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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Getting the Most Out of Etsy!

Standing out among the 250,000 shops on Etsy.Com can be difficult! Please allow me to share some tips that will give you an advantage before you launch your Etsy Shop.

1) Consider the cost of shipping! People hate to pay shipping fees and they can seriously eat into your profit margins. Sell small items that do not require large boxes and are light weight. Flat rate shipping from the U.S. Postal Service may be a good option but do not automatically assume it's the least cost path to take. 

2) When shipping, always get delivery confirmation from the postal service even if you have to eat the cost! Unless you are selling digital media that can be downloaded, you will absolutely receive a message from a customer that wants to know where their package is located. It's best to be in a position to be able to provide some type of tracking or delivery information. You don't want to have to resend the items, provide a refund and have an upset customer. While you are not in control of UPS, Fedex or USPS; you can limit the amount of grief by having tracking and or deliver confirmation in hand. While you can try to charge extra for the tracking or delivery confirmation service,  in the end you need it whether the customer is willing to pay extra for it or not! 

3)  Try to keep your product cost to $50 or less. Let's face it that the economy is sluggish and people just do not have the extra money!
Keep in mind that a potential buyer may not complete an order once they see the total cost including shipping. What seemed a reasonable price to pay for the item may suddenly be a deal breaker once shipping cost are considered. You want to make a profit but also put yourself in the buyers shoes when pricing and thinking about shipping costs.

4) Being Heard Above the Noise
Adding new products often and re-listing existing products will cause you to appear more frequently within Etsy product search. This is a must!

5) It's very important to name your product photos so they can be found in Google image search. Don't use a product photo labeled something like "R1834T.jpg". Instead name it Teal Fashion Necklace.jpg. 

6) Good photography is a must!  Submitting some blurry or poor quality product photo will not get sales and it reflects bad on you and your brand. If you cannot afford to hire a photographer, buy the best camera you can afford. Explain to the store that you will need to zoom in on products that will be placed online for sale. Have the store demonstrate the camera buy taking photos of products in their store and showing them to you on a computer screen. Remember that most all photos look decent on a tiny camera screen. You need to see the photo on a nice quality large computer monitor.

7) Don't have a cheezy business logo. I'm not saying you need to pay $500 for it but make sure you are proud of your logo when people view it in your shop. Does it look good to you? Does it look good to others? Will your friends be honest with you about your shops appearance... if not ask someone else!

8) When describing your products, tell a story and be descriptive. Remember typical people on Etsy will appreciate your fun and somewhat eccentric personal descriptions of what the product means to you and what it may mean to the buyer. Consider your target audience. Why are they online at Etsy instead of in the checkout line at Walmart?

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