If you are passionate about arts and crafts and and you want to sell the stuff you made online, then Etsy is the perfect ecommerce platform for you. It was founded to create a convenient selling platform for craftsmen who prefer to manufacture things by hand. So that means you can sew, draw, or paint, and then you can use Etsy to help you sell what you’ve created.
You can also sell vintage items that are at least twenty years old, and just recently even factory-made items can already sold as long as the original idea for the item came from you.
While Etsy is not quite as well-known as Amazon or eBay, they do have a strong presence online. In 2013 alone, about $1.35 billion worth of goods have been sold through Etsy, and a third of all transactions are international. You just need a credit card or a PayPal account to register for free, and then you pay 20¢ for each listing. Once you sell an item, Etsy takes a 3.5% cut.
But how can you make enough money to actually make a living through Etsy? Here are some bits of advice to help you out:
1. Think of SEO. That starts with your listings. Add keywords in your title to help your potential customers find your listings. Make sure your listings start with your product type, and add descriptive words. You can add keywords in your tags and descriptions as well.
2. Make sure you promote your products. Just because you have your listings doesn’t mean you can now sit back and relax. You need to spread the word about your business. Tell all your friends and family members, and use Facebook and other social networking sites to spread the news about the items you’re selling. You can even blog about it.
3. Use pretty pictures. Etsy is the platform of choice for selling handcrafted items, and it’s crucial that your items stand out in the pictures you post. You don’t have to buy an expensive camera, but you should at least make sure that your pictures are sharp and clear. Pictures give the first impression of your items, and they are worth far more than the most literary descriptions.
4. Be fair with your prices. While you may want to keep the prices low to attract potential customers, you also need to profit from it. Add your total expenses including the cost of your raw materials, and then calculate the time you spent making the item. If you found the creation process especially difficult, take note of that too. Add them all together and then add your profit margin.
5. Make sure your customers are satisfied. Disgruntled buyers can really bring down your business, so if there’s even a possibility of bad news you have to be upfront about it. Be clear about the modes of payments you accept, specify your return and exchange policy, and be honest about how long it will take for an item to be delivered.
Keep your customers happy, and they’ll become repeat buyers and even spread word about your wonderful handmade items. Give it time, and eventually you may be able to set up a profitable business on Etsy.