Thursday, May 2, 2013

So, You Want to Open an Etsy Shop?

Day 2. Educate.

Today, for day two of the challenge, I am supposed to educate you about something I know about or am good at - so, I decided to share what I learned about owning an Etsy shop.

Here are suggestions and tips from my experience.

What are you going to sell?
This might be super easy for you to decide. It was for my sister and I. We saw a need for reasonably priced hair accessories for itty bitty baby girls. Everything we found in the stores was either larger than my niece's head or extremely overpriced.

We went for a little shopping trip to Hobby Lobby to purchase some clips. We also purchased some bits and pieces for the clips, ribbon, and fabrics.

It's ok if your items change over time. You have to find what works, what sells, and what you enjoy making.

Choose a name that no one else has and isn't a rip off of an already existing shop.
I remember sitting in the parking lot at Hobby Lobby with my sister and telling her I wanted to start an Etsy shop. She wanted to join in too.  I told her my name idea and it stuck. { Poppy and Pippa } 

Get a Shop Header/ Design
There are so many great sellers on Etsy that make custom headers for your shop. Luckily, I have a willing (sort of) husband that works with graphic design. I begged him to make something for me. I gave him a few guidelines (ok, a ton of guidelines). In the year and a half my shop has been open I've had three different designs.




Read, Read, Read
Before opening the shop I read for hours on the Etsy site. I read the Etsy Handbook (here) several times. I also visited the blog, discussions, and teams. I made sure to join a couple of teams. The forums are fantastic because more often than not someone has had the same question as you have. Lots of great advice.

Browse Etsy / Write Policies
Check out other shops that sell similar items to yours. Look for shops that have had lots of sales. Read the comments that customers made when they left feedback. Checkout policies and wording. Don't copy and paste someone else's policies onto your shop. They spent a lot of time developing them. You should too. Same with descriptions of items. Write about the items in your own words.

Create an About Me page
Write a clever and catchy About Me page. Make sure to include some great pictures of your items.

Create Product and Take Photos
Consider what you like about other shops on Etsy. Do you like the backgrounds of their pictures? What about including your brand on each photo? Make sure you take your time to take quality photos. This is the only introduction customers have to your product and brand. You don't have to hire someone. Read tutorials. Create your own light box. Go for it!

List your Products
Thoughtful descriptions are very important when describing your item. What I have found to work the best is entering a keyword into the search feature and seeing how many different items come up with that keyword. If it's not many - you need to choose a different key word. It's important to read about SEO as well. Etsy does a fantastic job of including all of this information in the seller handbook.

Customer Service!!
Customer service is key to success. You want to make sure you answer emails and communication in a timely fashion. Take pride in the way you package your items for shipping. Include a business card with every purchase as well as a hand written note. It doesn't have to be long. Just a thank you is all you need to write. 

Don't get disappointed if you don't sell tons of items right away. It takes time. You also have to keep up on forums and discussions. Change your key words if necessary. It's ok to keep tweaking your shop. I've had mine almost two years and it's constantly a work in progress. If you have any questions please feel free to email me at lalempe(at)mac(dot)com.

Joining the link up with Jenni!

Allison said...

Visiting from the Story of My Life link up! Great reminders! I just opened my own Etsy jewelry shop at the beginning of the year, and I'm having so much fun with it. I'll have to go check out your shop now!

Ashley said...

I found you through Jenni's link-up too. It's been such a fun thing to participate in already. :) I've been thinking about opening an Etsy shop a lot lately, so this was really helpful for me.

I noticed that Etsy charges for the items you post for sale... do you recommend only posting a few items for sale at first, or should you post them all?

Thanks! I appreciate any other advice. :)

Sarisha Dawduth said...

Hello from the link up as well! I was actually looking for instructions on how to basically start up an Etsy shop today!

So thank you sooo much for the advice!

Rowena said...

This is brilliantly I always wondered how I would get to be on Etsy and sell prints or something. Now I know! I will come check your etsy site soon too :)

Colleen said...

Hey! I'm visiting from the Blog Every Day in May link and I just wanted to say thanks for such a great post! I've been considering starting up an Etsy site but wanted some finer points/tips/tricks and I found some helpful ones thanks to your post. :) Hope you've had a great day and great post!

Kristofer Mcginty said...

Good advice! Just like any other endeavor, having your own online store requires a lot of effort and research. And more importantly, it's not just a one-time, big-time thing. You have to be consistent in your promotions and keep up with the trends.

Reach for Freedom Pty Ltd

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