremost, your price should account for the cost of the materials that went into making the item and your time. If you’re unsure, try searching for similar items on Etsy to see what the average price point is.

6.Build your community

Once you’ve opened your Etsy shop, it’s time to start telling people about it! Choose one or two social media platforms that you’re comfortable using and set up an account for your brand. Follow other makers, curators, and designers you admire and share products of your products, making process and more. And don’t forget to connect with others in Etsy’s creative community—they’re a great source of support, inspiration, and advice. Join a team and use the forums to swap ideas, trade tips, and solve problems. Also follow Etsy Success on Facebook to get regular tips for selling on the platform and get involved in local Etsy projects.

7. Be patient

Aiming for the stars is an admirable attitude, but it’s not always realistic. Set achievable short and long term goals for yourself. Be patient–it might be months or even years before your shop turns a profit but remember to reward yourself for taking the first step and for the hard work you put into your creative business.

Shop the Etsy marketplace—all in the name of research, right?

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