23 August 2010

13 quick tips for selling on Etsy

Hi everyone, Kim from Stickytiki here. Well I have been selling on etsy for about 18mths now..I am not actually even sure who suggested it in the first place, but I am certainly glad to have found this great community.
When we first opened we had some pretty bad photos and really not much idea, so here is what we have learned.

1. Most important is have a great product that is handmade..this means made by YOU! Etsy do seem to be relaxed about what handmade means..so this could be something re-made, originals printed, crafted..etc, but made by your hand in some shape or form. You must not be a reseller.

2. Have really good simple photos that shows exactly what the customer is getting. For example in our case with our wall decals how frustrating would it be to order this set below to find that the actual photos showed two sets and you couldn't make these designs in our pics!
As a rule we have found that white wall, some props ie chairs and children to show scale works best. Also offer different views or angles and close ups...show that your product is adaptable.. and in our case can be used by different age groups.

Note: Natural light for taking your photos is BEST! Also make sure you leave enough space to crop them to the etsy standard of 1000/1000 pixels.

4. Think about our audience and keep your shop cohesive, this means show your style, what is is you do and are good at. You don't need to have 100 items just make sure the ones you do have reflect your business...YOU!

5. Re-list..bring in new items or renew old ones..yes this costs money (20 cents per time) but the way I see it, its a small price to pay to be seen..etsy is a MASSIVE place with a huge amount of talent, you can't just sit back and wait, get yourself and your product out there. Twitter (which I don't like just for the record) and face book are great ways of connecting with people and potential customers online. But really IMPORTANT don't SPAM anyone, this is a big no no and will make your business look bad!

6. Keep your shipping reasonable especially when you are at the bottom of the world like us, if we were trying to make money on shipping too we wouldn't sell. My advice if you can is to have a set price that sits somewhere in the middle of all your items. We have sent our decals to countless countries and I am sure this is because our shipping is very reasonable.

7. Tell your potential customers where you come from in your shop side bar, tell them you are from NZ..Napier, be proud and don't be allusive no one wants to buy from someone that can't/won't list where the product come from! This is my opinion. I sold a Pohutukawa tree to a woman in Canada last week who is from Hastings, we connected, and this is really important when someone is trusting you from the other side of the world.

NOTE: Also use your FAQs section so as customers know your shop policies.

8. Use the profile section tell us who you are, what inspires you, in a handmade community this is really important and for me the beauty..you are not some faceless person, you are someone that has put their heart and soul into what they are doing.

9. Make your shop announcements snappy with key words about your product....Google picks this up.

10. Connect with your customers, thank them for purchasing from you, tell them their product is on it way and how long it will take. We have made some great connections far and wide from good communication.

11. Read the forums...BUT don't obsess over them because you will never get any new work done! Check them out every so often to get some great tips. Remember everyone has been in the same boat when they first open a shop on etsy.

12. Read the dos and don'ts. Etsy has really great support for new sellers.

13. GO FOR IT. Etsy is a great place, I would have never imagined when we started that we would sell our decals all over the world, Etsy and our website have opened up the world for us!
Give it a go..what have you got to lose??! You have to really work at it, but most importantly keep creating, after all that is what we love doing most:)

Kim x


  1. WOW!! Kim, Many thanks for sharing those cool tips, I like Number four, about keeping my shop cohesive,and showing my style, many thanks, cheers Marie

  2. this is a great list of tips for new sellers... I totally agree with number 13! GO FOR IT!

  3. I think you two should be writing this as you are both AMAZING etsy sellers.
    Someone was asking for tips on local craft fairs...any takers??

  4. Ah chickie you are an inspiration, you really are :)

  5. Oh thanks guys:) But I am sure you all know that stuff already!!! xx

  6. Thank you for the great advice. It's so difficult to know how to best sell online coming from New Zealand.

  7. Hi,
    Just wondering how the tax stuff works?
    GST? Income tax?
    Do I need a GST number?
    Any help appreciated.



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