Sunday, May 17, 2009

Musings on Etsy: A Newbie's Tips

I've been on Etsy as Dominant Hands since late April. I still consider myself a newbie as I've got much to learn. From forums to storques to blogs, sometimes the mass of information available on how to be a successful seller can be overwhelming and a distraction from creating for your Etsy shop.

After sitting back and considering my experience thus far, the bottom line of getting off to a good start on Etsy is to:

1. Make quality items. Put each item through a quality control check. Inspect. Inspect. Inspect. Get a third party (hubby, friend, your mom) to give your item the once over and point out possible flaws or problems. Remember that a stranger will get this item and they will not forgive poor quality.

2. Write great descriptions and tag items well. This is your opportunity to use your creativity in writing to sell your item. Use lots of adjectives that describe color, texture, mood, style, size and shape. How will your prospective buyer use it, wear it or display it? Tell them and then show them in your photography.

3. Take good pictures. For me as an amateur, I find this the most frustrating. I don't have a fancy photo editing "suite", but I think my photos show off my items fairly well. I am always reshooting and reediting my photos. I have to learn not to be hypercritical of my photography or that is all I would do! Here is a great Etsy post on taking good pictures.

4. Don't feel pressured to be on every social networking site A.S.A.P.! Twitter, Flickr, Facebook, My Space, Blogger, the list seems endless. You are only human. You need time to create! You are not the only one not twittering or blogging or whatever! Take your time. Social networking is important, but pace yourself. Set goals for social networking you can accomplish over time.

5. Join an Etsy Team. I am a member of the Etsy Fiber Arts Street Team, Etsyfast Team for short. Joining a team gives you an instant Etsy community of individuals who share a common interest. Get your questions answered, give advice, promote as a group and get to know other people from all over, it's worth the effort.