Thursday, June 7, 2018

How To Get Started On Etsy





How to get started on Etsy

Etsy is an online marketplace where you can open up a virtual shop and sell your handcrafted goods or vintage items. Lots of people have built full-time careers from their Etsy shops. At one time, Etsy even had a motto that said something like, “Quit your day job.“

I don’t recommend that you quit your day job. But I do recommend Etsy as a fun and profitable way to sell your crafts, handcrafted items, or vintage and antique items. With a little bit of know how and a little bit of time and patience getting to know the inns and outs of how it works, you can have your Etsy shop up and running and be selling on Etsy in no time at all. You can make money on Etsy! Here are my best tips for how to get started on Etsy.

1. First and foremost, get to know the Etsy website. Do your research by spending a lot of time on the site checking out different shops and sellers, and reading Etsy’s policies. You will need a credit card/bank account to open your Etsy shop account and a PayPal account. Know what the fees are that Etsy charges you to list an item, as well as how much it costs when you sell an item, the percentage that Etsy takes from the sale, etc. These are known as Etsy fees and you need to pay them monthly. So before you open your shop, read up and become familiar with the rules and fees.

2. Spend some time reading posts on the Etsy forums. This is a great way to have your questions answered without even having to ask them yourself since surely someone else has already asked it! Scroll to the bottom of any page on Etsy for a link to the forums. There you will find different categories that cover all kinds of topics about selling (and buying) on Etsy. There is also a search feature that comes in handy. Can’t find what you’re looking for? Just ask.

3. Once you’ve read all the basic information that you can find on the Etsy website, now it is time to create your shop. Choose your shop name. My advice is to keep it simple. Pick something that is easy for people to remember. Pick a name that will stick in someone’s mind. Once you choose your name you are stuck with it, so choose carefully!

4. Next you will need to fill in a lot of blanks within your shop such as your shop introduction, policies for shipping and returns, etc. Each of these things you are going to fill-in are important, so take your time and do a good job filling them out. Make sure that your shoppers have all the basic info they need when reading through your shop information and policies. This will help cut down on emails from customers, and it saves everyone time. Be complete, be concise, be friendly, and have a good attitude.

5. If this is your first time selling on Etsy or having your own online shop, you will have lots of little details that you will need to iron out. These are things such as shipping costs, how much you will charge for upgrades such as priority shipping upgrades, and custom things such as gift wrapping. It’s a lot to cover, so keeping a checklist in a notebook is helpful. At first it might be a little bit overwhelming because there was a lot of information to learn and a lot of things to fill out, but once that is done it’s done. Then all you have to do is list your items for sale! Once your item sells, you contact your customer, collect payment, wrap and ship your item, say thank you, and then onto your next item!


Getting ready to list your items

6. Take the best photos you possibly can. I cannot stress how important photos are. You need to show your items in the best light possible, so photos should be nice and sharp and in focus and well lit. Avoid busy backgrounds and too many props. Use basic photo editing software to edit your photos. You don’t have to be an expert at this, but spending a little time learning how to make your photos look the best that you can will pay off greatly. Remember, you want everything to look professional. This takes time, so spend that time working on those photos! You do not need fancy camera or any kind of photography set up. Do not use special effect filters. Your goal is to represent your item exactly as it is in real life. I take all of my jewelry photos with my iPhone on a windowsill! Remember, practice makes perfect. Also, Etsy gives you lots of slots for photos, use as many of them as you can. Don’t just put up one or two photos, show your item from all angles, and try to use each and every one of the photo slots! In my opinion, photos are what sell your item, so if you want to make money on Etsy, have great photos. 

7. Write a great description for your item. Etsy makes it pretty easy to list an item for sale because it has kind of a fill in the blank format. It might look like a lot, or it might look confusing at first but that’s just because you’re new to it. Take it step-by-step and fill everything out. Be descriptive. Describe every single thing you can about your item. The materials used, the colors, anything that you think is important, describe!

8. Include exact measurements. This is very important. Use a ruler, measuring tape, whatever you need to measure your item, measure it and put the exact measurements in your description. This information should be clearly stated in every single one of your listings.

9. Name your store categories. You are allowed to make different categories within your Etsy shop and name them. For example, if you make jewelry, you may have categories titled: “necklaces“, “rings,“ “bracelets,“ etc. some people have categories such as “sale,“ “limited edition,“ etc. Be creative.

10. Get your packaging in order. Figure out how you are going to ship your items, what you’re going to wrap them with, and become familiar with postage rates and the costs to ship your item by reading up on shipping rates. Figure out how to use a shipping calculator, such as the one found (in the US) at usps.gov. Know about shipping insurance, delivery confirmation, and international shipping. Have an exchange or return policy clearly stated in your shop. There plenty of companies online that sell shipping supplies such as packing tape and bulk mailers. You can get great prices when you buy in quantity. Some companies will allow you to buy just one or two samples to try out different products before buying in bulk. It never hurts to ask.

11. Don’t expect to learn it all overnight. Getting started on Etsy takes some time and research. Learning the ins and outs of how to sell on Etsy is an ongoing learning process. All you have to do is take the first steps and you are on your way to being an Etsy seller!


Any questions about selling on Etsy? Just leave a comment below!


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Have a great week!
 Laura


Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love for Dishfunctional Designs™ 2018
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