Easy as Etsy

More and more of our members are starting to think about how they sell their products online.  There are various different online retailers, but if you create art or craft items then Etsy is the largest online shop on the web and it’s fabulously easy to set up.

Last week, we had an illuminating Sandwich Session with Etsy in the UK at Winkley Studios. It was packed full of fantastic hints and tips which we’ve gathered together here for you.  They’ve even offered KindredHQ readers 20 free listings, and if you are quick, you’ll be able to grab yours here.

1.  Get the look

It’s really important to think about how you brand your shop with a unique identity. It’s what will make you stand out.  From your logo to the style of your photography, to your packaging and your business cards, put some thought into how the theme carries through. Over time, people will come to recognise your style and associate it with the quality of your work.  Plus, it signifies that you have made more or an effort to stand out and that you are a professional seller.

2. Don’t skimp on the photography

Don’t forget, many of the Etsy sellers are design conscious and you will soon see how beautiful the photography is in the shops that stand out.  Etsy allows you space for up to five pictures and you should use all of these.

Your buyers are a fussy lot and they’ll make snap decisions based purely on the quality of your photography and appearance, so don’t skimp.  Give some thought to lighting and simple backgrounds.  Invest in getting a friendly photographer to help you with the shots. You’ll reap the rewards.

3. Think like a marketing expert

Make it as easy as possible for your customers to find you. That means that you need to spend some time thinking about how you describe your goods.  Avoid commonly used words that don’t differentiate your shop from others on Etsy, like ‘beautiful’ or ‘stunning’.  Think about how your customers search for gifts.  They may not describe them like you do. If you specialise in wedding gifts and items, then say so in the description that search engines will pick up. Even better, you can develop a tone of voice that is unique to you.

4. Keep your shop visible

A good trick is to post your items on different days, rather than all at once.  This seems counter intuitive, but actually it means you are more likely to be featured in Etsy’s search more often with a recent listing. So spread your listings over a few days and you’ll be found more easily.

Keep thinking of new ways to entice people to your shop.

5. Be customer friendly

Whether you are selling on Etsy or through a large supermarket, you still need to treat your customers with the same high standards that you’d expect. They’ll recommend you and come back time and time again if you go to the effort of treating them like VIPS.

Be honest about shipping, customs and duty fees, and the types of payments you accept. If you don’t know how much it will cost to post an item, give an estimate and then reimburse asap.  Most important of all is to be on top of your emails and correspondence.  As a customer you want an answer straightaway, so try and respond very promptly to your customers queries, before they decide to try another seller.

Think about your inventory too.  You don’t want too much stock filling up your spare room and equally you don’t want to be asking your customers to wait too long for that item that they’ve fallen in love with.

6. Get together to share

It takes time to get good at this, so don’t expect to be an overnight success, although we hope you are!  You’ll learn, refine and improve as you go on.  Join up with other Etsy sellers to swop experience, skills and bargain together for reduced packaging and shipping costs. Etsy encourage sellers to join ‘teams’, which often meet offline too to encourage and support each other.

There’s a ton of advice in Etsy’s own online community and on the interwebs.  Just take a little time to prepare before you dive in, accept that you will make the odd mistake, don’t expect overnight miracles and you’ll be fine.

Etsy have prepared a great worksheet guide to opening a shop for the first time. You can download it here. StartOnEtsy_Worksheet

Etsy is offering lucky KindredHQ readers 20 free listings when they open a shop.  Just visit this page and enrol.  And the rest is down to you.




Who is Alex Butler

Hello, I'm Alex Butler and I founded the KindredHQ community and blog back in 2011 after I re-started a freelance career. I LOVE freelancing and I wouldn't swop the freedom, control and joy of working for myself for anything. But I realised how much I missed the company and energy of other people - of having a team around me. So, I got a few people together one day with our laptops, a jar of coffee and some jelly babies and we sat and worked together one afternoon. We've been doing that every week in London, UK since then! I am still 100% freelance and I like to share the everyday highs and lows of being a freelancer here on the blog.

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