Thursday, June 3, 2010

this is me thinking out loud

Now this post is a work in progress. I have had these helpful tips for starting out on Etsy rattling around in my head for a while now, and recently shared them with a couple of people new to selling on Etsy. I called them my Eight Etsy P's, for fairly obvious reasons! To get the ball rolling I thought I'd post them as is for now, and work on polishing them up as I find the time.

Things to consider before starting up a shop on Etsy:
  1. Product, haha, of course, but really just 21 items fills a page, and one page is a good starting point. Then you want to aim at adding or relisting an item per day, to start with.
  2. Photos - take the time to get these right. Use all five slots if you can, no less than four. Develop a system so shooting new product is relatively easy. Crop your pics to a ratio of 155x125, especially for your first pic. Try to have two or three pics that you can swap around as your 'first pic'. Show the scale of the item. If you can't fill all five slots (and I need to do this myself...) use one slot to show off your packaging.
  3. Packaging! Including business cards, how will you say 'thank you' (ie, write it at bottom of packing slip, buy some plain gift tags in bulk and write it on there, etc etc), will you offer 'gift wrap' as all inclusive? What will it be? Don't rely on customers letting you know if it's a gift or not, some will, some won't. Just decide what you will do and go with it.
  4. Postage. have this nailed so you know what to be charging when you do your first listing.
  5. Profile - fill out the profile page of your shop - something i'm bad at, but people like to know there is a person behind the shop.
  6. Policies - Check out what other big busy shops say here, there are a lot of things to consider.
  7. Payment - how will people be able to pay you? decide and then stick to your guns. Make it clear in your policies and/or listings what their options are. This way if someone buys your item then wants to send you a jar of pennies you can refer them to your Policies page where you state what their payment options are. If they don't want to pay that way, that's fine, you can cancel the sale if needs be.
  8. Promotion - how are you going to promote yourself once you start listing things? there's lots of great ideas out there, but double check them to make sure they are legit! I'm not great at promotion at all, but if I ever get the time there have been so many good threads in the forums to go back and read!
Now I'm not saying I've got these 8 points nailed, when I started I had a list of only 4 P's, the first four. There will always be room for improvement. But I thought they were useful points for consideration as a guide to what you may need to get started on Etsy, or other online selling venues. I'm also missing some important points too I think - SEO (search engine optimization) being one of them! Anyway I hope this develops into a useful set of tips for anyone new to Etsy or considering starting an Etsy shop!

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