Etsy has long been the premier online store for discovering unique, inventive, and aesthetically pleasing handmade and antique goods. Etsy held its first public offering on April 16, 2015, collecting $267 million in investment and opening the door for even more buyers, sellers, and aspiring business owners to turn their ideas into income.
Etsy, headquartered in the New York borough of Brooklyn, has found a nice little niche on the World Wide Web. The site boasts around $2 billion in gross annual sales, thanks to its nearly 20 million active buyers and more than one million merchants located all over the world.
Imagine the number of people selling their goods and the sums of money involved. However, many Etsy merchants are able to earn enough money to support themselves solely from their online sales. Most users, however, will find that contributing to the site is a great opportunity to earn some extra money while doing something they enjoy.
In 2012, I decided to create my own Etsy shop, but after receiving no interest in the one painting I had posted, I promptly closed it. However, in 2014 I realized that my collection of ancient typewriters had grown to be too enormous, and sought assistance from Etsy.
I did some further market analysis and took another look around my shop. Having revised my policies, I rebranded as MahoganyRhino and began marketing and selling my typewriters. I’ve been making around a sale a week since then.
While my shop is by no means the most popular on Etsy, I have learned a great deal about how to run a successful business there. Etsy could be the perfect outlet for those who create handmade things, dream of running their own business from home or want to cultivate their inner entrepreneur.
Things You Can Market on Etsy
All sellers on Etsy have their own “store,” where they can post as many or as few things as they like for sale. Detailed product descriptions and accompanying images can be found on their respective “listing” pages.
Etsy shop owners are restricted from selling almost anything, in contrast to those on other online marketplaces like Amazon.com and eBay.
Although sellers on Etsy are restricted to offering only a select few types of products, these products nonetheless have wide enough appeal to draw in millions of customers. If a seller is found to be selling a restricted item, Etsy may remove the listing and/or close the shop.
You can sell the following on Etsy:
- Produced by Handmade Goods. Jewelry, paintings, textiles, and leather goods are just some of the handmade items that shop owners on Etsy are authorized to offer. You may sell anything you make on Etsy as long as you put some of your own imagination and creativity into it. You don’t have to make everything from scratch to meet the “handmade” criteria. You can use non-handmade components and the assistance of others. Indeed, you can even contract out the production of your goods.
- Kits and Baubles for the Creatively Inclined. You can also use Etsy to hawk the components that other crafters require to get their work finished. Commercially produced “ready to use” things are not allowed to be sold, although raw materials, machinery, and equipment are. To give you an example, you can sell equipment used by bookbinders to create unique works of literature, but you can’t sell mass-produced paperback books published by a publisher unless they are considered old.
- Products with a Long History of Use. Products that are made or ready to use may be sold on Etsy, but only if they are considered vintage. To qualify as vintage on
- On Etsy, an Item Must Be at Least 20 Years Old. Almost anything can be considered vintage, from clothing to office supplies to retro video games. Vintage goods must be at least 20 years old at the time of the seller’s listing, but they need not be handcrafted or even in working condition.
The Financial & Legal Aspects of Opening an Etsy Store
Anybody can open a shop on Etsy, and it doesn’t cost them anything. While the thought of opening a business may fill one with joy, prospective business owners should curb that enthusiasm by familiarizing themselves with the legal and financial requirements of doing so.
You should seek the counsel of professionals if you need help sorting through the myriad of legal and financial considerations involved. No online summary of a legal or financial topic can substitute actual advice and direction from someone with experience in the field.
Even though most people who sell on Etsy will operate as sole proprietorships or partnerships, it’s still in your best interest to know what legal structures are available to you.
Tax Breaks for Etsy Businesses
Making money from your Etsy business requires that you take into account any and all applicable taxes. It’s important to distinguish between revenue and profit when running a company. If you want your business to succeed, you must have a firm grasp of your income tax responsibilities.
Entrepreneurs can receive sizable tax benefits from both the federal government and individual states. This is a crucial concept for business owners to understand, along with credits and other incentives. Making this change can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
If you decide to start a business selling wooden trinkets, for instance, you can deduct the money you spend on equipment and supplies from your annual taxable income.
