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5 Tips for Becoming a Successful Seller on Etsy

Holy Cow! Where has the past year gone? I can’t believe today marks the one year anniversary of my Etsy shop.
I had tried selling on Etsy years ago, but didn’t sell a single thing. This time around I had a very successful first month, followed by two or three months of decline, and then in March my sales slowly but steadily rose.
To celebrate my one year anniversary, I’m going to share 5 tips for becoming a successful seller on Etsy, along with a coupon code to use in my shop this week!

Become A Successful Seller On Etsy

Five On Friday- Five Tips On How To Become A Successful Seller On Etsy

1. Be unique! This seems like a no-brainer, but you need to have something that sets your shop apart from the rest.
When I first started selling on Etsy, I sold melted record bowls, pillowcases and tote bags- real original, right? I know… yawn! There’s a reason I sold nothing that first time around- I had nothing unique, nothing that buyers couldn’t find somewhere else or make themselves!
Now, I sell customized metal stamped bracelets. While there is a lot of metal stamped jewelry on Etsy, what sets mine apart from the rest is that I customize it with coordinates- mostly I sell to military families who wear the coordinates of the location of where a loved one is deployed to or to those in a long distance relationship. I have my own niche of fellow military spouses and families and that has kept my following going!

2. Pictures pictures pictures!
Potential buyers can’t pick up and hold your item, so you have to accurately represent what it looks like in pictures. Etsy allows you to post up to 5 pictures- use all 5! Show it from the front, back, side, in use, with something that shows its size, etc. Also, learn how to properly use your camera. I have two posts here and here on how to take better product photos for Etsy or Ebay using just your point and shoot!


3. Good customer service.
I can’t tell you how many times a buyer has thanked me for my quick response to their questions, for the little touches such as the tissue paper and bakers twine I wrap their items in or for getting their item out ahead of schedule. I know when I purchase something I love it when the seller takes the time to carefully wrap it, or to include a little something extra.

Etsy has an app- if you have a smartphone, I highly recommend installing that app so you can get immediate notifications when someone purchases from you or messages you. When I get a purchase, I usually message the buyer to thank them for their purchase and to let them know when it will be mailed out. I also reply to conversations (messages in Etsy-speak) as soon as possible. I know when I buy on Etsy I like to be “kept in the loop”. Unfortunately, I have had far too many sellers never respond to my inquires, and that just means lost sales for them because I’ll move on to someone else!

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 4.29.42 PM

4. Shop Stats
Etsy has an area called “shop stats”. (You can find it by clicking on “Your Shop” in the upper right hand corner of the Etsy site, and then clicking “shop stats” from the drop down menu). Shop stats will turn out to be invaluable to you- it lists how much money you’ve made (and you can pick to show by year, month, week, day, etc), where your traffic is coming from (what websites people were on to bring them to your page) and what search terms people use to find your shop.
The first part is helpful for obvious reasons- you want to see how much money you’re making!
The second part is great to see what sites are trending- are lots of people coming to your site from Pinterest? Make sure to pin everything you post! Are you getting a lot of traffic from Facebook? Make sure to “share” your new items! You get the idea.
The last part is most crucial in my opinion. Here you can see what search terms bring people to your site- on my site (as you can see in the image below) the two most popular search terms that bring people to my shop are “long distance relationship” and “disney”, so I make sure to include those terms in my listings and use those terms in the tags for the listing.
Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 4.28.24 PM

5. SEO
I didn’t learn that Etsy had an SEO until a few months into my selling, but once I discovered it and how to use it, I saw a jump in my sales. Basically, SEO is how search engines find your shop. In order to optimize it, make sure you are using key words in the first sentence or two of your listing description. I made the mistake of writing general things such as “own a customizable, one of a kind metal stamped necklace” in my first sentence, which wasn’t bringing people to my shop. When I changed my first line to “this necklace is perfect for those in a long distance relationship or military families with a loved one who is deployed” it brought in more people because it focused on my top keywords. A snippet of what it looks like is in the below screenshot:

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 4.29.05 PM

There is so much more that goes into becoming a successful seller on Etsy, but those are my top five tips.

