How to Open an Etsy Store

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Etsy.com reaches an estimated 11 million people monthly in the U.S. So what artisan wouldn’t want to get in front of an audience like that? It’s easy and inexpensive to get started. The hard part is making sales, but we’ll get to that.

First, familiarize yourself with Etsy’s sellers’ requirements. (There are clear do’s and don’ts on the Etsy site.) Then, look at other shops you admire to get presentation ideas and read through other sellers’ stories to figure out what you want to say about your own profile and shop. There are also a lot of tips and valuable information right on the Etsy site.

Next, open an Etsy account. This will enable you to buy and sell. As far as sellers go, there are two categories: handcrafters and collectors. Once you know which category you fit into, gather your products together. These are the items you are going to show in your shop. You can always add or delete products at any time.

Photograph, price, and write a description for each product and come up with a name for your shop. Again, research other Etsy stores, blogs, and to see what you like and what would be appropriate for your wares.

Now you’re ready to “build” and “stock” your store. Create an eye-catching banner and avatar (symbol) for your shop. There are specific pixel and resolution requirements, which Etsy makes clear in their information section.

Once your product pictures, prices, and descriptions are uploaded onto the site, all that is left to do is put in keywords so viewers can search for and find your items. Then, you just sit back and wait for the money to pour in, right? Wrong!

You will need to check analytics to see how much interest your products generate and if your keywords are working. Be prepared to make adjustments, and be patient. It’s a crowded marketplace and you have to find ways to make your products stand out. Good photography and accurate descriptions are crucial as are choosing keywords that people actually use.

Consider marketing your wares via the site’s advertising venues, but also take advantage of free ways to promote your shop. Put a notation on your business card and a link on your email signature. Also, be sure to take advantage of social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter to help promote your shop and specific products.

When you do make your first sale (and every sale after that) be sure to deliver on what you promised. If you say you ship in two to three business days, do just that. Product presentation is important too, and pack the merchandise so it arrives in perfect condition. Happy buyers are more likely to be repeat buyers and give you a good review, both of which will generate more sales.

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