You can deduct the cost of things like going to the hardware store for supplies or taking a class to improve your skills, as well as the cost of setting up an office in your house to conduct business. You can get your tax questions answered by consulting a tax specialist, a small business consultant, or even a buddy who has their own firm.
What Kind of Business Is It?
You need to prove to the Internal Revenue Service that you are running a legitimate business, rather than just a person who wants to indulge a passion if you want to take advantage of the tax reductions available to small businesses.
In other words, what exactly is the distinction? While there is no hard and fast rule, the IRS does take into account a number of variables when reaching its decision.
- The Seeking of Profit. Do you put in the time and effort necessary to make your business lucrative, or do you pursue your passion without regard to cost because you enjoy it? Are you able to demonstrate that you turned a profit for a minimum of three of the last five years you were in business?
- Financial Reliance. Do you have to rely on the money you earn, or do you consider it extra spending money?
- The Costs of Getting Started. Did you spend more money in the beginning, when you were still trying to get things off the ground, and that’s why your business is displaying a loss instead of a profit? If you didn’t win, was it because of random chance or because you weren’t careful with your spending?
- Modifying and Bettering Existing Procedures. Have you made any adjustments to your company’s profit model, production procedures, or other elements in an effort to boost sales and revenue?
- Searching for Professional Opinion. Have you consulted with professionals or sought advice from persons who have expertise in the business world, the market, marketing, the law, and other factors that could affect your company?
- Experience. Have you worked in your field before, or run a business before? If yes, are you following the same procedures with your new company as you did with your old ones?
- Appreciation of Company Resources. Can you anticipate future asset appreciation that will allow your business to become profitable if it is not profitable now?
The good news is that you don’t have to fulfill all of the aforementioned criteria in order to be considered a business for tax purposes. Nonetheless, it is essential to maintain thorough documentation.
Keeping of Records
It’s important to develop a record-keeping routine before launching an Etsy store or creating your first product. One of the greatest methods to demonstrate to the IRS that you’re serious about your work is to keep detailed records of your activities as you go.
Keeping meticulous records of everything is your best chance because at first, you may not know what to prioritize and what to disregard. Receipts for company expenses can be neatly organized in an accordion folder.
If not, you can scan them into your computer. It’s crucial to keep track of business expenditures not only for tax considerations but also for sound financial management.
- Products for the Workplace. When buying anything for the office, be sure to hang onto your receipts. Pens, paper, printer ink, and anything else you need to run your business can be deducted as operating expenses.
- Tech Jargon for Programs and Computers. Deductible expenses include those incurred in the acquisition of new hardware, like a laptop or tablet computer, or in the licensing of specialized software used in the operation of your Etsy shop or business.
- Keep Track of Your Miles and Trips. Maintain a detailed accounting of corporate travel costs. In the absence of a dedicated work car, it is advisable to maintain a logbook in which you record the dates, times, and mileage of any business-related driving. Keep track of your travel receipts (airfare, lodging, meals, gas, cab fare, etc.) if your journey is more than a few days.
- Shipping. Do not lose track of your shipping expenses. Get a printout of your online postal purchase for your records. You should save your receipts for any and all shipping items you buy, including boxes, scales, packing materials, tape, etc.
- Costs Associated with Selling Items on Etsy. Etsy charges a fee for each successful sale and for each listing you create. You should record these, ideally using some sort of accounting program or a spreadsheet.
- Budgeting for a Website. Keep track of the money you spend on things like web hosting and design if you decide to launch a website apart from Etsy.
- Gifts. Any time you give a present to a business partner, advisor, or anybody else who helps your company succeed, make sure you get a receipt for it.
- Payment of Rent and Storage Charges. Costs associated with renting or storing space for your company might be written off as an operating expense.
- Household Workplace. If you run your business out of your house, you’ll need to determine how much room you dedicate to it there. Expenses associated with maintaining a residence can be partially deducted.
- Market and Expert Publications. You can write off the money you spend on memberships and publications related to your profession.
- Funds Paid in Order to Maintain Coverage. Preserve a record of your health insurance premium payments. When you pay for your own insurance as a sole proprietor, you can write it off on your taxes.
When launching a company, it’s important to demonstrate dedication and dedication to the success of the company. Maintain the same level of organization and meticulous record-keeping as you would with a traditional storefront when running an Etsy shop.
