It is not possible to talk about selling crafts online without speaking of selling on Etsy.com. Etsy is a very large online marketplace for artists and crafters, perhaps the largest of its kind. Etsy has seen phenomenal success as a platform for all kinds artists and crafts person who have been able to sell their work to a global audience with a great deal of success.
From the time that Etsy launched it has shown a dramatic growth. Buyers love it because of several reasons. There is a large variety of art and craft available from artists from all over the world. A whole lot of new, unseen and innovative art and craft is available. They can buy arty stuff that was never available to them before!
Also, a buyer enjoys the novel experience of buying directly from the crafters. It gives a more very nice personal feel to the whole shopping experience.
While the buyers love it, so do the sellers because they are able to sell their art and craft in a manner that was never before possible. Etsy allows them to concentrate on what they actually love to do and takes care of the technicalities of selling online.
Selling on Etsy has great advantages but also some disadvantages. In our previous post we have spoken about how you should take as much control of your selling process as possible. You can do this by having your own website, creating an email list etc. By only selling on another website you are relinquishing a major part of the sales process to someone else. Although this suits some people just fine, this can lead to some problems.
Any changes Etsy decides to make in the future may affect your business adversely.
- You cannot control these changes.
- You cannot build a strong brand for yourself by selling on another website. Your brand image is your strongest business asset no matter how small or larger businesses.
- You are losing control on future sales and profits by not generating customer leads.
- The customers are mostly Etsy’s customers and not yours.
- It can be difficult to stand out in the Etsy marketplace.
These problems of course have a solution and we will discuss them in more detail the ‘Selling On Etsy’ section. For now let’s get started on how you can start your craft business on Etsy.
Choose a username, shop name etc
You can have any number of shops on Etsy. The first principle to follow is not to club many different kinds of crafts into one shop. For example if you knit and make candles, create separate shops for these two very different crafts. It is better for search results and will help people find your shop with a greater degree of accuracy. Separating crafts into different shops also increases conversions and sales as too many different products in the same shop can confuse the buyer.
Etsy shop customisation
There one major way in which you can customise the look of your Etsy shop and that is by creating a top banner. Etsy allows you to put a horizontal banner on top of your shop. Make a simple, catchy banner that contains a brand name.
This is the first thing you can do to create a brand image and standing out from other shops. The URL of your shop also plays a role in helping you stand out.
If you are emailing people about your Etsy shop or promoting it on social media like Twitter and Facebook, always remind them to bookmark the page. Many people will not think of doing so unless you tell them to. Bookmarking your Etsy shop address will allow them to come to your shop easily and directly in the future.
You can sell any craft on Etsy from candles, handmade pillows to paintings and illustrations. When you open your shop you must do everything possible to make it different from others.
Another important think you can do is to take great pictures of your crafts. This may seem obvious but you would be surprised at how many crafters ignore this. Many times they do not know what a good photograph should look like. If your product photograph is not as crisp, sharp and vibrant as it can be, go back and take the picture again. There must be no camera shake and the photograph must be evenly lit. Avoid dowdy photographs under all circumstances. They will directly affect your sales negatively. Read our article on how to take good product photos.
What Can You Sell On Etsy
Handmade Art and Craft
Etsy is a marketplace where you can sell everything handmade, from shell jewellery to embroidered pillows covers, woodwork to paintings, sketches, illustrations and photographs. What you cannot sell is anything facetory made or mass produced.
Vintage items is a hot selling category on Etsy. They have a classified vintage items to be anything more than 20 years old.
There are millions of artists and crafters on Etsy selling their work every day. Needless to say they will continue to need supplies for their work. Etsy allows selling of all kind of art and craft supplies. Craft supplies is a huge market. By aligning sales of art supplies Etsy has managed to retain a large section of buyers and sellers within its own ecosystem.
Important Things To Keep In Mind
If you want to get the complete lowdown on selling on Etsy, get our Art and Craft Income Handbook, that comes with the addition resources of ‘Selling On Etsy Handbook‘ and ‘Selling On Pinterest Handbook'. All these 3 resources are a comprehensive resource that make the process of making money from your art and craft online as easy as it can be.
Here are a few pointers. Since Etsy has become so popular people get caught up in the buzz about selling and a very often end up disappointed because they did not take the time to get things right.
If you find it easy to get started on Etsy, remember that so do hundreds of other crafters. Do not be in a rush to list your products. Make sure you have done everything possible to stand out among the crowd without which you cannot hope to have a lot of success. The questions you need to ask yourself are: Do I have a brand? Do I have a good product? Am I doing anything different? Have I taken excellent photographs? Have I written great product descriptions? (Learn all about these things in the Art & Craft Income Handbook.)
Don’t even think of listing a craft without high quality pictures. Compare the pictures you have taken to professional photographs. Are they just as clear and vibrant? If not go back and click again. Photographs are pivotal in making your craft look better than others.
List all possible details in your craft description. Remember this is the only way for the buyer to learn about the craft.
Don’t hide behind your crafts
Etsy is different from other platforms. Here the buyer looks for a more personal experience. They have come to expect it on Etsy. People buy from the crafter as much as the by the craft itself. They like to see and know the person behind the craft. That directly affects their decision making. So get your story together and put it in your profile on Etsy. Include a nice picture of yourself. Talk about your inspiration, passion, what you do and why you do it. Share something about yourself as a crafter. If you can create a blog at the same time, even better.
Offer assurances, guarantees etc
Make good quality art and craft and assure the buyers that you stand behind your craft and your commitment to customer satisfaction.
Selling on Etsy follows all principles of selling crafts online. We have written a lot of posts in a craft business section about this. Read that and follow all the steps regarding branding, pricing, selling niche crafts etc. These factors are just as important for selling on it Etsy successfully.
Once again, if you want to the complete guide to make making money from your art and craft online, get the Art & Craft Income Handbook. It includes full modules of how to make money from Etsy as well as Pinterest.
If you have any specific questions about selling on Etsy, do not hesitate to post your comment below.