Though there are a few things I wish I had known before starting my Etsy shop, Purple and Lime, I am happy I was able to look at my drawbacks and figure out how to turn them into positive lessons which continue to help me today. I hope you learn a thing or two!
1. What to Focus On
When I first joined Etsy I made both clothing and jewelry. The jewelry sold really well and wasn’t too laborious to make, while the clothing wasn’t as popular and it took me hours to make one garment. I kept trying to make the clothing side of my business work against my better instincts. If you’re still trying to sell items that are not profitable it’s time to reevaluate your focus. Once I started listing only jewelry (and occasionally accessories), my revenue definitely increased along with my own personal happiness!
2. SEO Basics
Before I started selling on Etsy I didn’t even know what SEO meant. SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” is essentially using the correct keywords to make sure your items, pages, website, etc. are more likely to be found by search engines. Etsy SEO is not that much different than regular website search optimization, plus you can learn all the basics through online research. Many handmade business blogs have information about using keywords in your Etsy listings and tags. I recommend doing lots of reading to maximize your understanding of SEO on Etsy before starting. This will increase your views and visibility, and eventually lead to more sales!
(PSSST you can also check out another awesome post by Rebecca where she covers SEO basics like a champ!)
3. How Mail Works
I’ve learned so much about the mail system through selling on Etsy. Before you open your online store, I suggest thoroughly researching the best options for mailing your products. Compare what you plan to sell with those of similar existing Etsy sellers to get an idea of typical shipping prices, time frames, and other info you might need. I would also invest in a postage scale so you can accurately weigh packages. Once you know your package weight it’s easy to print postage yourself, which saves money in the long run.
4. Sourcing Supplies
When creating items as a hobby it’s fine to purchase supplies at retail store rates, but once you go professional as a business you should buy in bulk or wholesale. This will save you money and increase your profit margins in the long run. Keep in mind some companies require a tax ID number and certificate to be able to pay wholesale rates and buy supplies tax-free.
5. Offering Amazing Customer Service
One of my favorite things about selling on Etsy is getting to communicate directly with my customers. Providing excellent customer service is a must when you run a shop- especially since buyers can leave visible feedback for their purchases. You want to create and sustain a positive reputation as a seller on Etsy. This means responding to messages quickly and always addressing any issues or problems in a polite and professional manner. If you make your customers a priority they will keep coming back in the future!
6. Consistent Branding
Creating a unified shop is really important for success on Etsy. Your shop’s avatar, banner, and photos should all flow together, utilizing the same fonts, backgrounds, and materials when possible. Uniting your shop with branding will help your business create an identity- which is essential to long term-success. This doesn’t mean all of your products have to be the same color scheme or theme, just that they all relate in some way that is identifiable.
What other lessons have you had to learn quickly through selling on Etsy?