Lately I’ve been overwhelmed and overjoyed at the number of friends of mine who have taken on the challenge of opening up their own Etsy shop. I’ve had my own shop, FrostedTreats for almost three years. It was the best decision I could have made.
Originally I set up shop to thin out the ridiculous stock of charms I had made for fun. Then came the realization that I could also help fund my creative hobbies with the proceeds from my sales. From there my little mini business has continued to grow. Not only am I able to showcase the nifty little trinkets I make to the world, but I’ve also been able to answer questions and illuminate the online craft marketplace for my real life friends. How to take quality image photos, shipping dilemmas, custom order etiquette, and beyond.
The best bit of advice I can give anyone just starting out with an Etsy shop is to READ UP! Find resources everywhere. Don’t assume that you know exactly what you’re doing. There are tons of experts out there who can point you in the right direction – don’t neglect the wealth of information around you. Here is a quick list of recent articles around the Etsy-verse.
Starting an Etsy Shop from the Bottom Up by Handmadeology
Though I’ve only highlighted one post from this site, Handmadeology is a terrific resource! Look through and try to absorb all of the wisdom and knowledge available! This article here isn’t quite a step-by-step look at setting up a shop, but more of a “get your head right” pep talk. Valuable advice right there!
Photography Tips for Crafters by Elizabeth Carls
Since your potential customers cannot touch, hold, examine, or try on your creations, the only way they can fall in love is through photos. The perfect product photos are hard to come by if you don’t know what you’re doing. The biggest tip I can give is to use natural light. Set your photo shoot up outside or in a bright room with big windows. Indoor lighting and your camera’s flash result in pretty bland, poorly lit photos. Other than that little tidbit, read through Elizabeth Carls’ article and find out other ways to enhance your images!
Etsy Checklist – Tips to Sell More by Handmade Marketing
Another great seller resource with a myriad of articles aimed at Etsy success. This post gives a brief but well-rounded look at the basics of online craft selling. Photos, SEO (search engine optimization), networking, tagging, social media, etc.
20 Tips for Selling on Etsy by Everything Etsy
More brief snippets of advice on set up and success. Everything Etsy is another good resource to dig through… This site also features Etsy finds, giveaways, a shop directory and sales on occasion. The biggest tip here? Whatever you plan to do with your Etsy shop – have fun with it!
The Great Pricing Debate by IndieFixx
Sooooo, you want to sell your creations. Good – now how much should you charge? This question is one that everyone who endeavors to market their crafts has to battle with. You don’t want to charge too much and scare off buyers, but you don’t want to charge too little and end up broke. This post helps to calm some fears and steer the would-be entrepreneur in the right direction to find that delicate pricing balance. Bottom line – be fair to yourself. If you cannot support your hobby/business with bargain basement type prices – raise them! Don’t feel bad about it either. If you’re creating quality items, higher prices are not unreasonable. Take into account the cost of materials, time and labor, and your talent.
The Etsy Seller Handbook by The Storque
This link will bring you to more links – tons of links – wonderful links. The Storque is run by Etsy itself and posts a number of helpful articles on how to succeed with your shop as well as adorable tutorials and DIY projects! Definitely a must-read.
I hope these resources help calm your nerves and answer some questions. Feel free to ask questions here, too! We will gladly impart some of our knowledge :) Take a look now at some wonderful Etsy shops run by some wonderful people!
High quality jewelry made with colorful beads, sterling silver, and a keen eye for style.
Funky art prints, cool coasters, and LOTS of great color!