How to sell on Etsy: Tips to Succeed
Congratulations! You’ve opened your Etsy shop.
You’ve taken a big step towards success.
But, if you read our article on opening an Etsy shop, you’re aware that starting one is the easy part. The key question is not how to open an Etsy shop, but “how to sell on Etsy?”.
Now, we’re going to guide you on how to sell on Etsy. The tips below will help you succeed as an online entrepreneur. They have been tried and tested by many entrepreneurs, but now it’s your turn to try them out.
Many of these tips are not only applicable to Etsy. This article can also be your guide for other online selling sites.
20 Tips To Sell on Etsy
1. Focus on Your Target Market
In 2018, there were 39.4 Million active Etsy buyers. But, not all of them are your prospects. Your product or products will cater to a specific audience. You know who they are. Your branding, production, item description, marketing, and even packaging should stay focused on them.
Your target market may expand. There may be groups of people you never considered to be potential customers but end up buying from you. When this happens, tweak your marketing efforts with them in mind.
2. Create a Distinct Brand
Your brand isn’t just your name or logo. It’s the sum total of all the features of your business. It’s how you will be perceived and defined by your market. How do you want your business to be known and remembered? Creative, friendly, professional, reliable, trustworthy and practical are some qualities you may consider. Incorporate these in your items, shop and how you serve your customers.
3. Use Words that Best Describe Your Uniqueness
Other Etsy shops are likely offering the same type of product you are selling. Home in on the attributes that set your items apart. For instance, if you are selling handmade pet collars that are safe for animals, why not add “nontoxic” or “pet-friendly” to your product title? If your item is made from natural materials, add the words “all-natural.”
You’re not just selling items. You’re also offering additional benefits people get when they purchase your products. So, if you were searching for the items you are selling, what are the keywords you will use? You have to include these in your title or description.
4. Post Excellent Photos
This is one of the keys to your success. Every guide on how to sell on Etsy includes this tip. If your photos aren’t attractive enough, customers won’t bother to read your product description.
We suggest that you take photos of your products with a DSLR or digital camera. These should be your first options for taking pictures. Ask someone skilled in photography to assist you. Don’t rely on your smartphone. – They can take decent pictures, not great ones.
5. Dress up Your Shop
There are many tools on Etsy that can make your shop distinct from others. You can create a shop icon and banner on Etsy. Use customization options that can turn static photos into a collage or rotate images on a continuous loop. Be creative when selecting fonts and colors to spice up your shop. Be consistent with your choices though. And always add links to your products or special promotions.
6. Compete on Value and Not Price
If you can set your items apart from others sold on Etsy, compete on value. Offering the lowest price will not make your business successful. On the contrary, more people are becoming wary of items that are priced lower than those sold by others. Your main selling points should be the quality of your products and your shop’s service. Those who know how to sell on Etsy echo this.
7. Ask for Feedback from Family, Friends, and Customers
You can be your own critic but also ask family members or friends to visit your Etsy shop. They may have suggestions on how to improve your shop. Also, invite your customers to leave comments. They are also a source of new or fresh ideas.
8. Respond to All Communication from Customers
Thank customers who give both positive and negative feedback. Personalize your replies. Don’t use a generic or pre-formatted response. Make each customer feel they are being addressed as distinct individuals. If someone airs dissatisfaction with your item, offer a replacement or a refund.
9. Use Social Media
Etsy is a great platform, but it doesn’t mean you rely on it alone. Use your Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. to advertise your Etsy shop. Don’t be shy to ask people to spread the word on their social media accounts too. It would be great if you can share photos of yourself or others using your products. Remember to always provide links to your shop.
10. Create Your Own Website or Blog
Do you want more online exposure for your products? Create your website or blog. There are many DIY tutorials for these. You don’t have to be tech-savvy. You will find website builders that are beginner-friendly.
When you have a website or a blog, you have complete control and more space to add more pictures and information. You can provide links to Etsy and vice versa to drive traffic. And yes, maintaining a website or blog can be cheap.
11. Make Your Packaging Stand Out
It may not be enough to package your products professionally. Stand out with your packaging! If you use custom-made boxes, it won’t cost much if you have your name or logo printed on them. If you want to be known as eco-friendly, purchase boxes and wrapping paper made from recycled materials. Use your creativity even with simple tasks.
