You have a great hand made product that you are eager to sell on Etsy. Great! Now what? Showcase your creativity by creating a brand, and start your path to becoming an Etsy power seller by publishing great photographs of your products and getting your sales to your customers quickly. Here are the top three things you need to know when starting an Etsy business.
Starting an Etsy Business
The first big decision when starting an Etsy business is naming your shop. You might already have a name in mind that you love, only to find that it is already taken. If that is the case, try adding “Shoppe”, “Store”, or your initials to the name to make it work. You can change your shop name as many times as you want before you go live with your Etsy store. After that, you can change the name one time by following these instructions.
If you do not already have a shop name in mind, here are some pointers to consider. Remember that your name will go on more than just your store url: it will be used on address return labels, receipts, labels, and merchandise tags. Choose a name that represents who you are and what you are selling. If you sell in a particular niche, such as jewelry, consider incorporating that in your name so that potential customers know exactly what you are offering.
You might have an incredible product, but if the images on your listing do not convey that then you will have a hard time selling. You have a few photographic opportunities per listing to sell your product: make the most of it. Etsy is a photo driven market, and a great image will drive more traffic than any written description. You do not have to invest in expensive equipment to take great product photos, but you will need to understand lighting and staging.
A simple way to create a clean and uncluttered background for your product photos is to use poster board. You can find poster board in various colors at multiple stores, including dollar stores. Opt for at least two boards, one for the base and one for the background, so you can set them up in an “L” shape next to a wall.
For lighting, a large window works well. Natural light helps produce higher quality images. Set your posterboard next to a window where you can get plenty of indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sunlight which can create harsh shadows. If your images still seem dark, you can use white poster board to bouce some of the light back onto your product. Some sellers opt to create or buy light boxes and lights so they can photograph at all times of the day, even late at night. This is something you might want to consider, especially if you do not have a lot of access to natural light or if you are selling larger items that are difficult to move or place near a window.
Staging your photos means adding props to enhance and help sell your product. Typically, less staging is better, since you want to keep the focus on the item you are selling. With smaller products, like jewelry items, you can create an interesting backdrop by setting the item on a jewelry tray or placing it on an interesting texture like rice or sand. For larger items, like furniture, add flowers or a potted plant to add some life to the image.
Presentation is important when starting an Etsy business! The way you package and mail your products will impact the first impression you make on your customers. Since you are selling online, most or all of your merchandise will need to be shipped. You will save a lot of time and hassle by setting up accounts with the mail service you plan to use. The USPS, Fed Ex, and UPS all have options for you to create accounts online that you can use to estimate shipping costs, purchase postage, print mailing labels, and schedule pick ups. Shipping providers offer the option to purchase boxes or, with flat rate boxes from the US Postal Service, order free boxes that can be mailed to your home. Customers expect prompt service, so setting up your mail system now will help you get your products in the mail quickly and efficiently.
Once you have decided how to mail your products, take some time to consider how the package will be presented. Tissue paper is an inexpensive yet attractive option for wrapping products. A bit of twine, raffia, or ribbon make a nice finishing touch. Tags with your store name and contact info will help customers remember who they purchased from, and, if your item was purchased as a gift, will let gift recipients know how to answer the question “Where did you get that great item from?” Taking a few seconds to add a personal touch, like a handwritten “thank you” on the tag, will be well received.
Presentation means everything! These stylish jewelry displays and boxes might come in handy when showcasing your products in photos and packaging them up for customers.
As you can see, it takes a little bit more than a great idea when starting an Etsy business, but once you have these three items taken care of you will be ready to open for business!