10 TIPS TO HELP YOUR NEW ETSY STORE GROW!
I have been selling on Etsy now for 2 years. For the first 8 months I wasn’t really serious about it and was trying to find my place, my customer and my product. The one thing I do remember about the first few months was that it took me hours to do a listing. So if it’s taking you an hour or more to do a listing, you aren’t alone. Actually any problem you are having most of us other Etsy sellers have experience that same problem. I have Googled the weirdest things to get answers about my Etsy listings.
I’ve learnt a few things in the last 2 years, but this certainly doesn’t make me an expert. I have a lot of improvement to make as well. But Etsy is a never-ending lesson in adjustments. So here are a few tips to get your shop moving.
Fill out the store policies. Shipping, refunds, FAQ’s, and payments. Have a real think about your policies. Have a look at other stores, I usually go to stores that have lots of sales, as they have lots of experience with sales and customers, but please NOTE, when looking at stores make sure you check their reviews as well. Any stores with regular bad reviews should really be given a wide berth. When you find a store that looks good and feels good, have a look at their policies; which you can find when clicking on any listing and then clicking on the shipping and policies button.
When you have got a good feel of other stores policies you can form your own to suit your Etsy store. Try not to just cut and paste all your information, put your own spin on it and make it your own.
Oh my…I cried at the post office one day. Yep. I surely did. I had sold a small item, which I was very excited about, made the product, packaged it up beautifully, drove to the post office and was very happy to send it. I am in Australia and this package was being posted to New York state. It was a small package of cup cake toppers, made with paper and toothpicks, and I was charged $14.20 to send this parcel to America. I charged my customer $2.75 for the postage 😦 and the value of the goods was a whole $8, so when I had to pay $14.20 I felt like my business was no longer viable and shed a tear as I was paying.
The problem was that I didn’t have a clue what I was doing, and sometimes the people at the post office don’t know what they are doing either. I found out later I could have sent it as a letter if I hadn’t wrapped it in brown paper, then tied twine around the order and then added a cute little button…which all added to the weight of the order.
So some of the things you will need is:
- Postage app for your region, I have the Australia Post app and love it! And it’s free! and essential!
- Digital scales; you can get digital scales for around $15-$20
- Source a good supplier of envelopes or other packaging you need. When buying envelopes ect have a think about how you want your shop to look when the customer receives your item. I have recently switched to Kraft brown envelopes to fit in with the style of my shop. Previously I used whatever I had on hand, which was not always ideal. You can get really nice envelopes from Kmart and Target now, great prices too!
- Packing tape, just plain old packing tape and a packing tape dispenser which is around $10-$15
- Label maker (a great investment I have just made and should have done long ago!) retails around $90. I was actually hand writing the addresses on the envelopes and boxes, which again was not ideal and I can’t believe how good the new labels are.
Try to set up a small area for all your postage and packing, if you don’t have room just made do with what you have and hit Pinterest for a few ideas on how to set up your work space effectively.
Packaging should, again, reflect your store. I package each order like it was bought in an actual store front instead of online. I am also trying to make my packages a little different. I really wish I had done all this at the very beginning but I have learnt a lot in the last 2 years.
Just because you know how to do lots of things doesn’t mean you should make them all available. This is something I have to take note of myself, it’s so easy to get carried away. And when you’ve got confidence with your first shop you can always open another one. All you need is a different email account and a new shop title and away you go. I have plans to open my third Etsy shop which will be digital downloads only.
When you do have your store stocked make regular checks of your products and any products that aren’t getting any views or aren’t getting favourited (not sure it that is officially a word?), just deactivate them or try to revamp them a little to make your product more appealing. See Tip 4 Tags, Titles and Photos
If you read any tips about Etsy you will always read that your PHOTOS are very important. For good reason too. Shoot your photos in natural light. I got myself a big sheet of white poster board for backing and I take it outside (Caution: this poster board acts as a sail on windy days!) put my product on a table that is waist or chest height and take photos. I am currently in the process of retaking all of my photos because I just didn’t take this advice.
