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Allison Atkins
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I was recently asked by someone for some advice in starting an Etsy shop, and I thought I would share it with everyone.


It's a good idea to have things already made before you open your shop. I recommend at least 20. The more you have, the more likely you are to be found. You should also try to add new things rather often, maybe one item every week or two. I find that when I go too long without adding anything my views drop a lot. Don't worry about views too much though. Sometimes I make a sale with hardly any views at all. You just need the right person to find you :) Also you probably aren't going to get a lot of views in the beginning. It takes a while to build up viewers and followers. Don't worry if you don't sell anything right away. It takes some people months before they make their first sale. It took me 4 days, but I just got lucky. It can also help people find you if you have a variety of different things in your shop. For example I sell hair accessories, bookmarks, keychains, and jewelry. People will often go looking for one thing and come out of your shop buying something completely different. Jewelry can be rather difficult  to sell on Etsy because so many people sell it. I think it helps if your jewelry has a theme because it makes it easier to find in searches. 


Make sure to use the sections in your shop. For example have an accessory section, a jewelry section, etc.... It helps people navigate your store, and you want people to be able to find things easily. You can rearrange how things are placed in your store. (On the bottom left when your on your shop page it says rearrange your shop) So if you have multiple pages you should put your best selling items on the first page. If you press shift when clicking to make something go to a different page it will let you stay on the page your already on rather than making you go to the page you send the item. 


I like to put links to other parts of my store in my listings. For example if I'm doing a necklace I'll put a link to my jewelry section and maybe one or two to similar necklaces. This keeps people in your store longer, which makes them more likely to buy something.


The forums can be really helpful if you have questions or problems. Make sure you don't put any links to anything unless your in the promote section or you can get in trouble. You also can't put any personal information about your buyers like names and addresses. You can get to the forums by clicking You at the top of the Etsy website then go to your teams. Once your on that page there will be a link that says Forums on the top left of the page. Or you can just go to etsy.com/forums 

I've made sales from chatting with people in the forums, and it can be a good way to get to know other Etsy sellers. 


Teams can be helpful as well. When I lived in Nashville I joined a local team and we met up every now and then at a coffee shop. You good team to join is called Etsy Relevancy SEO and Stats. SEO means search engine optimization. It means being able to be found in searches. Etsy keeps changing how they decide who gets found, and this team keeps up with it and tells you how. 


Advertising is rather important as well. My favorite place is deviantart.com. I put links to my deviant page in all my listings too. It's where people can keep up with sales I'm having, giveaways, etc.. And make sure to put links to your Etsy listings when you add things to your deviant. Otherwise people won't know where they can buy your stuff. I also promote on pinterest and tumblr. Sometimes on pinterest people will add your things to do it yourself boards. It used to irritate me, but it's really unlikely that people are actually going to take the time to make it, so I just ignore it now. I used to do facebook, but they hardly show your posts to anyone now unless you pay to promote the post. I had a blog and did twitter, but I really don't like writing, and I didn't reach a lot of people with twitter, so I quit those. 

I don't do craft shows because I have social anxiety disorder, but I've read that they can bring a lot of attention to your shop. People from craft fairs will often hand out business cards at their shows and people end up going there to buy more. 


I put business cards in with my packages. You can buy them online, but I made my own. You can just get business card paper and print them onto them. It might be hard if you don't have something like photoshop. I used manga studio 5 to make mine. The picture is cut off a bit, but you can see mine in my about page: www.etsy.com/shop/RandomWish/a…;

I put my etsy and deviant websites on it along with a bit of info about what I sell. 


