How to Make Your First Sale on Etsy

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When you start your Etsy shop, making your first sale can be a bit tedious to obtain…you may even question if you were cut out for this.

But a bit of persistence will eventually pay off and bring about the glorious cha-ching sound. Now, one would think you would grow tired of the cha-ching. I’m here to tell you, it NEVER gets old. It’s certainly music to your ear.

Most importantly though, your first sale sets the bar for you. Your first sales not only get you pumped about your business but helps you refine your process and iron out any kinks along the way.

As you start out, you’re not really sure which direction to go. You may even believe that once your shop is set-up you are done. If you think your first sale will come without much effort on your part, try again. In all honesty, getting your shop up and running is just the beginning.

There’s much more to do…

And if you want to grow your business, like I know you do, you will put in the work to get that first sale. So today, I’m going to share with you a few simple strategies you can use to make your first sale in your Etsy shop.

Let’s make this first sale!

1 | Sell to Family and Friends

One of the easiest methods for scoring your first sale is to reach out to your family and friends. They know you, trust you, and are much more willing to support your business. Unlike a complete stranger who knows nothing about you or your business and would require more warming up before making a purchase.

Does this mean you should strong-hold your friends into buying your products that they will probably never use? Uh, no!

Instead, think about those loved ones who could actually use and benefit from your products. Not someone who would only purchase your items because they feel sorry for you.

Why would it matter either way? Well, the idea is to obtain a life-long customer that will not only purchase from you over and over again but will be a raving fan and spread the word about how AH-MAZING your products are.

Nice, huh?

2 | Run a Contest or Giveaway

I love a good giveaway as they are a surefire opportunity to get eyeballs on whatever you have going on. Although there have been times when I felt that people were only interested because they wanted a free product, in general, I have had a pretty solid success with this strategy.

I have found that if planned correctly, individuals are able to win free products and I am able to bask in the viral aspect of the contest. This give and take provides me with increased traffic and expanding my shop’s presence thanks to word of mouth.

There are tons of options for running a contest. A very simple approach is asking your audience to like your post and tag a friend to count as an entry. You designate a day to announce a winner and you either choose the individual at random or someone with the most posts or tags.

Related: How to handle slow summer sales

3 | Join the Reddit Community

Reddit is a community of people that form groups which focus on specific niches based on their interest. I must admit, I am a big fan of Reddit. There are tons and tons of groups, known as subreddits, that you can join that fits as your target audience.

Like anything, you shouldn’t pop up out of the blue and start selling your products. Not cool and certainly annoying. To make the best out of Reddit, you must become apart of the community. You should share your expertise and contribute as much as possible.

The results are well worth it. Not only are you able to make sales from people that are your ideal customers, but you can possibly build relationships and learn from other like-minded individuals.

4 | Collaborate with Social Media Influencers

It is not uncommon for brands to work with social media influencers to garner attention to their products. How this works is you reach out to Instagram accounts that have a huge following for some type of collaboration. Most influencers have specific guidelines when it comes to collaborations requests. Some may range from the free exchange of products to paying for a shout out.

The key to this being successful is working with influencers whose audience is the same as yours. Doesn’t make much sense otherwise.

Also, make sure your collaboration is outlined in writing. I would say make this a practice across the board when you venture into collaborations of any sorts for your business. This is simply a safeguard measure to protect you and your brand.

5 | Blog Post Outreach

This is one of my favorites. I am all about creating security for my business and not relying on Etsy to create my success. One way I accomplish this is through blogging. Blogging is a great way to generate traffic to your site and grow your customer base.

A blog post outreach is when you write a post that highlights influential people in your niche. For example, I may write a blog post about using Instagram Stories for your business. I would provide examples of how to use this feature. I would also include some brands that revolve around my niche that are using Instagram stories to rock their business and add links back to their accounts.

Blog posts outreach is a golden strategy to build relationships with well-known people within your niche and (fingers-crossed) get them to share your blog post.

You would start out by creating a blog post that has value and relates to your products. You would include any links or quotes of the influential individuals. To make this work, I wouldn’t suggest you start out with large influencers as your efforts may go unnoticed since you are a newbie. Try targeting a wee bit of a smaller influencer to get the ball rolling.

After you have crafted your blog post, email each of the influencers you have included in the post. Let them know how much you admire their products and that you have included them in your recent blog post. I would not recommend asking for anything in return, such as sharing your post. Because let’s face it, if it’s good stuff, they will have no problem sharing your goodies.

If you’re eager to add blogging to your business, then I’ve got something BIG coming for you soon. Make sure you sign up for the free Start A Blog Checklist here so that you’re notified when more details are released!

6 | Promoted Listings

Tap into the power of ads by using Etsy’s promoted listings. I was hesitant for a while about using this option because the thought of paying for ads frightened me. How much should I pay? How long should I run my ads?

However, I have found it is worth the effort and with a little fine-tuning and monitoring your results you can determine what works best for your shop.

Sidebar, if your SEO, photos, and descriptions are not up to par, I would certainly not suggest this route. No amount of paid advertisements will guarantee sales. Put in the upfront work to ensure your shop is optimized to make successful sales with or without paying for advertisements.

7 | Facebook Ads

If you want to up your game with paid advertising, you can turn to good ole’ Facebook. Facebook has some pretty darn swanky features that allow you to pinpoint and target a specific audience. Bear in mind, that although Facebook has great targeting options, it does require a great deal of trial and error. I suggest spending some time determining your target audience, their likes, their dislikes, and anything relevant to appeal to your ideal customer.

Like Etsy’s promoted listings, it does require a bit of tweaking to identify the best results.


Your first sale is one of those milestones that you will always carry with you throughout your journey on Etsy. Not to mention, it is something about it that ignites your desire to keep doing what you love. The key takeaway is although it will be tough to snag your first all while you are learning, don’t hesitate to try new strategies to get some traction. Sure, you make have to spend a little money and yes you may fail a time or two. But be mindful that success will come in due time. Be consistent and most importantly, don’t give up without a fight.

What is something you struggle with in terms of getting your first sale? Let’s chat down below!

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