Monday , 20 November 2017

Insights After 4 Years And 4,400 Etsy Sales

 Sidewinder - Tear Drop Shaped Polymer Clay Pendant

Sidewinder - Tear Drop Shaped Polymer Clay Pendant | by: Analiese

I love to see successful Etsy sellers sharing their tips with the Etsy community.  Here are some amazing tips from a 4 year veteran with 4400 plus Etsy sales.

Analiese says:

Over 4400 sales later, I would love to share some updates on some tips I gave a long time ago………

I am happy to say that I have been with Etsy for 4 years and have been able to grow and expand along with them. Even though I was not there from the very start, Etsy was still a much smaller company than it is today. This is probably going to be very long, so get a cup of coffee or a drink, sit back and enjoy…..

I remember when the Treasury first came about and there were only 100 lists available. It was always a fight to see who would get a spot. I also remember being featured in at least 3-4 treasuries a week. Now I am lucky to find a spot in 1-2 a month. That is how much Etsy has grown.

New sellers really need to take this into consideration when opening a shop. It takes much more work, much more creativity and much more muscle than it ever did. I have to work harder than ever to come up with new and exciting products, keep my items up to date and market myself every chance I get.

I also spend a lot of time reading other posts about successful shops. There are so many knowledgeable sellers out there and so many helpful threads for newbies.

First and foremost, search the threads for newbie help. It will take some time and a lot of reading, but every little bit helps.

I started a thread back in 2007 that is still being read today. Click here to see my original thread
http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=5035509

I did cut and paste some of it below so I can add to my original thoughts and ideas with some new and updated ones.

I still don’t consider myself an expert, as I know I still have a lot to learn, but I do feel I can offer some very helpful advice:

1. BUSINESS CARDS – Promote yourself as much as possible – friends, family, co-workers, whoever. Keep plenty of cards with you and every time the opportunity arises, pass it on.

Great place for low cost business cards and other promotional items:
www.vistaprint.com (I think they are great for just starting out, but I have since gone elsewhere to order my cards) There are also a ton of sellers on Etsy that make beautiful business cards. If it is a cost issue, start out small and then as you can afford it, go with a higher quality business card.

2. LISTING and RENEWING – Add a new item every day or every other day. If you can do more than one a day, that is even better. The way the listings come up to a buyer is new listings first, unless they choose to browse a different way. So, in order to make your shop visible – you should try to add something every day. You can experiment with different times of the day. But, I have found that late afternoon works best for me. Also, I seem to make more sales during the week than on the weekends. It may be different for other sellers, but that seems to be my trend. As for renewing old listing or expired listings, I don’t do it too often. It really all depends on the item and the time of year. I probably renew items about 3-4 times a month. I try not to spend more than a few dollars a month (remember it costs $0.20 every time you renew an item). Now keep in mind that re-listing is different and I will mention that later J If you are good with reading Google Analytics – it is a great tool to see where your traffic is coming from, and when. Again, search the threads for more info.

3. PHOTOGRAPHS and ITEM DESCTIPTIONS – I am sure you have seen this over and over again, but photos can make or break you. It is imperative to have good photos – clear and crisp. Try to invest in a digital camera – if you can. Take several shots and pick the best – take advantage of the 5 slots in your listings. Take close ups and try to use natural light if you can. I am STILL working on my photo taking, and always trying to make them better. Use photo-editing software to help your photos by brightening them and cropping them as close as possible to your product. I use a free software called Photofiltre, but there are several websites and other software out there. Picnik is a great free website for editing photos. You can also search the forums for some great photo taking tips and check out Etsy’s blog for even more tips. I just purchased a daylight lamp, which has helped somewhat with my photos. Also, experiment with backgrounds. I discovered that using different backgrounds actually changed the color of my item, so be careful. I found a neutral gray piece of scrapbook paper that has a subtle pattern. It seems to give my products the truest color. I cannot stress enough how important it is to have great photos!!! Just look at the front page, you always see great photos there J As for item descriptions, be as specific as possible. Try to list dimensions in ft/inches as well as metric measurements for all of our overseas friends. Be clear about the color/size and what it is made of. Also be clear about what it comes with, if anything. Use all of your tags and do not misuse the tags. Do not put “necklace” in a tag if you are selling a bracelet – that is tag abuse and is frowned upon greatly among Etsy folk. It is helpful to put the colors in the tags, a lot of people like to search by color.

