For years, I’ve loved shopping on Etsy. I’ve bought all kinds of terrific handmade items – from jewelry to clothing to prints that hang in my office. And for years, I’ve thought about selling on Etsy. After all, who couldn’t use some extra income? We have boxes of beautiful handmade stationery designed by a relative who passed away. We thought a great way to honor her would be to sell this stationery on Etsy, with a portion of profits going to animal charities she supported. So I finally got it together and started my own Etsy shop.
How I started selling on Etsy – and how you can, too.
Starting anything new can be intimidating, so I was very surprised at just how easy it was to set up shop on Etsy. First, I did some research on the best ways to make your listing stand out.
Poor photos taken in bad lighting are a common error. I went on the site and looked up similar items to what I was selling. Most of the photos were crisp and looked great. After I took my photos, some of the photos were blurry and it was hard to see the entire item. So instead, I scanned the stationery and used those images instead.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is everything. What this means is that you need to use the best tags you can in your description so people can find your items amongst all the other items for sale. Again,I went to listings that were similar to mine and looked at their descriptions and the tags they used. For the cat stationery, some of the tags I used were: Paper & Party supplies, paper, stationery, cat stationery, notepad, cat notepad, artist designed stationery, cat art pad, etc. When listing my horse stationery, I looked up a similar item to mine and saw that they used the word “equestrian” several times (equestrian stationery, equestrian art pad, etc.). It wouldn’t have occurred to me to use this word, so I was thrilled to find it.
Pricing. Common sense told me that most people like to get a deal. So while I saw similar stationery selling for up to $16.00 – which seems insane to me – I thought, “What would I pay?” and priced accordingly. ($3.50 for a set of 2 pads.)
Description. According to Etsy, the more personal you can make your description, the better. Probably because most items are handmade and people want to know about the individual artist they are buying from.
Next came time for me to set up shop.
The first screen that came up was “Shop Preferences.” Here I needed to choose my Shop Language (English), Shop Country (United States) and Currency (USD).
The second screen was “Name Your Shop.” I had a great shop name… but it was already taken. So I went with my second choice… which was also taken. Finally, I came up with a shop name that had not already been claimed.
The third screen was “Stock Your Shop.” Etsy recommends selling at least 10 items. I don’t have 10 different items to sell, so I went with the 3 I had. For the title of the cat pad, I went with: “CAT stationery, handmade, notepad, artist designed.” Then I was asked to add details (the description), price, and shipping info. And of course, the photos.
The fourth screen was “How You’ll Get Paid.” This is where they asked for my checking account information for directly depositing any income I might receive.
The last screen was “Set Up Billing,” where I gave my personal information (name, address, etc.). Then I clicked on OPEN YOUR SHOP.
I was surprised at how it easy it was.
Will my items sell? How many will I sell? Well, that remains to be seen. But the important thing is that, after all these years, I have finally opened my own shop on Etsy. With a listing fee of $.40 which lasts for 4 months or until your item sells, it’s hard to go wrong.
Have you ever sold on Etsy?