Archive for the ‘Etsy Selling’ Category

So, this has been an insanely busy week – a large new order sent off to Fringe Arts, Cape Town on Friday, a new order to be done by Tuesday for their new shop (it’s going to be in Lonehill, Johannesburg), and I’m going up to Joburg this week to visit my mom before she jets off to Germany to meet her new grand-daughter.. πŸ™‚

On top of all of this, I had the wonderful fortune of going to the Etsy Craft Party (the only 1 in South Africa!) in Durban on Thursday night – a big thanks to Nadia van der Mescht for organising it!

Etsy Craft Party Collage

It was wonderful to be surrounded by other crafty people – and those who just wanted to try it out! (Mostly ladies, I must add – but apparently one of the male bartenders made a valiant effort!) Our craft for the evening was gift tags – and we had a lot of fun gluing & cutting the assorted items given to us.. I also discovered the joy of Washi tape – and will experimenting a lot more in the future!

Then, yesterday, I went to a full day’s creative business workshop, again with Nadia van der Mescht. This was really a wonderful learning experience, as it is tailored towards smaller creative businesses, with an emphasis on planning, setting goals, and social media.. As you can see, I’ve already made some changes – I’ve updated my blog a bit, set up categories (which I didn’t even know about before!), and have a new Pinterest page, too! http://pinterest.com/starbrightgirl7/boards/

NVDM Business Workshop Collage

The workshop was held at the Benjamin Hotel, in Florida Road (a big thanks to them for the lovely food supplied!), and was just a fantastic, intimate day (there were only 7 of us) – with lots of time to tell stories & ask questions.. I can honestly say I learnt so much – so hopefully can make many changes for the better whilst growing my little business πŸ™‚

So, that’s me for now – time to bath & get ready for a full day’s work at my bench – the pendants don’t pierce themselves, alas! Hope everyone has a fantastic & inspired week! Megan xxx


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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:

Etsy shop setup 2I’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 πŸ™‚ 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!)

photo taking

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 πŸ™‚

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 πŸ˜‰

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 πŸ™‚

Have a fantastic weekend! xx


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Ok, South Africans (and others!), hope all is going well.. If you’ve got your Paypal account all set up, great – if not, please see my previous post! πŸ™‚

So – here are the basics on how to sell on Etsy:

Etsy 1

  • Go to http://www.etsy.com/sell?ref=so_sell and click on “Open an Etsy shop”
  • It will then ask you to sign in – if you are already an Etsy member, do so – otherwise you will have to click on the “register” tab
  • Fill out the info as required. Now’s the time to note – if you open a 2nd shop, you will need a different email address for this!
  • Once you’ve done all this, check your email, as they’ll send you a verification link you’ll have to click on before continuing..
  • Your shop settings should come up – I keep all my listings in dollars – I find this much simpler. Etsy doesn’t offer a Rand value (we’re not a big enough market!) – and as I previously said, most customers seem to be in the US (and Canada) so this seems best..
  • Next up – your shop name – fill it in πŸ™‚

Wow – I’m doing this as I type (I’m setting up a shop to sell some of my vintage Sanrio collection) – and they have made it so nice and simple! So I’ll just list a couple of things you might not know:

Etsy shop setup

  • For your shop banner – they are very specific – the image must be 760×100 pixels in size, no bigger than 2MB, and I’d recommend a JPEG. If you have a photo-editing programme like Photoshop, you can do this there.. Otherwise, ask a knowledgeable friend to help, or else you can always browse Etsy – there are lots of graphic artists who will design a banner etc for you, at a charge πŸ™‚
  • You can also now add a profile picture and shop announcement. You can also add shop sections (useful for jewellery – you can separate earrings from necklaces etc, which makes browsing easier for the customer)
  • I would also suggest adding SHOP POLICIES now.. These will basically state your policies towards shipping & returns etc.. I know it seems a bit scaly, but what I did was look at a whole lot of other established sellers of similar items on Etsy – you can learn a lot from their policies, and then refine for yourself πŸ˜‰

Here’s a look at a quick banner I made up – kept it really simple, as this is really just a temporary shop for me!

SBV Banner

Ok, now it’s almost time to add your items for sale! Etsy recommends listing at least 8 items to start, but I personally aim to have 30-40 listed at a time, so your shop listings at least go onto a 2nd page πŸ™‚

I’m going to list photography tips & item set up in my next post (hopefully tomorrow) – but in the meantime, here a few more things you might need to know:

  • You are charged 20 cents (US$) for every item you list, and when you sell it, Etsy takes a 3.5% commission on your sale. They’ll send you a bill every month, which will need to paid by a certain date. You can pay with your credit card, or with Paypal.
  • When you’re setting up your shop – you will see a “Get Paid” tab at the top – click on this for payment options. I would suggest just clicking on Paypal (you’ll just have to enter your Paypal login email address), and letting all customers pay that way. I have “Other” set up on my shops, in case a local customer wants to do an EFT – but I’ve had soooo many customers click this hoping to pay with a credit card, then I have to send a Paypal payment request etc etc – it’s quite a schlep! So, just Paypal payment is my advice!
  • 1 more thing before the shop is setup – click on the “Billing” tab at the top. You will have to enter your credit card details here, and they will validate your card. This is for billing purposes, although, as I have said, you can pay with Paypal funds. But you have to do this to verify yourself as a seller..

