Selling On Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ My Number ONE Top Tip

Make Money Etsy Top Tip

(This post has affiliate links.)

Welcome to Part 3 of my Selling On Etsy series! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.

My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, but one of those is only open off and on…we just don’t have the time to dedicate to it. (more about that below)
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both.
My Hubby runs 2 of the shops for the most part and I work on the other two. Plus we both sell on Ebay.
Let me just give you an idea about our sales so you can judge whether my advice will work for you or not. You may be looking for bigger numbers but all I can do is just share our experience. Your mileage may vary.

  • (as of 03/2016) My main shop The Recycleista’s Retro Shop has been open from 2008 until now. I’ve had approx 1400 orders containing 1571 items. The revenue on that was $26,009. That number does not include tax or shipping costs.
  • (as of 03/2016) Hubby’s main shop, Metal and Tweed, has only been open since 2013 and has had 431 orders containing 448 items. His revenue so far is $11,554.  (08/2016 update: M&T is on a short break while we decide what to do with our shops)

A couple notes on that. First of all, Hubby is kicking my butt!! I do believe his price points are a bit higher. So that helps. Plus, the early days of my shop I didn’t work it as hard as I started to in about 2012-2013.

So that brings me to today’s topic. If you’re here and new to Etsy or thinking about selling on Etsy you may want to check out Part One.
Selling on Etsy ~ Part One ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons

If you have an Etsy shop and are struggling with it or just want to work it a bit harder, you may want to check out Part Two ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography . And then be sure to follow my blog as I plan on continuing this series!

So from my time on Etsy, I have consistently found that there’s one thing that will affect my views and sales. It never fails. And Hubby has noticed the same thing.
How to Get Your Etsy Items Found. My #1 Top Tip that always works for me.Here it is.

Just keep listing.

I know!!! Simple, right?? But it’s true. You need to list consistently on Etsy to have views and (hopefully) sales on Etsy. Whenever I neglect my store, views and sales go down. Same is true with Hubby.
Adding new items is great. Tweaking older listings is fine too. Re-doing a photo or two and fiddling with prices. All good. Just BE there. Sign into your account daily and play around. Do something.

No time for a new listing? Tweet or pin a few of your items. Find an item about to expire and redo the title, move the pictures around and tweak the tags. Probably in the four months since you listed that item you’ll have learned something new about SEO or photography and can do a few updates. Or, you’ll see some error or omission that completely escaped you before.

Yes. What you’re selling is important. Photography is important. Titles, tags and description of your item are all important. (And yes we will cover all those in future posts 🙂 )
You could have the most perfect listings in the world, but if your store is stagnate, the chance of your items moving goes down.

I hear from a lot of sellers who loaded up their Etsy stores all at once with maybe 10-20 items and then sit back and wait.
*crickets*
Nothing happens, so they say, “Nope, Etsy doesn’t work. I’ll go back to Ebay or Amazon or wherever”.
First of all, 10-20 items is not enough. Second, you have to work it!

Here’s another reason I say this. Hubby and I have different stores. We have completely different styles of listing. Hubby is way more patient and thorough. His titles are complete..his descriptions go on forever…he gives so much thought to each item and how a buyer might find it. I’m more of a slam-bam, here are the main points, do-you-want-it-or-not type seller. Every year (for the past few years) our sales in each store are about even. 
But when we ignore our stores? When we can’t list anything new? When we get caught up in our Ebay listing or working on another Etsy shop? Because, believe me, that does happen to me a lot. Be it for a few days or a week or more, our views and sales suffer.

**So HOW we do our listings is not as important as HOW OFTEN we list.**

Another example is our 5th store. Vintage Paperology. Neither Hubby nor I have had much time for it lately so I ended up just putting it on vacation.

Why did I just put it on vacation? Because I knew that if we didn’t have time for it….listings would just sit. I wouldn’t have time to add new items or promote or anything. All the items would just slowly fall off and expire. Which is what happened. No views, no favorites and definitely no sales.
It was NOT what I wanted any random visitor/customer who found their way there to see. So I felt better (and less guilty) by putting the store on hold for awhile.

So that’s my #1 Top Tip for getting your items found (and hopefully sold) on Etsy. Like they say, “If it ain’t listed, it can’t sell” or “if you list it, they will come”.

