Monday, April 4, 2011

Selling Your Handmade Goods on Etsy

I first started selling on Etsy in May of 2007. My daughter had been born the previous September, and I was looking for ways to bring in more income. I was originally hoping to be able to start a business that would someday enable me to stay home with her - I'm still working on that. Now my Etsy shop has grown into more of a hobby. I love to create and explore new ideas. I love fabric, and I love being able to create something out of a yard of fabric that someone could actually use. I also love paper and have been playing around with papercrafting, so I'm not sure where that might take me!

I feel like I've been fairly successful with my little shop. Of course there are shops out there that that have had 100 times the sales that I've had, but my shop works for me. Here are a few things on selling on Etsy that I've learned over the past few years. Hopefully I can help someone out! Again, I'm by no means an expert; this is just what I've learned:

  • List or renew items daily - Keep your shop fresh, and your items to the top of searches – if I don’t list something new everyday, I’ll renew one or two things just to keep whatever item at the top of search results. Try it at different times of day – you never know when the right shopper might be looking for just what you’re offering.

  • Price items fairly - Pricing is kind of a double-edged sword in the crafting world. You want to have your prices low enough to attract buyers, but at the same time you want to make a profit. I have a tendency to keep my prices low, maybe a little too low, but it’s always at a point I’m comfortable with. You have to definitely make sure you have the expense of your materials covered, first of all – if you don’t have the cost of materials covered, you might as well stop right there. After that, you have to take into consideration the time it makes to create your product. Don’t undervalue your time and efforts! Here’s a geat article on how to price handmade goods by my crafty friend Becky.

  • It’s also important to note that you don’t have to under-price your items just because someone else on Etsy is selling something similar to yours. We all have different styles and different tastes, so a similar item in your competitor’s shop may not appeal to one person while an item in your shop does. And vice-versa.

  • Great Photos - I have to admit that I don’t always take the time to try and get nice photos for my listings. When I finish something for my shop, I’m generally so excited about it that I can’t wait to get it listed to see how fast it might sell. I’m funny that way. There are a few dark cell phone pics in my shop right now that I’m a bit ashamed of, so this is something I need to work on. Take a little extra time, use a real camera, make sure the lighting is decent, and take photos. The photo of your item IS the listing – if you don’t have a good photo representing your product, chances are it won’t sell.

  • Those are my tips for now. I may be throwing in a few more here and there as the month progresses, but I feel like these three things are the most important tips for successfully selling on Etsy. There are also tons of great articles and stories from super-successful sellers available right on Etsy. If you’re serious about your shop, I highly recommend checking out the Etsy Seller Handbook.

    Now, go sell your crafty goodies! And let me know your shop links; I love checking out new shops.

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