Advice and Tips for Launching an Etsy Business from Sellers

The old news at this point is that the COVID-19 pandemic and subsequent job losses have caused too many people to take a closer look at their skills and what they *really* want to do and find a way to be their own boss. self. And with sites like Etsy, it’s easier than ever for artists, makers and creators to turn their vision into profit. Think about it: It’s a central location where new small business owners can sell their goods without the stress of creating their own website and solving all kinds of problems. regarding taxes, shipping and sales that go with it.

Interested? Kay, we approached several Etsy sellers to share their triumphs and mistakes to help you set up your own Etsy business.

(1) Take things slowly

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Now, first things first: Etsy might not be the easy way to make money some creators expect, as they charge for what you sell, but on the flip side, they give you worldwide visibility that is hard to achieve with your own website or through social media. Tabitha Bianca Brown, who creates beautiful illustrations and portraits for her shop Nightingale for over a decade, have her own website, but recommend using Etsy for walking traffic. “Etsy is a big company that can afford huge advertising campaigns to draw shoppers to the site,” she said. “With my own website, I personally have to do more advertising.”

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“The mistake I made is one that a lot of salespeople make: thinking that success is instant,” says Brown. “Just like a physical store, you have to stock up on your inventory. You won’t visit a store in a mall where only a shirt is placed on a shelf. The more inventory you have, the more people are likely to see your products while browsing on Etsy. ”

“Think of your store as a customer would,” says Mai Solorzano, one Mexican artist who makes contemporary jewelry and had her self-named shop since 2011. “As if friend interested in buying something, that way you can see where information is missing. When Solorzano started, she didn’t know much about shipping costs or time lost, and was initially unclear about return policies. For those starting a store, she said, good thing. The best they can do is take a step back and take a fresh look.

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Kimberly Scott-Drayton sold her unique mugs like Design is never nude on Etsy since January of this year. She’s been making waves for about two years, ever since she saw one at a friend’s house, and before opening her Etsy store, she was primarily selling on local Facebook groups. For her, setting up the list was an initial hurdle. “I wasn’t using the right keywords for people to search and find my content,” she said. Scott-Drayton makes her products to order and recently set up a custom order list to help meet the requirements she is receiving and has found it helps customers hers a lot easier and help her close the sale.

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“We could have spent a little more time in the beginning to make sure that what we’re doing is cost-effective,” he said. Scott and Zach Artice, the couple commonly known for their drag personalities Minnie and Tink who run Minnie and Tinkamabobs and sell plastic works like Disney-themed Pop Sockets. They opened shop amid the pandemic in August 2020 and reckon taking the time to calculate costs and pricing is key. “Sometimes we get so excited about what we’re doing, we don’t check to see if we’re actually making money,” they explain. “So our margins were pretty bad at first! From there, we found more cost-effective ways to do it.”

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Dan Richardson, the artist behind Chubblegum, a kawaii sticker shop, started his business in February 2020. He has tried running several Etsy stores since 2009 and often sees the sale of art products. its easier in person than online. But this time, he was much more successful. He was elated by luck, but he also invested heavily in Etsy advertising and started getting sales before he was even fully prepared. “This time, I didn’t even wait. I’ve got eight stickers and five coloring pages and I want to go,” Richardson said. “I rushed in blindly. I’m glad I did it and I believe in what I have.” Once he starts getting good reviews and the Etsy algorithm can see he’s delivering products on time, he can cut his advertising costs.

(2) Find your niche

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Even if you don’t have a lot of money to invest in advertising, the real key might be finding a way to make your store stand out from the rest. “I primarily sell artwork featuring Black women and girls,” Brown said. “What makes my product stand out is the theme. It can be difficult to find bright and colorful works of art about black women and girls who are cheerful, carefree, and enjoying nature. I make sure my products embody that joy.”

“Everybody makes a fuss, but I don’t really look at what other people are doing,” says Scott-Drayton. “I try and put my own spin on everything and make it really unique and different but still usable.

Solorzano agrees: “I’m not really looking for other similar stores. I try to be honest with my products and their history, the way I designed it,”

(3) Invest in some good lighting — and free gifts

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“Beautiful photography! We really love what we’re doing and we believe that shows in the product design and the visuals we use for the listings,” said Artice. And offering free domestic shipping can be a plus for buyers. If you’re shipping something with multiple items or a larger order, bite the bullet and pay for priority shipping or insurance. Things can get lost in the mail and that takes a toll on your customers and your business. “

Don’t forget to offer worldwide shipping, if possible. Solorzano adds: “It’s a great tool for selling globally. “It’s great to be in direct contact with customers. It’s not like a store where you just get an order and you don’t know where it’s going to end up.”

(4) Ask for help

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Make sure you have a partner or a board that can help balance things out if the business side gets too overwhelmed, says Richardson. For him, he relies on his wife. “I was overwhelmed because not only am I creative, I am mentally ill, and that is a big focus of my store,” he admits. “I looked at everything and was immediately overwhelmed and then I closed the door. My wife was there to say, ‘Dan, we have their money. You must do this. There are no excuses. Get up and go. ‘”

(5) TikTok = Your Marketing Team

While Etsy ads and great photos can greatly help Etsy’s algorithm, sales will only come if you do a bit of our own marketing, and for many artists, they convert to social media, especially TikTok. The free platform gives them a voice, and once they gain an audience, their new product launch can be a bigger hit. “We also strategically use social media to help spread word of mouth faster,” says Artices, who can be found on TikTok and Instagram at @MinnieAndTink. “Creating fun videos showing the process and end result can be fun for everyone.”

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Richardson also uses his TikTok account to find out what buyers really want to buy. He currently has over 200 members in his monthly sticker club and regularly polls his followers. He also uses his platform @Chbblegum to help other small businesses with advice, on how to make products, and how to navigate Etsy’s difficult rules and algorithms, and he even runs a series of Craft Wars to help promote businesses other small.

Scott-Drayton uses her TikTok (@NeverNakedDesigns) to showcase all the new products she’s working on. But when her famous giraffe mug suddenly went on to sell more than 40, she was unprepared. “I’m fairly new to Etsy and learning about Etsy, and since I’ve already built one, I’m ready to ship within a week or two,” she explains. “So for orders of 40 they say they will be delivered in 1 to 2 weeks, which is crazy. There have been so many sleepless nights because I’m not going back and telling everyone I did it wrong. That’s my mistake. I owned it and got them all in two weeks. It was definitely a lesson. ”

(6) Two words: Time! Management!

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The downside of being your own boss is, friend In charge of images, listings, shipping, running social media, and producing products. Juggling can be very difficult. Scott-Drayton admits: “Time management means a lot to me. “I have to write everything down and Etsy is great for that because it gives me due dates.”

When you start, choose a small goal. “My goal is to make $50 a month, paying me to find other little hobbies and keep making stickers and other things,” says Richardson. “In my eyes. I’ve succeeded beyond what I could have imagined, so for me, I’m 100% successful.”

(7) And lastly, don’t let a bad review derail you

Artice added: “Don’t let criticism get to you or discourage you. “There’s always something to learn and ways to improve!” Happy selling!

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