Calling all Etsy shop owners. Here at Startups, we're doing a major update of our ‘How to start an Etsy shop guide’ and are looking for expert insight into this area. We're looking for people who have been there and done it, and can offer advice on the nitty gritty of running an Etsy shop and the pitfalls to watch out for. Please provide your advice and tips below!
2 responses from the Newspage community
"When starting an Etsy business, a bit of market research is essential. Firstly, look at sellers who are making or providing the same items as you. Look at their listings and make notes of their pricing, photo staging, listing details and most importantly the keywords they use in the listing titles. How easy were they to find? What are their shipping policies? What are their return policies? Read their customer reviews and find out what people are buying from them. You can get valuable insights into what buyers of specific products love the most. "Upon starting your shop, you will need a business name, a logo and a header image for your storefront. Branding is essential so if you can't design your own, conisder a graphic designer who can create these for you. "When it comes to listing your items, great photos are a must. Stage your photographs showing the full scale and function of your items. Be sure they include detailed descriptions of your items, their use and most importantly their dimensions. In your listing editor, make full use of all the item descriptors and keywords, as these are essential for getting your products noticed and found by potential buyers. "As for pricing, don't try to undercut other sellers or overprice your items. Ensure that you have calculated the pricing fairly and sensibly. The best formula to use is material cost + labour cost + packaging cost + profit = your price. If you are offering your items with free shipping, ensure that you put the actual cost of shipping into this formula, as you don't want to get caught short at the post office when all of your profit gets eaten by postage costs. The Royal Mail website has a great calculator for this. Also factor in Etsy seller fees, which currently stand at 6.5% of your item price. Include these in your pricing. Etsy takes the fees before they release the money from your sale. "When your item has sold, Etsy will give you a timeframe of expected dispatc , as set in your store settings. If you state that your items will be shipped in 24 hours, Etsy will remind you of this. You can buy postage through Etsy so everything is in one place and will provide your buyer with a tracking number if applicable. If you use a local post office for posting, keep your receipts and always get proof of posting. Update your buyer with any tracking numbers you get for their items. "Etsy also sends a reminder to your buyers to leave their feedback on their purchases but not everyone will come back to review, it's just how it is sometimes. Remember that Etsy is a marketplace that is full of sellers from all over the world so it can be difficult to get your items noticed. I wouldn't pay for Etsy advertising as a startup, as it can eat your available funds pretty quickly and you're not guaranteed a sale as the advertisements charge you for clicks and views not sales. This can get pretty expensive very quickly (hard lesson learned!)." Consider setting up other social media channels for your business and link back to your Etsy store. Organic sales from within Etsy can be hard so advertising elsewhere and using Etsy as a payment platform works for a lot of sellers.
"Etsy is a long game but definitely worth it. It's quite a crowded marketplace but the customers are there because they want something unique and handmade so it's the best place to be if that's your product. The best advice I can give to new Etsy sellers, or any Etsy sellers, is to know your competitors on the platform and do something different to, or better than, they're doing. It's not a place where you need to compete on price either: the people looking to buy on Etsy want something made with skill that they can't get anywhere else and amazing customer service. If you can do that, you can be an Etsy success."