TAGS TAGS TAGS, use all 13 tags available. And make sure you don’t overlook the obvious tags, for example, I have a line of paper butterflies and I neglected to add the word BUTTERFLIES OR BUTTERFLY to my tag list! It took me months to even notice! That was a big derr moment for me! You can also take a look at similar products in other stores, go to the bottom of their page and you will see all the tags they have used. Have a look at the image below, this is the bottom of my Lego Blueprint (Big Blue Canoe) which appears on the first or second page of a search for blueprints.
When you have listed and published your item, search for your own item and see what page it comes up on…if you are on page 10 or more try changing some tags until you can get a lower page number.
Don’t use fancy TITLES. Use titles to tell it like it is! Again with my paper butterflies…I have named my range of paper butterflies “SCATTERFLIES” I love the name but I wouldn’t use it in the title as no one will search specifically for Scatterflies. If you have a colour specific item, mention the colour and add the colour to the tags also. Again, look at someone elses store, take information you learn from them and change it to make it your own.
You set what kind of payments you accept. I strongly advise you accept all types of payments. My sales increased after I accepted all payments. Previously I only accepted PayPal, now I can take your money any which way! And up go my sales!
When listing your product you can list variations. For example I sell paper hearts for weddings, the variations I offer are different pack sizes and different colours. When my customer chooses to buy the heart pack, they pick the pack size and they are then charged accordingly. Below is the Extra Large Paper Heart listing showing what the variations look like.
Not every listing requires a variation, but if customers are messaging you asking how much it will be if they purchase 50 of such and such thing, maybe you do need to add a variation. Listen to your customer, they always tell you what they want.
The first thing I do in the morning is check my stats. As I’m in Australia I get most of my views when I am asleep. 80% of my buyers live in the United States, so I usually wake up to a sale or two or a conversation (message) from a customer asking a question. You’ll get to know the average views you get in a day. If you’re not getting enough views or sales there may be many factors that can come into place. believe it or not the weather plays a part, when the US are experiencing massive winter storms my sales dip a little, when it is a bit warmer more weddings take place, therefore my sales rise. When your store has been open for a few months you can go back a few months and look at your stats and see a pattern forming. This is also good to set realistic goals too.
Search for items that you personally love. Like items, favourite shops and some people will favourite your shop and like your items in return. So when you add a new item to your shop, that item will appear on their news feed = instant prospective views! The more people who favourite your shop the more people might just see your items.
Plan your day: At the beginning of each day (10am most days, sometimes earlier) I write a list of things I want to do and things I need to do. Then work through them. I know it sounds simple but it really works for me. If this isn’t you, do something you know works for you.
Plan your year: Yes plan your year. I have a list of each month and I have written what section of my shop I need to work on. I know I will be busy making Teacher Thank You gifts in October and November and December so I make sure in September I work on these products and have them all ready for my customers to buy.
Customers don’t want to struggle to buy stuff from you, so be prepared for whatever busy season suits your product.
Making money takes time, a whole lotta time. Promoting yourself takes time. Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Twitter ect ect takes time. Unless you put in the time you won’t magically earn a $1000 a week on Etsy but you will learn as you go so don’t get disheartened and just work on your business. Your business isn’t just craft, it is so many other things too, and you control it all.
So that’s it, 10 tips to help you and your shop along a little bit. If you get stuck, and it’s really easy to get stuck on Etsy, just google it, that’s what I did and that’s still what I do.
If this post has inspired you to open an Etsy shop click HERE and use the link then you and I both get 40 free listings. That’s enough to have a nicely stocked Etsy shop!!
Good luck and feel free to comment with the name of your Etsy shop and/or a link! And don’t forget to check out my Etsy Shops:
RUBY CANOE DESIGN
BIG BLUE CANOE
Thanks and goodluck! xx Ruby