If you may have noticed, I have recently started an Etsy shop. This will hopefully provide me with a little revenue from some of my crafting projects. My shop has been officially open for a little less than a month now, and although I have not sold anything just yet, I have learned a lot from the experience.
Here are just a few of the things I have learned:
1. Each listing costs $0.20 for a 4 month period (whether it sells or not). If it doesn't sell after that period, you can choose to relist it for another $0.20 or take it off the market. This is worth it for big ticket items, but I will not sell small items such as my knitting pattern pdf's on Etsy. I will continue to sell the knitting patterns on Ravelry (free if you sell less than $30 per month, Ravelry takes a small cut after that) and on Craftsy (always free for sellers). For me, the $0.20 investment was worth it to see if I can sell some paintings and some knit and crochet items that will cost $20 or more. I fully expect this to be a learning process and I hope I can find a product that can be my bread and butter on Etsy, similar to my brother's deer antler rings on his Etsy store (seen here).
2. You can earn free listings by referring friends!! (I am a bit mad my brother never mentioned this to me!!). Basically if your friends sign up for a store using your code, you both earn 40 free listings! This adds up to $8 of free listings. Had I known about this before I started my store, I would have had someone refer me, just to take the worry out that even if I don't sell anything, that I won't owe Etsy money. For those of you starting an Etsy store, feel free to use my referral code (http://etsy.me/1qPCjWY) and you can begin with 40 free listings!
3. Photos matter! I have found this in both my pattern sales and also on Etsy. People are more attracted to (and more likely to purchase) an item with high quality, professional-looking photos. There are several blog posts on the Etsy blog (here) referring to this topic and you can find a lot of picture tips elsewhere on the web. If you have access to a friend with a fancy camera, have them take the pictures for you.
4. Etsy has a "vacation" mode where you can close your shop for a while if needed. Customers can see that you are on vacation but cannot see any of your items. However, the 4 month period for a listing keeps ticking, but it is a nice feature if you are away (or simply too successful at selling things and need a break to catch up - hey, I can dream :)).
If you have an Etsy store, what have your experiences been? Do you have any tips for me and other store owners?