Thursday, March 19, 2009

Making Your Etsy Store Work For You: Tips For Selling on Etsy


When I first started out on Etsy - it was a bit overwhelming. I wasn't sure where to look for the information I needed in order to get my shop set up and actually noticed. There was so much to do -but where to start. I didn't have the time to browse through endless forum topics. The whole purpose of getting a shop set up was to generate traffic to my storefront - thus revenue to my bank account. I have had many people ask me for help in getting their store off the ground - so I decided to compile a few tips so help them out. Mind you - this is what I have found through trial and error - so use them as you like!


Tips for selling on Etsy:
Here are some suggestions to help you on Etsy = making sales!!


1. Have all images bright and crisp (not busy) - always use neutral background and make sure you never display blurry pictures - the first picture should have a full image of your product. Great pictures lead to getting in treasuries and possibly making the front page of Etsy - thus increasing your views/potential customer base (via when a customer "hearts" you - see under "See who hearts this shop" in the Right column of "Your Etsy")

2. Always use 5 pictures and all 14 tags when listing - in 1 of your 14 tags should be your Etsy shop name. So, with tags, try to fit as much in one field as you can. For example I do in one field: seaglass beach - and that takes up an entire field. Don't use commas to separate. It is nice to have many different photo angles of your product. Customers like this because they are purchasing "sight unseen".

3. You need a shop announcement - have a catchy tag to draw people in - but keep it short as well... You want customers to be able to see you items on the front page. Long announcements will push items to the bottom so they won't be seen unless they scroll down.

4. You need to have a complete profile with all you terms and conditions and also break these down under the "Shop Policies" as well: very, very important as it protects you as a seller and the buyer as well. I have increased my prices to include insurance - and I put track and confirm on every package so I know it got to the customer. With items that are less expensive I feel track and confirm will be enough.

5. List as often as you can - and re-list (renew) at least 1 item a day - best time is after 5:30PM. You have views that accumulate next to each of your items - the items with the most views should be "renewed" more often as they have a better chance of selling.

6. Get involved in the forums and chat - forums first and foremost - take part and also start forum discussions.

7. Find communities outside of Etsy - start a blog, join myspace and indiepublic, we love Etsy, facebook, digg, twitter and so on... promote, promote, promote!

8. Make sure you have a great banner and avatar and that it displays what you do! Make your avatar (the little square pic in the Right column of "Your Etsy") is "clickable". Try different ones until you find what works best. There are a lot of sellers on Etsy who specialize in banners and avatars if you need one made up.

9. Make sure you set up you sections and categorize your items so customers can easily navigate your store without having to go through the pages.

10. Make sure you answer all convos (customer inquires) in a timely fashion.

11. Treasuries - on the main Etsy page click the "Treasury" link in the Left column. You scroll through the pages to find if you are in one. A yellow star means one of your items has been picked for a treasury. A silver star means one of your items has been selected as an alternate in a treasury and if and item sells - your item will then be displayed. A blue star means you are the one that has created a treasury. If possible try to watch when treasuries are going to
expire - when enough do - you will be able to grab one of your own.

There is also a treasury west at: http://www.etsy.com/treasury_west.php. To learn more about the treasury go to:
http://www.etsy.com/storque/section/howTos/article/how-to-make-a-treasury-the-nuts-and-bolts/688/

12. Gift guides: Navigate through the gift guides to see if one of your items has been selected by and Etsy admin to be displayed in a category. I have had 2 of my items displayed and both sold. You get more exposure. These items are selected randomly by admins - but the look for great photography and items.

13. Once you are established on Etsy and feel comfortable join an Etsy Street Team - to learn more about Street Teams:
http://team.etsy.com/

14. If you're in the mood to list a bunch of items, but don't want them to appear at the same time in the Etsy time machine (your 5 seconds of fame), then use this technique. Make an Etsy listing as you would normally, up to stage 5, the stage where you select "finish". At that time simply bookmark the page in your web browser (and rename it to something you will recognize - otherwise the default is "Etsy Step 5". When you're ready to have the item "go live" simply return to the page and click through to finish. (This tip is from
Colleen of Tactile Baby)

15. Speaking of blogs - visit as many as you can - post comments on them and create back links back to your Etsy store (or your own blog).

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