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Monday, October 1, 2012

Top Tips for New Etsy Sellers

I have been selling on Etsy for 5 years and in that time I have watched Etsy grow into the massive marketplace that it is today. There are many ways to succeed on Etsy and even more ways to fail. There is no fool-proof plan to Etsy success, but there are a few basic tips that will get you started in the right direction. Here are my top tips for New Etsy sellers

1: Sell a great product
  • Love what you sell - By selling something that you believe in you already have a natural enthusiasm for your product, which will come across to your customers in your descriptions and promotions. Selling handmade, vintage or supplies is not always easy, a love for what you do also keeps you motivated to keep going through the tough patches.
  • Fill a gap in the market - Have you found you needed something that you just couldn't find? Did you make it for yourself? This is one of the best ways to start a new business filling a gap in the market and promoting your products to others like yourself who would need it.
  • Stand out - If your product is the same as many other sellers on Etsy, you will have a hard time getting sales. The more competition you have the harder it will be. Do some research and find a way to stand out from the others. Maybe you source your materials in an eco-friendly way, or you combined several skills to make your items, or your designs have a recognisable style or brand to them. If you are still stuck in how to make your product stand out, spend some more time experimenting with materials, skills or other aspects to find a way to innovate the design.

2: Regularly add new items to your shop 
  • Buyers like choice - Depending on what you sell, a range of products in various colours, and sizes is a good place to start. Variation and choice is great, both in product and in price. New items listed once a week or once a month will not only bring in new customers but will bring happy existing customers back for more. 
  • Get found. Buyers are most likely to find your shop from an item listing — via Etsy search, treasuries etc. The more items you have, the more opportunities you have to be found and featured.
  • How many items? Try to at least fill 2 pages of listings, unless of course your item is extremely time-intensive, then a smaller selection is understandable. A shop with 10 or more pages of items can be daunting for buyers, so if you have a lot of listings be sure that your shop categories are well organised and your listings have clear and helpful tags so that they can be found easily.
  • Start with what you have. If you only have one item now, list it! Don’t wait to build up an inventory — consider adding more items and creating fresh merchandise an ongoing goal to work towards, not a prerequisite for getting started. Fresh items on a regular basis will keep buyers coming back to see what's new. 

3: Learn to Take Great Photos
  • Product Photography is EVERYTHING when selling online. Think about looking through a catalogue or magazine, there is a reason their photographs are beautiful - because these images are what sell the product. Well lit, bright, clear and detailed photographs are a MUST if you want to succeed on Etsy.
  • How clickable are you? Do an Etsy search for your item, and look at the other items on the page. Does your photo stand out and make you want to click it? Which do? What can you learn from them?
  • Help your buyers see all angles of your item. Your buyer can’t touch or hold your item. Therefore, your photos must tell them all about it. Think about any time you are in a store and you like an item you see, you instantly reach out and tough it, turn it over and examine the details. Make sure your photographs take your buyers through a journey like this. How big is it? What is the texture? If it’s wearable, what does it look like on? What are the important details? What does the back look like? Showing these in the photos will give your buyer the info they need to make the purchase.
  • Photographing small items? Check out this blog post tutorial on getting the most out of your photographs.

4: Get Found in Search
  • Search suggestions. Find out what buyers are searching for by typing what you sell in the search bar with Handmade, Vintage, or Supplies selected. The terms that appear after your word are recent customer search terms. For example if you search for "jewelry" Etsy suggests : jewelry box, jewelry organizer, belly button jewelry, wedding jewelry etc... if your jewelery could be for weddings also, make sure to add this word to your listings tags.
  • Improve your chances. Use all of your tag spaces with good keywords and phrases that buyers are likely to search for. Add plenty of accurate, descriptive words in your titles. Tagging is an art form and takes practice. Use your seller statistics to see which of your item title and tag words are used often and which are not. Keep on the pulse of what is popular to search for on Etsy to improve your chances to be found.

5: Do Your Research

  • Read everything you can. There are so many resources out there already for Etsy sellers. Advice on anything and everything to do with running your online shop. There are tutorials on photography, setting up your policies and how to budget properly in the beginning.
  • Take it one step at a time. Opening an Etsy shop can feel like a daunting task, so just take one step at a time as you build up inventory and get your shop looking great. It's an ongoing process even for long-running businesses there. Those that don't update and change quickly lose their edge and their sales. See the work as an ongoing process and you are many steps along the way towards success.

One last thing: Ship Internationally
  • Sell all over the world. Etsy is an international community, we sell to customers from all over the world. so don't confine your customers to only one small part of it. Working out the shipping costs for other contries can be a long and tiring job, but it is really worth doing!
  • Get found by more people. In order to appear in searches made by people in other countries, your item must ship to that country (this includes the destination “Everywhere Else”).


  1. More great tips, Anna. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Thanks for sharing the tips. I have been thinking about giving this a try.

  3. Very informative. Thanks :)

    Benedetta crafty

  4. I have bought products from House of Mouse and they are absolutely amazing!! Great tips too


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