Sunday, October 20, 2013

Etsy seller advice: Opening a shop

My very first sale - Feb. 28, 2008



When thinking about starting your own Etsy shop, there is a fairly large learning curve.

Etsy has lots of resources, mainly the SELLERS HANDBOOK. (http://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/the-seller-handbook-archive/)

This pretty spells out everything you need to know. 

But just following the steps will rarely lead to anything long-lasting and rewarding.

The main point about an Etsy shop is that YOU are making everything. You are shipping it, you are photographing it, you are writing about it.

SO -- DO WHAT YOU LOVE. 

If there is something that you love to make, make it. 
If you love dogs, make dog treats.
If you love jane austen novels, make wall hangings with quotes.

If you decide to open a shop with an idea of "Oh yeah, this will definitely make money", and that is your only driving force, then it probably won't.

Having a passion for what you sell will come through in your shop, and buyers will respond.

Once you get past this main hurdle and have the WHAT of your shop all settled, there are few additional details to consider.

Here are my top three "elements of your shop" to consider. 

PHOTOS: Show, don't tell. 

Good, eye-catching photos are what drive buyers to click. They aren't going to read a long description to get the details of an item, they will quickly look at photos and decide if they are interested. 

If the photo passes the test, then they will read on and possibly get to the sale. 

SHIPPING/PACKAGING: Make it special. 

The relationship between the Etsy buyer and seller is a special one. It's not a factory  or shipping warehouse worker packing their purchase ... it is the person who made it .. just for them.

Try to show a bit more personal care when packing your items. This doesn't have to be over the top.

I generally wrap items in bubble wrap, tissue paper, and then tie up with ribbons -- business card tucked in the ribbon.

I know my sister (who has a vintage shop) includes a vintage scarf freebie in each order (because she has a bagillion of them!) 

I once got a package with a piece of candy in it. That made my day!!

It's all about making your customer feel special and making them want to buy from you again in the future.

SEO and TAGGING: Be seen.

Etsy has changed so much over the years when it comes to "being seen." 

Used to be, the most recent listings automatically showed up first in search. 

This was cool because you could simply "renew" your listings to get them to the top of the pack.

NOW ... it's all about relevancy. 
I really don't like it because I have to have ugly listing titles now .. packed with key words to be seen.

Here's a pretty good article about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for Etsy shops:


I hope this helps if you are thinking about opening a shop, or are just starting out!

Questions?? I'd love to answer in the comments!!! 

- Emily

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