Some Things I’ve learned from my Etsy shop part 2
I posted recently about some things I’ve learned from running my Crafty Green Poet Etsy shop over the past year. Since then I’ve thought of a few more things I’ve learned (plus I’ve had my first sale to someone who didn’t already know me through other social networks, which felt like an important milestone).
So here are some ideas to add to the last post:
a) Be patient. It takes time to establish a shop on Etsy. Particularly now that it’s been going for so many years. New shops can be lost in the crowd, specially small shops run as a hobby (like mine is). It was six months before I sold anything (at which point I was wondering how many months to give it before shutting down shop) but since then I’ve had sales most months.
b) Great photos help sell products. However, as long as your photos aren’t blurred or otherwise really bad, they’re not necessarily going to prevent people from buying your goods. Great photos certainly help, but if you’re only running your shop as a hobby, you probably don’t need to invest in a light box and a fancy camera. If you’re hoping to make a living out of Etsy (and some people do!) then you probably should invest in this equipment.
c) Focus on only one line of products. This almost certainly helps, but so far I’ve sold: a selection of sea pottery; a beaded bookmark; a fabric chopstick bag; a collage inspiration kit and a greetings card. So my sales, apart from the slow start, haven’t suffered from my shop being so diverse. Again, it may be different if you’re wanting to make a living from your shop.
d) Have a Unique Selling Point. This is probably more important than c). I think if your products are held together by a philosophy (in my case recycling and repurposing) or by a theme (for example crafts inspired by rabbits) or by a unique style then diversity won’t hold you back.
e) I mentioned Give and Take in my last post. The most important part of this is networking. Join in the team discussions on Etsy. it took me a while to get involved in teams, because I’m not naturally a fan of online discussion groups but those on Etsy are a great mix of genuinely useful and fun ways of networking and getting to know other sellers, while subtly (or not so subtly) advertising your own products.
f) The other part of Give and Take is to buy from Etsy as well as sell. I mentioned in my previous post that it can seem unfair that you are more likely to sell your items on Etsy if you buy products there. It is unfair in some ways, but there are so many lovely things on sale on Etsy, that it really is a great place to find gifts.
g) It’s fun! I’m running my shop as a hobby, so I don’t need to worry about whether it makes huge amounts of profit. Luckily it hasn’t made a loss and is slowly moving towards making a small amount of money, but that’s not the point. It’s great to see people buying my crafts and crafting supplies. Knowing that I’m doing my small bit to repurpose materials that would otherwise become waste and helping other people to appreciate the whole ethos of reuse. Again, if I were running the shop as a proper business, then it would probably be less fun, and money would be more of a motivator!
As ever, bold text contains hyperlinks that take you to other webpages where you can find out more.