How to Sell on Etsy – Handy Checklist

There’s a lot that goes into becoming a successful Etsy seller. You need to setup a killer store, create high quality, unique products, list them properly and constantly monitor a number of things to make sure your sales continue to increase. Here’s a checklist to help you through the process. Some of these tips only need to be reviewed every once in a while, while others will impact how you list each item every time. Research, Market Selection, Setup

  • Where to start. Start with your passions. Whatever it is you love, you should have no problems coming up with your first 20 to 50 product ideas. From there, just use your customer’s feedback to keep expanding your store.
  • Who else is in your market? Before you get started, take a look at who else is in your market. They’re your competition and you should know who you’re competing with before jumping in.
  • What are they priced at? This will influence where you price your own products.
  • How are they selling? You can somewhat gauge how well someone’s selling by dividing the amount of time their store’s been open with the number of feedback they have. This will also help you gauge the health of the market.
  • Pick a name that grows with you. Don’t pick a name that only works when your store is small. Instead, pick one that will sound great even further down the line.
  • Start with 20 items. Begin your store with 20 items. If you only have 3-5 items when you start, most people will get bored or not take you seriously when they look at your store.

Profile & Shop

  • Have a great banner that relates to what you sell. Don’t use a generic banner. Make sure that others can tell what kind of products you offer just by glancing at your banner.
  • Avatar that conveys trust. People should feel subtly more confident in making a purchase after having seen your avatar.
  • Short but sweet shop title.
  • Short but sweet announcement. If they can’t see your products in the first screen, your announcement is too long.
  • Set City, State, Country. Don’t skip on this one. People search for local artists and will often send invitations to local events based on Etsy listings.
  • Store policies. Having clear store policies can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Browse other stores to see how others have setup their policies.
  • Change around your featured items twice a week. Pick 3 each time. This will give your viewers a fresh look at your products every time they come back.

Listing Items

  • Description. Go into as much detail as possible. Remember, you can see and touch the item, but they can’t. Use as many senses as you can in your description and address any questions you think they might have.
  • Photos. Use all 5 photos and give them as many different angles as possible. Take photos from the inside, from the side, from the top, bottom, etc. Make sure all photos are crisp, clear and uncluttered. Use sunlight whenever possible, but make it well lit.
  • Use all 14 tags. Make all the tags relevant and try to think of what others would search for to find your items. Colors, textures, etc are all great tags. Consider tagging in other languages if your item sells internationally. Use different tags in multiple listings so a wider range of audience is exposed to your products.
  • Feedback. If you don’t have any feedback yet, buy a few inexpensive products on Etsy. The items can each cost less than $5 and will give you the benefit of experiencing the buyer’s side of Etsy.

Renewing Items

  • Renew often. With thousands of listings being added every day, yours will get pushed off the front page of search results and categories quickly. Renewing will get your items in front of more eyeballs.
  • Track your renews in an excel spreadsheet. Know what’s selling and what isn’t selling and calculate your real cost per sale in listing fees by tracking each listing.
  • Change photos of underselling items that you think should be selling. If you think an item deserves to be making sales but it isn’t, change your photos or title before renewing.
  • New items get more views than renewing. Instead of renewing all the time, try creating a new item.

Packaging, Delivery & Fulfillment

  • Packaging matters! The packaging for your product is the first impression your customers get. It only costs a few cents to personalize it, so don’t skimp on packaging.
  • Try Carrier Pick Up from USPS. Instead of dropping off your product every you need to ship, USPS will just pick it up for free!
  • Customer service. Service is essential for making repeat sales, getting referrals and getting other people to send traffic to your store. Always aim to reply to inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Sell International. Yes, it’s a bit more effort to figure out all the shipping options and costs. But Etsy is truly an international website and if you’re not shipping internationally, you’re losing out on a lot of business.

Marketing & Promotion

  • Join a team! Teams are powerful alliances for store owners to co-promote each other’s stores.
  • Participate in Etsy forums and blogs. Don’t post just to get exposure, but if you participate intelligently people will naturally want to check out what you have to offer.
  • Survey your old customers. What did they like about buying from you? What could be improved? Always aim to better your store.

These are a few things you should keep in mind throughout your Etsy selling experience. Keep this checklist close at hand and review it whenever necessary. Best of luck and Godspeed.

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