Today a colleague on one of my Etsy teams who has an Etsy “Start Up” asked me for pointers: “You’re having some success with your Etsy shop,” she said – “what did you do to get there?” Here’s what I told her…
First, it took me almost 3 months to sell my first Etsy item to a stranger (my first Etsy sale was to my awesome Mother in Law, LOL!) I’m now up to about 5-7 items a month, so it’s not a business that would sustain a meaningful income, but for my purposes I feel like I’m on a good path. Here are my top recommendations:
1. Photos, photos, photos! Find a way to make your photos make your creations look really hard to resist for the buyer. They can’t hold it, so the photos need to make it “real” for them. It’s not easy. Natural lighting is the best – not direct sun, but bright filtered light. Some people create a little fabric-lined box with a couple of bright white lamps to provide a clean look, but I still prefer natural lighting.
2. Another photo point: it’s nice if you can show the item on a mannikin or person so buyers can see what it would look like on. I constantly struggle with this one, but I always show earrings hanging, either individually or side by side, and I always show a necklace on a person or a mannikin. I have not perfected this one yet, but I’m working on it.
3. Teams, teams, teams! Study who is creating treasuries, and use their items in your treasuries – they will pay you back by featuring you. They’ll have an easier time using your items if your photos really pop. A team I belong to that’s great for Etsy start-ups is the “D-Listers Team” (DTeam). They are so helpful and patient, and carefully answer and discuss any questions the new members have.
4. Patience: It takes a lot of time to get up and running, and jewelry is probably the hardest thing to sell on Etsy because there are so MANY of us selling it.
5. Don’t fret about price, sales, discounts, etc. They really don’t matter or bring in sales. Price your items to give yourself a fair wage, and forget about it. Focus instead on photos, photos, photos, and teams, teams, teams!! : )
6. Tag words – very important. Learn all you can from Etsy discussions and team members. Again, the D-Listers are great for bouncing ideas off of on tag words and relevancy.
There’s nothing new here, I know. When I was starting up on Etsy, I read everything, and the same ideas cropped up again and again, which ultimately was quite helpful! It helped me realize that these repeating ideas were really the cornerstones of making headway on Etsy.
Best of luck!