10 tips to make you a more successful Etsy seller

Do you have a shop on Etsy and want to rock your sales? Here are 10 tips you can start implementing right now to be more successful.

Etsy is a platform that connects buyers to independent sellers around the world. It is the perfect place to find handmade products, vintage and craft supply items.

Founded in 2005, Etsy has grown over the years. In 2018, a Statista study revealed it was the third most popular online marketplace in the US, according to sellers. That year, more than 2.1 million sellers sold goods through the the platform, generating approximatively US$603.7 million. 

10 tips to make you a more successful Etsy seller

So, if you are wondering about starting your own business on Etsy, how can you maximise your chance of success? Or learn how to sell more if you’re already on the platform?

Here are are 10 tips to help make you a more successful Etsy seller.

1) Research the marketplace

Don’t jump into selling product on Etsy without doing proper research on your market, and the wider marketplace.

Start reading Etsy policies, how ads work and research best sellers’ strategies. This will give you a general view of how things work. But you also need to understand your particular niche.

You can use Craftcount to check what is selling and who is selling it. This is a third-party website, which tracks Etsy sales and best sellers by category.

Research the top sellers in your niche and check their products and strategies. What can you learn from them? Don’t simply copy what they’re doing, but to use their successful strategy as a foundation of what works.

Once you’re rolling out your own strategy, it’s always wise to test, review and revise as you go along. Identify what works for you and do more of that, and tweak or stop using strategies that aren’t working.

2) Perfect your product photography

The first thing your Etsy customer will see is your product photo. So make it good!

A great picture should highlight the best of your item for sale, with good lighting, and a well planned set up and background. Thoughnickel has some excellent tips on how to plan your photo shoot. You can also read how to take Instagram-worthy photos in five easy steps here.

Etsy allows you to upload up to 10 pictures per product, so make sure you upload the best ones, showing all your item’s angles and details.

3) Write your title, product description and tags

A well-written title will help draw customers to your Etsy page. So try to think what buyers are looking for, and how you can let them know your page is the best one to click on.

The first five words in the title are very important for SEO. They chances are they’ll be pulled into shopping sites and searches, allowing buyers to find what they need faster and easier.

You can use sites like Marmalead to find the right keywords. Use these keywords to create your title, tags, and eventual ads. When writing your title, remember to place the keywords in the right order; it should be readable and as the customer would research. 

Add relevant descriptive tags to the product, and describe as much as you can on the description field. Work out everything that needs to be said about the product and write it down.

You don’t need to write a novel. Just make sure the customer has the right amount of straightforward information to click on the purchase button, or research more about your store and shipping.

If you really want to master SEO, the Talented Ladies Club SEO Kit teaches you how it works, and shows you how to find and use the right keywords for your business and customers.

4) Get your pricing right

When pricing your Etsy product you need to know exactly how much it actually costs you to design, create and ship it. You also need to research what your competitors are selling for to get an idea of the market rate.

However, while you certainly want to price competitively, you don’t want to enter a race to the bottom, and discover that you’re actually losing money by trying to win business by being the cheapest. Instead, focus on delivering a high-quality product and a great experience to your customer. This is what will make them return and shop more. 

Pricing is such a difficult part of running a successful Etsy (or any!) business and it’s important to get right.

Watch the Talented Ladies Club Pricing Masterclass to learn how to price for profit AND sales, and use the accompanying pricing workbook to work out exactly how much you need to charge to ensure you’re making money.

5) Use social media to market your Etsy business

Social media is a powerful and important marketing tool for Etsy sellers. Pinterest, Facebook and Instagram are all excellent traffic drivers, so choose your favourite platform (or platforms) and start investing time on building an engaged following.

If you need help, Etsy’s Seller Handbook contains useful information to guide you through promoting your products. You’ll also find valuable advice in these articles:

6) Set up a Promoted Listings campaign on Etsy

Etsy have a feature called Promoted Listings in which you can advertise your products in designated search results on the site.

Etsy use an auction system to allow you to compete with other sellers for these advertising slots, and allow you to manage the feature so you can control how much you spend. You can read how it works and how to set campaigns up here.

7) Write blogs

As with any business, blogging can help you build awareness and authority as a designer, maker and Etsy seller.

So start considering a content plan that includes your business and products story, tips and tutorials and any other topics that promote you as an expert in your field and showcase the quality and desirability of your products.

You can share your blogs on your own website and social platforms, and find websites (like Talented Ladies Club!) who publish guest posts. Not only will guest posting help you reach a new audience, but it will also help with your own SEO.

Need help writing blogs? We recommend reading these articles:

Always remember to include a clear call to action at the end of your blogs, and links to your website and Etsy shop.

8) Provide excellent customer service

To be a successful Etsy seller you need to understand how to market yourself. You need great, unique products and you need to get your pricing right. But, above all, you absolutely need to provide excellent customer service.

Because the truly successful Etsy sellers don’t need to always work at bringing in new customers; they build a profitable business on repeat custom and recommendations.

So what does excellent customer service look like? It starts with honest, clear business policies. So clearly state how and when you ship items, how much it costs, what packaging you use, and your return and exchange policies.

If relevant, also explain what materials you use to make your products, and how you make, manufacture or curate them.

Once someone makes a purchase, ensure you have a friendly and informative communications plan in place. Thank them for their order, and let them know what they can expect to happen next, and when.

Let them know again when you’ve shipped their order, and invite them to give you feedback. Also encourage them to find and follow you on their favourite social media platforms.

Give them the option of joining your mailing list to be first to find out about new products and receive news of offers and promotions. You could even encourage more business by offering them a ‘thank you discount’ off their next purchase within a set time, or an incentive to recommend you to their friends.

(You can read more tips on setting up automated email campaigns to encourage repeat purchase here.)

If a problem does occur, make sure you handle it swiftly and appropriately. You can learn how to manage complaints successfully and get more helpful customer service tips in these articles:

9) Get your packaging and labelling right

If you want to make it easier for buyers to connect with and remember your Etsy shop, consider creating your own brand.

You don’t need to spend a fortune on a designer if you’re working on a shoestring budget. You can easily design your own logo for free, and start using it on your marketing and packaging.

Don’t just buy the cheapest packaging either. The first physical impression someone will have of your business is the moment they hold their wrapped purchase in their hands. So make it as special as you can.

Give real thought to the quality, style and colour of your packaging, and consider having your own stickers made as a cheap and easy way to brand your packaging. You might want to include a small thank you note to the buyer too.

Remember to protect your brand legally and to approve your package and label manufacturing plan with Etsy. As Etsy does not allow selling any mass production products, it is better to have their approval.

If your product is handmade, but your label and packaging are not, you will need to submit a manufacturing plan for approval by the Etsy team. (You can read packaging and labelling tips from Etsy here.)

10) Use apps to grow your Etsy store

Last but not least, make the best use of technology to promote your Etsy business. Etsy and other third party software companies offer a varied range of apps that can help you grow your store.

These apps can assist you from creating amazing photos up to managing your inventory. Like the Etsy Shopping app that allows you to manage basic store features from your mobile, and Craftybase desktop app, which provides an inventory management solution for crafters. Erank, meanwhile, has analytics, keyword resources and other handy tools.

Ready to become a successful Etsy seller?

We hope you have enjoyed this reading these 10 tips and make good use of them to become a successful Etsy seller. Don’t forget to share them with your Etsy friends too!

Annabelle Carter Short is an editor and professional seamstress of more than seven years. Annabelle is a mother and she likes to make crafts and DIY projects with her two kids. Annabelle writes about sewing tips and projects, starting a handmade business and selling on Etsy. 

Photo by Brooke Cagle