Wednesday, April 27, 2011

How do I Etsy?

So tomorrow I am talking to some great gals about "how to Etsy" - from shopping and finding what you are looking for, to how to set up your shop.  I am looking forward to it and thought I'd also post it to my blog, just in case anyone was curious!

My Etsy Shop - What is it?

I started my Etsy shop in the fall of 2010, but have had an Etsy account since 2008.  I love the idea of having a community of creative folks being able to sell their wares with no store overhead! Great concept with wonderful results!  I started out thinking I would create cards and list those for sale, after a few "mistakes" (had too many cut too many shapes on my Cricut/Slice than intended), I decided to list those as well - afterall, it was only 20 cents!

Currently, my Etsy shop has a few cards, some envelopes and mini cards and lots of journaling spots that have been used for everything from journaling in scrapbooks, wedding table numbers, and invitations (in a much larger size).  A lot of my work is coming from outside the US, with Australia and New Zealand leading the pack!  I get a ton of custom orders and love those as well!  Here are a few pictures of the custom orders, nothing too difficult as you can see, but the client ended up with something uniquely theirs!

These were for a couple's first Christmas as a married couple - I love working on these!

Recipe cards that were a bit difficult to create, but loved how they turned out

These were created for a baby shower to use as confetti

The Oh so Popular kraft paper tags....I do more of these than I can keep track of!

Tips I Have Learned

1.  Don't shortchange yourself - you have worked hard to create the item (no matter how simple it appears) and make sure you are accounting for all your supplies and time.  If you have a question about how to price something, check out other similar listings and see how they are pricing the item.

2.  On the flip side, don't overprice your items!  If you are doing a project that takes very little in the way of materials, not a lot of time or creativity, and won't require too much effort - set your price accordingly!  Etsy is not a get rich quick scheme, you need to be doing something you enjoy and have that reflected in your pricing!

3.  Shipping - if you have an item that is relatively inexpensive to ship (my rule is under $1), then consider making the shipping absolutely free.  That's right, I said it, FREE!  No one wants to pay $2.00 for an item and $3.00 for shipping - they will most likely look for another similar item with more reasonable shipping.  Adjust your price a little to account for shipping charges, and be sure to add an international shipping rate - you only have to forget this once (or three times) to learn!  I know I sure did!

4. Social Media - if you don't have a Twitter account, consider setting one up and linking it to your store.    You will attract followers from all over the country and the world! Use it to promote your items, your coupons and your blog! I have found that Facebook isn't as effective for me, but I think that has more to do with me not having the time to do a second Facebook account for my Etsy shop...all my friends know what I do and where to find me :)

5.  Etsy Showcases - Have you wondered if the $7.00 fee for a showcase is worth it?  I can solidly say that each one I have participated in, I have made that $7.00 back and more!  One showcase landed me a $120 custom order!  I will definitely do it again!  Make sure you have your shop current with new items, have all your prices where you want them, and get ready to watch as more people view your shop that may have never found it otherwise.

6.  Tagging Items - This is the only way you have to direct people to your items - you need to make it count!  Make sure you are listing the items in the proper category and utilize the Etsy drop down suggestions - they are there for a reason (they work!).  After you have used the 3 drop downs, think about how you would look for that item if YOU were the one shopping for it - use the most natural language you can.  You can use more than one word as a tag, so be descriptive.

7. Have fun - If you enjoy what you are doing, it will show!  I have had several repeat customers, one gal that I have actually gotten to be friends with over the course of lots of emails!  It's meant to be a collective community and make sure you join some of the teams, add to your favorites and check the Etsy blog - it's full of information and great tips!

Happy Etsying - it's worth it!

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