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Crafty Business Week – Etsy Newbie Tips

Reported by Christian Tamez

Looking to get started selling your wares on the internet? Here are some of the things that I found to be the most important when setting up my Etsy shop.

1. Packaging
For my Etsy shop, one of the most important things is the packaging of my product. Let’s face it, we’ve all gotten fancy boxes filled with tissue paper with beautifully wrapped and packaged goods. Those actually are my favorite kind of packages to receive, and I know which shops I can expect them from. When I opened my own Etsy shop, I knew that I too wanted to be a business that people could expect beautifully packaged, high quality, goods from. When I think about it, so many of the craft tools I have are geared toward creating multiple copies of custom designs. A screen printer, embroidery machine, laminators, all things I had in my crafting arsenal that I could really put to good use, and also hopefully recoup some of the money invested into these not so inexpensive tools.

2. Branding
Something that was really important to me when I decided on my packaging was having a way to connect any future brands I may possible concoct together. I knew I needed a logo, something simple, that would easily be recognized and associate itself directly with my product and also convey the high standard of quality you can expect from any of my goods. For me simplicity was the key, and I decided on a little hand-drawn honey bee cartoon. The bee was then put on all of the shipping boxes, digitized as an embroidery file for tote bags, and also screen printed on the little fabric tops to the jars of honey. Little name tags attached with just the right kind of twine, wrapping my tote bags in tissue, all things I think are just as important as the product they are decorating.

3. Choosing a Store Name
When it came for the actual name of my store, I figured the easiest way for people to know I was the main driving force behind these products was to use my name. In essence making myself part of the brand. Something I felt was important, as a crafter I want credit for my work. After all, it is me who is designing, creating, and executing all of these products to completion.

One of the reasons Etsy is so convenient is because it’s web based, and allows for people from all over to see and purchase your goods. It also requires very little maintenance, other than taking a profile picture, people like to know who they’re buying things from, and possibly creating a banner. Listing items is easy, over the course of few easy to follow web pages you: describe your item, set your shipping information, upload pictures and then create your listing.

4. Using Discount Codes
One of my favorite things about Etsy is the ability for the seller to create custom discount codes. Which really does boost sales. Especially if you have a facebook or blog page where you also promote your items. People really like to shop sales, it’s a well-known retail strategy. With Etsy, you can create a custom percentage off code, to give to any of your special friends or customers, who you think deserves a good deal. Even free shipping codes, should you happen to sell to someone local, or just feel like shipping things for free. There’s even a way for you to to have a virtual shop uploaded to your facebook page via an application called MyEtsy. It seems with Etsy the people running the website are actually trying to help their users find success.

5. Inventory
For me the hardest part about running a small time Etsy shop, is keeping my shop full. It’s not like there’s a torrent of people just running to get my products, but as things do sell out, sometimes with my busy schedule I find it’s difficult to make new items to replace them. Of course there’s no penalty for having an empty shop, other than not selling anything. But occasionally I do have a creative burst and am able to make quite a few different items for the shop. People do love to have more than one thing to look at. More items in your shop, will give a potential shopper a better idea of you, and what your style is. It could even get a client to ask you to custom make an awesome product you wouldn’t have thought of otherwise.

For me, Etsy was a great choice; it suits my lifestyle and makes it easy to sell my goods.

Are you currently an Etsy seller? Got any great tips YOU would like to share with our readers? Please add them to the Comments section of this article along with a link to your shop!

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Christian Tamez

Christian Tamez has been crafting and creating for years. More recently, heʼ’s been happy to share some of his ideas and collected techniques for crafting through his YouTube channel. Always happy and eager to learn something new, he looks forward to meeting new crafters and seeing their creations. He currently resides in Narragansett, Rhode Island

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2 Responses to Crafty Business Week – Etsy Newbie Tips

  1. Aznewmom May 28, 2011 at 2:27 pm #

    Thanks for your article! I have not taken this leap yet. 🙂

  2. Kerr Murphy May 29, 2011 at 9:39 am #

    Thank you for this article, I’ve been trying to get onto Etsy and begin selling my wares. This is going to be extremely helpful in the near future.