It may seem like the last thing you want to do when running your Etsy business is keep track of your money, expenses, time, and distance traveled. While many people who make or sell their own goods online don’t see themselves as accountants, they must pay attention to the numbers if they hope to turn a profit.
- Spreadsheet. Using a basic spreadsheet is the most efficient way to keep tabs on your company’s finances, stock levels, and other relevant data. If you don’t already have it installed, you can get Apache Open Office, which has all the features you need, for free.
- Individual Bank Accounts. Having a dedicated business bank account, or even just a small business credit card, may be a huge time-saver from an accounting standpoint. Having a separate company bank account from your personal one is a great approach to maintaining financial privacy and credibility as a business owner.
- Finance-related Programs. If you’d like to upgrade from using a spreadsheet to keeping track of your finances, you can choose from a variety of accounting software programs. When tax time rolls around, having used accounting software to keep track of your finances throughout the year will be a huge time saver.
- Accountants. A professional accountant or bookkeeper may become necessary as your company expands and evolves. If you have workers, a high volume of sales or expenses, or are otherwise finding the nitty-gritty of your business’s finances to be too much to handle, this is especially true for you. During tax season, accountants can be especially helpful.
Structures for Legal Businesses
Although you and your company are considered distinct entities for legal purposes, the degree to which this separation actually exists can vary greatly depending on the business structure you choose.
In the United States, a company can take the following forms, each with its own set of advantages and disadvantages under the law:
- Self-Owned and Operated by One Person. Most Etsy sellers, whether or not they realize it, are operating as sole proprietorships, one of the two default company structures. Your company will be regarded as a sole proprietorship by default once you start doing business unless you take special measures to change this. If you run your business as a sole proprietorship, you’ll be eligible for most of the tax incentives available to small enterprises. On the other hand, if you or your company are ever sued, the judgment can be satisfied by seizing either your business or personal assets.
- Partnership. Simply deciding to go into business with another person automatically converts the two of you into a partnership. In a partnership, you and your partners share liability for business debts and losses just as in a sole proprietorship, but you also expose your personal assets to any lawsuits filed against the business or its partners.
- Corporation. The formation of a corporation, a corporate structure that offers substantial tax and liability protections, is time-consuming and laborious. Owners and employees of a corporation are usually immune to personal liability in the event of a shareholder or customer lawsuit. In order to officially establish a corporation in your state, you’ll need to file particular paperwork, pay a registration fee, and carry out annual duties.
- Partnership with Limited Liability. Limited liability companies (or LLCs) combine features of corporations and smaller business structures like sole proprietorships and partnerships. Although it is more difficult to organize and run a corporation, an LLC will protect your personal assets in the event of a business lawsuit. To maintain your limited liability company’s (LLC’s) legal standing in the state, you must do the same things that corporations must do every year: pay a fee, file the necessary paperwork with the relevant business agency or department, and pay any annual fees. Unlike corporations, however, limited liability companies (LLCs) require much less work to establish and keep running.
There is no rule that says you must consult an attorney before launching a business, but doing so is the safest thing you can do to safeguard your venture and your personal assets. Understanding the specific requirements and permissions of your own state is crucial due to the variance (often substantial) between state company regulations.
Requirements for Local & State Businesses
To get your business out on the right foot, you may need to take care of a variety of legal matters, some of which will vary depending on your location. When starting a business, it is important to consider not just the best legal framework for your company, but also any regulations that may be imposed by state or municipal authorities.
- Business Permits. Even if all you’re doing is opening an Etsy shop, it’s a good idea to check into whether or not you need any special licenses or permits from the state, county, or city governments in your area. There is a wide variety of regulations that businesses must adhere to from state to state and municipality to municipality, but in most cases, all it takes to get the necessary permits and licenses is filling out a form and paying a nominal charge. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) compiles a comprehensive database of regulatory frameworks for businesses nationwide. To cover all your bases, though, you should also get in touch with the relevant federal agency, state agency, local chamber of business, or neighboring attorney.