Pictures are very important, bc you have to catch peoples eye as they are scrolling. If your taking pictures of small things, make sure to use the macro setting on your camera. It's best to use natural light like by a window. I also use mirrors to bounce the light onto my items. Editing software is really helpful too. I really like the Aviary app. I email them to my iphone and edit it with that. There is a computer app but it isn't anywhere near as good.  If you do use the aviary app on your phone, somewhere on the app you can get free filters but I don't remember where. You could also use picmonkey.com that's what I use when I do edit them on the computer. For most of my backgrounds I use pretty paper I got from a craft store. For others I use fabric draped over a chair or petrified wood. Some people prefer plain white backgrounds because it looks cleaner. I tried it, and it didn't work right for my store. If you do use white backgrounds you might try making a light box. It diffuses the light to reduce shadows. Here's a link to how to make one: www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inex… When I first started my store my pictures where awful. Just keep practicing, and eventually you'll get better. 


For shipping I got a scale from amazon, so I could ship from Etsy. Etsy's shipping is cheaper, and comes with tracking. You just print the label and tape it to your package. This website was helpful when I was trying to figure out shipping stuff: www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/sh…  I don't do international, so I can't help with that. I read somewhere that it's easier to do all the shipping stuff for international by printing it from Etsy. You also have to make sure to know the rules for shipping to different countries like not being able to ship certain things. 


You can do shipping upgrades on Etsy which means that you can offer first class mail, priority, etc. I recently discovered that when you do the shipping upgrade you don't put the full price on the more expensive one, you just put how much more it would cost than the cheaper one. Thankfully I figured out how to do a partial refund for shipping and gave them some of the money back. I can never remember how to get to the refund page. You can search for it on the forums if you ever have to do that. There is also a price difference on priority mail between 1 ounces and 2 ounces. Etsy has something called calculated shipping which I haven't done yet, but plan to do eventually. What you do is weigh all your items in the box or envelope your going ship them in. You enter the number along with shipping costs you want to charge for like the box and it calculates what it would cost to mail it. Then you don't have to worry about over or undercharging people. 


I also ship most of my stuff in little boxes that I put in yellow envelope bubble mailer things. You can get the large envelope things at a lot of places like walmart, grocery stores, etc..You could also get them online if you wanted too.  I get three sizes of boxes the smaller ones are pretty cheap to get online. The bigger ones and the really long skinny ones I usually get at walmart or Michaels  because of the shipping costs on them. If you search kraft boxes (not craft) on Etsy and then click craft supplies and tools you should be able to find them. You can also add the size you want to your search for to narrow it down. For the smaller ones I get 2.5 x 1.5 inches. The last time ordered some I got 100 of them for $32. You can search by price when you look, but make sure to keep in mind how many you want so you don't end up paying too much. I've been getting ones with a pretty pattern on them lately. I used to get plain ones and decorated them by using a rubber stamp. It isn't necessary to do fancy packaging I just think it adds a nice touch, and if your shipping jewelry the boxes help keep them safe.  For the bigger ones I get 3.25 x 2.25 inches. The long skinny ones I get are 8 x 2 inch boxes. 


When it comes to paying taxes I think you have to file federal if you make more than $400 a year if I'm remembering right. You can also deduct supplies and stuff. I really hate that part, it's called COGS cost of goods sold. My husband made me a big complicated spread sheet to keep up with it all. I'm not  a fan of math. I also use a website called Wave for bookeeping. It's free. my.waveapps.com/?service=accou…;

You should also look up your states requirements on state taxes, sales tax, business licences and stuff like that. This website is very helpful with things like that: www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/sa…


Here's some useful info about transaction things like refunds and returns, rules about polices, what to do if there's a problem with your order, etc..

www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questi…

Your welcome to look at my policies and feel free to copy them if you want. Here's a link to mine. www.etsy.com/shop/RandomWish/p…


If you have an iphone you can get the sell on Etsy app. It lets you know when you have messages, feedback, sales, etc..and you can update your listings and stuff. You can also sell to people in person with it. I haven't tried that though so not quite sure how it works. A while back they sent everyone card readers to use with their iphones but I think you can also enter in info manually or something. The app also makes a lovely Cha Ching sound when you sell something. There is a new thing called shop updates that I haven't tried yet either. It lets you send updates to all your followers. Here's a link to some info about that: www.etsy.com/shop-updates


