This article, entitled "How to Sell Your Handmade Crafts on Etsy," comes from SavingsAngel.com.
There are thousands of crafters today that have turned their love for crafting into everything from a hobby/part-time business to a full time money-making venture. One of the most popular outlets for crafters, artists and collectors to sell their handmade creations, vintage goods, and handmade or non-handmade crafting supplies, is the online marketplace Etsy.com.
Lots of sellers list their crafts on Etsy but making money is dependent on many factors. Before setting up shop on Etsy, you need to determine what your goal is. Do you craft just as a hobby but an occasional sale would be nice? Or are you trying to replace lost income? It takes a lot of time and work to make money using a website like Etsy. You can’t simply list your items then sit back and wait for sales.
Whether you’re looking to supplement your income, or replace lost income, these 10 tips will give you some guidance.
1) You need to find a niche – your niche. Consider what you’re selling. Make it something unique or different from the next person, but stay within your area of expertise and enjoyment. Why would someone buy from you over someone else selling the same type of item?
2) When you open a seller account, choose a short easy-to-remember user name. You want your customers to easily remember the name because this becomes the name of your Etsy shop–unless you pick a separate shop name. Think it through and pick a name you can grow with. Usernames cannot be changed except in the event of documented legal action, according to the Etsy website.
3) Make your Etsy store look professional. A professional looking shop will attract more buyers. It shows that you are a reputable seller that knows what they’re doing. You don’t need a huge inventory to get started. You can add more items as you go along. But a shop with just a handful of items won’t get as much attention as one that has more to sell.
4) Take stellar photos. When your customers can’t reach out to feel your product, they need to see it up close and personal through your photos and detailed description. Place your items against uncluttered backgrounds that make them stand out. Use soft natural lighting, close-ups, angle shots, and even live models when appropriate. Include the product’s dimensions, weight, materials, condition, history, how to clean or maintain the item, and any other information that you would want to know if you were buying the product. Don’t assume people will know what an item is or how it is used. Be specific.
5) Product pricing is crucial to making money. How much do you have into what you’re selling? What are your material costs? How much time did it take to produce your product (how much would you like to get paid per hour)? How much does it cost to package and ship? Etsy charges a flat fee of 20 cents to list the items and 3.5% of each sale. You may be able to incorporate those fees into your shipping charges but be careful. Buyers will steer clear if they think the shipping charges are overly inflated. Try this formula: Materials + Labor + Expenses + Profit = Wholesale x 2 = Retail.
6) Plan to market your shop outside of Etsy. Using social networks to bring traffic to your Etsy shop is a must. You won’t be able to count on getting the amount of traffic and customers you want from Etsy alone. Also becoming active in the Etsy community is advised. Getting to know other sellers can help spread the word for your own shop.
7) Etsy is an international marketplace. Be willing to sell to those outside the U.S. in order to obtain the maximum number of sales. Not all sellers do, so this may give you an edge over someone else.
8) Packaging is important too. Buyers take notice when something is packaged in a pleasing manner. This could make the difference between a one-time sale and a repeat customer. Consider adding a nice little surprise gift to your packages as a gesture of appreciation.
9) Be the best at customer service. Customers will respond more favorably to a shop that is on top of customer service with timely, and thorough, answers to questions. Be clear in your information to buyers on your shop policies. How do you handle refunds and exchanges? How long does it take for an item to ship? What kind of payments do you take? Think like a customer and have clear answers to those questions.
10) List, list and relist. Renew a listing or list a new item daily or at least every couple of days to get back on the first page of the Etsy search again to “be seen”. You will be charged the 20 cents for each item that is relisted or renewed but sellers say that it is worth doing to get the sought after exposure.
Etsy is a wonderful place to sell your handmade products! However, unlike an art show or craft fair where you can interact face to face with people, your online shop should be designed to engage your customer and make them more interested in what you’re selling. The more they know about you and your products, the more comfortable they will be buying from you.
What’s been written here just scratches the surface on the information you’ll find about selling on Etsy. I recommend that you do your own research, but sometimes experience is the best teacher.
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