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★ How to Sell Your Handmade Products Online! | ETSY SUCCESS TIPS & TOOLS ★

Updated on February 18, 2016
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How to Make Your Handmade Shop a Success

Most of the advice below can be applied when selling any handmade product online - so whether you're selling t-shirts or bags, there'll be help here for you :-)

I personally sell jewellery online from Etsy and I have read so many tips for advertising, branding, packaging, marketing etc. whilst trying to make my shop a success, that I now have a huge collection of very helpful links.

Therefore, I've decided to put all the best info here on one page to hopefully help out others who sell their handmade wares online. And although a lot of the links refer to Etsy, the information and advice can usually be transferred to any other place on the Internet where you sell your products.

Enjoy!

Take Better Photos

I think photos are the most important thing to get right in order to sell online, so you must work on these constantly.

Click here for tips on styling your photos....

...And click here for a huge resource of photography and selling info.

Handy Books for Online Sellers

There are some excellent books available on all aspects of selling online, including on the subjects of building your own website, learning about SEO and marketing your products:

Places To Sell Your Items Online

The following list provides links to marketplaces on the web where you can sell your handmade items, with Etsy being the most popular/well-known. People often have their own stand-alone website as an additional store or as their only outlet.

Pretty Packaging

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Top Tips for Selling Online

My personal advice:

- Photos are THE most important thing about selling online, since your customers can't pick the item up in real life. Make sure they're clear and bright, and show every detail. You don't need an expensive camera; I have a point-and-shoot, white paper for underneath the jewellery, a spotlight and a lightbox, and then I use Photoshop Elements (bought for £10) to brighten the photo up on the computer. And take LOTS of photos and at different angles, so that you have a higher chance of getting a couple of really good captures!

If your photos are good enough, put them on Flickr (with your shop address in your profile, not on the photo page).

- Have patience...you may wait months to get the first sale, and years for regular sales. People 'in the know' have said it takes a few months for the first sale, and around 12-18 months for regular sales.

- Update regularly. Don't lose heart because you're not making sales. Persevere for months and eventually search engines will notice you update regularly and you'll creep up the search results.

- Have as many designs as you can manage/afford in your shop. The more items you have for sale, the easier it is for people to find you, and the longer people will stay in your shop. Imagine each of your items is a little pointer directing people to your shop, and the more pointers there are, the more visitors you get. Some people who sell full-time recommend listing as many products per day as you'd like to sell per day.

It's no good having a singular great product all alone in your shop unless it really is amazing and it is consequently spread around the net by fans. People like choice, and they like to browse easily too, so categorise your products well for ease of use for the customer.

- Have attractive or at least smart packaging which matches your shop style, preferably with branding on, plus a hand-written note and 2 business cards (so that the customer may give a card to a friend). People want a special touch, but don't go overboard! Go for simple, consistent and inexpensive, whilst making the packaging unique to your shop.

- Brand your shop: If you haven't already thought of a name, think of something memorable and easy to spell. Remember not to call your shop something like 'super duper jewellery', if you're not 100% certain that jewellery is all you want to ever sell. Something beginning with 'A' is good if you want to appear at the top of link lists :-)

Know your style, your market, and your niche. What makes you different from everyone else? Write down keywords that sum up your style and products, which are what your intended market would search for.

Have a logo, the more memorable the better. Put this on your business cards. Try to make your business cards as pretty as possible (maybe include photos), or put a '10% off' code on them to try and encourage people to keep them.

- Use Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and other social networking sites to advertise your wares. You can also use a blog, but only if you are happy to write posts regularly, otherwise you'll hate doing it. Also join appropriate forums but don't post comments just to advertise - put your shop link in your 'signature' and join in conversations on the forum as normal. People hate spammers.

- Use Metatag Analyser

on each of your web pages to check whether your tags/descriptions/titles are search engine friendly.

- Approach suitable blogs to ask for a feature - provide a little write-up and your favourite photo or 2 in your e-mail. Perhaps you could offer a £10 giveaway if people comment with their favourite item of yours.

- Use Project Wonderful to advertise on suitable websites of your choice. You can pay any amount (sometimes nothing) - it depends on the site popularity. Just create eye-catching ads in the correct sizes.

- Submit your shop to search engines.

- Create your own Squidoo lens on a subject related to your shop in some way (with valuable information on - not just an advert for your shop), and have a link to your shop in the intro.

- Have excellent customer service...personalised service sets you apart from large businesses.

- If you find you have items that sell more than others, try offering them in different colours or with slightly different versions of the same thing.

- Remember that the most important thing you need to do is to GET PEOPLE TO YOUR SHOP! If you don't have visitors, it doesn't matter how good your products or photos are because no-one will see them. Don't make the mistake I made and have a sale in order to try and lure visitors to the shop....sales only work when you have visitors (!) and also if you have frequent sales it can devalue your products and people will learn to wait for a sale until they buy something.

