Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Etsy Tutorial: III - Making and Listing Items

Making your items to sell is usually the "fun" part, it's what you like to do and probably why you wanted to have a shop in the first place. But it isn't just that simple and there are plenty of other steps in process of making a successful shop. This section is about getting started with making and listing.

Buying Supplies and Making Items

  1. Shop around for cheaper supplies, both for creating and for shipping. A great suggestion from Captain Obvious, but it will help you earn more in the long run.
  2. Making the items should be the best part, so make sure you enjoy the process! You’re not a factory and you shouldn’t feel like one just to make a buck or two. But then, if this is your day job, you will have to make things that people want to buy, so you will have to find that balance in your shop. Hopefully that won’t be a problem!
Listing Items
  1. Take the best photos you can. This seems obvious, but there is a lot of stuff on Etsy that is poorly photographed, and it doesn’t sell. Regularly critique your photos, compare them with photos you like of similar items from other shops, and think about which one a potential buyer would be more likely to look at based solely on the first photo of the listing. Try different lighting (indoor/outdoor, with/without a flash, different exposures, different backgrounds, different angles, closeup or at a distance). There are a lot of good resources out there, so read up if you think your pictures could use some work.
  2. Don’t list all of your items at once (no “grand opening”). Etsy is primarily organized by most recent listings, so you are wasting precious exposure by listing them all at the same time. Instead, maybe list one or more items per day (depending on the volume you want to sell), or renew an old item if you don’t have a new one to list, just to keep your shop current. Try to have one of each major type of item you sell “at the top of the pile” so potential buyers find your shop. Personally, I aim to renew one listing of produce bags, an iPod case, and list several new sets of buttons every day or two. I also relist things when similar items have just been sold. People can’t buy your stuff if a) it isn’t there or b) they can’t find it.

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