Sunday, July 29, 2012

Selling on Etsy.

One week ago I decided to open an Etsy shop. Previously I had used but I never had any luck with that, so I moved everything except my purses over to Etsy.

I put about two things up there before I decided to do a little bit of research about it. Here are a few important things I learned:

Make sure you're taking good photos of your items. You're able to upload five photos per item and because customers are not able to touch your items, good photos are ideal. If you have small items, one way to make sure you're taking good photos is to use a light box or light tent. Better yet, make yourself a light tent. Here is a great tutorial for an inexpensive light tent, get creative. {I didn't get so creative, I take my photos on a piece of white poster board with another piece of white poster board standing behind it, next to an open window}

Before you price you items you need to consider: cost of materials, time taken to complete item, Paypal fees, Etsy fees, cost of shipping materials and the cost of similar items other people are selling on Etsy. It's a lot to consider, and something I'm still trying to figure out. I don't think I've quite got that down yet, but eventually I'll get the hang of it and everything will be priced perfectly.

When considering fees, this is what I learned, assuming you are using PayPal as your payment method:

Item Price: $34.00
Shipping: $4.35

The following fees will be charged by Etsy:
$0.20 cents for the listing fee
$1.19 transaction fee when item sells <-- this is 3.5% of the item price, not including shipping

The following fees will be charged by Paypal:
$1.11 <--- 2.9% of total price charged, this includes shipping
$0.30 transaction fee

So when all is said and done you've just paid $2.80 in fees.

It doesn't seem like so much for a $34 item, but if your items are priced lower you won't be making much off an item. If you sell a small item for $7 with free shipping, after fees you've earned yourself $6.04 but now you gotta ship which will be about $2 so now you've made $4.

I'm just saying consider your pricing carefully. Like I said, I'm no expert and I'm still learning.

Honestly I read this out there a lot and I do believe the Etsy sellers are right when they say this, but truth be told, this is one thing I'm not jumping on. I like to sew different things and I like to paper craft different things. Personally I don't want my Etsy shop to be filled with one thing, I like variety.

But I do believe the shops with branding sell more than the rest of us. Shops that are known for selling a specific item do well. It's something to consider anyway.

SEO - Search Engine Optimization
I'm sure we all know about SEO. Here is a great post about SEO for Bloggers. I know, we're talking about an Etsy shop here, not a blog, but your item page is the same thing, basically! Numbers 6, 7 and 8 in that post don't apply, but the rest do.

If you have a blog, blog about new items you've listed, but don't only blog about your store for obvious reasons.

If you don't already have a Twitter account, get one, then follow some people, and tweet your items. Like blogging though, don't just tweet your items, make sure you tweet other stuff too! If you're already on Twitter, follow me!!!

Pinterest is an awesome sharing site, but be wary of copyright laws. For me I only pin and repin my own photographs, which is perfectly legal. As long as you realize that your photo will be repinned. If you're already on Pinterest, follow my boards, I'd love to see yours. And for the record, I don't mind my photos being repinned!! So pin away.

This is one I am still working on myself. One article I read said don't even open your shop until you have at least 25 items. I have more than that around here, I just don't have them all listed yet. Listing items is time consuming if you're doing a large number at once.

Another site says to get your stock up to 100 items. Yikes! It can be done though, I've seen shops with a hundred items or more.

Bottom line: if you walked into a store and they had two items on their shelf you'd turn around and leave, the same goes for Etsy.

Get yourself some business cards and hand them out to everyone. Leave a stack at the laundromat, get creative. Also when you sell an item, make sure you include your business card when you ship, make sure that customer has a way to remember your shop.

I also read that printing something useful on the back of your business card will make people more likely to keep them. Print a calendar on the back, or a coupon code to your store. Get creative.

There are many great sites that will print business cards for you, or you can print them yourself at home. You can buy Avery business cards at Wal-mart then visit and use their designs or design your own.


There you have it, a few of the things I've learned in the last seven days about Etsy. Oh I'm sure I'll learn more along the way and I'll try to remember to share just in case I'm not the only newbie out there {I suspect I am not}. If I am the only newbie and you've got some tips for me, please share!

So you don't forget it.



Sara said...

The more items in your shop the merrier wish I would have done that in the beginning too. With quilts that is a little harder to build up your inventory quickly,but I am slowly doing it! It is definitely a gamble altogether,but it can be pretty fun too. Thanks for the tips and some of your personal knowledge of how it all works. Going to go add your shop to my circle now!

Simple Sewer said...

It is fun! It's only been one week for me but I am excited to say three people have favorited items in my shop. LOL.

And for me I'm making all this stuff anyway, the only time I try to sell is at yard sales when Fort Bragg has their post wide yard sales but I never sell much. Figured I'd give Etsy a shot.

Thanks for stopping by!! I am off to Etsy to view your shop :)

Sara said...

Hey noticed you are HERE at Ft too:) I live in Raeford. If you ever want to meet up and sew leave me a comment on my blog or email me:):) I am always looking for new sewing buddies!

Simple Sewer said...

I saw on your Etsy shop that you're in Raeford. I don't know that we could ever meet up and sew though, always have three kids with me. Maybe when school starts. I don't have any friends around here that sew.

Sara said...

How old are your kids? I have a 4 1/2 yr old they can wear out for me! We could come over where you are if that is more convenient for ya! No one really sews around me least not anyone I know of:) Just ones that want me to teach them,but never really come over-lol!

My son starts Pre-k on the 27th of next month Tues and Thurs. So I would be kid free for two hours,not much time to do much. Like I said though if you don't mind having us over there too.

Just let me know. Hope I am not coming off too pushy. If I am sorry...just looking for a sewing buddy...hahaha

Simple Sewer said...

I'm going to email you!