{Podcast} Selling Your Products on Etsy

This whole month of October I’m going to be diving deep into the world of ecommerce. Whatever your selling (ebooks, fashion, accessories, music, crafts, art) I’m going to be talking to you about the best places to sell what you have online and give you helpful tips to achieving success in that marketplace.

Today’s Topic: Selling on Etsy
On today’s show I’m going to be giving you key information to see if Etsy is a platform for you and to help you become  a successful Etsy seller. Tune in for the show.

{Podcast} Listen in now:

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Etsy is a vibrant online marketplace and community of creative entrepreneurs who hand make items to sell to customers around the world. The web site is used by people making all kinds of interesting and unique items. To get an idea of what kind of items are best for etsy, you can check out their guidelines. Essentially hand made items, vintage pieces over 20 years old and craft supplies are welcome in this market place.

I have an etsy store for my BLONDI Beachwear branded products that are more unique than the main stream manufactured designs I sell in my regular store. I have found that my customizable and more unique designer made or one of a kind items are a perfect fit for the community and can command a more than fair price provided that the value offered and quality of the manufacturing offer the customer more than exceed their expectations. I’ve also seen great success in special designs that I have created by hand in my sample room. The customers on Etsy love unique items with authentic stories so this is a place where your creativity can thrive.

Before I consider listing a design on Etsy I do a little research by searching the site for similar items in my category. It’s a great way to compare value, materials, design and presentation in order to not only make sure that I’m offering something unique but also to ensure that its possible to be competitive in the field. Remember your item is unique because you created it but If you do see other items similar to yours, I recommend looking deeper into what makes your item unique and finding a creative way to express that. Be sure to talk about your story, brand and how these things apply to the item your listing for sale. Titles are also very important for customer searches, social media shares and SEO optimization.

For instance I have a custom beach wedding skirt listed for sale. There may be other beach wedding skirts available but what makes mine unique is the fabric, curve of the design, customizable sizing, and the fact that each customer works with the designer on their skirt order. Additionally, my brand is known on Etsy for being a design studio where you can custom order matching pieces and even request special things like fabric color or details like lace applicas and rhinestones.

Images
Quality Images are a priority for selling online. You don’t need to hire a professional photographer, but make sure you have a good camera and are presenting your items in very good lighting. Daylight works the best but you may want to consider using an editor to help increase contrast and warmth or coolness to the photo. Be sure that you have taken high quality pictures showing all the details and all sides of the item for sale. Capturing your true product colors are important to building customer trust and helping to decrease returns or bad feedback. Your pictures can also help tell your story. To learn more about thinking like a shopper, check out this article.

Transaction fees
When you make a sale on Etsy, you will be charged a transaction fee of 3.5% of the item price. This percentage does not include the shipping cost or tax. The transaction fees are added to your Etsy bill.

Each listing on Etsy costs $0.20 USD when the listing is published. A listing lasts for four months or until the item is sold. After four months if the item has not sold, then the listing expires but you can easily renew it. If you have more than one of the same item, you can reflect the quantity available in your listing. When a transaction occurs and the listing is not sold out, the listing is automatically renewed at a cost of $0.20 USD.

Etsy Wholesale fees
Eligible sellers may sell on Etsy’s Wholesale platform. Starting August 1, 2014, seller membership will require a non-refundable $100 joining fee, which is added to your Etsy bill upon your acceptance to Etsy Wholesale. All sales made on Etsy Wholesale on or after August 1, 2014 will incur the standard transaction fee of 3.5% of the item price (excluding taxes and shipping costs). For more information, please see the Etsy Wholesale Terms of Use.

Tips for sellers:
Be sure to fill out your shop’s About page.
– Only list items in your shop that are for sale and fall into one of our three categories (handmade, vintage, or craft supplies).
– Items must be accurately represented in listings and listing photos.
– Be aware that buyers can submit reviews of items they have purchased.
– Respect the intellectual property of others. If you feel someone has violated your copyright, you can report it to Etsy.
– Do not engage in fee avoidance.
– Do not sell prohibited items.
– For sellers of Handmade items:
– Do not resell items in our Handmade category.
– Describe every person involved in the making of an item in your shop.
– If you work with an outside manufacturer to make items that you have designed, we ask that you share additional information with Etsy and share information about the manufacturers you work with on your shop and listings. We also expect that you choose ethical manufacturing partners.
– For sellers of wholesale, digital, custom, mature, and charitable listings, we have some additional guidelines.
– Provide Great Customer Service

The following guidelines will help you meet the highest level of customer service.
Honor your shipping and processing times.
– Respond to Conversations in a timely manner.
– Explain your shop’s policies clearly and honor those commitments.
– Try to work out disagreements or disputes directly with the buyer.
– In the unlikely event that you can’t reach a resolution, our Trust and Safety team can help.
– If you are unable to complete an order, you must notify the buyer and cancel the order.

Advertising :
Etsy offers advertising opportunities to increase the visibility of your items and shop. The fees vary and will be clearly outlined before you commit to purchasing an ad. I haven’t used the paid advertising yet but I have used social media to drive traffic to my listings. For instance facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, pinterest and Google plus. But Etsy itself has brought me a lot of new clients just from browsing my listings. I try to list new products several times a week in the mornings and evenings to keep fresh designs flowing in the streams and if something doesn’t work I change the title, pictures, descriptions and dive deeper into price searches to see if my price may be off. I have many times adjusted price to help an item do better. Sometimes it’s best for the business to make less money on an item to gain the client so consider that when you price. Value and customer service is key to online sales.

Community:
Etsy has a wonderful community of sellers and forums you can connect with to learn more about being successful and perfecting your craft. It’s really important to become an active part of this community to naturally drive more traffic to your listings and gather support for your product and talent. People who sell on Etsy typically buy there as well so be sure to support their work and connect with fellow sellers everyday.

Shipping Fees:
Etsy offers sellers based in the US and Canada who accept Direct Checkout or PayPal as payment methods the ability to purchase shipping labels to fulfill their orders through USPS and Canada Post, respectively. Shipping labels purchased on Etsy cost the same or less than the equivalent postage purchased directly through the USPS or Canada Post.

 Join Etsy and start selling now with your first 40 listings for free with this link: http://etsy.me/1oseLWo

SHOWS You DON’T WANT To MISS:
– (Podcast) Giving Hope for a Creative Future with Jacqueline Jax

ETSY SUCCESS STORIES:
Quit Your Day Job: India y la Luna : Find out how a single mom built a successful jewelry business in Argentina — and built her dream home from her earnings.

– Quit Your Day Job: Peg and Awl : Discarded materials become everyday essentials in the hands of these shop owners. Learn how they found wholesale success making the things they love.

Inspiring Workspaces: Flapper Doodle’s Mobile Studio : Find out how one Etsy seller takes her shop on the road with a cute and clever workspace built right into the trunk of her car.

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