Tips to Have A Successful Etsy Shop

by CHalloran

Making money on ETSY can be a lot easier than you think, if you follow some of these steps.

How to Make Money on Etsy?

ETSY is a great platform for crafters and artists who want to sell their handmade goods. You also have the option to sell vintage items as well as supplies.

Etsy was formed in June of 2005 by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire and Haim Schoppik in Brooklyn, NY.

There are a lot of different things you can sell on ETSY including photographs, ACEO's, jewelry, fine art, accessories, makeup materials, perfumes, scented oils, soaps, candles... whatever you can think of. As long as they are handmade.

But of course ETSY allows its users to sell handmade craft supplies like yarn, beads etc. as well as commercial supplies; vintage items like vintage shoes, dresses, patterns etc.

How to open a shop on ETSY?

It is very easy to start your shop on Etsy. It does not cost you anything. They don't charge you anything to start but you need to pay $0.20 each time you list an item and when it sells they charge you a final value fee of 3.5%. So for example If you list something for $10.00, you pay $0.20 per listing and when it sells $0.35 for final value fee. That would be a total of $0.55.

Do you have an Etsy shop?

What sells best on ETSY?

Statistics show that art and craft supplies and vintage items do quite well there. In the past this raised eyebrows of the crafters and artists because they had to compete against the suppliers and vintage sellers. However since 2009, ETSY made a noticeable improvement in their seaches and it is a lot easier to find items, eliminating the non-relevant search results.

But what works best for someone doesn't mean it will also work for you. There are a lot of different categories on the website and a lot of very successful sellers who make a good amount of money by just selling their handmade products, whatever they may be.

So if you are thinking about opening your store there, just make sure it is something you are passionate about, and know a lot about and needless to say something you are good at.

How to get your shop found?

ETSY is very popular today with over 8 million users worldwide. You need to work hard to get shop noticed by the buyers.

There are a few easy steps to follow in order to achieve success and start making money. People are always looking for unique handmade products and the next one could be one of yours.

Do you shop on ETSY?

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To do list

  • Start your shop with good profile description and information about your and your products.
  • Do not hide your location, buyers like transparency.
  • Get a good avatar displaying one of your best products, NOT a picture of yourself. Think of it this way: when a buyer sees your avatar in a forum, by looking at your avatar, they will know what you are selling. If you put your own picture there maybe you will miss a potential customer.
  • Make sure you have a great banner and you have featured products option selected.
  • Take good pictures of your products. Do not put photos with busy backgrounds or worse, blurry pictures. Try to go with a neutral background color like grey, light brown, earthy tones, wood etc.
  • Take close-up pictures of your products. Full size picture might not grab the attention of the buyer from a small thumbnail. Instead, focus on a specific portion of your item that you think will definitely grab the attention of people.
  • Write good descriptions, never leave that area blank. Be as honest as you can with your descriptions.
  • Do not over-charge your customers (this includes shipping prices as well). However do not under-charge them either. The general rule is 1:3 ratio. If something costs you $2.00 to make, it is accepted to sell it for $6.00. But it doesn't always work this way with the handmade products because you need to count the time invested to make it. So basically think about your hourly work and how much the materials cost you and gor from there.
  • Promptly reply your customers questions and requests. Sometimes they might ask the weirdest questions and sometimes they might not be the politest person on earth, but remember, your reputation as a seller is much more important. Always keep your cool and be nice.
  • Ship your items as quickly as you can. Always make sure you get a delivery confirmation number. If you print your own labels at home you pay less for the delivery confirmation number. Sometimes packages get lost, you need a proof that you shipped your item. This will save you from getting a bad reputation and a possible negative feedback.
  • THE MOST IMPORTANT PART: Make sure you list and relist if necessary regularly. There are a lot of sellers that list hundreds of items each second, and I am not exagerating, just take a look at one of the most popular categories for that... jewelry. Within a matter of minutes you are already on page 2, then 3... quickly going down. You have to keep up with this. Do not list all your items at once. But do not also list just one item at a time. Try listing like 3 or 4 items at a time for every couple of hours. This will give you a more spread out exposure and once a buyer sees a few of your items listed as a bulk, it is easier for them to notice you as opposed to a single item from a single seller.
  • Offer different payment options for buyers. Although more than 90% of the sales are paid with a credit card, some people like to write checks. When you get a check payment, make sure the check is cleared before you ship your item. And make sure you say that in your shipping profile to let your buyers know.
  • Participate the forums. You can learn a lot of tips and tricks from other users there. You can ask questions, make friends. However, when you are in the forums always remember that most people who read the firums are not necessarily participating them. So be polite and don't be too outspoken as you might turn off potential buyers. Believe it or not, some buyers do look at a seller's political or religious or social views. 
  • And lastly, promote your shop online by participating arts and crafts forums outside of ETSY. Start a blog. Then start another blog. Write articles about your store. If you can, send out promotional goods to other people who blog and ask them if they like your product would they consider featuring you on their website.

Good luck!

If you pay attention to these details there is no reason why you can't run a succesful shop on ETSY or elsewhere. There are a lot of sellers who quit their day time jobs after starting their online shops. The author of this article is one of them.

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Updated: 06/07/2011, CHalloran
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marciag on 10/23/2011

Great tips on selling on Etsy. I also have a shop there but I prefer buying at Etsy and selling at Dawanda (the corresponding European craft store). The dollar to Euro conversion is better that way :-)

barbarab on 09/11/2011

hmmm, interesting. cept for the put up money it a one time fee? I better go check it out! thank you!

PeggyHazelwood on 06/26/2011

You covered it all here. I've sold on Etsy for several years (as SybellaDesigns) and have had luck selling crafts supplies and vintage items. In fact, my last sales were vintage salt and pepper shakers, a quilt pattern, buttons, ephemera, and a set of three tea towels (all vintage and supplies!).

ImagineMDD on 06/11/2011

Glad to hear you're having success on Etsy! Congratulations!

Jewelsofawe on 06/11/2011

I don't have anything to sell on Etsy.

ajgodinho on 06/09/2011

I always wondered what Etsy was...thanks for this well-written piece and for the tips!

howcurecancer on 06/09/2011

I have a shop on Etsy with the same username.

ravenko on 06/07/2011

I've heard of Etsy but never looked into it, thanks for the information I'll have to check it out...

Michey on 06/06/2011

I know very little about Etsy so this lens is informational for me, I'll try!

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