Thursday, October 4, 2012

Three tips for Etsy sellers

Mitzi asked me to participate in a blog party of sorts, in which we all blog about tips for Etsy sellers.  It's almost holiday time and you know what that means: it can be a great time of the year for increased sales online!
I've been selling on Etsy for four years now and have two shops, Indulge Your Shelf for vintage/junque, and Leaves and Lace for made-with-antiques art.  I am one of their biggest fans and could talk about Etsy all day, so it's almost tough for me to think of just three tips, but I'm going to give it a shot:

Have fun. Seriously.  If you're not having fun with your Etsy shop, you're not doing it right. Find your friends on Etsy and get into a circle with them.  That way when you "favorite" an item, or they do, your friends can see it (if you want them to) in their Activity feed -- it's way quicker than Pinterest!  Then, make new friends.  "Favorite" all the items and stores you see that you like and watch and see how many people reciprocate.  Convo Etsians whenever you think of something to tell them.  Seriously -- I've sent convos to sellers just saying, "I love (this item of yours) so much, how clever and unique!" and everyone needs to hear that once in a while.  Join a Team or two (look under the tab Community).  You can search for teams based upon your aesthetic, your location, or anything else you can think to search for.  I belong to the Etsy Beagles Team.  All of us own a Beagle. True story.

Etsy lists the most popular Teams for you on the Community page if you need some ideas. If you like, you can search the Community to find local artists who also sell on Etsy and see if they're interested in meeting for coffee to share experiences.  If you'd prefer sticking to online contact, there are tons of informative and friendly forums to read and participate in on that you can find either by joining a Team or by just browsing the Forums.
Now, I know what you're thinking: Who has time to join Teams or post on the forums?  But, I'm here to tell you that it is good for your business.  Which leads me to my second tip:

Interacting on the Etsy site helps your own sales.  Did you know that the more often your username appears on the Etsy site, like in the Forums or as a comment on Etsy's main blog, the more "internal" links you build on the site, which equals more traffic driven to your shop?  So now you know why the most successful Etsy sellers begin by spending a lot of time "talking" on the Etsy site -- and that it's not a waste of time!
Take great photos.  There is no shortage of tips on the Etsy site, in resources like the seller handbook, and on the forums, about photographing your items.  This is because they know and understand that great photos sell your wares. I have learned that the time I spend taking and editing my photos is worthwhile.  What counts as a great photo is different for every item -- so spend time looking at people who are selling something like what you sell, and how they photograph/stage it.  The most important photography methods that have worked for me are:
  1. Great lighting.  For me, since I use an automatic digital camera and don't have a lot of fancy equipment, that means that I photograph in natural daylight -- at my kitchen table, which is close to the window.
  2. Close ups.  I always try to include at least one close up photo of the most interesting details of any of my items -- whether vintage or handmade.   Most cameras have a macro setting -- use it for clear close ups; if you can't get a sharp close up, then take a clearer, farther away photo and crop it to show the detail.  I use the basic Microsoft Picture Editor for most of my photos.
  3. Disclosure.  Especially when selling vintage -- be sure to give all the information and show it in the photos.  (Does your ceramic planter have a chip?  Photograph it, and mention it in the listing.)  If you think the backside of your handmade journal is just as pretty as the front, then take a picture from that angle.
I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out for my friend Steve's book, Etsy 101, which I helped to edit and contributed to; even people who have been selling on Etsy for years will learn something valuable from the book, and it's a must for newbies.  Steve has a great, conversational style of writing and his detail and instructions are very comprehensive.

Now, go and check on the other bloggers who are sharing their Etsy tips today:

The organizer, Mitzi

Another Laurie

My friend Beth


And then, go and have fun with your Etsy shop!  And be blessed with sales!

9 comments :

Beth Leintz said...

Laurie, I knew you'd have some good advice. I'm going to look into Etsy teams and networking more within Etsy. Thanks!

Susan said...

Thanks for the tips! I'm getting a lot out of the posts you and your friends did today!

Betsy@My Salvaged Treasures said...

Great advice Laurie. Thanks for the tip about joining teams and commenting on Etsy. This is something I haven't been doing, but will definitely be more proactive in the future.

Mitzi said...

Hi Laurie! I really learned some great tips from your blog post, so thanks for participating! I'm definitely going to purchase Steve Weber's book, and I've never considered that participating on Etsy's internal links, which I rarely do, would be beneficial to my shop. The whole Etsy experience is a great thing, and I'm excited to learn anything new that will improve my shop!
Mitzi

Kathy said...

Laurie, this is a great post. I do go into the forums from time to time but didn't realize it had anything to do with increasing visibility. Good to know!!

Andy's Attic said...

I checked out your shops like what I see. You make very sweet things and have good treasures. Thanks for the tips as I am thinking of starting a shop and need all the help I can get!!

laurie -magpie ethel said...

Good tips Laurie and I need to take to heart your first two tips..I am lacking in that area.

Becs said...

Thanks for the tips Laurie. You rock girl! Love your pics too. Becs

Curtains in My Tree said...

ok girl i'm in
i mean I got in to build my etsy account etc
thanks for all the good advice