10 Tips for Selling on Etsy
There’s an art to selling on Etsy. As nice as it would be to simply list your products and have them fly off the (digital) shelf, that’s usually not the case. Fortunately, there are some things you can do to increase your sales and get your shop noticed…and enjoy making the products along the way.
1. Find your niche
While it seems tempting to sell anything and everything you’re able to make, it can actually make you lose out on business. To attract your ideal customer, make and list products that are similar. For example, on Stunning Script I have products related to hand-lettering and calligraphy. Do I list something non-niche every once in a while? Sure. But my main products are related to my niche. Ideally, you’ll want a niche that’s specific enough to attract your ideal customer, but not so narrow that very few people are interested.
(On a side note, I kind of stumbled into my niche. There’s a lot of wedding calligraphy items listed on Etsy, but very few calligraphy worksheets. Look into your niche. The ideal niche is one where there is interest, but limited supply.)
(Did I say niche enough? Niche. Niche. Niche.)
2. Fill out your Etsy shop description and item description with keywords
Use keywords that are relevant to your shop or item to make them more easily searchable. Take advantage of the space the Etsy gives you to describe your items. For example, here’s a title for one of my calligraphy worksheets that’s in my shop: Modern Calligraphy Practice Worksheets | Lowercase Letters | Calligraphy Practice with Sample Letters A through Z | Christine Style. See all the keywords in there that someone might search for when looking for calligraphy worksheets? Modern calligraphy, lowercase letters, calligraphy practice, sample letters. Each of those could help my item get found. Think about what someone would search for when looking for your item or shop and use it in your description, title, or shop description.
3. Take advantage of tags for your items
Tags are another thing that can make your item more easily found. When you list items, Etsy gives you the option of adding tags. Do it! You can add keywords that didn’t fit in your product name that would help others find your product. Add things like the materials you used to make the item, the color of the item, descriptive words, the name of your shop, and category tags. In my calligraphy example I included: calligraphy, modern calligraphy, beginner calligraphy, Christine font, Stunning Script, exemplar, uppercase letters, practice page, and font. Again, I used relevant words related to my product to increase the likelihood that it will be found in a search.
4. Upload clean, well-light, and well-composed pictures
This was a tricky one for me when I first started. I’ve gotten better, but I still wouldn’t call myself an expert. Take advantage of what you have. If you have a DSLR camera, use it. If not, I use an iPhone for my pictures and have gotten pretty good results. The key is to use natural light when shooting your pictures. Take pictures of your product at all angles. Shoot some close ups, some wide shots, focus on a specific detail.
Tip: Use a piece of posterboard taped to a high surface and drape it down onto a table. Shoot your product with the white background and you’ll get a nice infinity effect that you see on all those Etsy listings. The picture of the mason jars below was taken with this technique.
If you’re limited by the time of day, try making a DIY Light Box to mimic the look of natural light.
5. Find the pricing sweet spot
Underprice your item and you risk others not seeing it as something of value. Overprice your item and you risk no one buying it because it’s too expensive. Unfortunately, there’s not really a hard and fast rule to finding the perfect price. If you’re making an physical item, consider the cost of the supplies, the amount of time it took to make, and the value of the product. If you’re making a digital item, you have a little more leeway for pricing because you only make it one time, but it can be sold again and again without having to re-make the item. For example, I spend about 6 hours making and photographing my calligraphy worksheets, but I only sell them for $2. If this were a physical product I would be losing money instead of making it (because yes, your time is worth money). However, since it’s digital I can sell it again and again and therefore sell it at a lower cost. Finally, whatever you price you decide on initially does not have to be set in stone. Go back and change the price if it’s not selling well. Friends, trial and error is sometimes not the worst thing.
6. Take advantage of coupon codes and sales
Did you know as an Etsy seller you can create coupons and run sales?! Go to Your Shop — Promote — Coupon Codes to create your own unique codes. Send them to your friends, family, newsletter subscribers, or reward return customers. It’s great for promoting your business and giving your customers a little extra bonus. If you can afford it, discount your items for a temporary sale. Advertise on social media that your shop is having a sale, put the sale deal in your banner, and tell friends and family. It’s a great way to get new customers or get some addition sales from people who have already bought a product.
7. Post items one at a time
Instead of batching your items and listing them all at once, list them gradually. List one a day or once a week until you have all of your items listed. Why? Etsy often shows newly listed items on the front page. The more you spread out your listings, the more time you have to been seen on the Etsy front page.
8. Communicate with your customers
A convo, or Etsy’s form of email, is a way for customers and shop owners to communicate. Customers can create a convo with you and ask a question and it’s important that your response is prompt and helpful. This is not only good customer service and speaks volumes about your shop, but it’s also just plain polite.
9. Include a message to buyers after they buy your product
Under Your Shop — Info and Appearance you can include a message to buyers. You can even make a different message for buyers of physical products and buyers of digital items. In my message, I thank the buyer and tell them to contact me with any questions they might have. I also found that when I first started I was getting a lot of messages asking how to download their digital item, so I included a link to the Etsy FAQ for digital downloads. Make sure you include anything relevant that your buyers would need. I would also recommend with closing with something like this: “If you like what you’ve purchased, please feel free to leave me a review.” Just a gentle reminder and something that could help your Etsy shop gain notoriety.
10. Make your shop the kind of online shop you’d want to visit
This is pretty self-explanatory. Make it beautiful, make it easy to navigate, make it intriguing.
Want to open your own Etsy shop? If you use this link you’ll get 40 free listings when you open your shop. Listings are normally $0.20 each. (Full disclosure, I get 40 free listings as well. It’s a win-win.)
Ultimately, your shop is yours. The beautiful thing about Etsy shops is you see a bit of the personality and talents of each shop owner. Good luck and happy selling!