I started an Etsy shop in the summer of 2015. It was a struggle! I did not get my first sale until December. I was so excited, but it kind of ended there. My next sale was not until the Spring of 2016 after I spent my entire spring break revamping my shop. If only I had started out strong I would have had sales sooner. The past two years have been a adventure trying to figure out how to be successful with my Etsy shop. The advice I wish I took from others from the start is that you get what you give. If you put little time or effort into your shop it won’t grow and you won’t get sales. Once I started using these tips below my shop began to grow and I am so pleased.
The first thing to do is get to know what population you are looking to target with your product. I spent a lot of time looking at other shops and looking at not only what they were selling, but how they were presenting their product. My goal was to create a product that was popular but affordable. I would look at top selling items on Etsy and see if I could produce it and sell it for a lower price. That is when I hit my first “gold mine”. To this day my elastic hair tie cards are my top selling item on Etsy. They are extremely popular for bachelorette party favors and very popular on Etsy. I created this item, added my own twist (something I felt the market was lacking) and sold it for a competitive price.
Learn the rules:
I may or may not have been contacted by Etsy legal not just once, but twice. The first time I was selling an item with a trademark logo on it, which I thought I was authorized to use… clearly was not. Second, was I used the word “cozy” on my coffee sleeve (used to be coffee cozy), and apparently BIC bought the rights to word cozy so no one else can use it… Anyway, these were both situations where I was contacted by Etsy legal or an outside legal team, had items removed from my shop, and was threatened to have my account shut down. I unfortunately had a friend whose account was shut down for not abiding by the rule. So take my advice read the rules >> know the rules >> be the rule. Read the full story here!
This is the fun part! Create a nice looking banner for shop and logo. I use Canva! The banner of your Etsy shop is also a great way to promote your seasonal promotions in an easy way. It is the first thing people see when they enter your Etsy shop. Additionally, I feel creating business cards were essential to my shops. I send along with my shipped products and hand them out at craft fairs (craft fairs alone are another amazing place to sell your products !
The best way to promote your shop is through social media. I primarily use Instagram. I think Instagram is the perfect platform to show your products on. Another great thing about Instagram is the community of creators on there. I love following similar shops and participating in monthly challenges. There are also some awesome Instagram accounts with a large following that only promote Etsy shops, some have a small fee for promotion, but I have found some that are reasonably priced!
Start off strong with a nice stock of inventory. The more items listed in your shop give you a higher probability of sales. I suggest listing around 20 items to start, which can seem like a lot at first, but the more listings the higher you’ll shop appear on search pages (along with your sales… sales + amount of listed items = being listed closer to the first search page). Additionally, having items already made and ready lead to fast shipping, and Etsy buyer love fast shipping.
My key items for shipping: padded shipping envelopes, cute tissue paper, business card and or thank you card. I like my shipping to represent what my shop would look like, I want people to be excited when they open my product. I think of every package as a gift to the buyer, so that each package is nice and special when it arrives. Before I had business cards I would include a thank you note, and still include thank you notes especially if I created a connection with the buyer. A few times I have worked with a buyer to create a custom product, so I include a thank you note because I truly am thankful for getting to work with them and them trusting me to create a custom product for them.
A picture does not always say a thousand words. It is important to be as detailed as possible with your listed items. Including size, color, and other product details will ensure happy buyer and good reviews! Etsy provides a tons of customizable sections to describe your product as well as a description box! If you don’t know where to start try finding inspiration from other shops!
The best advice I have for you to bring more buyers to your shop is to have a killer product title. It is important to make sure your product title is very descriptive about your product. To get some ideas go to Etsy and in their search engine type in your product, for example “Hair bows” without clicking enter first see the the suggestions that pop up first below… it might say: “Hair bows for girls” or “Hair bows for baby girls”, etc. These are popping up because they are most often searched. Here is an example of one of my product titles: Button Earrings, Earrings, Stud Earrings, Earrings Handmade, Dog Earrings, Fabric Earrings, Handmade Earrings, Gifts for her