10 Tips for New Etsy Sellers

Do I have a treat for you today! Casey from Vitamini Handmade is here to give you insight into running a successful Etsy shop as a new seller. Her work is beyond adorable (and so is her blog!), so if you’re considering selling your goods online, these 10 tips for new sellers are the perfect place to start. So without further ado, take it away Casey!

10 Tips for New Etsy Sellers(Mini Cooper Canvas Tote available for purchase here)

Hi everyone! I’m Casey and I started selling my screen printed gifts and stationery on Etsy in 2008. In the past 6 1/2 years running my shop Vitamini, I’ve shipped my handmade items to countries all over the world and have racked up over 1K sales. I currently run two shops: Vitamini, featuring my mini car themed items, and Vitamodern, featuring my retro-modern designs. Etsy has come a long way since I first started up, but it’s still a wonderful (if not the best) place to sell handmade goods online.

So Long Dachshund Card, vitamodern on Etsy(So Long Dachshund Card available for purchase here)

Starting and setting up shop can be intimidating if you don’t know where to begin. We all know clear, attractive photography can go a long way in helping your listings shine, but besides that there are lots of other things you can do to give your shop a boost, get your items seen, and encourage shoppers to seal the deal and make a purchase! Here are my top 10 tips for successful selling:

1. Use strategic listing titles

Listing titles help your customers find you in the product search, so instead of naming your handmade cutting board “Wood Block No. 5” use descriptive terms in the title instead, like “Walnut Cutting Board 8″ x 10″ Handmade With Reclaimed Lumber”. It may not be very poetic, but it will help you in the product search.

2. Use all of your tags

Each of the 13 tags is a different way for your customer to find you. Use them all!

3. Use all of your photos

Your customer might move on if she can’t see the back of that beautiful quilt you just stitched by hand. Use all of your product photos to show every angle of your product.

Just Married Mini Cooper Card-- Vitamini on Etsy(Just Married Mini Cooper Card available for purchase here)

4. Write clear, informative product descriptions

Use clear and to the point terms when describing your products. Include materials, dimensions, and any custom options.

5. Fill out your policies

Your shoppers should know how long it will take to receive their purchase and what they should do if it arrives damaged. Fill out all of your shop policies so you’re clear on shipping methods, times, your return policy, and lead times on custom products.

6. Don’t list items all at once

There’s a carousel of newly-listed items at the bottom of the Etsy Front Page. Spread out your new listings so they don’t make their appearance all at once.

7. Make treasuries

Treasuries get featured on the Etsy front page, so make treasuries whenever you have a chance. Have fun selecting products to fit a unique theme based on trends, seasons, colors, anything, really. Send everyone you include in the treasury a Conversation letting them know so they can help spread the word and add views, likes, and comments. Maybe yours will be featured!

Retro Succulent Card, Vitamodern on Etsy(Retro Succulent Card available for purchase here)

8. Join teams

Teams are a great way to connect with other like-minded sellers. Find a team that fits your product niche or one that’s local to your area. Team members make great support systems!

9. Be active

Comment on articles, add shops and products to your favorites, add people to your circle, and send thank you conversations to your customers. The more active you are, the more people have a chance to connect with you. Don’t get lost in the shuffle.

10. Tell your story

People love handmade products because they’re made by real people with interesting backgrounds and experiences. Use your shop profile to tell everyone who you are, how you got started, and why you love what you make.

If you’re looking for more tips and tricks, there’s a wealth of information in the Etsy Seller Handbook . Don’t forget to search and ask questions in the Forums if you’re looking for something specific!

Have any tips to add or questions for Casey? We’d love to hear your response in the comments!



  • This is really helpful! I have tried to sell lots of the things I like to make on Etsy (http://www.etsy.com/store/jadedjewelryxo) but I feel like the market is so crowded! Will definitely start spacing out my listings like you suggested… I tend to go on a binge and list everything all at once.

    Any ideas as to whether it’s beneficial to have more listings vs less when it comes to visibility? I’ve been hesitant to list more since a lot of my listings expired unpurchased!

    Lauren | http://www.livelovelauren.com

    • Casey Starks

      Hi Lauren! Casey here. The market is indeed crowded, so getting seen is key! More listings are definitely better than less. I’ve heard a few different things about the “magic” number, though. Some say 100, others say 50. But think of it this way: if you had 50 listings, each with 10 unique tags each (figuring the other 3 are more general, repeat tags), that’s 500 different ways for a customer to find you in a search. And I know when I’m shopping on Etsy, I’ll find an item I like then continue to browse the rest of the shop to see if there’s anything else that catches my eye. So getting seen in an initial search can lead to more views and potentially more sales.

      If an item expires without getting much attention, try re-working your tags or adding new photos. Use the Stats page to monitor how it does. I hope that helps!

      • Casey, thank you so much for the info! I definitely have nowhere near 50 listings at the moment, if that’s on the lower side of things! I have so many things to post but always psych myself out. But that is really a good point with using unique tags on each listing, I didn’t really think about how much more reach you could have by doing that! Thank you again!

    • So happy you found this info useful Lauren! Would you mind reposting the link to your Etsy shop? It turned up an error page for some reason!

  • I don’t have an Etsy, but I can tell these tips are major, even just from the POV of a customer. #3, I’ve never noticeduntil now, but it’s SO true that I’ve passed on items because I couldn’t see all angles of it… imagine that! I will absolutely be referring to this in the future once I stop chickening out about starting an Etsy.

    • Amy! What are you doing NOT opening a shop? I bet it would be fantastic :)

      And you’re totally right! I’ve certainly skipped over an item for bad images or if I felt like I didn’t get a good enough sense as to what it would actually be like in person. So smart to think about your shop in terms of the POV of the customer!

  • Pingback: Happy Weekend + New Etsy Items! - The Crafted Life()

  • Tan

    This is so handy! I’m holding on to these tips for when I open my etsy shop. Thank you!

    • Oh yay! So glad this was of use for you Tan. Can’t wait to see what you come up with :)

  • Pingback: Carnival of Creativity 7/13/14 - The Writing Reader()

  • cecmic

    I have been selling on Etsy for about 2 years. I have always wondered what way would be beneficial when it comes to re-posting items. Should I re-post before it expires or should I wait until after it expires to re-post?