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Etsy Seller Helper

This is going to be a long one!

I'm not really an Etsy expert-- maybe there's a number of sales to hit, or a number of times on the front page, or once you're a Featured Seller... but I have really enjoyed learning anything I can about what I think is the MOST WONDERFUL community of artisans and crafters online.

So I've been in contact with quite a few people who are thinking about setting up Etsy shops, and I'll give you a run-down of the things I've learned about Etsy, things I've seen successful sellers do, and the things "they"--Etsy and their top sellers--say you should do. I didn't start any of this stuff until about 2 years in, and I really wish I was one of those people who did the research and THEN opened the shop, but whatever, it works both ways.

Become familiar with Etsy's Blog, the Storque -- they post interesting, and sometimes very useful stuff there... and I feel like I learn something new about my shop all the time in there. They write about policy, marketing trends, and sellers who've been really successful, so when you have some time, read those posts. You can get them emailed to you, too, and that is better for me, because the wealth of information can be overwhelming!

In the Storque, there are sections: How-To(which sometimes relates to your shop, and are sometimes fun craft projects) and Seller Handbook.

Seller Handbook is AWESOME. There's a Shop Makeover series that's great.
Etsy's Seller's Handbook: Basically anything and everything you could need to know!

So the things that you will hear over and over and over from successful sellers:

  • PHOTOS. Take interesting, well-done, and well-lit photos. Show scale, show styling, and show detail. I suck at photos. But that's the only way to get on the front page, collected in Treasuries, and make people want to buy, apparently. Mine still suck, but the Macro setting on my little digital camera, as well as natural overcast light, have been my best friends. It's totally helped.

  2006>            2010> 

  • CUSTOMER SERVICE. seems like common sense to me, but mail things out promptly, communicate with your buyer ASAP, let them know if there's something that's going to delay, be honest with them.
  • DO WHAT YOU LOVE AND DO IT WELL. Like, build it and they will come. I dunno, that's what they say.

A few things that have really, really helped me:

  • Listing every day. This is great: try to put up a new item every day (or 2x if you can). You can re-list expired listings (in about 3 months your items expire, and all you have to do is click "renew" and it's all done for you!) The reason this works: every time you list something, you're on the Front Page for a second. It's amazing how many people will get to you from there. You're also more likely to pop up in Shop Local searches, as well as Pounce searches.
  • Tag tag tag. Use all 14. Read about tagging, I really think it helps.
  • Shop Policies and Appearance-- be sure to keep that interesting, updated, and clean looking.
  • Price point variety, and "sets" of things that go together-- like, sell your prints as a pick-your-own set of 3, and sell the original for a lot of money! Get postcards or greeting cards printed with the images on them.. then you're hitting everyone's price points. If you are getting things printed, I highly highly recommend The quality is UNBEATABLE, even if the prices are. 
  • Be consistent. In look, in style, in branding, in customer service, etc.

And about Marketing:

  • What ever works best for you. I've put ads on blogs, online magazines, craft magazines, facebook ads, and that gets expensive. Some of it works, some of it doesn't. Facebook ads has been great at driving people to my site, fan page, and my shop, but doesn't necessarily result in sales... It depends on what you are looking for.
  • on that note, FACEBOOK. Set up a fan page. Post interesting links, promotions, but don't make it all about YOU. Constant self-promotion is a no-no in social media. Also, these "Pimp your Facebook" ideas are super cool.
  • Google Analytics. I'm addicted to Google Analytics. Set it up for your website and for your Etsy page. There's some trick to NOT getting your OWN views on your Etsy shop to track... I wish I could help you more there. Etsy's info on GA is really helpful.
  • Twitter is just fun to me. I find a lot of cool things and like to re-post so that people know I'm following them and like what they're doing. I don't think it's brought me sales or anything.
  • I enter design contests. Especially if they're in connection with Etsy. Holy traffic!  Some people say contests are a waste of time... I think it depends.
  • Process tutorials, and posting them around the web. I've made a few tutorials on how-to make products, processes, and Etsy stuff... then posted them on a few tutorial websites. It's been over a year and they are still the biggest driving source of traffic to my blog

Research, research, research.

There's always something new and improved, and there's always more you can do to make your shop its best. They say in order to be successful you have to treat it full-time, which is what's hardest for most Etsy sellers, as this is usually an on-the-side business... but I think it's fun, I've met a ton of great people (on- and off-line) through it, and I do it because...

I love it. 


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