Etsy is all the rage. The Etsy website says, “Etsy is a marketplace where people around the world connect, both online and offline, to make, sell and buy unique goods”. As of September 30, 2016, Etsy stats says that there are 40 million items for sale, 1.7 million active sellers, 27.1 million active buyers and $2.39 billion in annual gross merchandise sales in 2015.
This is a huge community of buyers and sellers looking for and making handmade items. There are thousands of success stories about sellers making 6 figure incomes and being able to make their Etsy shop a full-time business. Sounds amazing right? There is also just as many, if not more, stories of unsuccessful attempts at making it on Etsy. You very well may be one of those stories.
Have you given up and decided to close shop or have you been considering taking the leap into the wonderful and complex world of Etsy? There are some very important things to be aware of or your time and efforts will be for not.
5 Reasons You Won’t Be Successful
Bad Photos = Poor Success
Shoppers are looking for amazing products.
- Because buyers cannot actually touch your product, having beautiful, quality photos is a must.
Shoppers want a complete picture.
- You have 5 photo spots to showcase your item.
- Use all 5.
- Take photos from different angles and perspectives.
- Utilize close up pics so that potential customers can see the details.
Shoppers want to see your work.
- Focus on the product. The background should not be busy or have too many props. This will take away from the beauty of your listing.
- Use good lighting. This is a MUST!
Bad Titles = Poor Placement
Shoppers are looking for something specific.
- Other than photos, titles are one of the first things a buyer will see.
- Be specific and use titles that describe your product. For example, if you make wreaths, a good title may be:
- Christmas Wreath-Christmas Décor-Holiday Décor-Christmas Front Door Wreath-Front Door Wreath-Holiday Wreath-Deco Mesh
- You have 55 characters in the title. Use them all.
Bad Description = Bad Placement & Poor Search Results
Tags are one of the key factors which determine your listings search results.
- You have 13 tags to use. Use them all.
- If you are unsure what tags are the best to use, look at similar listing on search pages 1-3 and see what tags that seller is using.
No Research = Frustration & Failure
Etsy can be tricky.
- Algorithms are used to determine placement on the search page results.
- Placement is directly related to titles, descriptions and tags. Use Google to search for blogs and webinars that are specific to Etsy algorithms and how the titles, descriptions and tags work together.
- Look at similar listings and see how their listings look. Pay specific attention to their titles, descriptions and tags.
No About Me Info = No Personal Connection
Buyers want to know who they are buying from.
- You don’t need to give out your Social Security Number, mother’s maiden name or blood type, but you do need to make a personal connection with your potential customer.
- Tell them how you got started.
- Give some background about your craft.
- Use this area to introduce yourself and your shop.
- Thank them for stopping by.
No Shop Policies = Poor Customer Service
You want to look professional and be upfront with customers.
- Detail your shipping policies.
- Do you accept returns and what is the policy/process.
- Explain your turn around time if you provide custom products.
- What payment options do you have?
No Patience = No Success
Sales don’t happen overnight.
- Selling on Etsy takes work but most importantly it takes patience.
- Etsy changes constantly. One day your listing may be on page 3 and the next on page 10.
- Starting out, you may have views but no sales.
- You may knock it out of the park one month and then nothing but crickets the next.
- Don’t compare yourself to other sellers.
- Don’t believe all of the blogs that tell you how to make thousands of dollars in your first month on Etsy.
- Continue to learn, research and tweak.
- Ask for help. There are some great Facebook groups that are there to give you feedback and help you make your shop even better.
Ask yourself what your definition of success is. Set realistic expectations and continually work on your shop to improve it. Keep your shop full, at least 10 items is the rule of thumb.
You can be successful if you are willing to do the work. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and try not to get discouraged if it takes time to get your shop up, running, start getting views and making sells. Remember, Rome was not built-in a day. Success is a journey.