How to Sell Handmade Jewelry on Etsy
Etsy is by far the largest and most well known site for selling handmade products online. Even though jewelry is one of the most competitive categories there, if you're interested in selling your crafts online, it is well worth considering selling on Etsy. The site is becoming well known in the mainstream culture, and it's easy for both sellers and buyers to use. However, as it is such a competitive marketplace, it's important to take all of the steps that you can to build a stellar shop.
I've broken this article down into the following sections:
- Getting Started. Get all of your ducks in a row before you open your Etsy shop.
- Listing Considerations. Your listing photos and descriptions can make or break sales.
- Other Considerations. There are some additional options on Etsy that you can consider.
- Learn your craft. Make the best jewelry that you can. The bottom line is that no one wants to purchase inferior products. The best Etsy shop in the world will not survive without quality products.
- Continue to learn new techniques. Even if you have successful product lines, it's still important to keep expanding your repertoire and your personal skill set. Take opportunities to extend your skills and challenge yourself.
- Review the basics of Etsy. There are lots of great resources on the site that explain Etsy fees, different shop aspects, etc. Take the time to learn this information so you don't have any unexpected surprises.
- Develop a pricing formula. I wrote an entire article about this topic, but I will briefly recap here. In addition to creating your own formula, it's important to compare your price points to prices on Etsy for similar products. Keep in mind that you don't want to undercut sellers unless you can justify charging less (i.e. by purchasing wholesale materials). If you do have higher end pieces, make sure to articulate what makes them more expensive (i.e. using sterling silver instead of silver plated materials).
- Build your inventory before opening a shop. There is no magic number for this, but I recommend having at least 50 pieces ready to list when you open. There is also no magic number for how often you should continue to list new pieces, but I like to list at least one new piece per week.
- Get the non-jewelry aspects of your shop ready. This includes a shop banner, avatar, shop description, policies (shipping, returns, etc.), and personal profile. You can make revisions later, but it's important to have as many aspects of your shop ready to go right from the start.
- Set up a PayPal account if you don't have one already. I highly recommend creating a separate bank account for PayPal transfers as well as Direct Checkout transfers on Etsy if you choose to offer that. If your PayPal account gets hacked, you don't want to put a large amount of your savings in jeopardy.
- Purchase shipping supplies. Consider what will be the safest and most cost effective options for your jewelry.
Selling Tips: Starting a Craft Business
Online Selling Platforms: Etsy vs. Ecommerce
- Take the best photos that you can and then edit them. I feel like a broken record typing this statement yet again, but I really can't stress it enough. Good photos will make all the difference with keeping your shop competitive. I have included some product photography resources on the right.
- Do your keyword research. What search terms are customers using? Structure your titles and keyword order accordingly.
- Keep descriptions concise but informative. Give customers the information that they need and nothing else.
- Always include measurements. Provide basic measurement information about your piece. I highly recommend including both imperial and metric measurements.
- Consider at least one photo with a model. Including a photo with a model or mannequin displaying your piece will be a valuable resource for customers.
Product Photography Resources
I highly recommend making a light box for your product photography.
- Join at least one team. Look for teams that relate specifically to your jewelry niche, such as the Etsy Beadweavers team, that have active challenges and/or promotions. These teams can be a great way to push your artistic abilities to a new level and to promote your shop. Keep in mind that what you put into teams is what you will get out of them.
- Consider selling patterns. If you enjoy creating original designs, consider writing patterns on your designs that you can sell. Patterns are popular on Etsy and can be sold over and over again.
- Continually search for new ways to brand yourself/stand out from the crowd. Anything that you can do to establish your unique brand will be an asset on Etsy, as it will enable people to easily recognize your work.