Setting up shop online, on ETSY, can be a lot of hard work and a whole lot of fun and especially at the beginning. I have been working on new hats and other such treasures and working with my customers on private orders, or talk with on emails, and the online world is a little scary and extremly overwhelming. I was so used to the word by mouth and referral customers that I didn’t know where to start when it came to selling on ETSY, and I am still learning day by day. I hope the information I provide is this blog can help steer you the right way. I am also going to add I've been selling on eBay for many years and can tell you straight up you'll get your worth more from ESTY then you will ever see on eBay - eBay to be honest is a glorified yard-sale.
Here are some tips to use to help you get the most out of ESTY....
1. Start meeting the sellers on ESTY. What I mean is shop or research products and then add them or their product that meets your fancy to your favorite list. You'll want to do this because as even I am learning ESTY sellers are also buyers and if you favorite them then they'll be sure to check out your store and whalla an easy sell. ESTY sellers are loyal for a couple of reasons A: they know what it takes to make our hard work handmade items and B: they have real taste.... So get to know your sellers on ETSY - I even emailed them to ask them questions and each response was so honest and helpful that it made me an instant loyal customer there - it's the only place where I go now for gifts.
2. Get business cards (A MUST). I've just order a set for both myself for my store and a set for my husband (yes ladies he's a crafter - I'm so lucky). I would strongly recommend getting them from Vista http://www.vistaprint.com/qs/freesamplespurple.aspx?U2=koyGR8I9gykBqGWbAv9b&GP=8%2f3%2f2010+7%3a37%3a57+PM you'll save even more money then you thought. In fact you may even get a small stack for free - not a bad deal. my order came up to a little over $10 for 2 stores, so honest to besty this is the way to go. Always carry your business cards, parties, meetings, stores, friends house - you just never know who you may meet and so you should always hand them out when ever the opportunity calls. Here's a crazy story - my husband is the site area manager for Inyo Recreation and he was gabbing about his job and the lady looked at me and said and what do you do my dear - I always say I'm a crafter first and attorney last. People hear attorney and want to spit in my face and when they hear crafter first then they get the idea and the point I'm human with talents - lol. Here's a secret also - your sales don't always come from your ESTY store because when you mentioned your store they ask for products on hand and walla another sale just using the word ESTY.
3. Signature on you email..... Mine looks like this:
http://www.etsy.com/shop/mrscraftyrving ----> My STORE
http://mrmrscraftyrving.blogspot.com/ ----> Our RV adventure BLOG
http://handmadecraftsdonewhilerving.blogspot.com/ ----> My Crafting BLOG
And there you go it takes most of the work right out of your hand.... Be sure to ask loyal family members if they would add a signature on your behalf - there's no harm in asking.
3. Facebook - Myspace - ravelry - Twitter - Digg - 43 THINGS - KNITTINGHELP - deviantART - StumbleUpon - LiveJournal - Wordpress - Blogspot - Friendfeed - lastfm - yelp - plurk and there so many more that I didn't list here.... I'm MrsCraftyRVing on most of these network sites. Where ever you can add a link you should because I think it's like for every 1000 you may get 3 serious shoppers.... So as you can see it takes work. But if you put an hour a day for three-weeks you'll start seeing your traffic go up in numbers. Under most of these networks you can find me as MrsCraftyRVing don't forget...
4. BLOGGING - Start a Blog. Starting a blog is a great way for people to get to know who you are and helps potential customers find you. People love content, and they love knowing the artist behind the shop. Plus, it is a great way to educate people on what you know. Advice can go a long way in gathering new customers, so share what you know and you would be surprised how many people will just love you for it! I enjoy writing in my blog, it makes me feel more connected with people interested in hats, scarfs whatever it is that I have ESTY. I am an RV full-time traveler so a lot of people are often puzzeled about crafting inside and RV and the kicker for me is that I live in a 24-foot motorhome. But I love it and you can feel that in my Blog.
5. Friends - The people you know can make a difference in your business. I get all my support from my on-line crafting friends from a yahoo group call campground_crafters and I love these women, they inspire me in ways that I could never dream up for myself. They are honest and will give advice and do research for you because they want to see me succeed. Stay away from people who dampen your your dreams.
6. Charity - You should always give back where your talents lay. You should do this from the heart. There are millions and millions of people in this world that may not have your talents and in a position where they can't do for themselves and it's only right to help your human sisters and brothers. Like blankets for the poor who can not afford heat (my husband and last year decided to not purchase gifts for us but to make blankets and we went around town Christmas Eve place the package on the poorest homes we could fine and took off running - it made us feel great to give in secret and this year we are bumping up our blanket making so we can hit more houses). I also do infant hats and MS items for a yahoo group I started and as well as the local hospitals in what-ever town we are in. But your Church is the best way to find those in need. So please open your heart and make a gift for someone who just needs to feel love during their hard times.
Charity is not charity if it's easy. Charity is work and should be hard because then your really giving. I live by those words....
7. Last but least: Show case yourself and don't be shy by telling people what you do - there's a lot of ESTY sellers that make items that are a dying art. And so you are the teachers of the world. Paint the world with beauty with your art. And with this said. Do find me on ESTY and save me as your favorite so that I can do the same for you!! http://www.esty.com/shop/mrscraftyring