ETSY 101: Holidays and Getting Ready for Season

Red Shell Coin Charm Bracelet

 

It’s July, and yes many sellers on ETSY are already planning the most busiest season of the year: the fall and winter season. Why so early? Planning ahead is always a good idea, you want to be ready. It would be a shame to be half way through the season and realize you weren’t ready for it. I started season planning last month. My shop Natural Amber Designs will be running advertisements and special promotions throughout the season. So as a seller what can you do to start planning for the busy season?

 

* Stock Up Shop Now. Currently I have 226 listings in my ETSY shop, 48 in my Artfire and I am planning on adding my entire collection of jewelry to both Artfire and ETSY. My plan is to have close to 300 once September/October rolls around.

 

* Start Making Your Holiday/Season Items. Last year I didn’t offer any holiday jewelry, this year I am planning on having some and see how it goes. Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas (even thinking valentines)

 

* Scope out and Reserve Advertising Now. This piece of advice is huge. If you wait until the last minute to buy advertisement on Craftcult, Magazines, big websites you may lose out. Sellers are already reserving thiers

 

* Have a Plan, Stock Up.  Stock up on the essentials, tape, mailers, gift boxes, tags, bags, you don’t want to be out of the essentials when the orders come in, it could delay orders from shipping out. Make sure you are ready!

 

Remember, it’s never too early to start a business plan, a marketing plan, or an advertsing plan. The more you can get your name out, and the earlier make your chances better of having a successful season.

Advertisements

Handmade Jewelry: The Trendy Vintage Touch

Vintage Neon Flower Cabochon Ring
One of the hottest trends I have been seeing is the comeback of Vintage Jewelry. In my own shop Natural Amber Designsmany of my newest rings and earrings have been  made with vintage cabochons. It is a great, unique, and appealing way to add a little bit of fun and trend to handmade jewelry pieces. One of the best ways to acquire unique vintage pieces is hitting up small thrift shops and antique stores, you would be surprised the hidden treasuries tucked on their shelves!
Some of my latest Vintage Jewelry:

ETSY: Slow Sales and Summer

Sakura Flower Ring

 

Around summer there is always alot of buzz about slow sales on ETSY, it usually starts happening in March and the sales decline a little more going into the summer, I just want to say “Don’t Worry”. The history of retail sales has always been busy August-February and slow getting into later spring and summer (unless you have summer items to sale, or you have a steady repeat customer base). I know it can be hard not to be frustrated, discouraged, I can imagine how it is for newbies since I was a newbie starting at the middle of the slow season last year. If you have a good product, I promise things will get better. In the meantime have you thought about:

 

* Making a New Banner

* Taking New Pictures

* Developing a New Product Line

* Making Over Your Shop

* Stocking Up For Season

* Local Marketing

* Craft Fairs

* Start a Blog

* Research

 

I keep myself busy by crafting new items, stocking up shop, making my shop colorful and pretty (I made a new banner!) and focus on a new plan of attack for the upcoming season. Don’t worry, the slow season is almost over, and August is going to roll around and so will your sales.

 

Teams on ETSY: ETSY Sellers Under 30

Vintage Turquoise Earrings

 

I am excited to announce that I am now participating in a new ETSY Team, ETSY Sellers Under 30, fellow Etsian mfmapparel and I are the Team Leaders. If you are also an ETSY Seller under 30 and are looking for a new team to join come stop on in at our blog with directions on how to join:

http://etsysellersunder30.blogspot.com

ETSY: Best Tips and Advice For A Newbie

Turquoise Earrings

 

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