Tips and Tricks for Starting an Etsy Business from Sellers
It’s old news at this point that the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuing job losses have caused so many people to take a closer look at their skills and what they * really * want to do and seek. ways to become their own bosses. And with sites like Etsy, it’s easier than ever for artists, craftspeople, and creators to turn vision into profit. Think about it: this is a central location where new small business owners can sell their products without having to worry about setting up their own websites and dealing with all kinds of tax, shipping, and sales issues involved. arise.
Interested? “Okay, we’ve brought in several Etsy sellers to share their winnings and mistakes to help you start your own Etsy business.
(1) Take it slow
Now first: Etsy might not be the easy money some creators are hoping for because they charge a fee for what you sell, but on the upside, they give you hard-to-reach global exposure with your own website or through social media. Tabitha Bianca Brown, who created beautiful illustrations and portraits for his shop The Pairabirds for over a decade, has she own website, but recommend using Etsy for foot traffic. “Etsy is a big company that can afford huge advertising campaigns to bring buyers to the website,” she says. “With my own site, I personally have to advertise more. “
“The mistake I made was the one a lot of salespeople make: Thinking that success is instantaneous,” says Brown. “Just like a physical store, you need to build up your inventory. You wouldn’t visit a store in the mall that only had one shirt sitting on a shelf. The more inventory you have, the more likely people are to come across your products while browsing Etsy.
“See your store as a customer would,” says May Solorzano, a mexican artist who makes contemporary jewelry and had it eponymous shop since 2011. “As if you are interested in buying something, this way you can see where information is missing. When Solorzano started she didn’t know much about shipping costs or the time it takes and was initially unclear about return policies. For those starting a store, she says, the best thing to do is take a step back and gain a new perspective.
Kimberly Scott Drayton, sells its unique cups as Never Bare Designs on Etsy since January of this year. She’s been making tumblers for about two years, since she saw one at a friend’s house, and before opening her Etsy store, she mainly sold in local Facebook groups. For her, the establishment of the lists was an initial obstacle. “I wasn’t using applicable keywords where people searched and found my stuff,” she says. Scott-Drayton makes her products to order and has recently put together a custom order list to meet the inquiries she receives and has found it to make life a lot easier for her customers and help her close sales.
“We could have spent a little more time in the beginning making sure that what we were doing was profitable,” says Scott and Zach Artice, the couple often known for their drag characters Minnie and Tink, who direct Minnie and Tinkababs and sell resin creations like Disney-themed Pop Sockets. They opened their store in the midst of the pandemic in August 2020 and suggest taking the time to figure out costs and prices is essential. “Sometimes we were so excited about what we were doing that we didn’t check to see if we were actually going to make the money,” they explain. “So our profit margins ended up being pretty bad at first! We have since found more cost effective ways of doing things.
Dan Richardson, the artist behind Chubblegum, a kawaii-style sticker shop, started his business in February 2020. He had tried running multiple Etsy shops on and off since 2009 and often found it easier to sell his variety of art products in person than online. . But this time he was much more successful. He credits this to luck, but he also invested heavily in Etsy advertising and started making sales before he was even fully prepared. “This time, I didn’t even wait. I had eight stickers and five coloring pages and I was like, let’s go, ”says Richardson. “I dived blindly. I’m so happy I did this and believed in what I had. Once it started getting good reviews and the Etsy algorithm could see it was delivering its products on time, it was able to reduce its advertising costs.
(2) Find your niche
Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in advertising, the key can really be finding a way to make your store stand out from the crowd. “I primarily sell artwork featuring black women and girls,” says Brown. “What sets my products apart is the subject. It can be difficult to find bright and colorful works of art depicting happy, carefree, enjoying nature black women and girls. I make sure my products showcase this joy.
“Everyone makes cups, but I don’t really look at what other people are doing,” says Scott-Drayton. “I try to give things my own touch and make them really unique and different but still usable.”
Solorzano confirms: “I’m not really looking for other similar stores. I try to be honest with my products and their history, how I designed them ”,
(3) Invest in good lighting and gifts
“Take good photos! We really love what we make and think it shows in the design of our products and the photos we use for the listings, ”says Artice. “And offering free national shipping can be a plus for buyers. larger order, bite the bullet and pay for priority shipping or insurance. Things can get lost in the mail and this is devastating for your customer and your business.
Remember to offer worldwide shipping if possible, too. “It’s a great tool for selling all over the world,” Solorzano adds. “It’s wonderful to be in direct contact with customers. It’s not like a store where you just have orders to fill and you have no idea where it’s going to end.
(4) Ask for help
Make sure you have a partner or sounding board that can help balance things out if the business side gets overwhelming, says Richardson. For him, he relies on his wife. “I’m overwhelmed because not only do I have a creative mind, but I also have a mental illness, and that’s a big priority in my store,” he admits. “I look at things and I’m instantly overwhelmed, then I stop. My wife is there to say, ‘Dan, we have their money. You have to do this. There are no excuses. Get up and go. ”
(5) TikTok = your marketing team
While Etsy ads and great photos can help a lot with Etsy’s algorithm, sales will only happen if you do a little bit of marketing, and for many artists they turn to social media, in particular. TikTok. The free platform gives them a voice, and once they get an audience, their new product launches can be more successful. “We are also using social media strategically to help accelerate word of mouth,” say the Artices, who can be found on TikTok and Instagram at @MinnieAndTink. “Creating interesting videos that show the process and the end result can be fun for people. ”
Richardson also uses his TikTok account to find out what his buyers really want to buy. He currently has over 200 members in his monthly sticker club and regularly polls his subscribers. He also uses his platform @Chubblegum to help other small businesses with advice, on how to make products and navigate Etsy’s tough rules and algorithms, and he’s even run a series of Craft Wars to help boost other small ones companies.
Scott-Drayton uses his TikTok (@NeverNakedDesigns) to showcase all the new products she is working on. But when her popular giraffe mug suddenly registered over 40 sales, she wasn’t ready. “I was fairly new to Etsy and was learning Etsy, and since I had one, I put the shipment as ready to ship within one to two weeks,” he explains. it. “So for orders in their 40s, it was stated that they would ship in 1-2 weeks, which is insane. There were so many sleepless nights because I wasn’t going to go back and tell people that I had made a mistake. It was my mistake. I owned it and got them all out in two weeks. It was a lesson, definitely.
(6) Two words: Time! Management!
The downside of being your own boss is, well, you are in charge of photos, posting ads, shipping, social media management, and product manufacturing. Juggling can be tricky. “Time management has been huge for me,” admits Scott-Drayton. “I have to write things down and Etsy is perfect for that because it gives me due dates.”
When you start out, choose a small goal. “My goal was to make $ 50 a month, pay myself to find other little hobbies, and keep making stickers and so on,” says Richardson. “In my eyes. I have succeeded beyond what I could have imagined, so for me, I am 100% successful.
(7) And finally, don’t let a bad review derail you
“Don’t let criticism get to you or deter you,” Artice adds. “There is always something to learn and ways to improve! Happy selling!
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