So – by now you should have your Etsy shop set up, and hopefully have a banner posted at the top of your page, too? Now, it’s time to start selling your goods!
If you click on “List your first item” – it will take you through all the steps:
I’m not going to go into much detail here – Etsy really do make it easy to follow – just make sure you fill in everything as accurately as possible. One thing I do recommend, though, is including as much information in your “Description” as possible – sizes, materials etc – and make it a bit interesting! If you have a personal anecdote, add it here – I think it creates a connection to the buyer Also, another thing to remember, is that most Etsy buyers are in the USA, so it may be worthwhile including inches as well as centimeters to your measurements! (I don’t always do this, as my jewellery pieces are generally quite small, but would definitely recommend it for bigger items!)
Under “Tags” – this is where you need to put keywords, to help customers find your item.. Include materials, colours, shapes, patterns, sizes, styles – whatever you think might help – think about what customers might type in when searching for something similar!
Ok – now, price.. As I mentioned previously, I always sell in dollars – so it may be useful to bookmark a currency conversion page, so you can get a good idea of what to charge. I would recommend padding the price very fractionally, just in case the exchange rate drops – you don’t want to lose out badly, but you also don’t want to be changing your prices every 2 weeks, I think customers wouldn’t like that!
Under shipping time – if you’re only selling items you’ve already made up, this is easy, you can ship almost immediately. I often have to make items up, so I usually make my shipping time 2-3 days, just to give myself some leeway. Make sure you select “Dispatches from” – make sure your country is selected – otherwise people will often just assume you’re close, and will expect their items in a few days! (Shipping from South Africa to most places worldwide, using airmail, usually takes about 2 weeks on average)
Ok, now – shipping charges..
I’m quite lucky as all my shipping is done using a small padded envelope (I always pack into a small box inside, for safety from battering!), and my parcels are always under 100g. I send using registered airmail from the local South African Post Office – this currently costs R55.40, and I charge $7.50 for postage and handling – most people seem content to pay this.
However, if you’re dealing with different sized items, I would suggest you visit your post office, and ask them to give you a Postal Rates booklet, so you can work each item out accurately. (I would also suggest investing in a decent digital scale, to get your weight charges right!) But I always send Registered Mail – this gives you a tracking number (the new numbers can be tracked using international website, such as usps.com), and also allows you to be able to claim if something does go missing.. (I’ve had about 4 parcels go missing in about 500 – it does sometimes happen..)
Also – if you’re sending higher value items, I’d perhaps look at sending EMS (Expedited Mail Services) via the SA Post Office – it’s much more expensive, but is a courier system, so much quicker & safer..
Ok, then – only 1 last thing to cover now, and that is PHOTOS
Photos are possibly the most important thing in your etsy shop – as they show customers what to expect, and can either draw in customers – or make them abandon your page quickly!
I have a fairly simple setup – I use a plain coloured background (I use grey, as it works well with silver items), and have set up a very basic “reflector box” using 2 pieces of white cardboard I have sticky taped together – very simple, but effective! (It helps to cut reflections – which are a nightmare when photographing jewellery!)
I have a small Panasonic digital camera, which I always ensure is set to macro for jewellery (the little flower icon!) – I’m not going to go into teaching you how to take a photo – read your manual or ask a friend! – but I will stress one thing I learnt when I studied video technology years back – the most important thing to do (ALWAYS) is to set your white balance! If your photos are ending up yellow or blue, it’s because of this – auto white balance sucks! Make sure your camera is on manual, then go into your settings.. I just focus on the white reflector boards, and set it on them
Then, just one more hint – always try and take photos in natural light – by a window for example, but never in direct sunlight – it creates harsh shadows! A cloudy day is best, or else early in the morning, or late in the afternoon
Ok, this post is becoming very long now! I’ll go into some photo editing in the next one.. We’re lucky enough to have Photoshop at home (yay for Creative Cloud!), but I’ll just run through some basic setups for your listing photos next time
Have a fantastic weekend! xx