Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Insights on Having an Etsy Shop

I reached a milestone yesterday!
I opened my Etsy shop almost three years ago,
on January 14, 2010.
Yesterday I made my 500th sale!
Woo hoo!!!


Etsy brought me to blogging.
When I started my shop I was looking for
ways to drive traffic to it.
The general consensus was to start blogging.
Since then I realize how many other bloggers
also have Etsy shops.
I know there are many others
more successful than me and
I still have tons more to learn,
but, I'd  like to share a little of what
I've learned along the way.

FIND YOUR NICHE
My first intention for my shop
was to mainly sell my bags and
a few finished knitted items.
I had been wholesaling the bags as
knitting bags for many years prior to
starting my Etsy shop.
I wanted to take them in a whole new direction.
I planned to market them as travel bags
and all purpose totes.
So I set up my shop and waited for the
sales to start pouring in.
I waited, and waited and waited.
The first seven months I had my shop
I had two ($10 each) sales.
And they weren't bag sales.
Then I started listing needle cases,
another line I had also been wholesaling
for many years.
And I started promoting the bags
as what they really were, as knitting bags.
Eureka...I had found my niche!

PATIENCE IS ESSENTIAL
During that first seven months,
I wasn't only waiting for the sales,
I was also educating myself.
I started this blog,
I set up a Face book Fan Page for the business.
I spent hours in the Etsy Forums
absorbing everything I could.
I worked on improving my photos and listings.
I kept adding more product to my shop.
You must continue to work your shop
when your sales are slow.
Once you start selling,
there's never enough time
for all you'll want to do.

THE FORUMS -- USE THEM
The shop owners who frequent the Forums
on Etsy are a wealth of knowledge.
Many times questions of "how do I..." have risen,
in my shop and I've posted in the Forums for answers.
There has never been a time I didn't
have an answer within 5 or 10 minutes of posting.

BE ORGANIZED & DISCIPLINED
You must view your shop as your business
and work at it.
Making new product,
taking pictures,
writing listings,
tweaking existing photos and listings,
answering convos and emails,
shopping for supplies,
making orders, packing orders,
standing in line at the post office to ship orders,
are all part of my job as a shopkeeper
and it's what I spend my time doing.

TAKE NOTHING FOR GRANTED
Don't assume once you're established
and the sales are starting to roll in,
that it will always be that way.
I have periods when I'm exceeding my goals
(an early goal was one sale a day,
or -x amount of money into my
business account every month),
and really working to keep up.
Very easily the next week might
be unbearably slow or dead.
That doesn't mean I'm finished,
just in a lull and everyone has them.
(Use that time!)

BE FLEXIBLE
One of my earliest custom orders was for
a kind of needle organizer I did not do.
My customer had very good ideas of what she had in mind.
So, we worked together and I made her needle organizer.
She got what she wanted and I got a new item to
add to my inventory.
It has become one of my best selling items
and she has come back several times and
become one of my best repeat customers.

I could go on and on, but you get the picture.
If I can answer any questions about
getting started
or continuing with your Etsy store,
don't hesitate to email me.
I may not have the answers, but
I bet I can help point you in the right direction.

My Etsy Shop!

1 comment:

vicki said...

Susan-- I'm SO happy for your well deserved success- what a great accomishment!! You are so right that blogging and etsy seem to go hand in hand-- and you do both so well. Your thoughts are great advice for those needing encouragement with their shops- you are so kind to share that info with others. I wish you great and continued success-- I've no doubt that you will reach 1000 sales!!

Vicki

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