Thursday, March 19, 2009

Selling On Etsy

Etsy is a special place online where people come to find handmade or vintage goods. If you are a crafter, this site is a good resource for an extra income. Becoming a seller at Etsy is a two step process. First you have to register as a buyer and then log in and select to upgrade to a seller. To upgrade to seller status it is free but they do require a debit or credit card to be registered. They use this card once a month to charge your balance for your listing and final sales fees.

The steps to list an item is fairly simple. Just make sure that you have a good picture of your item. I would do a picture of the item in it’s entirety and then zoom in to show the detail for another picture. When you list an item, you are charged 0.20 cents for a 4 month listing. This price includes up to 5 images of the product. When an item sells a 3.5% fee on the final sale price will be charged. After 4 months you will have to renew the listing. When an item is purchased by a customer you can opt to be paid by PayPal. When you are writing the description for the item be very illustrative and you might even want to put in what inspired you to create the piece. The more the buyer feels connected to the seller’s vision the more chance they will purchase the item.

Every seller on Etsy gets a free shop. The shop can be customized and it will list all of the items that you currently have for sale. The items will also be listed in it's individual category that you chose when listing the item. The benefit to having a shop is you can give out a single link to promote all of the items that you have on sale.

Promoting your shop is aided by their resources that include banners and buttons that you can place on your blogs and websites. Etsy also has a widget, the Etsy Mini, that you can add to your blog or website, instead of the banner or button, that will showcase your items that you have in your Etsy shop. Another promotional tool that Etsy participates in is the staff will scour their product database and find items to feature on the front page of Etsy. They usually keep the products rotated several times a day. This is great way to get free publicity for your items.

Another tip is to fully fill out your profile. A limited profile will not impress sellers and you might loose business. Make sure that you list all of your shops policies for returns, damaged goods in shipping, and items that were not received. This will help you keep order to all of your orders and create less chaos. Also, try and list items as frequent as possible so that you can appear at the top of a category that buyers will choose. This will keep your listings from being buried amongst the older items.

Lastly, you can have the most perfect listing and still not receive sales if you don’t promote the item yourself outside of Etsy. You can do this by getting the word out on social networks, blogging about it, and listing your link in a forum.

If you are a crafty person try Etsy out and see where it can take you in your journey to making extra income.

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