This is a guest post from yesterday’s featured interview, the Mousesnaps ladies Nova & Mimi. Their Etsy website is rolling along and today they are sharing with us tips on how to sell well on Etsy. You might also want to check out another Abundant Artist post on how to sell your art online.
How to Sell Art on Etsy
Invest in your photos. Photos on any online store do much more than just showcase your item – they represent how seriously you take your business and the overall quality of your products. Invest in a good camera, learn basic photography techniques, and take plenty of photos for your shop. Of course, not everyone is a convincing photographer. Only half of the Mousesnaps team knows her way around a digital camera. If you can’t seem to take good photos, enlist the help of a friend who’s more skilled or has a better camera. A lot of amateur photographers will be willing to take photos if you offer them a photo credit on your site.
[Note: Check out our guide on How to Photograph and Edit Your Art for Your Site]
Stage your postings. When you post a new item on Etsy, it’s listed at the top of the corresponding section for a short period of time. This gives you and your store increased visibility. Each time Mousesnaps has had a major sale or inquiry, it’s been immediately after a new posting. If you have several items to upload, it makes sense to space your postings over a period of days to maximize your exposure.
Take advantage of categories and tags. Etsy’s suggested tags are there for a reason – they’re common items people look for on the site. Use Etsy’s suggested language instead of your own. For example, if you’re selling a set of kitchen towels, be sure to use the “towel” tag. Don’t skip that tag and instead create your own “kitchen towel” tag – you will miss anyone who comes to the site and just searches using the towel tag. If you have available tags left for your posting after you’ve selected any appropriate ones Etsy has listed, feel free to create your own.
Leverage your personal networks. Cross-promote your Etsy posts on your Facebook page, your blog, or Twitter (Editor’s note: I’d also add Flickr. People go looking for images and see your stuff). Etsy even has a toolbar feature that lets you share your new listings on Facebook, provided you’re logged into both sites. But keep in mind that no one likes to be marketed to all the time – so be sure to keep it entertaining for those in your networks. Don’t only tweet when you’re posting a new item. And don’t only update your blog once a week when you’re adding something new to your store. Keep people involved in your business by posting anecdotes about your creation process, giving an inside look at something as it’s being completed, or just keeping people up to date on your related endeavors. It’s much more interesting that way.
Selling Art on Etsy Isn’t That Hard
Do the math. Calculate the cost of your materials, your time and Etsy fees to price your products appropriately. Don’t just pick a round number because it sounds good. Also – be honest with yourself about how much you’re charging. A good way to test the quality of your product against your price is by going to a flea market or craft fair and setting up a booth. People will be brutally honest if they think your product is overpriced. And similarly, if your product is flying off the table, you know you can raise your price. Last year, Mimi and I were selling at a local fair when someone tried to buy an item that we said was “$4.” The customer thought we said “$14,” and was still willing to buy it. We sold it at $4 anyway (we’re cool like that), but we knew we could land on a price at least a couple of dollars higher.
Check out the competition. Routinely patrol Etsy for sellers who are making your product or something similar. Are they cheaper? Does their product look better? Adjust your listings so that you’re competitively priced. If you think you have a superior product, explain the difference in your product descriptions. Remember what we said about the photos – appearance is everything! Make sure your store has an awesome shop name, too.
Love what you do. It sounds so corny, but you have to like what you’re doing to be successful. It’s a real shocker that the two of us love mousetraps so much – but it’s true! We’ve had huge orders come in and had to drop plans and paint all day and night to get them out. It was strangely fun for us, so we know we’re on the right track.