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Start A Profitable Etsy Store
Etsy is a platform where independent stores sell vintage, handmade, and craft items. It offers a fantastic opportunity for you to setup a store and sell products you won’t find anywhere else. This guide is going to offer you 10 simple tricks and tips to help get you started selling on Etsy.
1. Find the Right Product to Sell
The one thing that differs between other marketplaces and Etsy is the fact that all of the items on Etsy are handmade as opposed to being mass produced in China. This can be a huge advantage since you won’t be undercut by another vendor – one of the primary reasons so many people struggle to sell on eBay and Amazon.
The first thing you have to decide is whether you’re going to either make products or resell them. For those making their products, this means that you can place your unique stamp on what you sell without anyone copying you.
However, just because you have a unique product doesn’t mean its going to sell well. This is where where market research comes in.
Perform Market Research
To starting making a profit from Etsy, becoming a regular user can help tremendously in determining what to sell. This will not only help you get to terms with what’s working, but it will show you a side from a customer’s point of view.
Unfortunately, the only way to determine what sells is based on 5-star reviews since Etsy doesn’t give any hard metrics. Often you’ll have to use your best guess or read through all of the customer reviews to see what’s doing well.
The only information Etsy provides to the general public is the top 100 stores on the site. You can look through the list and inspect the featured stores. This will only give you a general idea, but it’s an important concept to grasp to see what works and what doesn’t.
One way around this is to use the Etsy Craftcount website. This site isn’t in any way affiliated with Etsy and provides reasonably accurate information on their top-selling products.
Look at the Competition
Before making the final say in determining what to sell, it’s important to look at your competition. Unless your product is incredibly niche, there are good chances that you will see reasonable levels of competition. As mentioned above, the Craftcount website can give you a lot of useful information regarding this.
We suggest going back to Etsy and checking out the top stores in your chosen category. There are good chances that you will notice a lot of similarities between the top stores. You shouldn’t copy them, but you should be able to apply the same principles that they’re using.
2. The Look of Your Storefront
Etsy gives you a great deal of flexibility when it comes to determining the look and feel of your store. The colors and the layout should be matched to the competition, but unique enough to stand out. But how should you go about coming up with names and connecting your store to the wider world?
Create a Memorable Name
Memorable brands are memorable for a few reasons. First of all, keep it short and snappy. Overly long names that are confusing or difficult to remember will make it that much more difficult for people to become return customers. Since it’s an online store, think about how your storefront will be seen in the eyes of the person viewing their internet browser.
Make sure to be specific so the user doesn’t have to second-guess what types of products you’re selling. Consider whether your store name accurately describes what you do.
Take Great Photos of Your Product
This is one of the most important aspects of selling a product – if it doesn’t look good, people won’t buy it. Visual content has succeeded in engaging people to a greater degree than ever before. It never hurts to have too many images, just as long as their of top quality.
Include different angles for your product and highlight them with a white or beige background. For clothing items, be sure to show an example of someone wearing it. For example, if you’re selling rings be sure to take a picture of the ring on your finger.
All photos should be HD quality. Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom can help give your photos some extra highlights or shadowing.
Create Social Media Profiles for Your Store
Your store shouldn’t just be on Etsy and is the biggest mistake people make when they open an Etsy store. Opening up social media accounts for their store not only helps them to reach more people, but also helps create a following with return customers.
Branding is extremely critical to your success. You need to make sure that your store is a brand that reaches people in multiple locations. The majority of customers who buy from the most successful stores do so because they found it on social media accounts.
Where should you create social media profiles?
It’s important to post on social media profiles that warrant the use of pictures. You can always post on Facebook or Twitter, but you’re going to have a lot more success with Instagram and Pinterest. Again, visuals are a very important piece to the Etsy selling process. If you have to devote time on certain social media accounts, make it those that use lots of pictures or videos.
3. Drive Business to Your Store
Driving business from start is going to be difficult without a following. This requires you to start off with a good price, know when to offer deals, and how to keep your customers.
Setting the Right Price
You need to price your products based on what people are willing to pay not what you think your handmade bracelet is worth. Since you’re starting out as a new store, don’t be afraid to break even in order to get reviews.
If someone sees two products that are very similar but one only has a few reviews and the other has many, more chances than not they’re going to buy the one with many reviews.
