How to be Successful on Etsy- Week 1

by Susan Myers on October 10, 2011

Welcome to week one of our four-week Etsy Series- where I have asked seven wildly successful Etsy Artisans for some pointers for us little guys that would love to succeed on Etsy but just haven’t seen the sales yet.   Each week, we will discuss a new question and see what the sellers have to say.  And maybe, just maybe, learn a pointer or two just in time for the Christmas sales rush!

For this series, I am relying on the expertise of the following artisans:
Lisa from Sugar Robot
Patricia from Doodle Birdie

Our question this week is:What advice would you give a new seller for getting started on Etsy?

Paradise Reef by Ocean Patch, Poppies Recycled Wine Bottle Serving Tray by CD Childs

Lisa: Join the forums! The forums are a great way for networking, building a better product, creating ideas, and getting additional tips and insight from marketing, advertising, operations, and even financial planning! The forums will give it all. Read, connect, and build that relationship with forum members. The more you know, the more likely you will succeed with your short and long term goals!

Raven Black as Night Miniature Terrarium by Doodlebirdie, Edible Butterflies by Sugar Robot

Denise: Before you open your shop it’s very important that everything is in place. Make sure that your photos, descriptions and measurements are perfect. You will also need a banner and avatar. Also tell your potential customers about yourself. Almost as if your giving them your creative resume. They want to know what your artistic background comes from and how you developed it. Last but not least make sure that your “Shop Policies” are in place. Having your policies in place will prevent a lot of headaches down the road.

Recycled Spoon Bracelet by LTCreates Jewelry; Candy Corn Hat by All You Need is Pug,

Patricia: Be patient. There are a lot of changes going on concerning listing items and relevancy right now and it can be hard to understand for beginners and experienced Etsy sellers alike. Read as much as you can stand and don’t be afraid to ask for advice. The forums are a great place to start.


3D Stained Glass Butterfly Suncatcher by CD Childs; Recycled Spoon Ring with Monogram by LTCreates Jewelry

Linda:  The very best advice I can give new sellers on Etsy is - be patient.  Your first sale takes a while, and the one after that and the one after that.  Work hard to be unique, keep your mind challenged to come up with new ideas for your particular product.  Believe in yourself and that you can succeed.  It will not be easy, but if you want it enough, it will happen for you.


Apothecary Terrarium Set, A Walk in the Forest by Doodlebirdie; Sea Grass by Ocean Patch,

Jess: Opening shop can be as daunting as it is exciting, but the trick is to stay confident in your work. There are thousands of sellers on Etsy competing to sell their products, so just because your shop isn’t discovered right away does not mean that your work isn’t beautiful or creative, it just means that no one has stumbled upon you yet. The most important thing that you can do is to be actively creative. By this, I mean that you should look for inspiration in every day, even in obscure places. Personally, I always carry a mini-notebook with me and if a new project comes to mind while I am on the go, I can jot it down so that it won’t become lost in the muddle of other thoughts in my head. By pushing yourself to find need concepts to be inspired by, you will find that your shop can take on new dimensions and will stay fresh as seasons and trends change.


Baby Koala Bear Hat by All You Need is Pug, Cupid Baby Soap by The Charming Frog

Susan:   When you’re choosing your shop name, my advice would be to google it! I wish I had known this. I chose OceanPatch Creations because I do ocean-inspired patchwork items, so this made sense to me. Little did I know that when you googled it, there were lots of entries about the great Pacific Ocean patch of garbage!

Lavendar Scented Elephants Running Free Soap by The Charming Frog, Edible Halloween Ghosts by Sugar Robot

Jenny: Get opinions from TEAMS, join them, the support and advice is KEY!  Build your sales as best you can!! Get family, friends, neighbors, the mailman, anyone to help build your sales. It’s all psychological when it comes to shoppers, the more sales they see, the more they will want to stay and shop with you.
Do not copy other artists!  It’s rude, plain mean and unoriginal.  It’s one thing to come up with your own style, but copying right down to the same colors, style and photos is wrong.  Try your best to stay fresh and original.

Do not get discouraged!! It takes time. I have days where self doubt can get in the way….brush it off, get rid of negative feelings. You’re an artist. It’s part of the Gift.

Laugh, a lot! At anything; Yourself, your children, your pets, again, the poor mailman….Be HAPPY!
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Next week, we will discuss tips on photography and it’s importance in sales.  Be sure to stop back by and see what the experts have to say!  Part two of the Etsy Series can be found here!

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 angelachaobella February 8, 2012 at 8:22 pm
2 Katy Cameron October 13, 2011 at 1:10 pm

All great advice, thank you

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3 Marshall October 12, 2011 at 8:55 pm

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4 Jill October 11, 2011 at 1:02 am

Great tips from everyone there – thanks for pulling all this together Suzy – it's brilliant!

Jill @ Creating my way to Success
http://www.jembellish.blogspot.com/

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5 Rhissanna October 10, 2011 at 8:09 pm

Oh I so need this. Just about to put my first doll on Etsy. it would be on now, but I'm still working on a banner. Thank you for doing this, there must be lots of people who need this advice.

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6 Cherished Bliss October 10, 2011 at 4:57 pm

Great Post! Thank you to everyone who contributed! Tweeting this : )

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