NEWBIES ~ Here's a few Etsy tips for you

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Original Post

Hi there. I just gave a few tips to a newbie seller (JannaDesigns, she makes handbags--you could go check her out) and I've started helping my sister-in-law prep for opening her own etsy store. Since I had these tips handy, I thought I'd go ahead and share them here on the forum boards, in case they'd be helpful to other newbies as well. There's so much more than just this of course, and I'm no expert, but I found that every little bit of info that others gave me helped when I was starting out.

So, here are a few tips about etsy:
* Each time you list an item, it screens across the bottom of the etsy homepage, and it also appears in the "time machine" functions. It also raises you to the top of the category list in whatever top-level category you've chosen for your item (which a viewer sees when she or he chooses that category under the the "sell" page). For these reasons, it's best to space out your listings instead of posting them all at once when they're ready. Posting once or twice a day if you can is great. Of course, when you're first setting up shop you need to post more frequently than you would normally, but once you have at least enough items to spill onto a second page you can slow down.

* Even if you make multiples of a certain design you may not want to list more than one in stock. Then, if your item sells you can just go to your sold items and hit "relist" (it's up at the top) and your item will get all the same exposure as if it were brand new. However, if you have a design you think you can sell a lot of and you want to promote it somewhere else with a link to that item in your store, then you might just want to go ahead and list more than one so that a potential customer won't be frustrated by following a link to an item that's already sold.

* If you need to temporarily take an item out of your store, don't delete it--just put it in "edit" mode. To do this, go to your list of current items, select "edit," and then just close the window or click to some other link. To get back to your item, select "inactive items." This trick is very handy if you want to bring pieces to a show.

* Hearting--this is what etsians call it when you add someone as a favorite seller (at the bottom right of a storefront page or an item listing page there's a link to do this). It's useful to heart a lot of people, especially when you're first starting out. This is one way that people will sometimes find your shop--they'll see that you hearted them and they'll go visit out of curiosity. Also, it's fun, and a nice thing to do. You can heart items, too, which is really useful for finding things you might want to buy later on. FYI, when an item sells and is then relisted, hearts and view counts do not carry over when it reappears.

* Go to the "Promotions and Critiques" section of the Forums, introduce yourself, and ask for a critique of your store. Don't worry, people are friendly.

* If you have a mailing list, email those on it about the launching of your new online store, and include a link to it using the format If you don't yet have a mailing list, email your friends and family and ask them to pass the email on to others who may be interested.

* Read more about selling on etsy and suggestions for marketing at the ETSY WIKI site:

Good luck!
-Natalie (CavanaghCraft)

Here's a helpful little description of WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU MAKE YOUR FIRST SALE, from a post that veteran etsian seller stellaloella listed on the forums some time back. I've edited it very slightly to take out some stuff that pertained to the pre-V2 version of etsy.

Transaction basics, from stellaloella:
1. BUYING: Buyer clicks 'Buy Now' and completes the transaction. NOTE: It is recommended by most sellers that you buy something yourself so you experience the process firsthand.

2. COMMUNICATION: You and the buyer both get an email notice from Etsy of the transaction. This has all the info you need, including the buyer's email and shipping address. These details are NOT on Etsy, so the email is very important. Usually at this point I send the buyer a convo or email to thank them for their purchase and let them know I am aware of the order.

3a. PAYMENT (PayPal): If the buyer chose to pay via PayPal, hopefully they clicked the 'Pay Now' link on the second page of the transaction and paid immediately. If not, you may need to politely remind them that you won't ship the item until you are paid. You will get an email from PayPal as a receipt. Verify the info matches the Etsy email (address). ALWAYS wait for payment before shipping. [Note--there's more info about using PayPal on the etsy wiki. -Nat]

3b. PAYMENT (check/money order): If the buyer chose to pay by check or money order, they will have to send it to you in the mail. WAIT for the check/m.o. to clear with your bank before proceeding! ALWAYS wait for payment before shipping.

4. SHIPPING: Get the item packed and shipped. At this point, I make sure I contact the buyer to let them know the item is on its way.

5. FEEDBACK: you can choose to leave feedback for your buyer right away, but I personally recommend waiting until you know they have the item and are satisfied with it. Sometimes they send a convo, but usually I just wait until they have left feedback for me.

Posted at 12:47pm Jan 16, 2007 EST


very nice and thorough! great tips!

Posted at 12:53pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

22Wishes avatar
22Wishes says

VERY helpful Thanks!

Posted at 12:55pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

PearlyGrey says

Thank you for the info...I am not that new, but I got some great tricks and ideas!

Posted at 12:55pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

Thanks, CavanaghCraft! Your points are extremely helpful. I'm definitely going to put those pointers to use.

I consider myself a newbie having been here barely a month, but I thought I'd add that I've also noticed that a picture really does say a thousand words. It's worth the trouble to post more than a single picture - and I mean decent pictures that show the product details. It's pretty cool that Etsy allows up to 5 pics so we should take advantage of it!

Posted at 12:59pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

Sure, I like to share... when I was first started I sometimes felt like I was playing a video game or something, trying to figure everything out...

Posted at 12:59pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

9stitches says

Thanks for the great tips! I'm a newbie who sold my first item today!!!

Posted at 1:01pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

budanART says

Yes, very helpful tips.

Congratulations 9!

Also don't forget to check the bottom of your email when you sell something, or the bottom of your etsy order details for the 'note from buyer'. This is optional, but sometimes buyers leave and message and its easy to miss them :-)


Posted at 1:04pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

liasaun1 says

These are some great tips! I'm still techincally new (only a month!) so these are very helpful.

Posted at 1:06pm Jan 16, 2007 EST

beesocks says

Great list! Those are very helpful tips. The only thing I would add is that the buyer's address and info will show up for you if you click on your 'orders(sold items)' link on the left side of the 'your etsy' page, and then click the 'details' link next to each sold item. You will find their address and email on a receipt page.

Posted at 1:09pm Jan 16, 2007 EST