I’ve been selling my hand bound journals in my Etsy store, Vintage Page Designs, for almost three years and feel like I’m finally getting the hang of things. For anyone just starting out on this journey – congratulations! Here are tips 3 to get you on your way:
1. Use High Quality Product Photographs
Showcasing your product with crisp, clear photos is the key to success on Etsy.
Visitors to a shop at the mall can pick up a pair of hand knitted gloves, touch them, feel them and try them on before finally buying them. In an online store, the only way a potential customer can judge those same gloves is from pictures on a screen, so it’s really important that you showcase your products in the best way possible.
Great photography will get your handmade items included in Etsy treasuries and online gift guides, featured in blogs and magazines, and very importantly pinned to Pinterest boards. All of these are things that drive traffic to your shop and lead to sales. That said, my photos are always a work in progress – I take new ones each week to improve the look of my store. I’m saving up for a new DSLR camera right now so I can take better and better pictures.
Tip: Experiment taking photos on different backgrounds, find the ones that work for you and stick with it. It will give your store visual consistency.For more resources on taking great photographs, visit Big List of Product Photography Tips for Etsy Sellers.
2. Give Great Customer Service
Imagine you’re in the same store and want to know if the gloves come in blue. How do you react if the owner takes an hour to find out or worse, ignores your question? Chances are you’ll go to another shop to buy your gloves. Let’s say you do buy the gloves, what if they put your gloves in a ratty box and broken bag? What if they don’t thank you for your purchase – they just take your money and start checking their phone? You won’t go back to the store next time you need new gloves, and you certainly won’t recommend them to a friend.
As an online store owner, give the best customer service you can.
- Answer all inquiries in a timely way
- Ship the product when you say you will
- Respond to problems quickly and effectively
- Always thank your customer for their purchase
Tip: If you can, exceed your customers’ expectations by shipping a product earlier than you stated in your shop policies, they’ll be thrilled.
3. Pay Attention to your Pricing
I feel pretty strongly about charging fair prices for handmade products, and in fact my journals are at least double the price they started at two years ago. Here are a few thoughts on pricing for a new seller: If you charge too little for your product, it not only affects your bottom line, but gives the impression that your product is not good quality.
Stand behind the quality of your work and charge a fair price.
The prices of the items in your online store should be retail prices. Remember to figure out the wholesale price then at least double it to get your retail price. Your wholesale price needs to include a healthy profit as well as all materials, labor and overheads.
Charge the correct amount for shipping, especially to international customers. I’ve found customers to be very understanding about shipping costs and are happy to pay it, as long as you’re up front and honest with them.
Tip: The best online resource for handmade pricing is Megan Auman’s site Designing an MBA. Are Etsy seller? What’s the one tip you’d give a new store owner?
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