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!



The Crafted Life on Etsy

The Crafted Life Etsy ShopA few weeks ago, I started a new column called The Crafted Business. After all the positive chats about getting started and taking risks, I decided to take the leap for myself. That’s right, The Crafted Life is now on Etsy (click here to see the shop)! I’m so excited, and a bit nervous, to share with you what I’ve been working on.

Now, the inventory is a bit low at this point, but I’ll be adding to it over the course of the next two weeks. In the meantime, I’d like to offer you free shipping– just use the code ‘HOORAY‘ at checkout.

The Crafted Life Etsy Shop

The Crafted Life Etsy ShopIf you have an Etsy shop, I’d love to see what you’re making. Feel free to leave a link in the comments below!


Let’s Chat: Getting Started

A Pair & A Spare print (image by a pair & a spare)

Thanks to some encouraging words from my friend Rachael, I opened a Society6 shop last week to sell some of my prints. Photography is a newer hobby of mine, I’ve even been able to do some freelancing this year, but it got me thinking about starting a shop for the other items I make.

I’ve dabbled on Etsy before, but I wasn’t serious about what I was doing or what I was selling. I was perfectly happy when my shop got a favorite or two, but at the end of the day, there was a disconnect between me and the product.

Here are some basic tips that I learned the first time around:

1. Find something to make that you don’t hate making. Sure, there might be a market for the item you’re selling, but are you going to be motivated to make that item and ship it out on time? Chances are you’ll put it off until the last minute.

2. Set goals and track them. I used to list items without purpose which put me at a loss with my inventory and overall budget. Being aware of every detail will help you actually turn a profit and get you closer to a full time creative job.

3. Don’t undervalue your work. Pricing an item you make is hard, there’s no doubt about that! You can compare yourself to what others are charging to compete OR you can try this helpful formula.

Of course it’s scary to put work you’re passionate about out there, but if it’s something want to do, I say take the risk. Don’t let the fear of getting started hold you back from something that could be really great!


PS Feel free to share your shop in the comments as well as any tips that you have!  Also, I’m thinking about making ‘The Crafted Business’ a reoccurring column and would love to hear what you think!