Ok, so that’s a whole lot to do for now. I hope this helps with the setup of your shop – and will post more about Photography tips, postage info etc soon πŸ™‚ Have a great rest of your weekend!! Megan xx

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So, I’ve had a couple of shops going on Etsy for a few years now. It took me a long time to figure it out, but as soon as FNB announced they would be working with Paypal, I jumped into action, and haven’t looked back since!

SBG Etsy Page 2013

Etsy is a wonderful platform for getting your items to an international market. You set up your shop, add photos, and the rest of the admin is done for you.. No having to set up websites with shopping carts etc! Obviously they charge you a small percentage of your sales for doing all this, but if you, like me, supply any shops wholesale, you’ll find that all the bank charges etc still work out with you earning more than your wholesale price πŸ˜‰

As I said, I’ve been running my Etsy shops for a few years now, and one thing I really enjoy, is the customer interaction.. People can email you via Etsy with questions or comments, or even set up custom orders – I’ve actually done quite a lot of these, which has been really fun πŸ™‚

Recent Etsy Custom Orders

Anyhow – because of the fact that I’ve been up and running for a while, I get a lot of people asking me questions about how to set up their shops, how to set up Paypal accounts etc.. So, I thought the easiest thing would be to share my knowledge via my blog.. I’m going to set up a series of posts explaining exactly how to do all of this, over the next few weeks. I will cover setting up your Etsy shop, some photography tips, how to work out shipping charges, and setting up Paypal (if you’re in South Africa, a FNB bank account is a pre-requisite, so I suggest you start there!) Also, you will need a credit card for both your Etsy shop & Paypal set up – just a heads up!

So, I hope I can share some wisdom, and get lots more South Africans up and running with their Etsy shops.. I’ll be honest, I don’t make enough to support myself full time just from Etsy, but it’s a definite bonus when I can withdraw some extra cash from Paypal every month! (Just remember to keep records for tax, or SARS will be upset with you!!) πŸ˜‰ But Etsy is generally a lovely community, and I honestly love getting to send my jewellery all over the world!

Keep checking in, and expect the first post this week πŸ™‚

Megs xx

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So – I’ve been on Etsy for more than a year, and I have to say, one of the things I love the most, is the personal interaction you are able to have with the sellers & buyers.. I’ve had some lovely conversations with customers, and have organised some awesome custom items with sellers – as Etsy people, having small businesses, are most often the most accommodation folk out πŸ™‚ Gotta say – you’ll never find this level of interaction with big online shops!

Another lovely thing that happens occasionally – is Etsy trading.. Another seller will see something they like, and will ask if you’d be keen to swap it for something in their store.. Now, I’m not saying this will always work – but I happen to have been lucky πŸ˜‰

For example – a while back Karen from Captured Starlight (http://www.etsy.com/shop/CapturedStarlight) emailed me about doing a swap for a pair of earrings she loved – and offered to make me a custom pendant in exchange.. Well, for years I have been wanting some sort of jewellery featuring artwork from my favourite childhood book trilogy – the Borribles.. So, I found a pic of the cover of the second book – and, voila – the most awesome pendant ever!!

It’s pretty cool – although I make jewellery myself – there are so many different styles and techniques out there – that I wouldn’t know how to start to make something like this! So – it’s awesome that Karen was able to make this for me! Her work is really awesome, please check out her shop! (link above) She lives in Ecuador now, pretty awesome πŸ˜‰

I’m also now in the middle of another swap process – for a panda hat! (Which I have always wanted!) Again, the shop owner is more than accommodating – as with my pale skin, I asked if I could get a black brim – so she’s custom making one for me πŸ™‚

It’s gonna be AWESOME!

So – if you haven’t already – please check etsy.com out! You can search for pretty much anything – I know you’ll be amazed by all you can find! And, take it from me – most of the sellers, are just awesome πŸ˜€

Have a wonderful weekend – I’m off to a little town in the mountains called Clarens, with my hubby & mom – so am looking forward to a weekend of tea, cake, galleries & gorgeous views.. Hope your weekend will be just as lovely as I’m hoping mine to be! Megan xx

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Hey everyone! Well, I’ve been doing lots of browsing around Etsy – and have come across some amazing things, and I thought I’d share some of them with you today..

For those of you who don’t know Etsy too well – it’s made up of 3 sections – hand-made, vintage and supplies – and I am way into the hand-made! πŸ™‚

First up is my first Etsy purchase – it arrived yesterday, and I love it so much – great quality, and really great print.. Thanks, Rainbowswirlz!

Then, also from Rainbowswirlz, are these awesome canvas field bags – must get! (I mean, how cute is this one, come on?!!)

Next up – some of the awesomest earrings I’ve yet to see – these are hand-painted by Zachary Pryor – just incredible, don’t you think?!

Then we have loveandasandwich – Deon (my hubby) came across her work on Concept Art –Β  she makes these super-cool felt monster toys, but I am so loving these Spirited Away earrings:

Then, staying on a Miyazaki them, how cool are these vinyl stickers from LapTatt? (I want this for my car!) There’s a huge variety to choose from, and at really reasonable prices!

So these are just a few of the cool things I’ve come across so far (if you click on the pictures, they’ll take you to the appropriate Etsy shops πŸ™‚ ) So this is me, highly recommending that you take some time to Browse Etsy – you might just be amazed at what you find πŸ˜€

Have a great weekend, everyone – hope to see lots of Durban peoples at the I Heart Market later.. Megan xx

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