Buyers can leave feedback, but don't worry if your not getting a lot of feedback. You shouldn't message people after they buy something asking for feedback because that would be spam. If you get negative feedback don't panic too much. You might send them a polite message saying something like thank you for the feedback. I'm sorry you weren't happy with your order. Is there something I can do to help you or improve on in the future? I sent someone a message like this once and it turned out it was a mistake. They had meant to put 5 stars, and they ended up changing their review. You can also leave a message on the revue itself, but if you do they won't be able to change their response. I don't know how, but there is a way to make a case against a review if it falls into specific requirements, but I'm not sure what they are. I think one of the reasons has to do with personal negative comments. If you ever get a negative review and your rating goes down don't worry because it will eventually go back up when you start getting more good reviews. 


People can also favorite your items. Don't worry if you aren't getting a lot of favorites though. Most people that buy from me don't favorite the item. 


Make sure that you never sell anything copy righted. There are a lot of people that get away with it, but there are a lot of people that get kicked off of Etsy forever for it. They don't let you make a new account either. If you get caught after being kicked off they'll just deactivate that account too. So it's really not worth it. 


You can use coupon codes on Etsy to set percentages off or free shipping. I use them for holidays and advertise them all over my Etsy site and on deviant. People don't often use them though. I guess their too in a hurry to look or just don't realize that Etsy has coupon codes. I also send out a coupon to anyone who buys something in case they ever buy something else. I have it set up to automatically send to people when they buy. 


You can make treasuries of other peoples items. What you do is pick a topic and then go and find other peoples items that match your topic. It's a nice way to let other people get found. A lot of people will send messages saying you've just been put in a treasury. Don't do that; it's spam. Just ignore it if someone sends you a message like that. 


 On a random note, I find that when buying jewelry supplies they are usually cheaper if the come from China. It can take forever to get here, but if your not in a hurry it's worth it. I get a lot of my supplies from China sellers on Etsy.  It's also cheaper a lot of the time to get beads online rather in stores because you can buy them in bulk. When buying from people on Etsy check around their Etsy shop to see if they are having sales or if they have a facebook page or something where they might have info on sales. 


My two favorite Etsy jewelry supply shops from America are: 

www.etsy.com/shop/TreeChild1

www.etsy.com/shop/HopscotchCra…

The first Etsy seller is also really helpful if you have a supply in mind, but don't know where to find it. She's helped me with finding supplies several times. 

Here's a link to the seller handbook that has a ton of useful info: www.etsy.com/seller-handbook?r…


That's all I can think of for now, but let me know if you have more questions. I'm happy to help :) 


For anyone who is thinking about starting an Etsy shop and would like 40 free listings send me a message. I can give you link, but I think you can only use it if you haven't started any of the process of opening a shop. 


Activity


Slay Your Own Dragons Fantasy Necklace by random-wish
Slay Your Own Dragons Fantasy Necklace
You can find it in my Etsy store here: www.etsy.com/listing/265308915…

The pendant on the front of this necklace is a large plaque that says Slay Your Own Dragons. I used metal ink dye to turn the front of it an antique bronze color. The back of the pendent is silver. Hanging from the pendent are two bronze arrows and a heart which represents the heart of a warrior. The heart is mostly bronze, but has a rainbow sheen to it. There are two different bronze colored chains that make up the necklace. The back of the necklace has a dragon hanging from the end. 
Loading...

I was recently asked by someone for some advice in starting an Etsy shop, and I thought I would share it with everyone.


It's a good idea to have things already made before you open your shop. I recommend at least 20. The more you have, the more likely you are to be found. You should also try to add new things rather often, maybe one item every week or two. I find that when I go too long without adding anything my views drop a lot. Don't worry about views too much though. Sometimes I make a sale with hardly any views at all. You just need the right person to find you :) Also you probably aren't going to get a lot of views in the beginning. It takes a while to build up viewers and followers. Don't worry if you don't sell anything right away. It takes some people months before they make their first sale. It took me 4 days, but I just got lucky. It can also help people find you if you have a variety of different things in your shop. For example I sell hair accessories, bookmarks, keychains, and jewelry. People will often go looking for one thing and come out of your shop buying something completely different. Jewelry can be rather difficult  to sell on Etsy because so many people sell it. I think it helps if your jewelry has a theme because it makes it easier to find in searches. 


