If you love arts and crafts, you’re probably already familiar with the handmade marketplace website Etsy. But have you considered selling on Etsy as a way to make extra money? This can be the perfect side hustle for creative folk!
This week I’m pleased to share this guest post from experienced crafter Annabelle Carter Short, featuring her top tips for selling on Etsy. Learn how to set up your Etsy store, brand yourself professionally and attract your first customers in this handy primer.
Over to Annabelle:
Founded in 2005, Etsy is one of the most known platforms for those seeking to sell and buy arts and handmade products.
A study released in 2018 reported Etsy as the third most popular online marketplace in the US, according to sellers. More than 2.1 million sellers sold goods through the platform in the same year, generating approximately 603.7 million USD.
While other marketplaces are known for mass products, Etsy is focused on handmade and artisans’ products. Easy to set up and with affordable fees, Etsy is a well-respected and trusted platform.
So, if you are thinking about connecting your products to a local or worldwide audience, Etsy is great! But, if you are wondering how to start, we have some hot tips for you.
Tip 1 – Calculate your costs
You should have in mind how much does it cost to craft your product. Time, raw material, shipping, stock, and Etsy fees should all be included. That’s the only way you can start making a profit over your sales.
When figuring out your price, don’t worry about being the lowest one. Focus on delivering a high-quality product and a great experience to your customer. This is what will make them return and shop more.
Tip 2 – Customize your shop
Like any other business, you will need some time to set it up. Although easier than a brick-and-mortar store, you will need some time to do it right for an unbeaten run.
- Complete your bio and add a photo – Feel free to show the world who you are and what your business is about. This is your chance to make your visitors know you and your mission.
- Add your shop’s About section – As with your personal bio, your shop should have one too. Tell your customers about your origins, purpose, and values. Be genuine. No need to worry about traditional marketing copy. Also, list anyone who helps you produce and create your products. Add photos, videos, and social media.
- Set transparent and honest policies – Explain your manufacturing process, shipping, payment, exchanges, and return. Be honest while informing your processing and shipping time, so your customers don’t have any bad surprises. A transparent exchange policy should also be displayed. A happy customer might not leave a positive review, but a frustrated one will definitely have some harsh words to say about your business.
- Categorize your products – add sections so your buyers can easily find what they are looking for. Sections can be found on the left side of your homepage, and they will also include the number of products each contains.
Tip 3 – Set attainable goals
Set specific and achievable goals to your new enterprise. You should think big and aim high, but start by creating manageable milestones.
Smaller objectives are easier to reach and more realistic. Although you might dream about having a wholesale business, it won’t happen overnight.
You need to stay focused on daily tasks to keep your shop selling and growing. Small steps will take you towards larger goals.
Tip 4 – Invest in good product photos
Well, this tip is valid for any online business. Your photos are the first thing your customer will see, and they transmit how seriously you take your shop.
Invest in a good camera, lighting, and scenario. Your scenario can be made in a plain white tent, which you can buy easily on Amazon or DIY.
If you lack some photography skills, you can always take some tips from professionals or hire someone to do them for you. Upload up to 10 pictures per product, try to show all the best angles and details.
Tip 5 – Title, Product Description, and Tags
Spend some time into writing this part. Your title should detail the product as much as possible, within the limit of 140 characters. Additional information can be added on the product overview, where you can provide some in-depth description.
Take advantage of the suggested tags by Etsy. These tags are keywords people use to find similar products, and you don’t want to lose the opportunity of getting your product listed.
If you are wondering about how to write your title, description, and keyword choices, check out the Marmalead tool.
Tip 6 – Label your products
Customized labels are essential for your brand and product. It gives credibility and a professional edge. For a customer, this might even be a deciding factor that your product worth the investment.
You can design personalized tags and labels online by an affordable price. Some suppliers even allow you to start with a small minimum quantity order, so you don’t have to worry in ordering a massive number of labels. See some examples here.
Tip 7 – Use social media
Leverage your personal networks: Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr, Twitter, and so on.
As Laura from Thrifty Londoner, explained in this previous post on Etsy as a side hustle “My best advice for anyone thinking about opening an Etsy store is to start a dedicated Instagram page at the same time. Most of my sales come from customers who find me on Etsy- it’s also a great way to join the large crafting community on Instagram.”
But, don’t make posts only when trying to sell. Engage with your audience as much as possible, post about your creation process, anecdotes, gifs, memes, tips, and anything else that might relate to your products and business.
Just remember to keep it professional, not expressing personal views that might create unrelated discussions.
If you are looking for more tips, Etsy’s help articles are the best way to start. On their page you can find information about orders and shipping, fees, listing, marketing, social, and more.
Etsy also provides a useful quick-start checklist you shouldn’t miss.
Annabelle Carter Short is a freelance writer, seamstress of more than 7 years. She’s passionate about selling on Etsy and starting a handmade business. In her free time, she likes to make DIY projects with her two kids. Annabelle also works with few organizations to provide the best resources for raising and educating a special needs child.