July 18th is my one year anniversary on the handmade site ETSY, and there is so many helpful pieces of advice I learned about selling online. I never sold online, just in craft fairs and at home jewelry parties so having my own store front online was a new adventure. There are definitely things I learned quickly about selling online, things I never wanted to admit about selling online, and so many lessons learned from more seasoned sellers then I. We have all been newbies, and there are times when all you need is just a little advice. These are my best lessons learned on ETSY and selling online:
* PICTURES. PICTURES. PICTURES. I can not emphasize this one enough, pictures are what draws customers to your shop so they need to stand out, they need to look professional, and they need to be free of clutter. When I first started it took me more then 6 months to look at my shop constructively and realized I wasn’t selling because my pictures weren’t that great. I can always improve on them, but the step I have taken in re-doing, using a light box and freeing distractions has boosted my views tremendously.
* PROMOTE. PROMOTE. PROMOTE. Etsy gives you the shopping cart, gives you the storefront, and gives you the ability to sell online but that does not guarantee buyers. I think alot of sellers come to ETSY thinking that all these buyers are going to find you in search (I know that’s what I told myself for more then 6 months) and then become discouraged when the sales aren’t coming. In a saturated jewelry market there is no way I could rely on ETSY alone. Make sure you are promoting locally, use social network sites, get the word out that this is your shop, come visit it!
* MAKE WHAT YOU LOVE, DON’T COPY WHAT SELLS. It is more then okay to sell things that are popular, but I hate when I see a million sellers selling the same idea copying each other because it is what buyers are buying. I think it is more then okay to run with an idea, make it your own, but don’t copy those silver earrings because the other girls shop sells them quick. Customers like being able to see a picture, see a piece of jewelry with your trademark style.
* DON’T FORGET TO NETWORK ON ETSY.Hearting, participating in the forums, participating in teams, and participating in chat is a strong way to network and gain buyers on ETSY. I can not tell you enough how many times I have bought supplies from sellers who hearted my work, and have hearted people back with intention to buy (especially during the holiday season). Often times buyers are lurking in the forums as well and love clicking on awesome avatars hoping to find a handmade or vintage treasure to buy.
* START A BLOG. I have learned so much from other people’s blogs which in turn has made me want to visit their shop. Blogs are a great way to get in touch with community, let others know what you are doing, and a great way to start a customer base who loves seeing your newest items.
* BE POSITIVE.I am one of those people who gets turned off by negativity, calling out, downing another sellers items to make you look better, it makes me never want to buy from that individual. You have to remember that many sellers are buyers, and many buyers lurk the forums and may find being that way as a turn off as well. I always try to stay professional in the forums, and give people the impression that I am a helpful, courteous, and positive seller who embraces the handmade/ETSY community.
I am excited to start this new year, this second year in selling on the right foot. It took me awhile to listen to the advice that was given to me as a newbie and I am hoping that I can help another seller get things started right. I like to think of myself as a late bloomer. I am more then happy to help any newbie, just feel free to message me on my Etsy site NaturalAmber