Oh okay…I do have one more bonus tip for you. Say you have a bunch of great new items you want to add to your Etsy shop. You only have the weekend to do it. 
Go ahead, make the listings. Launch a few. But then…save the rest as drafts. Then as your week goes on, take a few minutes every day or every other day to sign into your shop, and move  1-2 items over to Active. 

So how about you? Are you an Etsy seller? Have you had this same experience? Please share your stories below!

Etsy Sales Recap ~ March 1-10

Etsy Sales Recap ~ Make Money Selling On Etsy
Most of you probably know that I’ve been selling vintage on Etsy for awhile now. Started back in 2007, I believe. Maybe earlier. My current shop says 2008 but I had another shop on Etsy even before that.

If you love the hunt for vintage but have too many treasures threatening to take over your home and have been thinking about a way to move some of those lovelies along ((to make room for more, of course)), a shop on Etsy may be the way to go.
Or maybe you’re a long time Ebay seller and are looking for a new basket in which to put your eggs…again an Etsy shop may be just the ticket! If you’d like to try it out, be sure to use my link…you’ll get 40 free listings and so will I! Here’s the link: Open Your Etsy Shop Now (affiliate link heads-up!)

I wrote a couple of Selling On Etsy posts earlier. I do plan on maybe revisiting those and working on the next installments of the series. Let me know if there is anything specific you’re looking to find out. Anyway, here they are if you’d like to check them out.
Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy?
Selling on Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography
Selling on Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ My #1 Top Tip

Anyway, in order to maybe give a little more credence to the fact that selling vintage on Etsy can be a legitimate side hustle, I thought I’d share my recent Etsy sales. I was going to do just the past week, but I ended up just sharing what has sold since March 1st.

So starting with Hubby’s shop, Metal and Tweed. Keep in mind Hubby works full time and does this on the side. He also pretty much takes care of our vintage hardware shop Tahoma Salvage & Supply.
2016-03-101. Liquor decanter tags $44
2. Digsmed Denmark lazy susan tray $40
3. Pottery Craft vase $16
4. Mail organizer $24
5. Ledger $13
Total for March 1-10: $137

The pottery craft vase and the Danish tray…and actually the ledger…we were just happy to see move along. The Digsmed tray…I bought that years ago and thought I had a real winner. It was in my shop forever. Hubby took it, took better pictures (I’ll admit it!) and sold it fairly quickly. He probably also priced it lower…less attachment. Ha!
The liquor decanter tags blew me away! Such a great item and kudos for Hubby for pricing them accordingly.
Those brass coil animal mail sorters always sell for us. The weirder the animal the better and the higher the price.

Now for The Retro Shop
2016-03-1011. Copper and brass utensils $37
2. Gorham Pace salad forks $20
3. PA Dutch Cook book $18
4. Electric Kettle $19
5. Made in W Germany magnifying eyeglasses (so awesome!) $14

Let’s see. The kettle doesn’t really count because it’s on its way back to us. The metallic taste doesn’t work with tea, I guess. 😉 And the PA Dutch cookbook has been listed a loong time. I thought it would go quicker.
2016-02-236. Porsgrund little boy pepper shaker $24
7. Dansk Summerhouse flatware $22
8. Fabrik dinner plates $39
9. Cheese plane $12
10. Danika forks (remember those?) $20 x 2 = $40
Total for March 1-10: $245

The Porsgrund shaker went to another dealer who had the Mother salt shaker to match up. Love that! The Dansk flatware was fairly damaged on a few pieces, so glad to see those move. Cheese planes! Love them.

My sewing notions shop had a couple sales totaling $24 and we had a really good order in the hardware shop (not typical) and a few more sales there so that total was $135.50.
So for the four Etsy shops we have going right now, we made $541.50 so far this month.
I’m fairly satisfied with that. When I think about the amount of work we’ve done this month, that sounds about right. Other things have kind of crept in so we didn’t WORK the shops like we’ve done at other times. I was very grateful for Etsy this month since Ebay has slowed way down for us lately.

Keep in mind that these are just selling prices. It doesn’t account for listing fees, selling fees and our original purchase prices. All things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing items to resell.

Oh and you’re probably thinking…do you really need that many Etsy shops? The answer is NO. You could run everything out of one. We’ve just decided to do it this way. A couple of our shops are more for supplies and it makes sense to set them apart since the target audience will be more specific. It is a bit more extra work and if Hubby wasn’t doing this with me, I’d probably consolidate into one or two.