- Conflicts with Zoning Regulations. The majority of Etsy businesses are exempt from zoning and property use regulations, however certain municipalities have rules that could be an issue. Commercial activity in residential neighborhoods is often restricted by cities. There shouldn’t be any trouble with the neighbors or zoning enforcement authorities if you’re making your items at home, using no personnel, and not creating a lot of noise or toxic chemicals. On the other hand, you may be in violation of zoning laws if you allow staff parking on a residential street, get many deliveries from commercial vehicles daily, or alter the exterior characteristics of your home to conduct business. In the absence of an online repository, you may need to travel to city hall or the county courthouse to see the ordinances that govern your community. It’s usually a good idea to consult an expert or an attorney who specializes in company law.
Open for Business
If you have a solid financial and legal footing, you can then open an Etsy shop and begin taking orders.
What you need to do is as follows:
- Create an Etsy Account. Go to the Etsy homepage and hit the “Register” button in the top right corner. Please enter your name, email address, and password. Given that you’re opening a shop, it’s smart to pick a handle that contains terms associated with your products.
- Verify Your Registration Please. As soon as you sign up for Etsy, you’ll receive a confirmation email. To sign up, just hit the “Register” button.
- Establish a Retail Outlet. To open a shop on Etsy, log in and then go to your profile’s bottom left corner, where you’ll see the “Open a Shop” button. You will be taken to a page detailing the kind of items that are prohibited from sale on Etsy before being given the option to set your shop’s language and currency to English and the U.S. dollar, respectively. Simply select the most relevant reason for wanting to start an Etsy shop from the drop-down menu.
- Decide on a Storefront Name. You can’t open for business unless you decide on a store name. There’s a character limit of 20 here, and only letters, numbers, and underscores are allowed. Having a grasp of the significance of keywords and search engine optimization is helpful while choosing a name. Etsy lets you modify your shop’s name once you’ve set it.
Basics of Search Engine Optimization
Internet users typically turn to Google or another search engine when they need to locate specific information. These search engines scour the entire web in an effort to find results that best match the user’s query. SEO, or search engine optimization, is the method used to improve a website’s position in organic search results.
- Keywords. Words and phrases that are easily searchable are called keywords, and they are one of the main things that search engines look for. When people conduct an online search, they often employ one or more keywords. If you were looking for an antique lampshade, you might use the search keywords vintage lampshade, old lamp shade, vintage lamp accessories, or anything similar. You can think of them as keywords.
- Analyzing the Use of Keywords. Choose your Etsy username and shop name with the keywords in mind. What exactly are you hoping to peddle? How would you describe the needs of your ideal client? In what ways will your listings differ from others? You should look for the words that spring to mind when you ask yourself this question. Check out the titles, shop names, and listings of similar things being sold on Etsy to discover what kinds of keywords the shop owners are utilizing. That can help you figure out which search terms to focus on. To find the best keywords for your campaign, use the Google AdWords Keyword Planner.
- The Use of Keywords in Your Shop. A username like “LampSeller21” or a shop name like “VintageLampsbyLana” might be appropriate for someone who wants to sell used lamps. Once you begin creating listings, it is important to maintain your favorite keywords near at hand so that you can easily incorporate them into the titles, descriptions, and tags of your products.
Setups for Shops
You’ll find a wide variety of customization choices for your Etsy storefront under the “Shop Settings” page of the “Your Shop” menu.
Information and Displays
Here you may manage numerous crucial features of your store:
- Shop Title. You can edit your store’s name here. Once you’ve made this modification, you’re good to go, but if you wish to make it again in the future, you’ll need to get in touch with Etsy at [email protected] to get permission beforehand. If you’ve already settled on a store name before doing any SEO study, rebranding to incorporate keywords is a common tactic.
- Get Your Hands on Some Retail Title. The name of your store should be descriptive of the goods and services you offer. Your store’s title should explain what products or services you offer. Once again, this is a situation where the use of keywords is crucial.
- Links. This is where you can insert a link to your social media profiles, such as your Facebook page, Twitter feed, etc.
- Notice from the Store. You can tell customers everything they need to know about your store, listings, and more in this section.
- Notice to Potential Patrons. If you insert text in this part, the buyer will receive it immediately after making a purchase.
- A Word to Digital Shoppers. Customers who have just bought an electronic product from you will see this message.
All of your item and sale policies can be made right here.
