Want 500 sales on Etsy in 5 months? Follow these tips
Hi there, I have made more than 500 sales in 5 months and I just wanted to give tips to anyone out there who is struggling to get sales on Etsy or who is just wondering how to start. I have had ton of mistakes as well in my Etsy experience and there is always a place for improvement as well. And of course I have seen more successful shops than mine too! ( not too often though 🙂 ) I have 3 shops on Etsy but only 1 of them is succeeding much more than others. And here is the reason why ….
Not everything sells ….!!!!
Simply as that.
And there is way much more to success than just good pictures, good descriptions and good SEO. However, these few things need to be sorted for sure if you want to have a realistic hope for sales.
I will tell your a couple of the things I have learned in a bit more than a year. My hand stamped keyring gift shop is only 5 months old at the moment , but I started with other shop first…
1 – Decide what you will gonna sell and research the market
This is very important. Some things just sells much more than others and without researching the market you will never know. Even if you would ask me to give you advice about a certain product, I most probably wouldn’t know because I know only about those few markets that I have been involved with, but there are hundreds and thousands different things you can sell on Etsy. For example I know that Jewellery is one of the most selling thing on Etsy, but it isn’t necessary a good thing, as you face a lot of competition if you sell jewellery. I also know that people for some reason prefer gemstones and precious metals more than polymer clay. (My first shop sells polymer clay jewelry ).
And even if you have the best pictures in the world and you do everything by rules regarding the right kind of keywords and descriptions, some items are just less popular than others. Off course, there is possibility to create a brand in many years time to make everyone believe that your thing is in style. And this could be one of the ways to go. But only if you have a patience to wait for many years and work hard all those years. If you want a bit faster success I suggest you to pick something that actually sells. That’s the cool thing about Etsy, you can actually see how long the shop has been open an how many sales it have. So it is easy to tell if particular thing sells or not. If you can find many shops that are successful in the market you have picked, it is much higher chance that you will succeed.
2 – People like personalised gifts
After researching few different markets I did came to conclusion that some of the shops have more sales simply because of personalised option. It is one of the reasons why my handstamped keyring shop have success. I have seen similar thing in graphics designs world as well. Particularly when it comes to gifts, people love to customise their gifts and make their loved ones smile even more! For example when they areseeing their favourite quote engraved on the keychain or simply their name and the date they have met their spouse.
3 – Try Marmalead SEO tool!
SEO is one of the very most important things for the success of any online shop out there, either it is on Etsy or outside of Etsy. Marmalead however is specially designed for Etsy SEO , because Google SEO is different. You can have fun searching each keywords you want to use and simply see witch ones to choose! Make sure you put the same keywords in the title and tags section. Use all the possible spaces for that! Also use long tail keywords. Instead of just putting “boyfriend”, you can use keywords as “boyfriend gift” and “gift for boyfriend”. There are plenty of tips on Marmalead page to find out more!
4 – Sale brings a sale. And renewing listings too!
I remember, the very first virtual assistant I hired was british freelance guy in Greece. He was doing many things with my shop and SEO was one of them. That was back when I was still working on my polymer clay jewelry shop. He said, make more beads and you will sell more jewellery as well. Why? Because whenever you have a sale, Etsy brings you higher in the search. ( I didn’t understand that at the time though.) Etsy recognise that as “good shop” that needs to be found by more people and he thought that polymer clay beads are something that sells better than jewellery that is made from the same material. He was possibly right because Etsy is full of people who makes things and makes jewelry, so logically they will be more interested in making something themselves and that way they will find my shop and by buying beads will bring my SEO up for other people ( women most likely ) who are actually looking to buy jewellery. ( I soon started my new shop and didn’t work on my polymer clay shop no more. But I never closed that shop down, so I still have sales times to time coming in from there too.)
Renewing listings works slightly similar way. But some listings are naturally more popular than others. Some quotes people love more than others and some jewellery piece looks cooler than other. So that popular jewellery or quote keyring is being sold more and also being liked more on Etsy. If you renew your already popular listing you will bring more possible customers in. First of all, you already know about that particular item being popular, so that will bring even more sales after that one is purchased. Do you understand how it works?
5- Make sure all you photos are great quality and they all are in similar style.
Etsy is visual site. You need to get your potential customer interested in your item just by photography. So work on it. Read articles about good photography tricks. Use free online photo editor pixlr.com ( or photoshop if you know how to use it). Use proper camera and day light lamp or day right itself. White background is very good thing to have! But it depends what you sell and people on Etsy like interesting things, including photos. However, make sure your background isn’t better than the product itself and isn’t taking over. I say that, but I have noticed things in graphics design world, where background is almost what sells even when people are just purchasing poster without the frame that is shown in picture. But somehow people like to imagine how it will look on their wall or on their desk. The other thing that one research have found out is that people like similar style of photos in one Etsy shop. For example on my successful Etsy store I have used blue colour background in all pictures. I must be doing something right because my keyrings comes up in search often in first pages and I struggle to find many more successful shops than mine ( remembering that mine is less than 6 months old when I am writing this blog) I use a bit more contrast when editing pictures and make keyring “overcome the picture” . It is hard to not notice my products!