Okay. How about you? Do you have an Etsy shop? How have sales been? Any questions about opening a shop?
Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Selling on Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography

Make Money Selling on Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ How Important is Good Photography?

Welcome to Part 2 of my Selling On Etsy series! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.

My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, but one of those is only open off and on…we just don’t have the time to dedicate to it.
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both.
My Hubby runs 2 of the shops for the most part and I work on the other two. Plus we both sell on Ebay.
Let me just give you an idea about our sales so you can judge whether my advice will work for you or not. You may be looking for bigger numbers but all I can do is just share our experience. Your mileage may vary.

  • (as of 03/2016) My main shop The Recycleista’s Retro Shop has been open from 2008 until now. I’ve had approx 1400 orders containing 1571 items. The revenue on that was $26,009. That number does not include tax or shipping costs.
  • (as of 03/2016) Hubby’s main shop, Metal and Tweed, has only been open since 2013 and has had 431 orders containing 448 items. His revenue so far is $11,554.

So that brings me to today’s topic. If you’re here and new to Etsy or thinking about selling on Etsy you may want to check out Part One.
Selling on Etsy ~ Part One ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons

Getting your items found. Wow. This was going to be one blog post, but I realized I can’t do that. There is too much information. There is information about your product, SEO, tags, titles, social media…Phew. I’m tired already.
So we’re going to start with your items and presenting them in the best possible light.
Pictures. And here’s the reason why.
 As you know, Etsy is also a handmade marketplace. That means everyday there are thousands of artists and people interested in art (in all its forms) all over Etsy. They like things to be pretty. They like eye candy. So to make your items stand out…or to catch a potential customer’s eye….I personally would abandon the item on the washing machine/bed/carpet approach (which may work on other platforms) and work on upping the photography game a bit.
Spend some time browsing on Etsy and study some of the options sellers have chosen.
See what catches your eye.
Some sellers use an all white background. Others use a wooden or white table and a painted wall.

Lovely cohesive look (and drool-worthy objects!). Scroll through her store and see how she uses the “Rearrange Your Shop” feature to group colored items together. Talk about eye candy!!

Some use printed backdrops.

Some keep their photos very straightforward while others prefer to stage their items with other objects.

Brass Pear Bell by Wise Apple on Etsy
(check out this shop for examples of how you can have variety in your staging, yet still have a cohesive ‘look’)

My takeaway on this is this: Whatever you choose to do…do it consistently. It becomes part of your brand and your items can be instantly recognizable to your customers. I am constantly working on this. I have struggled with the “look” to my shop for years. Still working on it. So if you’re just starting out…what a great opportunity to be consistent right from the get go.

Keep in mind you only get 5 photos per listing…so if you do get creative with the first one…make sure the other 4 showcase as much of the item as possible.
The other factor about Etsy listing pictures (at least the thumbnails) is that they have a square-ish rectangle format that takes a bit of getting used to. I prefer for my whole item to fall within the square without any of it getting ‘chopped’ off. I’ve learned when I’m taking my pictures…to try to back up a little bit so there’s space around my item. Then I can crop for the correct shape as I’m listing.

My other option is to an extreme closeup and fill the square with the texture or main image of what I’m listing. Like this:

DSC_0023
Etsy has a feature on the listing form where you can preview how the thumbnail will look, so that’s helpful. But no worries, when someone has actually opened your listing, they see the whole photo.

I share all this, not to overwhelm you but to get you thinking. Etsy is its own marketplace. It’s got its own feel and atmosphere. I’ve read lots of stories of people who tried Etsy and didn’t get a sale so gave up. Did they just move items over from Ebay and let them sit? Did they spend any time getting to know the site and its feel? Did they look at other successful sellers and see how they approach their listings?
If you need more help with Etsy photos…the Seller Handbook has many articles to go through.

What do you think? If you are an Etsy seller, do you feel the photos are an important part of being successful?

Next article in the series:
Selling on Etsy ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ My #1 Top Tip
Don’t miss any future installments! Be sure to follow my blog!

Thanks for reading!

Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy? ~ My Top 5 Reasons I Love Selling on Etsy

Make Money Selling on Etsy ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons I LOVE Selling on Etsy

Welcome to the beginning of my Selling On Etsy series! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.