- A Greeting. Put this space to use by greeting guests. Add search terms and biographical information that could assist customers in better understanding who you are and why they should shop with you.
- The Shipping Plan. Give your customers a sense of what to expect by detailing your shipping process and the locations to which you ship.
- Policy on Refunds. Lay out your return policy and let them know what they may expect from you and what you won’t.
- In-Depth Details. If a certain policy or rule doesn’t fit into any of the other parts, it can be explained here.
- Details about the Vendor. Do not assume that customers will automatically know where you are located, how to reach you, or anything else pertinent to your store.
- Sensitive Information Regarding Receipts. In this part, you can explain why you require certain information from the buyer. Until a purchase has been made, the buyer will not receive this information.
Regarding Your Shop
You may also get to the “Members, Story, and Manufacturers” sections via the “About Your Shop” tab, which is found in the “Your Shop” menu.
- Members. Just who is it that works in your shop? Here you can include a link to your Etsy profile and the profiles of any other Etsians who are associated with your store.
- Story. To what end did you open up shop? The question is; what was it about Etsy that attracted you in? What do you take pride in most about the products you offer? Here, potential buyers can learn more about you and your business. Through this section, you can also provide links to your non-Etsy websites, blogs, and Facebook pages.
- Manufacturers. Are your items made in-house, or do you contract with other companies? If yes, please name them and describe their benefits here.
List Your Products
The next step after launching your store is to begin selling your wares. In order to add a listing, you must complete numerous fields and provide at least one image.
- Like with a physical shop’s name, your listing’s title should be keyword-rich. Employ keywords that potential buyers could enter into a search engine to find your products, but also use keywords that appropriately describe what you’re selling. Allowed length of titles is 70 characters.
- A Note About This Listing. Here, you’ll have to make certain decisions concerning the item’s maker, its type, and its time of production, among other things.
- Category. Products on Etsy can be sorted by category, such as “Bath & Beauty,” “Clothing,” or “Weddings,” for example. Pick the appropriate primary category and subcategory for your listing.
- Price. Fix a price for your wares.
- Quantity. Are you selling many of these?
- Type. Both digital and tangible products might be offered for sale. Please select the best answer.
- Description. Provide information in words that your target audience can use to grasp what you’re selling. If you make crocheted hats, for instance, you may talk about the yarn you use, the hat’s circumference, and the hues it comes in.
- Variations. You can include all the numerous color options for your handcrafted candle holders here, if you manufacture several different kinds. But the quantity of things in your shop has a direct effect on the number of views each item gets, so listing each item separately can be worth it.
- Shipping. In this area, you can select the many shipping methods available to you. You get to decide where the product comes from, where you’re willing to ship it, how long it takes, and how much it costs.
- Materials, as search terms. In this space, you can specify keywords that will be used in the search engine’s indexing of your listings. Each of the 13 terms you use can be no more than 20 characters long. Iron, wood, silk, enamel paint, batteries, and so on are all examples of materials you may include under “Materials.” You don’t have to utilize all 13 of the terms offered in the materials section; use as many as seem relevant.
- Tags are used as search terms. Fill out the “Tags” field with all 13 terms. Pick as exact of a set of keywords as you can see being useful in describing your thing. Don’t just say “gifts” or “presents” if you want to offer something specifically for bridesmaids and groomsmen. Select phrases or words such as “bridesmaids’ gifts” or “groomsmen’s gifts” instead.
- Look at the Catalogue in Advance. After you have completed all mandatory fields, you can preview your listing by clicking “Preview Listing.” To help you visualize the final product before publishing the listing, we’ve included this preview. If you’re pleased with it, you can put it up for sale right away. Otherwise, feel free to make whatever changes you see fit. Don’t worry if you forget something essential; you can always go back and change it after you’ve already posted the item.
Costs and Fees
While opening an Etsy shop is free of charge, listing and selling items do incur costs. All listings on Etsy cost $0.20. Etsy deducts a 3.5% selling charge from all purchases. Costs like this are in addition to those incurred by exchanging currencies, purchasing in bulk, or promoting the product.
Your Items for Sale
Having your things listed on Etsy is not the same thing as actually selling them. You need to sell them to people like any other product. The only way to do this without seeing them in person is to make your listings and store look as good as they possibly can.
