Tuesday, July 22, 2008

How To Have A Successful Shop On Etsy

Well, since I cannot sleep I'm going to write about Etsy.

Not only do I sell on Etsy, http://www.reyney.etsy.com/, http://www.shoeflower.etsy.com/, but I am also extremely addicted to buying on Etsy. Not to toot my own horn, but I've found that most sellers are not like me:

I've purchased a lot of items lately where I have received ZERO contact from the seller. Not an email. Not a convo. Not even a paypal tracking confirmation. I do not like this. I don't care how busy you are in real life, you need to send me something to let me know that you have received my payment, let me know when my item has shipped and when I can expect it. Personalization means everything, even if it is a cut and paste email, trust me, it will make the customer feel a lot better.

Sellers have contacted me in the past about mentoring info. Here's what I say to them:

First of all, selling on Etsy has to be fun! It's the spirit of the entire website!

Pictures need to be clear. Show fronts and backs of objects. Pick nice colored/patterned/contrasting backgrounds. I really don't want to see your TV set in the pic. Make it professional. You don't need a great camera or a light box for that matter. I use the sunlight in my window and the macros option. It enables you to take pictures of things close up.
Sometimes I include a penny in the photo or a ruler in the photos for measurement purposes. I've had a few requests to see pics of someone wearing the jewelry.

List often. If you have a lot of things to post, you must spread them out. Especially in the jewelry category. If you post everything at once, they will get burried immediately. Trust me! Spread it out during the day and during the week. I find that sales occur after I just listed something. Listing makes your store visible. I find that I have a lot of sales on Thursdays. I don not know why. I also find that I have sales when I wake up in the morning. I don't know why.

Descriptions need not be a book. I LIST the basics. Color, measurements, etc. Paragraphs are long and boring to read when you are trying to sell something. But please don't forget to list how big something is.

When something sells, I respond with an email thanking them for their purchase and to let them know when their item will ship. I ship USA orders the next day 99% of the time. I ship international orders once a week because the lines at the post office are almost unbearable after a long day at my real job.

I wrap my goodies in bubble wrap and tissue paper. I fill the jewelry bag with sequins. I decorate the packages with stickers. I include a freebie in all of my orders. I use pretty deco tape on the outside of my packages. I decorate all my packages with pretty stamps.

I include a little thank you note.

I sometimes include coupons for future purchases. 10%, off, free shipping, free surprise necklace, etc.

I include business cards. They're practically free at http://www.vistaprint.com/

I keep up with my feedback.

I do my best to make everyone happy.

I have fun!


cyndyava said...

Excellent advice. I may have to print this out for future reference. As of late, I let my shop go and now I have to "rebuild." But that's okay, like you said...it's about FUN.

Renee said...

Thank you cyndy. I sent you a convo through Etsy. I just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you!

karmabutton said...

Renee, you inspire me so much!! I am slowly trying to develop ideas for my own shop! Cyndy and I are even thinking about some craft dates and a local blog! XOXO

Renee said...

Please! You inspire me! I love your ACEO's. I've considered attempting them - I just get so frustrated sometimes.

If you ever have any questions about Etsy - let me know - It's practically an addiction these days. I have to have my daily fix!

Craft dates - LOL! Sounds fun! let me know if you do a local blog- definitely interested! (c;

Lady Kitschly-Curious said...

Really helpful advice. I'm new to Etsy, fairly new to blogging, but I was chuffed (that's UK English for 'pleased') when I saw you 'heart' one of my items. I had bookmarked your blog and your shop a long time ago, as I love the doll photos.

There's so much to love on Etsy, but it does seem a bit random. It's interesting to hear you recommend the regular listing - I'd heard that before, but it seems to take so much time to list things just a few at a time. Do you mind if I ask how much time you spend on your shop?

Renee said...

lady kitschly curious

Thanks for your comment! And the word chuffed! That's awesome! (c;

I am ridiculously addicted to Etsy so I probably spend more time there than I should.

But seriously - I am a full time teacher - so during the school year - I check it once a day - and try to re-list what had sold. With my jewelry shop, I can make multiples of the same item, so I don't have to always take new pics of something. This saves a lot of time!

I am on summer vacation now, so Etsy is my full time gig. I focus all day on it! More than a full time job!

Hope that helps!

