How to Sell Vintage on Etsy
Selling Vintage on Etsy
Using Etsy to sell vintage items at least 20 years old is a great source of extra income. When I first wrote the article in August 2012 there were 1,182,784 "vintage" items on Etsy. By December, it tripled to 3,007,136 items. Fast forward to 2019, within 7 years that amount has tripled 10,162,857 items. It's booming, and here are some tips to selling so you may get your items found.
Opening your Etsy shop is as simple as choosing a user name and providing limited personal information (plus a credit card on file) to pay your monthly bills. You may wish to choose a name that you can also intermingle with your social networking down the road. For instance, my shop has a matching Facebook, Twitter, Blog , Instagram, and Website. It was hard finding a name that wasn't already taken but I did this early on.
There is no charge for having a storefront! Etsy charges only twenty cents per item listed, and this includes TEN free photos, 14 tags and lengthy description of your item. Your listing will stay on Etsy for four months for this price. What a bargain! When your item sells, they charge only a small fee of the total sales price. You can choose what payment options you wish to use. If you use PayPal, you will also incur PayPal fees for payments being accepted. Overall the storefront is very easy to manage and you should start here, with the Do's and Don'ts of Selling on Etsy. You can set up your state tax information in accordance to the laws of your state. Etsy even gives you a "profile" page so you can tell the world a little more about yourself.
Do you sell on Etsy now, and if so select what your "main" catergory is!
I will give you the top three secrets!
Three keys to selling are:
1. Proper Use of Tags (Etsy gives you 14 of them)
2. Great Photographs (#1 way to sell your product)
3. Promoting and Marketing your Items (to drive exposure to your shop)
Secret #1 : Use of Tags
What's in a tag? Etsy tags are the way your item will be found. It's hard getting used to this at first, but the key here is to think like a buyer. If you are selling a globe, what kind of tags would be used, or, how would you search when looking for it? Would you search for the type of globe? Would you call it an Earth? What about Science? Astronomy? Planet? Sphere? Round? Topography? Map? Cartography? Sea? Atlantic Ocean? Continents? You really have to think like a buyer when listing and tagging your items.
Clear Photos ...
Secret #2 : Good Photographs
You don't need an expensive camera, but you do need how to read up on how to use your Macro function. IPhones or smart phones come with great cameras now! They key to selling is taking good, clear photographs. Make the background not distracting, and show the item in use or how it would appear in the home. The easiest tip I can give you here is to make sure the photograph is something you would want shared into cyberspace. Is it good enough?
Promotion & Marketing
Secret #3 : Marketing and Promotions
Etsy is an inexpensive storefront but the promotions are up to you. Refer to the beginning of my article, now ten million items, how will yours be found? You must utilize hard work and social promotion.
In my experience, you will have to promote your items harder in the beginning, until you build up a client base, that will help promote them for you. At that time, you can focus more on running the shop and less on promoting it unless you are lucky enough to go "viral".
Top 5 Social Media Places
A photo is worth 30 hashtags, and use them wisely! Instagram is a great visual marketplace to showcase some of your items. Use a business account and make sure to link it to your Facebook and Twitter so it posts updates for you. On your Etsy shop make sure to list your Instagram so users can follow you. I have had a great success with Instagram.
Using Twitter is easy, because you can't go past 140 characters. Basically you are just sending little mini updates out into cyberspace. I have been using it for a long time but you muse use proper hashtags for good engagement.
Having a page for your Etsy account is great and you can share your items there, turn it into a business page for helpful insights and integration with Instagram.
A visual site where you can share your items if you have a business account! You can easily categorize and organize your best and favorite items. For me, Pinterest drives a lot of views to my shop thanks to Etsy's integration of the PIN IT button next to every item. This helps when my customers like my items and share them to their pin boards!
I have not personally used this for my Etsy shop, but a few users report adding their items to their SnapChat.
Do You Use Instagram For Your Etsy?
More on Instagram - Tips
Since I personally feel Instagram helps me the most I wanted to share some Instagram tips.
Many people have different opinions on what you should and should not do but this is what works for me.
- Turn your personal into a business account and you will have more features and helpful analytics.
- I DO add personal photos into my business page but I make sure the pictures I post are something that may gain me more followers. Cats, dogs , motivational words. In other words, you will not see my “ club party” photos or me “kissing my guy” because that won‘t help me sell my vintage...
- I try not to appear too salesy when I list my vintage items for sale I talk about why I loved the item and how it could be used in the home to give ideas to potential buyers.
- I make sure to only post high quality photos. I also post photos of vintage things which helps appeal to a vintage audience- sometimes these things are not for sale but just part of my feed.
- Engagement is important on instagram. Make sure to read and respond to comments.
- I follow good Etsy related accounts on Instagram, this helps see what's trending and also to help with the tags! For instance: Etsy , ForSaleonEtsy etc.
What is your Opinion of Twitter helping your business?
Do you think Facebook is a viable source for sharing your Etsy vintage items?
Pinterest - Do You Use It?
How often do you use Pinterest? Add your Pinterest name in the comments!
SnapChat for Etsy?
Have you used SnapChat for promoting Etsy items?
Etsy Related Blogs and Sites for Guidance - Helpful Links!
- 10 Tips for Selling on Etsy: Avoid Common Seller Mistakes
Learn how to have a successful shop launch on Etsy, the online marketplace for handmade, vintage, and supplies. Learn the ten overlooked features and common mistakes that Etsy sellers make.
- Ten Photography Tips for Successful Selling on Etsy
Etsy sellers might overlook the fact that visually enticing photographs are key. These tips and suggestions can be used in any online store.
Find the perfect handmade gift, vintage & on-trend clothes, unique jewelry, and more… lots more.
- For Sale, on Etsy
Features Etsy Sellers
- EverythingEtsy.com - Etsy Blog | Selling on Etsy | Etsy Banners | Giveaways & Creative Stuff
Etsy Blog | Selling on Etsy | Etsy Banners | Giveaways & Creative Stuff
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2011 Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer