What I learned in my first year as an Etsy Seller...
I opened my Etsy Shop in December 2019 and listed and sold my first item in January 2020. Looking back on the year I want to share with you some things I learned.
People don’t know their address
Yes, it’s true. People either put an old address in for shipping, need to change it after ordering or mix up city’s, states etc. It’s so common my auto reply for every order requests buyers review their address and contact me if it needs to change! I had a buyer accuse me of not even sending her item because it was taking so long, only to hear back from her that the state was wrong in her address order!
Less IS best
If you’re like me you have 50 colors of vinyl, 30 colors of iron on and 600 shades of paint. The buyer wants simple and most of the time will defer to “what you think is best”. A buyer ordered something in navy but I sent her a photo and suggested a greyish blue vinyl I had instead (I just thought it would look better!)…and her reply was “I can’t tell the difference, you pick what’s best”. There was a huge difference in the photo (lol) but clearly she was cool going with whatever I thought was best.
Chose the colors you think are best for each product and add those to your listing. Add a note that they can request a custom color as more are available. This will also save you tons of time on color charts! Some buyers are picky and want to personalize everything but most will be happy with the options you think are best!
You don’t need it all
You really don’t to start a shop. You don’t need the pretty graphics, the “photo shoot pictures”, the 100 options, the perfect description, pretty packaging and promotion material. Work on your shop as you go, work with what you have. Try things, take them down, pay attention to what attracts and brings traction to your shop.
As a buyer I personally could care less about over the top packaging, I consider it a waste! If you don’t want to, or aren’t in a position to invest in printed materials then DIY on printer paper because goes in the recycle at the end of the day anyway! Be reasonable with yourself and your shop and DON’T let those things hold you back from opening your shop. I am still working on my shop and have a big to do list for it.
If you want reviews then ask for them
I noticed a huge jump in reviews once I started making a point of asking for them with every order. If you saw my other blog post called “How to get reviews on Etsy” then you’ll know what exactly I did and it’s worked! I’ve found asking for them front and center with the packaging has helped so much! I love seeing what people think of the items I make – it’s another fun part of the whole Etsy thing!
Do YOUR thing
This one is probably the most important one! It’s great that so many makers are out there for inspiration but you do have to be cautious if you decide to recreate and selling an item that was inspired by someone else.
- Some items are copyrighted and remaking or replicating them could land you in legal trouble
- There are some items that have sentimental meaning to the original maker and even if they aren’t legally protected, that maker will do what they need to do to keep you from creating + selling them
- You can only get so far copying other makers and you’ll never get ahead doing it (blunt but it’s true)
- Be confident in yourself and your creations! Try things, fail and see what succeeds. You might just be surprised to see what your buyers like the most!
I hope these few lessons help you out if you’re thinking of opening an Etsy shop! It’s fun and a great platform to get your products out to buyers. Remember, people exploring Etsy are already looking to buy something so get your items up and out into the world!