Etsy users who conduct a search are taken to a page displaying visual representations of all items that match their criteria. You only get one chance to make a good impression on potential buyers, so make sure that the main shot is top-notch.
The maximum number of images allowed for a listing is five. A product’s first image will be displayed in your shop’s product list as well as search results.
If you want to sell something online, you need to include images that do it justice. A professional camera or prior photographic experience is not required for taking a good photo. Even said, familiarity with the fundamentals and some practice never damaged anyone.
- Camera. Invest buy a smartphone or digital point-and-shoot with a respectable camera at the absolute least. While many Etsy vendors just utilize the cameras on their phones or tablets, others invest in dedicated digital SLR cameras.
- Light. Snapshots in bright conditions, preferably using natural light. A light box and other simple lighting equipment could be useful if you’re selling smaller things. Larger items, if the lightbox is sufficiently sized, can also be displayed with the aid of this method.
- Backgrounds. Start with something basic for the background. Although white is the most typical background color, you can really choose anything. As you gain expertise, you’ll be able to try out new settings to find the ones that really make your wares stand out. If you’re selling garments, you may employ models to flaunt your creations, while if you’re dealing in vintage wares, you might set up vignettes to show potential purchasers how their purchases would look in their own homes.
- Ten seconds. For any item you’re selling on Etsy, you’ll be able to upload up to five images. But it’s always a good idea to take more than five, as you can sort through them and pick the finest five to put in your listing.
- Retouching images. Free and highly effective picture editing programs like GIMP are easily accessible and allow you to alter images in about any way you can imagine. While it’s understandable to want your images to stand out from the competition, you shouldn’t over-edit them to the point where the final product gives potential customers the wrong impression.
- Added Photographs. Neither additional photographs nor links to external websites may be included in an Etsy listing. If you want to take additional images or videos of your goods, however, you can provide the URL where those media are hosted. Then, the client just copies the URL and enters it into their browser. If you wish to include 20 images of your product, for instance, you may upload them to a free image hosting service like Imgur and put the link to the album in the item’s description.
The product description is the only way to give potential buyers an idea of what you’re selling if you don’t include any photographs. It might be tricky to strike the right balance between providing enough detail and keeping the reader engaged, but there are several easy ways to make your descriptions more memorable.
- You shouldn’t bury the lead. The most crucial aspects of your product should be highlighted first in your description. Important, prerequisite information should come first in the description. If you’re selling historic boots, for instance, you should first describe the boots’ history, then their condition, color, size, manufacturer, and age. Customers will be confused if you leave this out or wait until the very end of your explanation to include it (burying the lead).
- In other words, you need to elaborate on the basics. Assuming you’ve laid the groundwork with the very minimum of knowledge, you can now expand. Provide information about your product that a potential consumer would find useful, such as how you came to discover it or where you manufactured it.
- If you want to find something, you should search for it using keywords. It’s important to utilize the same keywords in the description that you did in the title, shop name, and listing. Use as many of the keywords as you can, but make sure you do it organically and not in a way that sounds forced. To improve your listing’s search engine optimization, choose two to four keywords or keyword phrases that best describe your product and use them three to four times, or around once for every 200 words, in the description. Once it is done, you may go back and drop in some secondary keywords where they go.
- Personalize. Etsy gives you a unique opportunity to connect with buyers, unlike any other online marketplace. Remember that what you’re selling is likely something you put a lot of time and effort into creating or is somehow important to you. Share your enthusiasm with your consumers. Tell us where you found or created your product, why you appreciate it, and why you think others will too.
- Move Quickly. If you’re describing something, divide it up into bite-sized parts that can be read in a few seconds each. Make sure important details stand out by putting them in bold, italics, or under a header.
- Adopt a frank stance. Let your clients know that you’re there to assist them at any time. People who have never used a typewriter before have flooded my store with inquiries on what to search for, how to find a specific model, how long it will take to receive their order, and more. If you respond fast, they’ll know you care, and it will make them more comfortable making a purchase from you even though you’ll likely never meet in person.
- Edit. Sure, human error happens, but you want your listings to be as error-free as possible. After you’re done, you should always go back and make changes to your description. The second pair of eyes can spot mistakes that your brain missed the first time around.