4. CUSTOMER SERVICE is KEY – keep in touch with your customers once they make a purchase – let them know you rec’d their order and/or let them know when it has shipped and leave feedback as soon as possible. I try to leave feedback as soon as I have shipped the item. I don’t wait for the customer to leave feedback, because most of the time they won’t. If a customer sends you a convo, asks a question, whatever it may be – get back to them as soon as possible. Packaging is also important – make it look professional. I use a printed invoice and some nice Thank you stickers – or you can slip in a business card with a little note – make it look nice. Some sellers include freebies with each order. I personally do not include freebies unless it is a larger order or a repeat customer. I don’t really have any items that are inexpensive enough to give away with each order. I would like to personally work on my packaging, as I have rec’d some beautiful packages and I am always impressed. Just make sure it is cost effective. Also, have a good return policy, and think about your policy for missing packages, remember the customer is always right J Treat them how you would like to be treated. Make sure to fill out the Policies section in your shop, using clear and precise wording. Also make sure to be specific about your location (city and state and/or country). I cannot tell you how much it frustrates me, and other buyers, to see that blank.

Believe it or not this is only half of the tips!  Make sur you head back to the Etsy forum HERE to read the rest… they are soooo good!

Giving important Etsy forum threads written by the Etsy community a second look, so Etsy sellers can Read, Learn, and Apply!  Find more Etsy Tips Here!

Sweet Treat - Glass Tile Pendant

Sweet Treat - Glass Tile Pendant

 

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12 comments

  1. This is such great advice and I think you’ve tapped into a lot of great points that help not only the Etsy community, but other online creative communities as well. Thanks so much for sharing and congratulations on all your success (& future success too)!

    P.S. – would love to know more about your daylight lamp, how you like it and which one you got. It’s dreary in Seattle so I’m very reliant on indoor photos (unfortunately), so making them have more of an outdoor (daylight) kind of vibe would be great to explore into!

  2. Great tips, thanks for all the advise. Good luck!

  3. Really interesting reading – thanks for sharing!

  4. Very good article you’ve written here. Thanks for sharing your insight and wisdom. I’m planning to work on my packaging for the upcoming holiday season. I have received some beautiful packaging when I’ve bought from other Etsy sellers and they have inspired me to step it up a notch. ^_^

  5. Here are just two small ideas for packaging:

    1) if you go to a party that has gifts, ask the gift-receiver if you can have the tissue paper. Most of the time, people just throw it away, unless they are awesome repurposers/recyclers like us Etsians.

    2) stop off at a few garage sales or go by Goodwill. You can often find a big huge bag of long ribbon scraps for under a $1 that you can use for tying around your item after you wrap it in second-hand gift paper. Or the fabric store in your area may have ribbon grab bags, too.

    Been meaning to do a post on that, but I’ve been so busy with moving that all I have time for is a quick-and-dirty comment. :)

    Blessings!

  6. A great insight – thank you
    Am very grateful for our sunshine :-)

  7. Wonderful Tips! I had read the initial forum post about 6 months ago, but a reminder is always great.

    It’s good to know that even seasoned ETSY sellers still work hard on their photos and listings all the time.

  8. congratulations on your success,great advice, photos are the hardest for me but still trying.

  9. Such great tips. I see I have my work cut out for me.
    Thanks for your tips!
    Denise

  10. Thanks for sharing Analiese. It is a constant journey to improve how we do things and sharing that with others is really important.

  11. Thank you for sharing such great tips that would apply for any on-line business. You are so right about photos. I won’t buy items if I can’t see them clearly.

  12. Mahalo for sharing your wonderful tips, I’m always trying to find ways to improve my shop, items and my service, and I’ve learned lot’s along the way, and still learning.

    Aloha,
    PK
    Hilo, Hawaii

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