Tuesday, June 5, 2012

So You Want to Sell on Etsy

I get this question from time to time, so I thought it was high time I sat down and composed my thoughts on the matter. Etsy is great for selling handmade jewelry - that's its purpose. Whether you are successful depends on; 1. how much effort you put into it and, 2. having a plan. There are some important marketing rules I tell anyone who asks. With these, you have a better chance at having great sales.

1. Make something that is unique and STANDS OUT. If you do a search for "jewelry" on their website (like I just did right now), there are 3,201,217 items. Designers have to have something unusual that stands out from all the millions of other pieces of jewelry on Etsy or they will get lost in the crowd.

2. Take GOOD photographs. It is already game over if you don't follow this rule. If you aren't sure what constitutes a good photo, take a look through some Etsy listings. It is an eye-opener. Basically, they need good lighting, to be in focus and not blurry, minimal but nice backgrounds that don't distract the viewer from the piece being sold.

3. Price to your market. Not too much, not too little. Look at what the competition is pricing their pieces at. Do expensive pieces not sell? Too cheap won't sell, either. Look at how much a store sells. If it's a lot, they're right on the money for the audience you want to attract.

4. Clear, concise, attractive verbiage on each listing. Again, look at the competition. What are the high sellers including in their descriptions? Follow their lead.

5. Marketing. It is NOT a "build it and they will come world". The market is too saturated to rely on that type of strategy. Once you have a nice store, lots of stock and beautiful pictures, a whole new set of rules kicks in surrounding marketing and everyone on the planet wants to sell you advice. The only rules that apply no matter what you are selling is this; 1. Find your target market, 2. Upload/relist stock often and ON A CONSISTENT BASIS (i.e., every Tuesday, every other Friday, etc.), find out where your target market hangs out and post notices of your listings ON A CONSISTENT BASIS and of course - DO NOT SPAM...EVER!!!! Spamming gets you kicked off social networks, your internet provider bans you, your email client bans you and your fans HATE YOU if you spam. Remember, your fans, once you get them, will account for up to 85% of your future business because if you give them good service and quality products, they will come back and buy more.

6. Are you enthusiastic about your product? Silly question, but your love for your craft gets translated into the product through the energy you spend in making it. This may sound a little way out there, but it is a fact. If you don’t love what you’re doing, how can you market it? How can you convince someone they can’t walk away from your store or table without buying from you? Through some contagious, enthusiastic interaction with the customer. Just beware, too much enthusiasm and you’ll look either fake, desperate or that you’re trying too hard.

If you are an Etsy seller and have any tips to add that have helped boost your sales, we would love to hear them. Please share them with us in the comments.

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