Slinky!

What a clever idea for displaying business cards!
What a clever idea for displaying business cards! | Source

Craft Business Help and Advice

The following links are ones I've hand-picked as the best and most helpful, and include tips on everything from advertising and marketing to branding and packaging. A lot of them refer solely to Etsy shops, but most of the tips can still be used with other online selling methods.

Graphic Design

Your website appearance, banner and logo are all very important in attracting buyers and conveying the look and style of your shop. The above banners are examples of those sold on Etsy.

Click here to browse custom banners and logos for sale on Etsy and click here for some graphic design advice from Etsy.

Find Your Niche

Faux taxidermy made from felt is an excellent example of a unique, niche product.
Faux taxidermy made from felt is an excellent example of a unique, niche product. | Source

Creative Packaging

These 'Dynamite' tubes are what the t-shirts from Johnny Cupcakes are packaged in. Not only is it fun, but it makes the company stand out from the competition too!

Click here for more details.

DIY Photo Studio

For more professional photos you could create your own lightbox.
For more professional photos you could create your own lightbox. | Source
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Remember to Buy Handmade Too!

There are so many reasons to buy handmade rather than buying from high street chains, and in my opinion the following points are the most encouraging reasons to cross over to the world of handmade :

1) Much friendlier, more personal customer service

2) Original, unique and often one-of-a-kind designs

3) The artist behind the items really appreciates your custom

4) There is the real possibility that the artist will accept personal requests and create a custom item just for you...all you have do do is ask!

5) The artist often puts plenty of thought into packaging your purchase to make it more special and fun to unwrap

6) You are helping someone to carry on being able to do something they love

7) The quality is usually higher because of the heart, attention and care put into handmade products

8) There are items available for every taste and pocket

I really hope that you consider buying handmade in the future if you don't already - just think of the independent artists you are supporting all over the world!

How To Take Better Product Photos

The following links give tips and instructions on taking better photos of your handmade items, plus tutorials for making photography aids.

Free Etsy Images

Brand Your Packaging

Branding your shop is very important for making your business memorable and unique, and branded packaging is essential for delivering an all-round professional service. It is essential you have cohesive logos, packaging and a banner with similar colours, style and theme.

If you're in a competitive market you really need to stand out, so decide on a simple and cheap packaging style which is stylish and unique to you, and brand it (in quite an obvious way!) with your business name, and always include business cards.

International Shipping

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    • Niche-Diva profile image

      Niche-Diva 7 years ago

      Thank you - such great information all in one place!

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 6 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

      This is another great lens. Well done.

    • profile image

      knavyblue 6 years ago

      Helpful stuff.

      Thank-you!

    • Mortira profile image

      Mortira 6 years ago

      This is a truly amazing resource for sellers! I love your tips, especially the one about keeping at it. Far too many sellers give up early in the game.

      I've rolled this to some of my new Etsy lenses!

    • handmadespark profile image

      handmadespark 6 years ago

      Thanks for including Handmade Spark!

    • profile image

      uncabillysays 6 years ago

      Very informative! Great work - Thanks!

    • MissyBrown LM profile image

      MissyBrown LM 6 years ago

      Wow that is a ton of great information! I'm going to come back and read it again.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 6 years ago from UK

      A mine of information, thanks for that. I guess it will need some time to take it all in

    • Laddoo LM profile image

      Lloyd Pinto 6 years ago from Mumbai

      Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very informative lens...thanks!

    • Mrmakingusmile LM profile image

      Mrmakingusmile LM 6 years ago

      Good information. Thanks for sharing. Thanks for making me smile.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Great lens

    • profile image

      MelsBells 6 years ago

      This lens is chock full of great tips for selling on Etsy! I have written several lenses full of additional tips. They're great for Etsy sellers as well as anyone starting or running a small business particularly of the handmade variety. Regards :)

    • profile image

      ANYclothingDesigns 5 years ago

      thanks for the great tips and tools!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks very much, your Squeedo page helped us a lot. We are from Brazil and when out of our job (Get your HTML codes here!otimizacao de sites) we like to do handmade stuff, and trying to sell online. Thanks again!

    • KANEsUgAr profile image

      KANEsUgAr 5 years ago

      The light box idea is brilliant, I got to try that. I use the camera on my phone, edit it and post it on my etsy shop. www.etsy.com/kanekl I make sugar flowers for decorating cakes and cupcakes.

    • Shanir LM profile image

      Shanir LM 5 years ago

      Great lens, very helpful! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I really love to see your products and the tips are one of a kind. I'd be grateful if you could see mine as well. Visit me here jewelry making and Jewelry Making Kits . Thank you !

