Etsy Selling Tips – A Checklist for Success

If you make handmade products, sell vintage clothes or sell products used for creating clothing and other accessories, Etsy may be the ideal platform for you to sell your products.

Etsy is a website that connects sellers with buyers of artistic products. It has a very special sense of community and really strives to make the experience personable.

Once you’ve set up your etsy store, there are many things you can do to increase your Etsy success.
(Download our “Getting Started with Etsy” pdf here if you need help getting registered to sell items on etsy.)

You need to setup an appealing storefront, create high quality, unique products, list them properly and constantly monitor a number of things to make sure your sales continue to increase.

Here’s a checklist to help you through the process. Some of these tips only need to be reviewed every once in a while, while others will affect how you list each item every time.

Research, Market Selection, Setup

  • Start with your passions. Come up with 20 or so product ideas that correspond with those things you love to create and sell. From there, use your customer’s feedback to keep expanding your store.
  • Who else is in your market? Before you get started, do some careful market analysis. What are other artists in your industry doing? How do they handle their pricing? Take all of these details into consideration when you create and price your own products.
  • How are they selling? You can somewhat gauge how well someone’s work is selling by dividing the amount of time the store has been open with the feedback  they have. This will also help you gauge the health of the market.
  • Pick a name that grows with you. Don’t pick a name that works only when your store is small. Instead, pick a name that will sound great even further down the line.
  • Many etsy experts advise newbies to launch a store with 20 items. If you have only 3 to 5 items when you start, you might not have the level of selection you need to keep people interested in your store.

Profile & Shop

  • Have a great banner that relates to what you sell. (Hint: Don’t use a generic banner.) Make sure that others can tell what kind of products you offer just by glancing at your banner.
  • Use an avatar that conveys trust. People should feel subtly more confident in making a purchase after having seen your avatar.
  • Make your shop title short, but also sweet and catchy.
  • Make your announcement short but sweet, as well. If your prospective customers can’t see your products in the first screen, your announcement is too long.
  • Set your City, State, Country. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this one. People search for local artists and will often send invitations to local events based on Etsy listings.
  • Store policies. Having clear store policies can save you a lot of trouble down the line. Browse other stores to see how others have setup their policies.
  • Change your featured items twice a week. Pick 3 each time. This will give your viewers a fresh look at your products every time they come back.

Listing Items

  • Description. Go into as much detail as possible. Remember, you can see and touch the item, but they can’t. Use as many senses as you can in your description and address any questions you think your prospective customers might have.
  • Photos. Use all 5 photos and give visitors as many different angles as possible. Take photos from the inside, from the side, from the top, bottom, etc. Make sure all photos are crisp, clear and uncluttered. Use sunlight whenever possible, but make it well lit.
  • Use all 14 tags. Make all the tags relevant and try to think of what others would search for to find your items. Colors, textures, etc are all great tags. Consider tagging in other languages if your item sells internationally. Use different tags in multiple listings so a wider range of audience is exposed to your products.
  • Feedback. If you don’t have any feedback yet, buy a few inexpensive products on Etsy. The items can each cost less than $5 and will give you the benefit of experiencing the buyer’s side of Etsy.

Renewing Items

  • Renew often. With thousands of listings being added every day, yours will get pushed off the front page of search results and categories quickly. Renewing will get your items in front of more eyeballs.
  • Track your renews in an excel spreadsheet. Know what’s selling and what isn’t selling and calculate your real cost per sale in listing fees by tracking each listing.
  • Change photos of underselling items that you think should be selling. If you think an item deserves to be making sales but it isn’t, change your photos or title before renewing.
  • New items get more views than renewing. Instead of renewing all the time, try creating a new item.

Packaging, Delivery & Fulfillment

  • Packaging matters! The packaging for your product is the first impression your customers get. It only costs a few cents to personalize it, so don’t skimp on packaging.
  • Try Carrier Pick Up from USPS. Instead of dropping off your product every time you need to ship, USPS will just pick it up for free!
  • Customer service. Service is essential for making repeat sales, getting referrals and getting other people to send traffic to your store. Always aim to reply to inquiries within 24 hours.
  • Sell International. Yes, it’s a bit more effort to figure out all the shipping options and costs, but Etsy is truly an international website and if you’re not shipping internationally, you could be losing out on a lot of business.

Marketing & Promotion

  • Join a team! Teams are powerful alliances for store owners to co-promote each other’s stores.
  • Participate in Etsy forums and blogs. Don’t post just to get exposure, but if you participate intelligently people will naturally want to check out what you have to offer.
  • Survey your old customers. What did they like about buying from you? What could be improved? Always aim to better your store.

Download Momscape’s Free PDF Guide “Getting Started with Etsy” here.
* How to register and create your etsy store
* A handy etsy selling checklist
* 50 ideas for handmade goods you can create and sell.