The Set Up Series
Lets start with the biggest excuse I hear when it comes time to get the ball rolling! “I can’t afford the cost of a business!” Well friends, I am here to clue you in on some exciting news! Ready for it? Joining and starting a shop on Etsy is free. There are three basic selling fees: a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. It costs $0.20 to publish a listing to the marketplace. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. When I list mine I usually just put quantity of 100 because everything I make is made to order and I do not have time to constantly make sure my items are sold out or not! Okay Lets get to our key points this lesson.
- Picking a business name – I.E. The name of your Etsy Shop. (You should have done this and completed your logo in lesson two.) If not its ok! Hop on and get creative my logo was some random picture of lips I found on google for like a year! (Yuck) however, effective to open off the ground. You can change your name a billion times before you open your shop by going to Your Shop > Shop Name. After you’ve opened your shop, you can change the shop name one time.
- Etsy is awesome in providing tools to help you blossom your new handcrafted shop! Here is a quick start check list which I highly recommend downloading. Quickstartchecklist
- Listings… Pictures…Price…..Listings…… – We are going to have a blog JUST ON LISTINGS AND PHOTOGRAPHY, because this is crucial to your success on Etsy. You could have the best art print ever created. No tags? Horrible Photo Editing? FAIL! No Sales. If we are being honest, your reading this because what you are doing is not working, or you have no idea where to start! Please believe me on this giant fail! (This does not mean go out and buy a $2,0000 camera and become a professional product photographer.) All of my pictures which you can view on my instagram @sealedwithakissartistry are taken with my IPHONE. Yup. My phone, yo. I will be revealing this secret too. Etsy suggests these five simple suggestions on creating and getting great images when you are creating your first listings!
- A well-lit, clear photo of the item you plan to sell
- A photo that shows alternate angles of the product so shoppers can make an informed purchase
- A photo showing any unique details of the product. Try to answer any questions a shopper might have about texture, color or the techniques used.
- A photo that shows the scale of the item. Styling a photo with other recognizable props or by having volunteer models hold it in their hands can help. For example, Bonnie styles the photos for her linen table runner with a teacup and saucer.
Use all five available photos and try to shoot your products using natural daylight instead of a flash.
- Creating Categories – Remember that target audience mambo jumbo I was talking about in lesson one….Well here it comes again! DONT TRY TO SELL IT ALL! Find a target audience and really gear towards that audience. Do you create clothing, do you sew, do you paint, do you draw. Decide some key categories your listings will go in. Example I have Mommy, Sweet Gifts, Tees and Tanks, etc. You can also add more categories as you go along and expand your handmade business.
- Pricing – Oh how I failed at this miserably! I was trying to sell Nordstrom Products at a Wal-Mart Price just to get sales. After hitting my head against brick walls a few times, my patient husband pointed out how much money I was losing with every sale! I was losing SO MUCH MONEY my first year because I felt “bad” over charging people. WAKE UP CALL!!!!! You are not over charging people. You can go flip hamburgers and take fries out of grease for $10-12 an hour why should you work day in and day out at your passion for any thing less than that? Some helpfulness with not repeating my mistake….Down load this excel sheet Worksheet-How-to-Price-Like-a-Pro5 Type in how much your materials and overhead cost, how long it takes you to create the item, and research similar items and how much they are pricing for.
- Tags – ARE SUCH A BIG DEAL. Phrases are better than one word blips – Example: Wine Glass ie Bridesmaid Wine Glasses . Below I am attaching the lovely Michelle Spauldings Tips for Brainstorming Key Words Effectively which has saved my booty on more than one occasion from staring blankly at my computer or phone.1. What is it?
Example: necklace, jewelry, bowl, print
2. What is it specifically? What type?
Example: hoop earrings, v-neck sweaters, long sleeved shirt, cocktail ring
3. Who is it for?
Example: women, men, baby girl, children, girl, adult, pets, dog, teachers
4. What is the main material?
Example: leather, organic cotton, canvas, felt, metal, 14K gold, sterling silver, glass
Add the major material to your tags, if it is something you think a buyer might search for to find your item. Add minor materials or component materials to the “materials” box.
5. What is the main color?
Example: ivory, red, carnation pink, navy blue, neutral, rainbow, black and white
Buyers are not likely to look for minor colors in your piece, so stick to the main color(s) or important color combos. You should add basic colors (“green” or “red”) to your item attributes as well as specialized colors (“mint green” or “fuchsia”) to your tags.
6. What method or technique did you use to make it?
Example: hammered (for metal jewelry), burned (for woodworking), handspun yarn, appliqued, embroidered
7. Where will the item be used?
Example: kitchen, hair, office, beach, garden, car, nursery
8. What size is it?
Example: plus size, 1X, medium, XS, oversized, extra long, chunky, 7mm, 18in, 8 x 10 (art), 7.5 (shoes)
Depending on your item’s category, you may be able to add this size information to your attributes, as well as your titles, tags, and descriptions.
9. What style is it?
Example: goth, victorian, hippie, punk, tribal, impressionist, post-modern, feminine, sophisticated, southwestern, Japanese
10. What imagery or motifs are on the item?
Example: owl, landscape, nature, plaid, geometric, floral, animal
11. Are there synonyms?
Example: infant for young babies, handbag for purses and clutches, kids for children, drink for tea, trousers for pants, travel mirror for compact mirror
Week 3 Challenge – Create at least 4 listings in your new Etsy Shop.