It also doesn’t hurt to come up with an average and price your products based on this average. Look at the competition often to ensure your prices are still within the correct range. Not only that, buy prices tend to fluctuate depending on the season. Many sellers up their price during the holidays, for example.
How to Manage Deals
Deals and special offers are a great tool you can use to get business coming through the door. But if you’re constantly promoting the same deal, it may lose its effect. Deals should be infrequent and made to feel special so customers feel compelled to buy it during that moment.
Position your deals around major shopping periods. Christmas, Easter, Halloween, Back to School, and Independence Day are all great times to offer deals.
Is it okay to lead with a loss for the sake of new customers?
If you’re not willing to take a risk or don’t want to lose any money, it’s okay to break even for the sake of gaining a reputation. Once you have a following you can slowly mark up the price until you determine the price your customers are willing to buy at.
Maintaining Customers for Life
Part of creating a popular store is to ensure that you’ve taken care of your best customers. Regular customers are more valuable than new customers because their value is higher. They trust your brand and are willing to buy again.
It would be wise to invest in a mail service such as Mailchimp. Infrequent newsletters to your registered customers will keep them in touch with your brand.
Other than keeping them engaged with your brand, the best option you have at your disposal is to keep putting out the products they want. Listen to what your customers have to say and ask them what types of products they want to see. Once you have enough loyal customers, your business will have the simple task of giving people what they ask for.
4. Start a Blog
Now that you have your storefront on Etsy, but you should also consider building a website for your store. This website should be independent and under your control. This can serve as an additional source of traffic that will be driven to your Etsy store.
You’d be surprised at how easy your content gets found in Google provided that it’s unique and provides value. Feel free to check out our 7 steps to start a successful blog in order to figure out how to start writing.
Starting a blog is also incredibly cheap. I use Bluehost as my hosting provider since it costs as little as $3.95 per month. For a domain name, we suggest going with Namecheap at only $10 per year. While it does cost a bit of money, it’s going to do wonders for your store in the long-run.
Become Part of the Brand
The person behind the store should be featured as the heart of the brand. Giving a personal touch to your store and your blog will incentivize people to trust that your brand is genuine.
You can show people how you make the products and what inspires you. Be sure to include some pictures of some of your creations in progress. This might not seem like it’s anything special to you, but to a loyal audience this is exclusive content that makes them feel like they’re part of the brand.
Add Flavor to your Social Media Marketing Efforts
We spoke earlier about the need for social media marketing. Throwing up lots of deals and sales pitches is only going to turn people away – they want to see something more than that. To boost your Etsy store, you need to give back before you can receive.
New blogs can break things up and provide something for people to interact with. It’s a perfect opportunity to engage and make those people customers for life.
5. Break into the Top 100 Stores on Etsy and Make Bank
Becoming one of the top 100 crafts stores on Etsy is a huge leap as a new seller. This should be everyone’s target if they want to keep their store profitable. This section is going to detail some of the secret success strategies you can use to rise up the rankings and make a profit at the same time.
Make Low-Cost Products
Creating a stunning product and selling it is satisfying. But sometimes the production costs involve make a product less profitable than it first appears. Measure the production costs of your products and consider whether the margins are big enough. If not, you might want to turn to a different product entirely. Be sure to factor in time as well.
Remember Etsy Relevancy
The easiest way to think about Etsy Relevancy is that it’s like Etsy’s version of Google. We recommend visiting the Etsy forums for regular updates on what’s working and what isn’t.
6. Connect With Your Community
Although building up an Etsy store is typically a solo venture, one of the most powerful tools at your disposal is other people. You should go out of your way to join groups that allow you to network with other sellers. A great place to do this is by reaching out to other Etsy sellers or looking for groups specifically designed for it.
For example, there are many LinkedIn groups that cater to Etsy sellers. You should consider signing up to some of them so you can discuss what’s working and what isn’t.
While sharing advice on what works and what doesn’t may help your competition, it’s still better to team up to help improve your store. Otherwise, you may not be able to sell anything at all on your own.
7. Stay Updated
Another big benefit of keeping up with the community is you’ll also find it easier to keep up with changes brought in by Etsy. They’re constantly changing their policies and platform. You need to know what’s going on, and by far the most efficient way of doing this is through engaging with the community.
By doing product research and gaining a basic understanding of the competition and how the store works, you’ll be able to create a strong idea of how the Etsy store works and see what sells. If you have an Etsy storefront, feel free to leave it in the comments below. Thanks for reading and happy frugaling!