Saturday, August 4, 2012

5 Things I wish I'd known about starting an Etsy Shop

My little Etsy shop is almost 10 months old. I'm not going to lie. It did not take off as quickly as I'd initially hoped. Really, it didn't. I had these grand dreams of the sales rolling in. And they didn't. They still don't. But I think I'd have gotten off to a far better start, had I known the following.

Disclaimer: I did not read the Etsy Seller Handbook. Who does? Who has time for that? You go into it thinking, I've created an Ebay listing, how hard would it be to create an Etsy one? Ha ha, right.

1.) Photos are sooooo important.
Seriously, I'm not sure how I ever got my first sale with THIS photo....

Here is the same item (that has sold several times) but with a better photo.

2.) Renewing a listing often WILL NOT get you more sales / exposure. What it will get you is increased Etsy fees. The key to exposure if a good title, good description, good key words. Focus on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). I am not expert on this by any means, but am learning!

3.) Views do not always equal sales, so don't stress over your stats. I average less than 100 views a day, but around 10 - 12 sales per month. When I participated in Etsy teams, sure I got a lot of views and favorites, but no increase in sales.

4.) This is probably true for any crafter / artist, even off Etsy... Do not overstock on supplies. Seriously, you will eat up any profit by investing too much in supplies. Find out what sells and stock up from there. I understand it's a necessity to come up with fresh new items, but I try to clean out and organize my crafting area at least once a month to determine what my "actual" supply needs really are.

5.) Pricing is important. I don't know how many times I am on Etsy thinking either, "Wow, are they on crack... $30 for a wipes case?" or "How do they make a profit at $5 for a wipes case." Know how much your supplies cost you, calculate your Etsy and Paypal fees, and your time as an artist. Price competitively, but price for profit as well!

Something else I've learned from Etsy is that it really can be a great community. I have met some pretty great people! I've also encountered not so great folks. It happens.

I am so proud of where my little shop is today. My goal is to hit 100 sales by our 1 year shop-iversary on 10/8/12. I am no expert, but welcome any questions you may have about selling on Etsy. Of course, I also welcome any suggestions ya'all might have too!

Happy Saturday!!

This weekend only. Use Code Bloglove for 25% off your order at The Rogue Baby.


  1. I am so glad you wrote this; not because I plan to get an etsy anytime soon, but because I am going to try and do a craft fair for charity. I need enough stock to cover my table...but I need to remember I don't need to go mad. I can always take some orders.

    I just emailed about your prize too and am following you right back. I heart craft.


  2. Thanks for this list!!! My sister and I are working on our own shop and this is so helpful!!!

    1. How exciting about the new shop. Be sure to let me know when it's up and running, would love to help promote! =) Thanks for sharing my post also! I'm still finding ways daily to improve my Etsy shop and maximize my profit. Hoping to post some more Etsy Tips soon!

  3. I feel like I've had a similar experience...I was expecting a bombardment of orders. I agree with all your points, especially the photos and titles. I come across soooooo many listings with titles that break all the rules. Rule breaking has a time and place, and Etsy is not one of them. It's more fun to have creative, clever names for your items, but they aren't going to get you anywhere on Etsy. I didn't realize that at first; your titles have to be 100% literal and descriptive. I still struggle with photos too...I don't know how many times I've re-shot my cards and still kind of hate them sometimes. I totally agree with your thoughts on pricing too; I don't understand what some people are doing when they sell something for $2. I've even seen some items for less than a dollar. What?? But as a tip for new people, don't let that get down or feel pressure to lower prices. You'll probably feel the need to increase your prices at some point after you've done some orders. I ended up adding $5 to everything because I just wasn't making enough money for all my time.

    Great post!

    1. Such an awesome point that I didn't even think of.. the "rule breaking" on Etsy! I hate when I see a shop that started the same time as mine with 1000+ sales and they are re-selling cheap chinese wholesale junk! That stings for sure! Etsy really needs to crack down on monitoring those kinds of things.

      Thank you for the kind words and great advice!

  4. This sounds like great advice for anyone wanting to start an Etsy shop (something I know absolutely nothing about! lol )

    I'm visiting from the Blog Walk and I'm now following you on Pinterest, Twitter, Linky, and email. I wanted to let you know that your G+ button above is linked to the Etsy website. :)

    Would love for you to visit us and reciprocate! Thx and have a nice weekend. Cheers!


Total Pageviews