Are you ready? Are you ready to take your craft to the next level? Are you ready to be excited and discouraged all in the same day? Do you love what you do? Does it give you a thrill when someone wants to purchase your handcrafted item?
If you answered YES to any or all of these questions, you are ready to plunge into the wonderful world of Etsy! Etsy is an online marketplace for buying and selling all things handmade. Their mission and vision statement says, “to enable people to make a living making things, and to reconnect makers with buyers. Our vision is build a new economy and present a better choice: buy, sell, and live handmade.”
There are a several very easy steps to begin selling your items on Etsy.
1. You need to sign up! This is the easiest part. Go to Etsy.com and click on register. You will need to choose a username and password. This user name will become your shop’s web address so CHOOSE WISELY!
2. Once you have filled out the initial sign-up page you will need to wait for a confirmation email from Etsy. When it arrives, click through the link in the email and you will be confirmed on Etsy. They will ask you to log in with your username and password. You didn’t forget it already did you? ☺
3. Once you are logged in, click on the word SELL at the top of the home page. This is where Etsy will guide you through the steps to get your shop started. Their directions are so clear, I’m going to leave you to read through and follow the steps. This will include entering address information, billing information as well as a credit card number. Don’t worry, no charges, just important to validate you are indeed a real human being. Read on when you are all set to sell!
4. There are several items you should have ready before you even list your first item.
• PUBLIC PROFILE
Click on the words Public Profile in the left margin. You will be directed to a place to upload a photo of yourself, your AVATAR. Then add your location, and other important information. The next thing you will need to add is your BIO.
This is exactly what it says…a mini biography about you. Keep it short, keep it simple, but do it. People want to buy from a person, not a store. That is why they are shopping on Etsy in the first place, so make them want to buy from you! Shop around read other artists bios. What do you like about them? What appeals to you? Use that info to get you started…but DO IT!
• SHOP SETUP
Click on the link in the left margin SHOP SETUP to make your shop yours all yours. Don’t be scared, you’re a creative person remember? This is the fun part!
- SHOP TITLE:
- BANNER: This can be a simple jpeg file with your shop name, or something deluxe. Your banner is what appears at the top of your shop. Consider it your Marquis, or sign. Etsy is so incredibly user friendly they even have a place to give you a head start in banner making. You can choose from several styles they have available here http://team.etsy.com/bannerdisplay.php or you can do a search for “banner design” and find a fellow etsyian to design one for you!
- SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT: This is your mini bio about your shop. It needs to be catchy, short, descriptive and to the point. If it is too long, they can’t even see your listed items. So write something simple, you can always edit later.
- ALCHEMY: That’s for another post! Leave the DO NOT ALLOW checked for now.
- MESSAGE TO BUYERS: This is a mini thank you note your buyer will receive as an email after they complete a purchase in your shop. Again, simple and sweet!
- POLICIES: Here again Etsy is fabulous at walking you through the steps necessary. Just read! You can read can’t you?
- SECTIONS: This is not important right away, however, if you sell jewelry like myself you may want to divide your items into sections like rings, bracelets, and necklaces.
- SHIPPING OPTIONS: I know you are feeling discouraged by all the info, but don’t be! None of this is too difficult, and you have me to guide you, so hang in there!
This is the easy one! ☺
- Click on CREATE A NEW SHIPPING PROFILE
- Name it something like BASIC SHIPPING
- Choose your location
- Choose where you will ship to.
- Primary Shipping Cost: how much will it cost you to ship ONE of your items.
- Don’t be greedy…be accurate. Weigh your item, go to the USPS website and
- calculate postage. Figure in the cost of your box, or envelope or whatever
- packing materials are needed and type in that amount.
- Secondary Item: add an amount to ship an additional item AT THE SAME TIME.
Take photos of your items. One of the great things about Etsy is that you can have up to 4 photos of your items for the single listing price of $.20. What a bargain! Use that opportunity to show your product at different angles, have someone model wearable items, give close ups, inside of bags etc. Do make sure you take clear photos. Don’t worry so much about props and backgrounds, you are not a catalog, you are selling YOUR designs not a prop! So make sure they are an excellent representation of your design.
5. Now it’s time to LIST your first item. Are you ready? This is it, you are taking the plunge and I am so proud of you!
• Click on YOUR ETSY in the top toolbar. On the left side of the page you will see a listing of different options. Click on ADD A NEW ITEM. The first thing Etsy will want you to do is set up a payment profile. How do you want to be paid for your item when it sells? AND IT WILL!! I highly recommend PayPal, it’s safe, reliable and EASY!
• Click on ADD A NEW ITEM again. This time it will give you a screen to enter your information:
~~TITLE~~ This is one of the ways your item will be found, if you are listing a ring use the word ring, if it’s a band use the word band.
~~DESCRIPTION~~ This is where you can accurately describe your item. How it’s made, what you did to create it, why they must have it. Also a good place to tell how it will be packaged or any other
~~MATERIALS~~ used in your item
~~SORT YOUR ITEM~~ Again Etsy does a fabulous job of describing how to do this. Read, read, read. Then do, do, do. Don’t worry…you CAN change it later!
~~PAYMENT INFO~~ Enter your price, how many you have for sale, choose your loaded shipping profile (BASIC SHIPPING)
~~IMAGES ~~ Upload your images one at a time. The first image you upload will be the thumbnail shown for your listing.
~~FINISH~~ This is where you proofread everything and make your final check. If you want to change anything, click on the pencil next to the part you want to change and it will take you back to that section.
There are so many more facets to Etsy, but now that you have the basics, you can get your items listed and then take it step by step. You will never have access to a more helpful community of people than at Etsy.
Please don’t get frustrated when you don’t sell right away, people need to find you and that will be based on your tags & descriptions, as well as your involvement in the community. I myself have only begun to scratch the surface!
If you have any questions, please feel free to email me at info@StudioJewel.com, or visit my Etsy shop! I would LOVE to help in any way I can!
Lisa j Lehmann