I wanted to put together this post to give some ideas on how thinking "outside the box" helped me with sales on Etsy.
Today I had my 2,000 sale in just under a year and a half of selling on Etsy!
I sell on Etsy full time and am able to stay home and take care of my 5 year old (finally off to kindergarten. yeay!) and 13 month old daughter. I am able to pay my house payment off of what I earn online and really am excited to share what I've learned with you.
First of all - Don't get consumed with your Etsy business! When I first opened my shop I was constantly checking if I had any sales. I'm not kidding - I checked like every 10 minutes. It was driving me crazy! Then after I had my first sale - there was no going back to "Saneville" - I started checking like every 5 minutes. I was worried that if I sold something and didn't relist it right away I would miss another potential sale.
After a while I had to cut myself off and now I check 3 or 4 times a day.
If you hang out in the forums on Etsy - I would also suggest giving yourself a time limit to stay in there. One night I started chatting and posting comments with others and before I knew it two hours had passed and I couldn't figure out if I had been abducted by aliens or if I really had spent that much time in the forums and couldn't really remember anything helpful I had just talked about with others... yep, I had pretty much spent 2 hours on a Etc. thread titled something like "What's your favorite 80's tune". Hehe!
Don't get me wrong - the forums are a great way to promote and show your shop around other Etsy sellers, but now I try to stick with topics that will somehow help my shop's business or give advice to other's who ask for help or another opinion on something.
If your sales are slow or if you still don't have any, I know it's easy to get a little depressed about it. Keep this in mind - EVEN IF YOUR SHOP DOESN'T GET A SALE FOR THE DAY - SOMEONE MIGHT BE LOOKING AND IT COULD POSITIVELY IMPACT YOUR BUSINESS/LIFE!
It happened to me -
I had been invited to participate as one of twelve local Minneapolis artists to showcase my jewelry at the Walker Art Center this last Spring. If you're not familiar with the Walker Art Center - here's a little of what Wikipedia says about this major museum:
"The Walker Art Center is a contemporary art center in Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States. The Walker is considered one of the nation's "big five" museums for modern art along with the Museum of Modern Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum and the Hirshhorn..."
The Walker found me here on Etsy and that's how I got the invitation after they saw my shop. They didn't buy anything. Read that again - THEY DIDN'T BUY ANYTHING - in fact, I didn't sell anything on Etsy that day.
The showcase went so well they placed a large wholesale order with me and
now I'm able to say my jewelry is now available at a major museum! All because of Etsy!
So if you are feeling a little down or sad - just remember success CAN be found on Etsy and it CAN happen to you too. You just never know!
If you are brand-new to Etsy and have little or no feedback, consider making a few small purchases from other Etsy sellers to get some positive feedback. Many buyers are wary of buying from brand-new sellers especially if they do not have feedback.
Etsy's forums are a wonderful place to get opinions! Other sellers are great helpers and very open to give opinions. But remember they are just that - opinions - on prices, shop appearances, questions, etc.
I post quite regularly on the forums to get advice from other sellers and take all opinions seriously, BUT the key is - I don't take other's opinions as a RULE.
Please remember that some opinions may sound harsh but hopefully they are constructive - and don't take it personally!
I had been told to get a better banner. I took an honest look at my shop and realized my banner DID suck! So I took a stab at making a new one and now I get many compliments on my banner and shop appearance. I just googled "Make Etsy Banner" and there was a TON of help out there that explained how to do it easily.
On the other hand, I was told to change my prices that end in .99 to a whole dollar amount like most on Etsy do. I immediately did it to fit in with all the other Etsyers who told me it was more "classy" and less "ebayish". My sales immediately dropped. Boo! I switched back and my sales picked up again. Weird, huh? Now I have both $.99 endings and $.00 endings in my shop. I really think the $.99 ending sometimes stick out from all the other listings in a category and the price (visually different from everyone else's) catches buyers attention. I don't think it's fooling a buyer that $9.99 is cheaper than $10.00 or anything like that - I think the $.99 ending looks so different and the listing sticks out from all the others.
This is the most important tip I have. Ready?
Offer free shipping. It DOES make a difference. Huge. My sales soared as soon as I offered free shipping. It's a marketing strategy that works. One woman contacted me and told me how she had a vase for $20 plus $10 shipping and it sat in her shop forever. She changed the price to $30 with "free shipping" and it sold in two days. It's a change of marketing and the buyer ended up paying the same in the end. You pay a little more in fees with the shipping included in the price - but it's worth it for the sales.
The key is to write "free shipping" in your title. If you look in my shop you will see that all of my titles have "free shipping" in them - not just in the tags. That way when buyers do a search for "free shipping" the listings with "free shipping" in the TITLES come up before the listings that have just "free shipping" tags.
Think about offering International Shipping. Many people from different countries (Canada especially) shop on Etsy. You may be surprised at how inexpensive it is to ship internationally for lightweight items. Canada actually costs me LESS to ship to from Minneapolis than US shipments. I don’t know why, but I’m not complaining! I have TONS of Canadian customers. Of course this is for smaller, lighter items so if you sell heavier or large items it may not be totally worth your while.
Tags: This is THE way customers find you through a search on Etsy, and a way that fellow Etsians find your products to potentially use in a treasury, so use up all 14 slots! I’m not sure of Etsy’s stats, but something like 70% of people who shop on the internet go STRAIGHT to the search. Because of that, you want to make sure your tags are up to par. Use descriptive colors, sizes, and even other words to describe the same thing (i.e. “shirt” “top” “blouse” as an example). Don’t forget to add common misspellings, and if you run out of ideas, your name, your shop name and your location are good fillers. If you sell jewelry don’t forget that USA spells jewelry “jewelry” - the rest of the world spells it “jewellery”. Try to include both in your tags.
I've read many times for people telling others to split up their shop into multiple shops due to different kinds of items for sale.
I do the exact opposite. I keep adding things to my shop - and don't split it up! The more stuff - the more people stay and poke around and fall in love with your shop! All the exact "same" thing in one shop can get boring an unmemorable.
My art prints and Peace Crane Greetings are totally different than my jewelry, but so many people have added one onto their jewelry purchase - if I had split up my stuff into 2 shops I wouldn't have as many sales - ya know what I mean?
Here are some great tools you can use:
www.craftcult.com - this lets you kind of spy on your shop and find out who hearts what, etc.
etsy.ppcalc.com/ - this is a calculator that helps you figure out exactly what you'll make off a sale. My favorite tool! They also have one for Ebay on that site.
craftopolis.com - You can check here to see if you're in a treasury or gift guide. This doesn't always get the info right - but it's still fun!
www.picnik.com - this is a site that lets you edit pics for free. VERY COOL!
www.downdoggy.com/etsy - I bought my domain name (www.uniqueartpendants.com) from here and had it forwarded to my Etsy shop. It only cost around $25 for two years.
www.whostalkin.com/ - This place will tell you if any social media sites are talking about your shop.
I want to wish you all the best of luck with sales and success! I wish I could answer all of your personal questions - unfortunately there isn't enough hours in the day already for me. If you have any questions feel free to post them in the forum and people will answer ASAP.
I hope some of these ideas and things that have worked for me will help you too! Feel free to reply with any tips or things that have worked for you! Don't forget to write a reply to this (called a bump) so this will go back to the top and other's will see this too.
Unique Art Pendants