Make sure to use the sections in your shop. For example have an accessory section, a jewelry section, etc.... It helps people navigate your store, and you want people to be able to find things easily. You can rearrange how things are placed in your store. (On the bottom left when your on your shop page it says rearrange your shop) So if you have multiple pages you should put your best selling items on the first page. If you press shift when clicking to make something go to a different page it will let you stay on the page your already on rather than making you go to the page you send the item. 


I like to put links to other parts of my store in my listings. For example if I'm doing a necklace I'll put a link to my jewelry section and maybe one or two to similar necklaces. This keeps people in your store longer, which makes them more likely to buy something.


The forums can be really helpful if you have questions or problems. Make sure you don't put any links to anything unless your in the promote section or you can get in trouble. You also can't put any personal information about your buyers like names and addresses. You can get to the forums by clicking You at the top of the Etsy website then go to your teams. Once your on that page there will be a link that says Forums on the top left of the page. Or you can just go to etsy.com/forums 

I've made sales from chatting with people in the forums, and it can be a good way to get to know other Etsy sellers. 


Teams can be helpful as well. When I lived in Nashville I joined a local team and we met up every now and then at a coffee shop. You good team to join is called Etsy Relevancy SEO and Stats. SEO means search engine optimization. It means being able to be found in searches. Etsy keeps changing how they decide who gets found, and this team keeps up with it and tells you how. 


Advertising is rather important as well. My favorite place is deviantart.com. I put links to my deviant page in all my listings too. It's where people can keep up with sales I'm having, giveaways, etc.. And make sure to put links to your Etsy listings when you add things to your deviant. Otherwise people won't know where they can buy your stuff. I also promote on pinterest and tumblr. Sometimes on pinterest people will add your things to do it yourself boards. It used to irritate me, but it's really unlikely that people are actually going to take the time to make it, so I just ignore it now. I used to do facebook, but they hardly show your posts to anyone now unless you pay to promote the post. I had a blog and did twitter, but I really don't like writing, and I didn't reach a lot of people with twitter, so I quit those. 

I don't do craft shows because I have social anxiety disorder, but I've read that they can bring a lot of attention to your shop. People from craft fairs will often hand out business cards at their shows and people end up going there to buy more. 


I put business cards in with my packages. You can buy them online, but I made my own. You can just get business card paper and print them onto them. It might be hard if you don't have something like photoshop. I used manga studio 5 to make mine. The picture is cut off a bit, but you can see mine in my about page: www.etsy.com/shop/RandomWish/a…;

I put my etsy and deviant websites on it along with a bit of info about what I sell. 


Pictures are very important, bc you have to catch peoples eye as they are scrolling. If your taking pictures of small things, make sure to use the macro setting on your camera. It's best to use natural light like by a window. I also use mirrors to bounce the light onto my items. Editing software is really helpful too. I really like the Aviary app. I email them to my iphone and edit it with that. There is a computer app but it isn't anywhere near as good.  If you do use the aviary app on your phone, somewhere on the app you can get free filters but I don't remember where. You could also use picmonkey.com that's what I use when I do edit them on the computer. For most of my backgrounds I use pretty paper I got from a craft store. For others I use fabric draped over a chair or petrified wood. Some people prefer plain white backgrounds because it looks cleaner. I tried it, and it didn't work right for my store. If you do use white backgrounds you might try making a light box. It diffuses the light to reduce shadows. Here's a link to how to make one: www.wikihow.com/Create-an-Inex… When I first started my store my pictures where awful. Just keep practicing, and eventually you'll get better. 