If you want to read more, check out a post I did a few months ago on how and why I got started with Etsy. You can find that post here!

Are you on Etsy? Leave me a comment with your shop name and I’ll be sure to stop by and follow you, and I’d appreciate anyone who follows me! As always, you can also find me on Facebook and Instagram. If you post something on Instagram that you’ve made from my tutorials, make sure to tag me so I can see it and use hashtag #handmadeisbetter !

If you read this far, thank you! You deserve a coupon! In honor of my one year of selling on Etsy I am offering you free shipping on any purchase of any size being shipped to a domestic address.
To get the free shipping, purchase anything from my shop between now and November 11, 2013 at 11:59 PST and enter the code 1YEARFREESHIP at checkout. Etsy will take care of the rest and deduct the shipping!

Military Collage

Metal Stamping {Etsy}

If you have never heard of Etsy before, I’ll wait while you click here. Just promise me you won’t get lost in the handmade goodness and you come back and finish reading this!

Etsy is an amazing platform for crafters to sell their wares worldwide. It’s also a great place for people to find unique, handmade, one of a kind gifts, housewares, decorations, party/wedding supplies, etc.

As long as I can remember, I’ve dabbled in selling my crafts, I’ve tried craft shows, word of mouth, etc, but was never too successful. Back in 2007, I was a recent college grad looking for a way to supplement my income while I looked for a ‘big girl’ job and I signed up for Etsy. I listed my items on there for 3 months, with no success, and I pretty much gave up hope for the site.

Recently, the thought of re-opening my Etsy shop crossed my mind as I started to think about what kind of career I could have as a future military wife who will be moving around every few years. I thought about selling military themed metal stamped jewelry, and even went as far as to purchase all the supplies needed to make these items, but never really did anything other than make a few items for myself.

Fast forward to last October. Hurricane Sandy ripped through NJ/NY and more importantly, the Jersey Shore. In the days after Hurricane Sandy as the images of our destroyed beaches and boardwalks started to appear in the media, I went through my archives of pictures and began posting pictures of the now devastated areas to facebook. Friends began asking where they could get copies of my photographs, so Etsy was re-born for me. I listed my photos for $15, with $10 of the sale of each photo going to the American Red Cross, Jersey Shore chapter. I also began making Jersey Shore themed jewelry- bracelets that said “Jersey Strong” or “beach bum” and even “jersey shore” customized with your favorite shore town.

Before I knew it, my little shop, a dream I have had for so long, took off! After the first two months, the Jersey Shore items faded off (I still get an order here and there!), but I finally have added my original ideas– military themed jewelry, and they have proved to be very popular.
Click here to visit my shop. Below is just a sampling of the items for sale. I also have subway art, photographs of the Jersey Shore, and Disney-themed metal stamped jewelry, in addition to more military themed jewelry!
I love Etsy because it allows me to connect with people from all over the country. My most popular items are my latitude/longitude keychain and necklace. I created them because I am in a long distance relationship and it was a way to show my support in a subtle way. I get messages from people all the time telling me how they are in the same situation and we end up having great conversations on what helps us get through the time apart!

A small sampling of what is offered in my “Military Support” section:
Military Collage

And a small sampling of my Jersey Shore themed jewelry (side note: if you have your own particular beach, be it in Jersey or not, I can customize these to say whatever you want!)
Jersey Collage

I do hope you’ll take a moment to check out my Etsy Shop. As a thank you for doing so, here’s a coupon for free shipping to any domestic address: handmadeisbetter613
Enter the above code in the coupon code box at checkout. This code will expire in 2 weeks, on June 14, 2013.

Are you interested in starting to sell on Etsy? It can be overwhelming at first, but I have read many articles on tips for Etsy success, and I believe it has really helped me. Check out (and follow!) my Etsy board on Pinterest to read these articles. There’s so much helpful information out there!

*Please note– This post was not sponsored, I just love Etsy that much!

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