Sell Your Handmade Crafts on Etsy
Etsy is one of the largest craft marketplaces on the web. The reason for its popularity is due to the fact that Etsy allows all crafters the ability to sell their handmade items to an unlimited audience, without the hassle of setting up at craft fairs, and without paying large setup fees. Unlike other craft malls or marketplaces, Etsy is free to join and is very simple to use. There is a $0.20 upfront fee per listing, but there no other listing fees are applied unless an item is sold (3.5% of listing price).
Below are just a few easy steps you will have to take for you to start selling your crafts on Etsy.
Opening Your Etsy Shop
Setting up your Etsy shop may seem intimidating at first, but in reality it is quite simple. To open your shop, follow these quick and easy steps.
- Go to www.Etsy.com
- Click "Register"
- You will be prompted for a username, password and valid e-mail before accepting the terms of Etsy use. Make sure you are completely happy with your username as this will also serve as your shop name (i.e., www.username.etsy.com). This username/shop name can never be changed or transferred.
- Once you have filled out the requested information, Etsy will send you a verification e-mail to the one you registered. Retrieve that e-mail and click the provided link to complete the sign-up process.
- You will now be able to log in to your Etsy shop.
Setting Up a Shop Banner
Your Etsy shop banner will be seen by anyone who enters your shop. It can also say alot about your personality, your handmade items, and your crafting style as a whole. There are many ways to set up your Etsy banner including using Etsy's banner generator, using a free banner generator, or buying a customized banner from a fellow Etsian who will design it for you. Please note:
- Your banner must measure 760x100 pixels. This is important because any other size will cause the banner to become distored.
- Your shop name should be included in your banner as your banner will be the first thing everyone sees when they enter your shop.
Listing Your Items
Once you have set up your Etsy shop and loaded your custom banner, you will be ready to begin listing your available items. In order to do so, you will need a valid credit card as there are small fees attached to each listing ($0.20 per listing). The item will stay active for three months. If the item is sold within the three months, Etsy will charge you a 3.5% fee of your listing price. To list your items:
- Take high-quality pictures of your items. Since your customers cannot see or touch your items, you'll want these photos to be as clean and crisp as possible. Etsy gives you the option of uploading 5 images. It is worthwhile to use all 5 slots to give potential customers as much detail as possible. When resizing your images, Etsy recommends having an image no larger than 800 pixels wide. Once uploaded, a thumbnail of the image is generated, and will be used in searches.
- Describe your handmade crafts. Again, it is important to be as detailed as possible. Think of it from the customer's perspective. What would they want to know about your item? Once you've completed this step, Etsy gives you the option of also listing the materials used. Though not a necessity, this feature adds to your description and lets customers know you have used high-quality supplies.
- Tag your listing. Tags are keywords that will be used when people search for items, so keep that in mind when you choose. The more tags you have, the better probability of being found in searches.
- Choose payment options (i.e., money order, check, PayPal). The majority of shop owners use PayPal as it is the quickest, easiest and safest form of payment. If you do not already have a PayPal account, it is recommended that you sign up for one.
- Choose a shipping profile. Specific shipping profiles attach a set amount per item of that kind without having to re-enter all of the information. This feature also allows you to set options for multiple item shipments. For example, if you make handmade jewelry, and you offer necklaces, bracelets and earrings in your shop, you can attach a specific shipping profile for each category (i.e., $2.00 per necklace) and then set it so that if the customer buys two necklaces there is a discount on the second shipped item (i.e., $2.00 shipping for one necklace, $0.50 shipping for the second).
- List your item. Remember, there will be a $0.20 fee applied to your account.
Marketing Your Etsy Shop
Listing your items on Etsy is only the beginning. You will need to market your items if you want to bring the most customers to your shop as possible. A great way to get started is with the Etsy forums. These forums are very beneficial to new Etsians because you will meet many new people and learn a lot from them. It is also a great way to get people to check out your site and give you helpful critiques.
Other marketing tools available are blogs, social networking websites and good old fashion advertisements.
Blogs: Many people who sell on Etsy have craft blogs. These blogs serve as a great way to tell others about your shop and give updates about new products. Blogs also offer tons of content for web spiders to search through so you have a more likely chance of getting picked up by search engines.
Social Networking Websites: Social networking websites such as Twitter and Facebook are also great platforms for reaching a large audience with backlinks to your shop.
Ads: For those who fear technology, simple business cards and flyers go a long way! These ads can be generated simply and can be easily posted on bulletin boards.
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