12. Include a Thank-you Note and Your Business Card
This is one how-to-sell-on-Etsy tip you simply have to follow. Including a note of thanks inside your packaging will show customers your appreciation. Sign at the bottom of each and if possible, write a personal message. If you print your thank you cards, include your business information such as your e-mail address, contact numbers, and website details. Otherwise, attach your business card to your thank-you note.
13. Add an Additional Gift or Discount Card
Another way of saying thank you to your customers is to add a free item or a discount coupon for future purchases. It’s your call if you will inform them beforehand they will receive these if they purchase your products. Surprising them with freebies when they open their package can work well too.
14. Have Enough Inventory
The last thing you want is to have a low inventory when you receive a large order. It is always wise to be prepared by having enough products and supplies. Is money is an issue for you at this moment to keep a well-stock inventory, you can consider inventory financing.
15. Take Advantage of Free Shipping Boxes Offered by USPS and Others
One way to succeed in any online business is to cut shipping costs. If you are going to ship via USPS, visit their website. You will find free envelopes and boxes in many sizes which you can order in bulk at no charge. It’s better if you can go to your local Postal Service to see firsthand what’s available to you.
16. Establish a Packaging and Shipping Routine
Customers want their items delivered promptly. You can save time by setting up a procedure for packaging and shipping. Assign a workplace and create a workflow. Also, designate a time each day for packaging. This helps you to focus on this task alone.
Stock enough shipping supplies. If you prefer USPS, keep in mind, there are various boxes and envelopes for each mail service type (Priority Mail, Priority Express, Flat Rate, and International). Prepare pre-cut wrapping paper and if needed, bubble wrap or equivalent.
17. Take Advantage of Etsy Shipping’s Features
Do you want to save up to 30% on shipping costs? With Etsy shipping, you can print labels for use with USPS, FedEx and Canada Post. You can print a label in seconds after you order one. Also, once a label is purchased, an order is marked as shipped. If you take this route, have enough paper with an adhesive side.
On Etsy, you can offer faster shipping options. Give your customers the choice of having their orders delivered in the shortest time possible. In your Etsy account, click “Shop Manager”. Then click “Settings”. Click “Shipping Settings”, then “Rates & Upgrades”. Finally, enable “Shipping Upgrades”.
18. Consider Dropshipping
If you do not have enough room for inventory or are not the manufacturer of your items, dropshipping is an option. Once you get an order, you can forward it to your manufacturer or your business partner. They will be responsible for packaging and shipping received orders. Dropshipping is a time-saver but can also lead to higher prices.
19. Offer Special Sales Promotions
Like any physical shop, offer special deals during Holidays and other occasions. You can make announcements about sales in your shop. On Etsy, you can set up discounts on some or all your items. Before the major holidays, you can encourage customers with freebies or even free-shipping if they order early.
20. Read Etsy’s Forums
Etsy has a supportive seller community. Aside from more tips on how to sell on Etsy, you will find many topics relevant to you. Many sellers are willing to share their experiences and would gladly give advice. Don’t hesitate to ask them.
COVID-19, the New Normal, and Etsy Stores
The coronavirus pandemic has forced millions of stores in the country to close, leaving consumers to scramble for alternatives for their everyday shopping.
Fortunately, we have the internet, and all buyers have migrated online: from buying groceries, electronics, clothing, household essentials… well, everything, really. This, of course, is great news for everyone that has an online store, as this change might become part of the new normal: people who didn’t use to but online are now understanding all its benefits and how safe it is.
In short, in the new normal, people will buy more online. And this could help your Etsy store.
Of course, the pandemic also brought many problems with it. Because we all have to stay at home, many have lost their jobs. This translates as less spending money, and less buying of non-essentials: most Etsy sellers don’t sell what could be considered as essential. Also, you, in turn, might not have enough money to buy supplies for your products.
Quite the conundrum.
But this doesn’t mean you cannot succeed. This may be a rough patch, but all rough patches end, and you need to be prepared for when shopping starts going back to normal. The key is to prepare beforehand instead of reacting when things start stabilizing.
Your Etsy Store Will Be Successful
Follow these tips on how to sell on Etsy and you’ll find yourself on the right path to success.
In time, you can expand to other eCommerce alternatives. Once you get a better feel of how to sell online, consider other sites like Handmade at Amazon, Artfire, IndieMade, and Shopify. Your options are endless!
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