- Links. Each of your listings on Etsy has the option to provide a link to another page on your shop’s profile. Even if they don’t buy this item, customers who visit your shop may be curious about what else you have to offer. The use of links is also helpful in raising your search engine rankings.
- You Should Look Over Your Numbers and Make Some More Changes. Sales data from your Etsy store are recorded and tracked. These numbers are accessible via the “Your Shop” tab on your Etsy profile. After arriving at that page, select “Quick Links,” then “Stats.” The keywords that led customers to your store are listed in a table alongside the views, favorites, and sales data. Examine these numbers after your business has been open for a while, say a month. It’s important to revisit your listings and update them with any new or useful keywords you discover. The ones that aren’t working should be ditched in favor of fresh approaches.
Setting prices for your Etsy items requires careful consideration of a variety of things. Not all of these considerations need to be balanced at once, and prices can be adjusted later, but it helps to know what to consider.
- Time. To make anything by hand or to locate, clean, and restore an antique, how long did it take you? You’re shortchanging yourself if you don’t factor in the cost of your time when determining your rates of pay. If something sells for $100 but it took you 20 hours to make it and there were no other costs involved, then your hourly rate is $5. If, on the other hand, you can sell something you made in an hour for $100, then it was certainly worth your effort to build it.
- Costs. How much did it really cost you to make that thing, not counting the effort you put into it? What was the cost of the raw materials? Is there any particular equipment that you have to go out and buy? Have you incurred any additional costs, such as those associated with shipping or gas, in getting there? First, you need to know how much materials and labor are going to set you back before you can set a price for your goods.
- Competition. Do competing stores provide the same products as yours? Exactly how much do they cost? Do your items differ in any way from theirs? Is the value of your product increased or decreased due to these distinctions when compared to similar offerings from competitors?
- Before-Hand Purchases. Have you ever seen anything like that on Etsy? Do you think there is a market for your product? You can get a feel for the market by looking up stores that sell comparable goods, checking out their current prices, and clicking on the “sales” buttons on their websites.
- Previous Market Values. Etsy doesn’t show you the final selling price of an item when you look at its history of sales. There are, however, a few workarounds for this. The first indicator of fair pricing is whether or not the store is already selling an identical item. Second, the final selling price can be seen by visiting the item’s listing page and inspecting the page’s source code. A quick search for “price” in the code should turn up a line that reveals the answer. Check online for browser-specific instructions on how to perform a source code search if you need help.
- A Psychological Look at Pricing. When considering the cost of an item, a buyer considers many factors. To give you an example, if you sell the same item for $9.99, you’ll have more takers than if you priced it at $10. Instead of just picking a figure, it is better to keep some price psychology principles in mind.
Etsy is a venue for establishing a rapport with buyers that is, well, as close to personal as it’s possible to get over the Internet. After all, you’re catering to customers who are looking for something that wasn’t mass-produced and churned off of an assembly line, whether through the sale of your handcrafted goods or your carefully sourced vintage wares.
Many of your clients are curious about your company’s history, processes, and goals. They want to feel like they know you, and they want to know that the items they buy from you will do what they’re advertised to do. Putting in the effort to provide excellent service to your clients is a great approach to connecting with them on a more personal level.
- Find out more about the Etsy Seller’s App. The Etsy mobile app selection is quite robust. With the Etsy Seller’s App, you can monitor your shop from the palm of your hand and act swiftly whenever something of significance occurs, such as a sale, a question, or the addition of new feedback.
- Keep an open mind and heart. You should do what you can to satisfy a seller’s needs, even if those needs involve services or products that you don’t typically provide. If you order a typewriter from me, for instance, you can expect it to be shipped out to you within three business days. However, there are customers who require their devices much more swiftly. Even if it requires a little extra effort, I always attempt to satisfy their requests.
- Make a ten-point guarantee and only keep five-point promises. To what extent do you juggle the development of your Etsy shop with being a full-time parent or other full-time commitment? Don’t sugarcoat your capabilities; instead, be honest, and maybe even a little bit gloomy, with your customers. In most cases, it’s preferable to set the customer’s expectations lower and then surpass them, so that they’re pleasantly surprised rather than frustrated.