My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, but one of those is only open off and on…we just don’t have the time to dedicate to it. (more about that below)
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both. (See the later segments to this series for the hard numbers of our sales. So you can decide whether to listen to me or not, lol)

I’m going to start my Selling On Etsy series with a basic overview of Etsy and things to know if you’re considering opening a shop.
First of all, let’s clear up a common misconception. Etsy is not just for handmade items.
You can also sell vintage items and craft supplies.

Fullscreen capture 992015 113034 AM

Vintage: Let’s define ‘vintage’ for Etsy purposes: “Vintage items must be at least 20 years old”.
“What?? 20 years old? That’s not vintage!! That means I’m vintage!! Or at least my vacuum cleaner is!!” Sorry. Now’s not the time to get into that debate. We already discussed that here.
For now, just be glad that these are Etsy’s rules…because that opens up to you anything made in 1996 (edited) or earlier!

Craft supplies are anything you would use to make other things. The only restriction on this is that you can’t grab something newer than 20 years old and commercially made that’s ready to go as a finished product and call it a craft supply. Yeah, okay. I’m sure people do that but that’s just silly. They’re just trying to get around Etsy’s listing rules and that’s not cool.

So personally, I have vintage shops and I have craft supply shops. I’ve decided to keep my craft supplies vintage as well. That’s just my decision. You could definitely list some yarn that was made last year or a sewing pattern from 2010 and it would be a perfectly legitimate craft supply to list on Etsy.

Okay what else do you need to know about Etsy?
Oh yes…how much does it cost?
There are no monthly ‘store’ fees or subscription fees. You can open a shop at no cost and leave it empty and it wouldn’t cost you anything.
List your first item and it will cost you 20 cents for that listing. (unless you sign up for your store through my link…then it won’t cost you a thing for the first 40 listings…and I get 40 free listings too. (yup, affiliate link)
That 20 cents covers FOUR months. Unless of course your item sells…but that’s the goal, right? lol
When you renew the listing, it’s another 20 cents. You can set up your listing to automatically renew if you’d like. (a new-ish feature on Etsy). It will charge you the 20 cents as it renews the listing.
Now, when that item sells…the fee you are charged is 3.5%. This is NOT applied to shipping charges or tax.
Of course, you will need a payment processor. You can use Paypal or use Etsy’s own Direct Checkout processor. Direct Checkout (in the US…it varies by country) will cost you 3% + .25 . I can’t remember Paypal’s fees off the top of my head..but if you already sell online, you probably already know it. ((UPDATE: I have heard that if you open a shop now, you can accept Paypal but it has to be integrated into Etsy’s own Direct Checkout system. So you basically use their DC system…but buyers can still use Paypal through that if they wish. Your money will get processed by Etsy, not Paypal, however.))

Okay, let’s keep it simple for today. We’ll talk strategies and methods of getting things sold in future posts. I’ll leave you with my Top 5 Reasons I Like Selling on Etsy:

Top 5 Reasons I Like Selling on Etsy

  1. Fees are cheaper than the other sites I sell on. I feel okay listing items that are maybe a little lower priced because I’m not losing such a big chunk to fees.
  2. The community is quite lovely. I like the ‘feel’ of the site. Most people are friendly and it attracts a nice clientele. Hopefully it continues that way.
  3. No seller ratings or defects or other such nonsense. I know the point of those is to make the marketplace better and only keep high quality sellers. So this may become an issue. I have heard complaints about slow shipping times on Etsy. I follow Best Practices…and I know you will too. It’s just nice to not have ratings hanging over your head if life gets in the way sometimes.
  4. My buyers are the bomb! I have rarely had a return on Etsy and when I did it was simple and no-nonsense. The whole experience is just less stressful.
  5. And finally…I love vintage! I love having a place to curate my finds where they are appreciated by like-minded buyers and sellers. Lots of people call vintage the forgotten stepchild of Etsy but as long as I keep selling what I list…I’m good with that.

Of course, no selling platform is perfect. There are things I would change or improve. Some things you just have to accept and work with. I use Etsy as a backup to my sales on other venues. I don’t foresee giving up those other venues anytime soon.
Coming up:
Part 2 ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography

Part 3 ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ My #1 Top Tip

What about you? Are you an Etsy seller? What would you add to my list?
Are you thinking about branching out to Etsy? What else would you like to know about Selling on Etsy? Comment below!!