6- Work on you social media skills
Every social media platform is different. There is so much to learn. There are a lot of so called experts out there who are selling social media courses. But there is also a lot of free information to be found on the web about what works the best on each platform and how these platforms are changing. Always keep up! There are always updates. What worked on instagram few months ago doesn’t work anymore! For example perfect picture size on pinterest according to Rob Russo is 736×1128 pixels. I have noticed that the most popular accounts on instagram have always a bit of a story written underneath the picture and of course hashtags are one of the most important things on Instagram as well as Twitter. There are many tools on the web to find the very best kind of hashtags for your account. And also, social media is about relationship building. People want to trust you before they buy something from you and social media is for being social isn’t it? Just keep up and always be open to learn.
7 – Hire help
I personally do many things in my life and Etsy isn’t all my life. I am musician and freelance music teacher as well, so music takes a lot of my time too ( most of my time actually). So things like managing all the social media, for both music and business is just too much. That’s why I have hired part time virtual assistant for my business social media. It is suggestion to everyone to hire as fast as possible in the beginning, as things will move faster with your business and you won’t have to do everything yourself. That way any of your business activities will move faster than if you would do everything on your own. You can hire filipino worker for as little as 1 dollar per hour, and even though for people in Europe and USA it isn’t a big money, for filipino it is more than he/she have been payed in their previous job and they get to work from home and avoid pollution and your dollar just goes so much further in Philippines. People in Philippines are really nice and also hard workers. However, you do need to know things before you hire anyone. For example, if you hire someone for SEO or Graphics design, I suggest you to first learn about these things. That way you will hire smart way and won’t waist time and money on someone who is just pretending that they know about SEO. I would like to know their plan and tactics if I hired someone for SEO because bad SEO can block your site for search engines! And you better know what is bad SEO before you ask someone to do it. Read up about it and do your research.
8- Learn Learn Learn
This tip goes for life as well as Etsy shop ( or any business you are willing to start and run) It works in any aspect of life. If you ever stop learning you will be lost sooner or later. World is changing in the speed of light. There where 1,5 million Etsy sellers in the 2015. The number is growing and competition is growing. No matter how successful you have learned to be, there is always someone who is more successful. Find them! Research what they are doing! Read blogs about business and Etsy. There is always some new platform that is trying to help Etsy sellers (like Marmalead that is fairly new service and there will be more! ). Find your competition and learn from them. Learn about SEO. In fact, more you know about SEO the more you will gonna succeed if you want to make it online. And SEO is also always changing. SO NEVER EVER STOP LEARNING.
9 – Start a blog and create relationships with other bloggers
I know I keep talking about SEO, but it is really one of the most important things that will bring you sales! You can have the best product in the world, but if no one can find you in the busy internet space, then no one will ever find out about your product. That’s why starting a blog and creating relationships with other bloggers can help you big time. Have you heard of all those success stories out there? I have heard about 1 Etsy seller who was featured in very popular blog and that was it! Sales are coming since and that seller is fully supporting herself from Etsy! If you manage to be featured in influencers blog post, google recognise your shop/page as useful and every time someone types your keyword on google search, your shop will be the one that comes up first or one of the first. And blogging can open you these doors.
10 – Make them happy! And reviews
There are more things that can influence your potential customer to buy your product than pictures and the right keywords. One of these things is reviews. Yes, you need to dispatch product as fast as you can so customer don’t have to wait for months. It’s enough that post offices can make mistakes and delay your item! Do your best to make your customer happy! Reply fast to messages you receive, don’t hesitate to give refund in case customer haven’t received the item, even if it’s not your fault. I have had problems with royal mail, yes. But my priority is to make customer happy. And if you refuse to give refund when customer haven’t received the item, he/she can just be in the bad mood and leave a bad review. Once the bad review is in the front of the page, another customer may doubt his decision to purchase. Simply as that. Time to time you can loose a bit of money when post offices makes their mistakes, but you will win in the bigger picture. More happy customers, more sales!
11 – Sell The Quality
Yes, Etsy is a handmade product platform. However, handmade doesn’t have to mean “bad quality”. Who wants to buy dirty and smelly crocheted pillow or a doll that looks like monster but wasn’t meant to look like one? Just learn to make whatever you are making as good as you can. No one is perfect in the beginning, but that’s why I mentioned the previous tip! Learn learn and learn! The same goes for vintage items. Don’t sell things that are in bad condition. People buy what appeals to them! It’s their money and their right to spend it for Nice things! 🙂
12 – Make things in description as clear as you can!
Don’t make your buyer confused. If you state that item can be purchase in red and blue, do showcase colour tones in one of the pictures. How can customer know what shade of red it’s gonna be if it isn’t shown? Tell them about the size of the item in description so they didn’t have t0 ask any questions about the piece. Make sure you explain everything as clear as you can. Tell them about materials you have used to make your unique piece, tell them how to wash it in case you are selling clothing or hats. If the item is only downloadable don’t forget to mention it as well so they don’t expect anything to come by post. It can be confusing if there is ‘only 1 item” available in the shop but you can choose the colours or sizes. Anything that is confusing to customer will make him/her go somewhere else and keep looking.
13 – Price
Research your market. If you will sell your items too cheap, it won’t be worth your time and people have a certain psychology about buying cheap things. Often by making the price bigger you will end up getting more sales! But be careful. Price needs to be fair as well. You can’t sell aluminium keyring for 200$ dollars. Even though I have seen people selling simple beach stones for the same price! Crazy huh? But something to think about!
Good luck with your sales and tell me how you are doing in comment section ! I am looking forward to hear some stories! Don’t forget to share this blog ( pin, twitter, Facebook) if you have enjoyed. And I would appreciate if you subscribe to hear about my newest blog post first! 🙂