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi -I have just been scrolling down your lists -loads of information we have been pondering on, researching, worrying over. Very, very helpful. Thank you.

    • profile image

      FluffySoap 5 years ago

      I'm bookmarking this lens. Thank you.

    • Judy Filarecki profile image

      Judy Filarecki 5 years ago from SW Arizona and Northern New York

      Thanks for all the great info and links. I'm just starting out with Etsy and I see there is a great deal to learn as I develop my shop.

    • profile image

      buntyross 5 years ago

      wow this is beautiful information , I just loved all the information i make hand made beaded lanyards and would love to sell them Online. thanks for the great tips for photographing loved them all.

    • profile image

      Craftybegonia 5 years ago

      Very nice lens. Great info and links!

    • GoldenClone profile image

      GoldenClone 5 years ago

      good like

    • bikerministry profile image

      bikerministry 5 years ago

      I reopened my "bigsis2" Etsy shop. THANKS. Blessings.

    • profile image

      CosyMattress 5 years ago

      some good advice on this lens - all to often you are in a rush to set up your site

    • profile image

      jtbmetaldesigns 5 years ago

      Thanks for the encouragement! I opened my Etsy shop in Jan 2011 and Ihad my first sale the

      Following June. Christmas gave me a boost now I hope 2012 will be better.

    • profile image

      n0elle 5 years ago

      Thank you so much for sharing your knowledge! This is a great lense!

    • earthybirthymum profile image

      earthybirthymum 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      you given some great Etsy advice. I've been on Etsy for almost a year now, still enjoy it, and always learning.

    • designsbyharriet profile image

      Harriet 5 years ago from Indiana

      Etsy is so overloaded with jewelry sellers that after almost three years I have only sold 15 pieces. Not exactly a living. Thank goodness I do well at craft shows.

    • profile image

      brynimagire 5 years ago

      Excellent post ! Interesting lens !

    • elsiesflat profile image

      elsiesflat 5 years ago

      Great lens. I'll be sure to try some of these tips with my own shop.

    • elisiepoo profile image

      elisiepoo 5 years ago

      Nice lens :)

    • profile image

      derekh123 5 years ago

      this lens is simply great!! I have one more tip for you on how to sell your products quickly - visit http://advertising-for-free.co.uk

    • LynetteBell profile image

      LynetteBell 5 years ago from Christchurch, New Zealand

      Great infoirmation thanks:)

    • Hawaiitom profile image

      Hawaiitom 4 years ago

      Super cool information--wow!

    • BlackSunflowerB profile image

      BlackSunflowerB 4 years ago

      Very informative. I can use these tips.

    • profile image

      ICanDoThis LM 4 years ago

      really good job!

    • profile image

      allpetscherished 4 years ago

      This was a very informative lens! I've bookmarked to take a look at some of these links. Great resource, thanks!!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      I may be bug-eyed from reading, but was well worth it! Thanks for all the information, particularly the links. Much appreciated.

    • profile image

      zia-barkatullah 4 years ago

      thank you for your informative article, nice job with all the links and the look of your lens

    • profile image

      hunter5012 4 years ago

      Great info. Thanks

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      The download link for free Etsy images is not working...:(.

    • profile image

      Uprofit 4 years ago

      Luv that lightbox idea, got me thinking.

    • abraxo profile image

      abraxo 4 years ago

      Great lens! I think you should add a section that focuses on keyword as they stand now. I've been using single word keywords and have been informed that this is no longer relevant and phrases are now in. I have a hard time grasping this concept.

    • profile image

      lisaastrup 4 years ago

      A very big help, thank you - could use extra help with keewords becurse

      English is not my mother tongue.

    • profile image

      carla-t-falls 4 years ago

      What a fabulous page. Just great info. Thank you.

    • CozyKitty profile image

      CozyKitty 4 years ago

      This is such a valuable resource for Etsy sellers (or anyone looking to run a small business). Etsy is definitely on my list of future aspirations, and your lens will be such a help. Thank you so much! :)

    • sasta10 lm profile image

      sasta10 lm 4 years ago

      Love etsy, love those hand made stuff people sell on the site. I sell vintage item on etsy myself, it's a great place to sell and socialize. Thanks for sharing this great lens.

    • profile image

      handcrafted-coolery 4 years ago

      Thanx for this Lens, theres a lot of helpful information here!

    • microbio profile image

      microbio 4 years ago

      Very informative and comprehensive lens, thanks :)

      In my opinion the hard work comes not from finding your niche but from finding the right media to advertise in, free or paid for.

    • retrochalet profile image

      Cindy Fahnestock-Schafer 4 years ago from Hedgesville, WV

      Great job all your lenses I love!

    • amandascloset0 profile image

      amandascloset0 3 years ago

      I sell ready made and hand made with both etsy and ebay stores

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