Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First Etsy Sale!

Copper Swirls Bracelet SOLD on Etsy!
I am beyond stoked that I made my first Etsy sale today!  I sold my Copper Swirls Bracelet and after I make my next order for supplies I'll be re-listing it :) I'd read some tips on how to describe, photograph and price your items more attractively and thought I'd try these tips out since my store just wasn't getting much traffic and no sales yet.  Happy to report that it worked!  Now crossing my fingers that my buyer gives me great feedback (there's no reason I should get anything less) so I can be on the start to more regular sales!  I thought I'd share a few tips I used to help my store out to boost item views and lead to more sales.  Most are common sense ideals but these simple things are easy to overlook sometimes and can be applied to just about any online storefront you may be using.
  1. Use all 14 tags.  Use descriptive search terms like "handmade", specific materials, colors, shapes, season, and use your username every so often for those who type your name and forget to select search by seller.  helpful blog with tons of descriptive words if you're stuck: Seller How-To: Tag-o-Rama With Descriptive Keywords
  2. Use stellar photos.  This is common sense but take good quality photos of your items, closeups, perhaps people using or wearing your item, or use simple yet neutral props: driftwood, some pretty but not too busy scrapbook paper, a solid colored mug, etc.  Use interesting angles that flatter your item, and don't be afraid to use simple editors to enhance the brightness and contrast (being careful not to alter the colors or making it look different than in real life).  I use Windows Live Photo Gallery, super simple and free program to do simple enhancements since I am not photo shop savvy in any way!  Use your best photo as the first photo to catch the viewer's eye.  People only have a description and 5 photos to look at so make them count!  Look at your list of favorites: what made you favorite them? Look at their pictures, why did they attract you?  Apply some of their ideas into your photographs.  Just make sure your backgrounds aren't too busy or your colors too bold (Sometimes I break this rule myself, tisk tisk!).
  3. Make your potential buyer NEED your item.  Chances are your item can be bought in some form at a retailer at a discounted price whether it be jewelry, knitted/crocheted items, handbags, etc.  People are looking at your shop to buy handmade items so make your items sound more appealing than discounted, mass produced merchandise.  We've all seen those catalog ads with flowing, colorful descriptions of their merchandise so borrow that idea and apply it to your items.  Make sure to apply this idea to your item title to make an eye catching first impression.  Really helpful blog: Seller How-To: 5 Tips for Item Descriptions
  4. Set attractive prices.  Lots of views but little sales?  Chances are your prices are too low.  This sounds obvious, but look at your prices from the view of the consumer.  If your prices are cheap, chances are people will assume your merchandise is cheap.  Price too high and you'll also turn people away.  Look at your competition, what are their prices?  How do your prices compare?  Also think of WHO you are targeting, are you trying to attract low budget, middle class or affluent buyers?  Do your prices fit the audience you're targeting?  This forum thread helped me: Are Your Prices TOO Low?  Helpful blogs: Art of Pricing: Three Helpful Pricing Exercises and Etsy Success: Reevaluating Your Prices
  5. Use and Comment in Etsy blogs and forums.  There's tons of advice out there!  Read some posts that interest you and leave a heartfelt comment stating your opinion or simply thanking the writer for the information.  People see your comment and perhaps they want to click on your name to check out your shop.  Don't get all spammy in your comment though.  Nobody gets more turned off than a "look at me" spam comment with your link plastered all over it.  Only share items in your shop IF they pertain to the blog/forum thread.  If you're really struggling or have any questions don't be afraid to post a new topic, there are tons of people who are willing to help a fellow artisan!
  6. JOIN AN ETSY TEAM!  There are tons of super awesome teams out there who can help you succeed!  Join one that encourages treasuries, they're free advertising!  It's wonderful when you can get advice from people who have been there done that and also to know you're not the only one having troubles!  Etsy has some fierce competition, and with the help of a good team, you can get found too!
These simple tips doubled and even tripled most of my item page views almost overnight, so if they worked for me, chances are they'll work for you!  I hope this helps, and if anyone has more tips and tricks please feel free to comment!  If you'd like to see some of these tips first hand, visit my Etsy Shop.

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