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Advice to an Etsy Newbie

I have helped a number of people get their Esty start over the last year. I love helping people get started. It just feels good knowing that I am doing something for someone else. I had another contact today about getting help starting up and thought it was high time to do a post for everyone with some great starting out advise. Here are the answers to some of the questions I get the most...

How long does it take to get sales?

It depends, on a lot! Don't expect to take off right away. Some shops get going quickly and some are slow going for a while. It took me about 3 weeks to get my first sale and about 3 months before the first sale from someone I didn't know. My sales didn't truly take off till I stopped working to be a stay at home mom and they have grown quite a bit since. My advise for gaining sales is to work hard. You will get out of it what you put into it. If you aren't working you aren't selling. I was down and out with a cold for a week this month and my sales plummeted only to be regained when I came back full force. It takes a lot of work, so don't think you are signing up for the easy life.

How does one get the shipping price correct?

Serious trial and error. I have changed my shipping prices several times over the the nearly 3 years years ago. It depends on how the items are packaged,what they weigh, and where they are going. It is definitely worth making the effort to place international prices too. It is so much easier than you would think and it is just fun to ship all over the world.

How long did it take for you to feel that your etsy business was making a decent profit?
For me it was in January, this year, after 2 1/2 years of work. Something clicked for our shop and we are just keeping it going. Just make sure your items are priced competitively while still leaving a profit margin. This is another trial and error area.

How do you get traffic?

Well, if you are reading this, you know one way. I use my blog, Facebook, Twitter (linked to my FB), and pintrest to spread the word. I am also a member of a handful of fantastic teams. Treasuries are great too. This is where a good portion of the work comes in. Etsy is great for search, but being able to truly connect with your customers is wonderful. They will let you know what they like and what they want and they will be able to see the new things you have in stock and sales that you are running.

One last tip is about listings. Use all 5 of your photos if possible. Make sure your photos are amazing! They are what is going to sell your item. I just started using to get that super white background and it helps so much. Make sure you have an interesting description and as many tags as you can think of. You can put 3 words in each tag and each of them will work separately in searches.

That is about all I can think of at the moment. I love to help, so feel free to ask more questions or share your own advise!


Thanks for your blog! My daughter is considering opening an Etsy shop. I will pass it on to her. As a small business owner (not on Etsy, because I provide a service), I appreciate that you are giving realistic and practical advise.
Best of luck in 2012!
Michelle said…
You are very welcome Joanne! It is a little daunting getting started and while there is a ton of info for all points selling, it is hard to weed through it all. I had to weed through a lot of useless info to find my groove and I like to help anyone I can to get an easier start. Having an online boutique is enough work without hours upon hours of researching help. Let me know when she gets it up, I would love to check out her shop : )
Blogger said…
I make $20 for each 20 minute survey!

Guess what? This is exactly what big companies are paying for. They need to know what their customer base needs and wants. So these companies pay $1,000,000's of dollars each month to the average person. In return, the average person, like me, participates in surveys and gives them their opinion.

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