For shipping I got a scale from amazon, so I could ship from Etsy. Etsy's shipping is cheaper, and comes with tracking. You just print the label and tape it to your package. This website was helpful when I was trying to figure out shipping stuff: www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/sh…  I don't do international, so I can't help with that. I read somewhere that it's easier to do all the shipping stuff for international by printing it from Etsy. You also have to make sure to know the rules for shipping to different countries like not being able to ship certain things. 


You can do shipping upgrades on Etsy which means that you can offer first class mail, priority, etc. I recently discovered that when you do the shipping upgrade you don't put the full price on the more expensive one, you just put how much more it would cost than the cheaper one. Thankfully I figured out how to do a partial refund for shipping and gave them some of the money back. I can never remember how to get to the refund page. You can search for it on the forums if you ever have to do that. There is also a price difference on priority mail between 1 ounces and 2 ounces. Etsy has something called calculated shipping which I haven't done yet, but plan to do eventually. What you do is weigh all your items in the box or envelope your going ship them in. You enter the number along with shipping costs you want to charge for like the box and it calculates what it would cost to mail it. Then you don't have to worry about over or undercharging people. 


I also ship most of my stuff in little boxes that I put in yellow envelope bubble mailer things. You can get the large envelope things at a lot of places like walmart, grocery stores, etc..You could also get them online if you wanted too.  I get three sizes of boxes the smaller ones are pretty cheap to get online. The bigger ones and the really long skinny ones I usually get at walmart or Michaels  because of the shipping costs on them. If you search kraft boxes (not craft) on Etsy and then click craft supplies and tools you should be able to find them. You can also add the size you want to your search for to narrow it down. For the smaller ones I get 2.5 x 1.5 inches. The last time ordered some I got 100 of them for $32. You can search by price when you look, but make sure to keep in mind how many you want so you don't end up paying too much. I've been getting ones with a pretty pattern on them lately. I used to get plain ones and decorated them by using a rubber stamp. It isn't necessary to do fancy packaging I just think it adds a nice touch, and if your shipping jewelry the boxes help keep them safe.  For the bigger ones I get 3.25 x 2.25 inches. The long skinny ones I get are 8 x 2 inch boxes. 


When it comes to paying taxes I think you have to file federal if you make more than $400 a year if I'm remembering right. You can also deduct supplies and stuff. I really hate that part, it's called COGS cost of goods sold. My husband made me a big complicated spread sheet to keep up with it all. I'm not  a fan of math. I also use a website called Wave for bookeeping. It's free. my.waveapps.com/?service=accou…;

You should also look up your states requirements on state taxes, sales tax, business licences and stuff like that. This website is very helpful with things like that: www.gotogreatpanes.com/blog/sa…


Here's some useful info about transaction things like refunds and returns, rules about polices, what to do if there's a problem with your order, etc..

www.etsy.com/teams/7718/questi…

Your welcome to look at my policies and feel free to copy them if you want. Here's a link to mine. www.etsy.com/shop/RandomWish/p…


If you have an iphone you can get the sell on Etsy app. It lets you know when you have messages, feedback, sales, etc..and you can update your listings and stuff. You can also sell to people in person with it. I haven't tried that though so not quite sure how it works. A while back they sent everyone card readers to use with their iphones but I think you can also enter in info manually or something. The app also makes a lovely Cha Ching sound when you sell something. There is a new thing called shop updates that I haven't tried yet either. It lets you send updates to all your followers. Here's a link to some info about that: www.etsy.com/shop-updates


Buyers can leave feedback, but don't worry if your not getting a lot of feedback. You shouldn't message people after they buy something asking for feedback because that would be spam. If you get negative feedback don't panic too much. You might send them a polite message saying something like thank you for the feedback. I'm sorry you weren't happy with your order. Is there something I can do to help you or improve on in the future? I sent someone a message like this once and it turned out it was a mistake. They had meant to put 5 stars, and they ended up changing their review. You can also leave a message on the revue itself, but if you do they won't be able to change their response. I don't know how, but there is a way to make a case against a review if it falls into specific requirements, but I'm not sure what they are. I think one of the reasons has to do with personal negative comments. If you ever get a negative review and your rating goes down don't worry because it will eventually go back up when you start getting more good reviews. 