Do you have a flickr account? It's a great way to get your things seen. You're not allowed to promote your Etsy shop on Flickr, but most people can tell when something is available on Etsy by reading your Flickr profile. There's also Etsy groups to join and post your pics.

Little Russian Bean said...

You have some very good advice :] I opened an Etsy shop in March and didn't really know how to get traffic flow to it. I've been doing my research though and have started a blog, as well as a Flickr profile. I plan to use your posting advice and do a little at a time. Just for clicheness, here is a link to my little shop. A little feedback is always nice :] www.fireflystudiodesigns.etsy.com

Thanks so much! -Yelena

C&C said...

Thank you for the great advice! Maybe that will help...
Best wishes!

Smiles Forever by Joni738 said...

I'm just starting out and that was great advice! Thanks! ~ Joni

Nikki said...

Thank you for your tips Renee. It's great to have advice from an experienced seller.

Can I ask, how did/do you promote your shop and blog? I am just getting started and am finding the online social networking to be very time consuming.



Renee said...

Thank you for your comments!

Thanks so much for reading! xoxo

It's been a while since I wrote this post, but I still do a lot of the same things.

I don't really promote my blog, because I don't have time to keep up with it. Though, I do mention it in my Etsy shop announcements. I rely on Flickr photos and just Etsy traffic. I've donte nothing else to promote, besides business cards, and coupons.

Enjoy! I'm here if you need anything else!

Gia said...

Wow, that is really really good advice. I never thought about contacting my buyers after they purchased from me. I just assumed that a quick delivery was enough, but it makes total sense. from now on, I will def contact the buyer to say thank you and let them know their item has been shipped. i also agree with you on the photos, my photos stink and i'm aware of that, i just can seem to find the time to take ALL those pictures over again.
you gave some very good tips, thank you. :)

Renee said...

Thanks so much Gia! I wrote this just under 2 years ago...but most of it is still pretty much true! xox

Beth said...

I am brand new on etsy. I'm excited about the possibilities, but know nothing yet, except how to post items. I am not "computer savy" but am willing to learn. My most favorite thing to do is create and have done well whenever out in the public but I must have a way to let my items be known. So far I haven't developed a store front, or done any advertising. My purpose to be at the computer this morning was to find someone who could answer my questions. First question is, Does editing an item once it has been listed cost any extra?

Renee said...

Hey Beth, once you list an item you are not charged to edit it.

If you re-list a sold or expired item, you are charged again.

If you list multiples of the same item, you are charged for the multiples.

good luck!

Beth said...

Thanks, I knew that, but I was just asking about editing a listed item at any time. I've edited my listed items several times and I hoped I was not getting charged for it.

ZenNeedleArt said...

Wow - I can't thank you enough for posting something like this. I especially resonated with the bit about seller NOT COMMUNICATING WITH YOU. I'm a seller as well as a buyer by the way.

I can't tell you how many times I've purchased stuff through Etsy (I like to give as well as receive :-) and not received ANYTHING. No communication whatsoever. I have no idea if they're even still in business! This really PISSES ME OFF!! Sorry. Ahem.

Anyway, you took the words right out of my mouth. Thanks again.

Renee said...

ZenNeedleArt Thank you so much for your thoughts and comments! Two and a half years later I still write a letter to every customer! xo

Ann Marie said...

Thank you for this advice. I'm getting ready to start my shop soon so I'm thankful for the great tips. It will save some frustrations and make happy "returning" clients.

Lindsey said...

Thank you so very much for this advice!! it so simple but yet it's amazing how it's so easy to skip many of these things! thank you! i like how you remind people to have fun with selling and buying on etsy! Thank you again! lindsey marie http://www.etsy.com/shop/takupic27

Rebel Damsel said...

I'm getting ready to start an etsy shop and this was a big help thank you!

Cheryl said...

It's the post that keeps on giving :) I know you wrote this quite a while ago, but your advice is great. I'm just researching the idea of an etsy shop and this is just the kind of information I was looking for. Great advice and wonderful, generous attitude. Thanks.

Sarah K. (The Mama Pirate) said...

Thanks for this! I was Googling for tips on opening an Etsy shop and this is super helpful advice.

Mandy Mason said...

Amazing that this post is almost six years old but still so helpful. My daughter and I are new to Etsy so we appreciate any advice we can get. Thanks, Mandy (shop name:Sea Tossed)