- It is imperative that all inquiries receive prompt, expert responses. The greatest method to show them that there is a genuine person behind the impersonal website they are viewing is to answer their questions as soon as possible. Customers have asked me to help them with everything from selecting the best typewriter for their child to locating a replacement ribbon for their machine to arranging for overnight delivery. Thanks to the Seller’s App’s instant alert, I was able to react quickly.
- Processing Comments. Buyers on Etsy are able to provide feedback. Customers’ confidence in your shop rises in response to positive reviews, while sales plummet in the face of unfavorable commentary. Your store’s long-term performance and reputation may hinge on how you handle unfavorable comments. Buyers can change their feedback, so if you’ve gotten a bad review, it’s advisable to contact the customer and see if the problem can be resolved amicably. Even if it goes against your store’s policy, it could be a good idea to replace the item or issue a refund. You can respond to negative feedback even if you are unable to remedy the issue or the buyer refuses to change the feedback score. Once you have submitted your answer, you will no longer be able to make any changes to it, though you may remove it entirely. Don’t ever respond to unfavorable comments with insults or other personal attacks. Describe your actions, the services or goods you provided, and any attempts you made to resolve the issue once you were made aware of it. Although you will never be able to please everyone, you may earn the trust of those who might eventually become clients by doing the following.
Expanding Your Shop
After getting your feet wet on Etsy by listing a few products and possibly making a sale or two, you can turn your attention to expanding your business. Increasing the number of visitors to your Etsy shop and the number of individuals who mark your shop or listings as favorites are two measures of success.
Additionally, this translates to increased revenue. If you want larger profits, you need to learn how to identify and direct growth.
- Views. The number of people checking out your stuff is viewable on Etsy. Go to “Your Shop” and click on “Stats” to check how many people are visiting your store. You can examine these on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Your daily views will likely increase over time, albeit with a significant deal of variability.
- Favorites. Users can make their “loved” items visible to the public by marking them as favorites, which then displays them in the “Items I Love” part of their profile. A customer’s “Favorite Shops” list will include your store if they add it as a favorite. Also, they are alerted anytime you add a new product to your shop.
- Popularity. The popularity of your store and interest in your products can be gauged by the number of views and favorites they receive. Having your store’s popularity or the demand for the products you sell gradually rise over time is a good sign. Losing views and likes could be a sign that consumers are losing interest in your store or that they are having trouble locating your products.
- Index Number. From personal experience and reading the Etsy Seller Handbook, I can say that the more variety of products you provide in your shop, the greater the likelihood that people will visit it and, hopefully, buy something. After the 2014 holiday season, I had only three or four products left in stock, down from over twenty at the beginning of the Thanksgiving weekend. When I first opened my shop, I saw an average of 20 daily views and roughly 2 daily favorites across all of my listings. By the end of March 2015, I had restocked my shop with close to 30 typewriters, and my daily views and favorites had increased to 120 and 6-7, respectively. In a nutshell, the greater the variety of products offered, the greater the number of customers who will browse through them.
- Methods for Promoting a Product or Service. In addition to search engine optimization, a solid advertising strategy can substantially increase your site’s views, favorites, and purchases. A marketing strategy might consist of many moving parts, but the first two are establishing a financial limit and deciding on a broad goal. With Etsy’s “Promoted Listings” feature, for instance, store owners can pay for in-app promotions. It’s up to you to set the budget, select the keywords you want to use, run the ads, and evaluate the outcomes.
- Growth. Do not be reluctant to expand your business beyond your existing Etsy shop, as doing so will bring you greater success. You may try selling something different, start a second Etsy store, or look into other online marketplaces to increase your reach. It is possible to make a sale without using the Internet if you like. If you’re in the retail business, one option is to set up shop at regional festivals and fairs.
If you’re an artist looking for a place to sell your wares online, consider opening an Etsy shop. You can use your shop as a low-risk way to go out on your own, earn extra money, gain flexibility in your schedule, and transform a passion project into a paying career.
However, much like any other business venture, creating a successful Etsy shop requires preparation, hard work, and perhaps a bit of luck. There’s no reason you can’t succeed in business if you put in the time and effort to study what it takes to launch your company, commit to increasing its efficiency and provide your consumers with what they want.