Amanda: Courtney is the wonderful woman behind the Etsy shop Mother, Me and I. She helped us with our very first giveaway last Thanksgiving by graciously donating toward the prize!
We’ve talked previously about how to set up your own Etsy shop, here. Well, today Courtney’s sharing her expertise on how to make that Etsy shop successful! She’s guest posting on Kandy Apple Mama to share her tips and tricks on how to sell on Etsy and how she’s made over 5000+ sales (and counting!)!
I’m so honored to have been invited to guest post for my dearest friend, Kandy Apple Mama!
This is my first blog post, y’all, so bear with me!
Like most of you, I aspired to be my own boss. There’s nothing I’m specifically great at, so I really had to think.
One night, I was playing around with my Cricut machine and realized that I could cut vinyl with it!
Everything in my house needed vinyl at that very moment. My first decal was a “Keep Calm and Bake On” design for my KitchenAid Mixer. And thus, my Etsy shop was born.
Two shakes of a sheep’s tail and I’m already past 5000 sales.
I’ve shaken my fair share of fluffy bottoms to get here.
How to Sell on Etsy – Courtney’s Tips and Tricks
By no means am I some Etsy Goddess (Note to Self: Tell husband to refer to me as Etsy Goddess from now on), but I’m happy to share some of the how to sell on Etsy tips and tricks I’ve learned along the way!
1. Don’t Quit Your Day Job
a. Unfortunately, as much as we all want overnight success, it ain’t gonna happen.
At least, it didn’t for me. But, I don’t know your life. You could be a first cousin of the Kardashians and just have to make a video or something. However, if you’re like “the rest of us,” keep reading.
b. Work it, girl!
It’s kind of an unwritten rule of Etsy that in order to have a shop that gets more traffic, you need at least 100 listings. Trust me, I feel your pain. 100 listings?! How in the…?
c. About 50 listings in, I discovered the ever-so-handy “Copy” function.
So, instead of listing out all 47 color options you have on each of your 100 listings, simply use the copy function to duplicate a previous, similar item!
All you have to do is go in and edit the details like picture, title, etc. This has literally saved me a bazillion hours in listing products (my least favorite thing to do).
2. Customer Service the Heck Out of People (But also know when to say NO!)
a. No matter how wonderfully amazing the description of your item is, people will still ask questions.
Most of the time, yes, they are answered within the paragraph that you spent hours writing instead of being on Netflix. But, I myself, need to buy groceries so I can’t reply with CAN’T YOU READ?! Take a second to breathe and respond politely. It could cost you a sale!
b. Respond quickly!
I can almost guarantee that somebody out there does the exact same thing that you do. And, if you take days to respond to someone’s message, they’ll have already found someone else. We live in an Amazon Prime world where people expect things in 2 days so be Johnny on the Spot!
c. If you mess up, fix it!
It will probably cost you money on re-making and re-shipping the product but that’s just a risk you have to take. Plan for this when you’re pricing your items. Of course, not every order will be messed up but it does happen. I’d say that about 30% of my customers leave me reviews and they DO MATTER! People read reviews and 5 stars will help to bring traffic to your shop!
d. All this being said, don’t let people walk all over you.
Either adopt Etsy’s policies or write your own and STICK TO THEM! Think about things like: What if the customer put the wrong address in while placing the order? I personally do not re-ship for free if it wasn’t my fault. I added that to my policies because I was losing a lot of money for other’s mishaps.
3. That old saying, “You gotta spend money to make money” Is true.
a. Really think about the products that you’re going to offer.
For example, I love making wreaths and often have people ask to buy the ones I post on Facebook. However, I don’t have the room to store all the supplies or the money to buy enough inventory for more than 3 or 4 at a time. Be able to get your materials quickly, easily, and decently priced.
b. Take advantage of Etsy’s promotions.
I spend $1 per day on promoting my listings ($2 if I’m feelin’ really frisky). I know it feels like you’re paying for “nothing” but I swear, it really does help! And, it’s easy. I’m all about convenience. Year to date, I’ve spend $500 on advertising my shop. That in turn has made me $1,500. Plus, countless clicks that have led to custom orders and re-orders.
c. Re-invest in your business.
Things are ALWAYS changing and getting better. Since I’ve opened my shop, I’ve upgraded my machine twice. I have quite a bit of inventory on hand and shipping supplies for days. I even have a goal of eventually using my Etsy profit to buy a commercial embroidery machine (Lord have mercy, they’re expensive). Bettering yourself and your business is ALWAYS a good idea.
I could go on and on about SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and how important it is, but we’ll save that for another day.
Last, but most importantly, don’t forget to have fun with your shop.
When meeting new people, I’m always asked what I do for work. My typical reply is “nothing” because to me, it’s still fun and still a hobby.
Don’t let Etsy ruin your love of crafting. Find your groove, follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to success!