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How to Make Money Selling Crafts on Etsy
You too can be successful selling crafts in an online shop. On Etsy you can sell handmade crafts, vintage items and craft supplies. There are other sites such as iCraft, Folksy, Ebay, Artfire, Craigslist, and eCrater where you could also sell your handmade treasures.
In this article we'll be talking about selling in an online shop. Getting started is easy; being successful takes a little more work. To be a successful seller you have to learn where to focus your time and energy, since just opening a shop and listing the products doesn't guarantee sales. In addition to crafting your products you'll need to work on marketing your crafts and promoting your store. Etsy has great tutorials and forums where you can learn and seek help from other sellers about marketing and promotion. You can also find great ebooks and Amazon books with helpful tips and information from successful sellers, I've bought a few of the "dummies" book series which have been a big help. And below you'll find tips that helped me to sell crafts online.
10 Tips for Selling Crafts in an Online Shop
1. Find your niche.
Make your craft product unique and original, something you love talking about because you will need to do a lot of talking and promoting to be successful, and something you enjoy making. This might take a little trial and error. Try selling a few different crafts at first, see what catches on, see what you like making the most, see what sells and what doesn't sell. Ask a few friends or neighbors their opinions on the items you are selling. Don't get discouraged, this process might take a little time and effort, but stick with it so you will have the best chance of being successful!
2. Utilize Social Networks
Sign up for accounts with Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You can link these social network sites to your shop. In addition, you should start a blog, as well as join Pinterest and HubPages. You may also want create a YouTube account where you can post craft-making tutorials. Your goal is to connect and promote. The more visitors you attract to your shop the more chances you will have of getting a buyer!
3. Keep Listing New Products.
It's a good idea to list a new item or two daily, especially in the beginning, or at least every couple days to keep your store fresh and shoppers coming back for more, not coming back and finding the same old stuff! This will also help in getting your shop rotated in the line of newly listed products which gives you the opportunity of attracting new visitors to your shop.
The qualities necessary to make money while selling crafts online are: Passion, Creativity and Persistence! The opportunity to make a part-time or even full-time income on Etsy is real, there are many many stay-at-home moms who are successfully making money and working from home selling their handmade crafts! Personally I've purchased handmade items from a variety of Etsy stores and I always take notice of the number of sales the person has had, and sometimes they are in the thousands.
4. Take Great Pictures of your Products
Taking really good photos is of utmost importance! Be sure they are clear, attention getting photos because this is the first thing the visitors to your shop will notice. Be sure to Include more than one photo for each listing and make sure the colors and size of your sale items are easily identified. You don't want your customer to be disappointed once they receive the item because it doesn't look like the picture in your store. You could use your iPhone, smart phone or digital camera to take pictures.
I bought a desktop studio like the one below to take pictures of the craft items I sell and I'm really happy with it. It's just the right size, 16x16, not too big where I have to fold it up and put it away after using it, I leave it out on a table in my craft room. It comes with 2 lights and multi color backdrops.
5. Write Great Descriptions & Tag It.
There is no such thing as too much information here, more is better, provided it's the right information you are providing. Your customer is buying without being able to see or touch the item. Close your eyes and picture what you are selling, describe it in writing as though you were telling someone over the phone about it. Be specific and use words that the buyer would type into their search engine if they were looking to purchase your handmade product. Be concise and not too flowery. Include the size, the color, the material. Don't use things like beautiful, breathtaking, wow, great. Avoid using a variety of fonts and font colors, search engines don't like them.
6. Renew Your Listings. You can renew active and expired listings. The cost is $.20 to renew and you will receive a new listing date and expiration date (4 months later). Renewing moves your product to the Just Listed page, giving you more exposure. There are programs that will do this automatically for you.
7. Encourage Bigger Sales. Encourage shoppers to buy more than one item. For example instead of listing one of my crafts for $5.00 each I'd create a bundled listing that is 4 for $18.99. You could also offer free shipping on the second (or more) or a percent off additional crafts purchased today. The shopper is already at your store, give them reasons to stay and browse and add more to their shopping cart. Your goal is to increase your "per sale" dollar amount.
Pricing & Shipping
8. Price it Right. Remember to include all of your incidental costs such as shipping, mailing supplies, production supplies, taxes, etc when calculating prices.
9. Keep Shipping Costs Down. Offer to combine products for reduced shipping rates, buy supplies in bulk, use the free supplies offered by the post office, pay for postage online, use flat rates whenever possible, add the cost of shipping supplies to your shipping price. Use the United States Post Office online calculator for calculating exact shipping costs. I use a digital scale to calculate accurate weights and stopping costs.
Add a Mailing List
10. Add a Mailing List to your Shop
Through your mailing list you'll be able to promote your products to potential customers and current customers that choose to sign up for your mailing list. This is great for running sales or offering discounts and coupons and for keeping customers and visitors up to date on your shop, you could even create a monthly newsletter. As an incentive to get your visitors to sign up for your mailing list you could offer them a 10% discount on their first order. Mail Chimp is one of the services Etsy uses to create a mailing list and help you build your subscriber list. This a great tool to have in your online selling tool belt to help you increase sales and create repeat customers.
Etsy Selling Rules
Once you sign up for your shop you will want to review the seller's handbook to be sure that you aren't breaking any rules. Here are just a few rules to keep in mind:
- Everything in the handmade category must be made or made and designed by you, the shop owner/seller.
- If you are a designer and you are using someone else to make your items you must follow the manufacturing policy and disclose information about your production partner in the listings in your shop.
Crafty Sayings that will make you smile
Do you currently have an Etsy Shop?
The End Result
Yes, you can be successful and make money with an online shop; be sure to follow the ten tips above, spend time building your brand, provide great customer service, have fun with it, and keep on crafting...that's what it's all about!
© 2012 MomsTreasureChest