People can also favorite your items. Don't worry if you aren't getting a lot of favorites though. Most people that buy from me don't favorite the item. 


Make sure that you never sell anything copy righted. There are a lot of people that get away with it, but there are a lot of people that get kicked off of Etsy forever for it. They don't let you make a new account either. If you get caught after being kicked off they'll just deactivate that account too. So it's really not worth it. 


You can use coupon codes on Etsy to set percentages off or free shipping. I use them for holidays and advertise them all over my Etsy site and on deviant. People don't often use them though. I guess their too in a hurry to look or just don't realize that Etsy has coupon codes. I also send out a coupon to anyone who buys something in case they ever buy something else. I have it set up to automatically send to people when they buy. 


You can make treasuries of other peoples items. What you do is pick a topic and then go and find other peoples items that match your topic. It's a nice way to let other people get found. A lot of people will send messages saying you've just been put in a treasury. Don't do that; it's spam. Just ignore it if someone sends you a message like that. 


 On a random note, I find that when buying jewelry supplies they are usually cheaper if the come from China. It can take forever to get here, but if your not in a hurry it's worth it. I get a lot of my supplies from China sellers on Etsy.  It's also cheaper a lot of the time to get beads online rather in stores because you can buy them in bulk. When buying from people on Etsy check around their Etsy shop to see if they are having sales or if they have a facebook page or something where they might have info on sales. 


My two favorite Etsy jewelry supply shops from America are: 

www.etsy.com/shop/TreeChild1

www.etsy.com/shop/HopscotchCra…

The first Etsy seller is also really helpful if you have a supply in mind, but don't know where to find it. She's helped me with finding supplies several times. 

Here's a link to the seller handbook that has a ton of useful info: www.etsy.com/seller-handbook?r…


That's all I can think of for now, but let me know if you have more questions. I'm happy to help :) 


For anyone who is thinking about starting an Etsy shop and would like 40 free listings send me a message. I can give you link, but I think you can only use it if you haven't started any of the process of opening a shop. 


Happy Thanksgiving everyone!! I hope you are all having a lovely day full of tasty nom noms. 

To celebrate the holidays you can get 15% off your entire purchase, from Nov.25th to Dec. 2nd, in my Etsy store. Just use the coupon code CYBER when you check out. Send me a message if you need any help figuring it out. You can find my etsy store here: Etsy.com/RandomWish

Untitled by random-wish

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:iconeshisnu:
EshiSnu Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Professional General Artist
Thank you kindly for the llama!
Reply
:iconrandom-wish:
random-wish Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Professional General Artist
Welcome llamacopter 
Reply
:iconillusions-of-tv:
Illusions-of-TV Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016
Thank you for adding beauty and the beast, it's one of my favorites, I appreciate that
Reply
:iconrandom-wish:
random-wish Featured By Owner Jan 25, 2016  Professional General Artist
Your welcome. It's my favorite movie, and your mural is lovely
Reply
:iconpoupeechiffon:
PoupeeChiffon Featured By Owner Dec 23, 2015
thank you soo much for the I love my Llama 
Reply
:iconrandom-wish:
random-wish Featured By Owner Dec 24, 2015  Professional General Artist
Your very welcome Llama jump 
Reply
:iconcookielover17:
cookielover17 Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2015  Hobbyist General Artist
Thanks for the Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
Reply
:iconrandom-wish:
random-wish Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2015  Professional General Artist
Your very welcomellamacopter 
Reply
:iconjessycat999:
Jessycat999 Featured By Owner Nov 25, 2015
Thanks for the llama, here's one for you ^.^
Reply
:iconrandom-wish:
random-wish Featured By Owner Nov 26, 2015  Professional General Artist
Thanks Thanks For The Llama Emote 
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