Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Etsy Workshop

Today I had the opportunity to give an Etsy workshop, to share tips with my fellow Vermonters in hopes of having some of them better their internet selling experience. I spoke in public in front of about 20 people. I haven't done something of the like since high school. Easy it is to hide behind this computer and talk but having all of your idiosyncrasies out there for everyone to see - well that is something! I practiced by videotaping myself. Um.. do I roll my eyes a lot? I mean nothing by it! I didn't even know I did it until yesterday. Do I say like, like way too much? Yeah. Well, like.. um... yeah.. woops. It's easy to edit and re-edit all of my internet doings but having no filter was a rather new experience for me. I play music (not as much as I used to) and the part that I hated most about playing out was having to say things in between songs. What to say? I don't have anything to say. Well it turns out that I do!

 After writing a power point, making lots of notes and practicing I have come up with some tips that I'd like to share.  Lots and lots of questions were asked and hopefully answered. While practicing, I worried that I wouldn't fill my time slot with all of the information. Quite to the contrary, time was running out and lots of questions seemed to remain. I hope that my workshop gave you a needed push in the right direction.

Here are some notes from the presentation for those of you who weren't able to make it or for those that would like a re-cap.


What do you want to sell? 

Choosing a shop name. Brainstorm with friends. Write a list of descriptive words. Pick out a shop name that is catchy and not in use. 

Decorating. Develop a brand or logo and use this for your shop banner.  Create an avatar with a photo of an item or a picture of yourself. I would recommend not having your avatar be of an item that has been sold and cannot be reproduced.

Stocking your shop. The more, the better. But keep it organized and in sections so that it is easy for your customer to navigate your shop. 


Use natural light whenever possible. Cloudy days or shade is best. Direct sun can create unwanted shadows and glares. 

Avoid flashes.

Use live models. Everyone likes to see what something will look like on a real person. If a live model doesn't apply, try some other sort of props but be sure that it is absolutely clear what is for sale in the photo and reiterate that in your items description. 

Use all five photo spots that Etsy offers. 


What is your cost of materials? 

What will you pay yourself per hour/day/piece/etc.? 

Do not undervalue your work. People come to etsy to buy unique and handmade items. Don't compare your prices to factory mass produced items because they are not the same. 

Some quick calculations for pricing are: 

Cost of materials*2+labor= Wholesale price
Wholesale price*2= Retail price

Listing an item

This link provides step by step instructions on listing an item. http://www.etsy.com/help/article/187 

Bringing potential shoppers to your site

-Exhaust all social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc.) 


-Join a treasury or other etsy team

-Etsy search ads. These haven't worked much for me but try it out! 

-Coupon codes. Offer coupon codes for a repeat sale, to your facebook, twitter or other social media outlets. 

Customer Service

Etsy Conversations & Internet Etiquette It can be hard to infer that you are always being friendly on the internet. When in doubt, just use lots of !, smiley faces and positive words. 

Keeping in touch after a purchase. Let your buyer know when you shipped your item out, or if it is something that is made to order, keep them up to date on how long until they should expect it. 

Thank you. Include a thank you note with each order. 

Angry customers? Take a chill pill before responding to them. Wait until you are calm enough to be nice, even if they are a jerk. 

Shop policies. These are important. These dictate whether you take returns and your conditions, etc. It is also a good section to put whether you insure your packages, provide delivery confirmation, etc. 

I hope the workshop/blog post was helpful and I wish you the best of luck in your etsy adventure!