Monday, January 21, 2013

Tips for New Etsy Sellers Pt. 2

A lot of time.

It's true that once you get a system that works well for you things will move more smoothly. However, there will always be plenty of behind the scenes work that will keep you busy. Everything requires time. Preparing your product, photographing your items and uploading them, writing product descriptions, packaging & shipping, bookkeeping, advertising....They all take time. So be prepared to dedicate quite a bit of it to your new business.

When customers go to brick & mortar shops, they can see the items for sale and pick them up for a closer look to examine them before purchasing them. People that visit your Etsy shop should feel comfortable buying from you because they can clearly see what they are purchasing. There shouldn't be any surprises when their item arrives in the mail. Also, nice looking items are more appealing to buyers. Brushing up on your photography skills will help quite a bit. This post from Shrimp Salad Circus has great tips on how to get good product shots for your Etsy shop.

When I started out, I was working with Excel spreadsheets that I made myself and tried to keep my books that way. It was working, but it took an incredible amount of time and frustration. It was the absolute worst part of my job and I knew that there just had to be a better way! I asked around on Twitter and my friend, Jen, asked me if I used Outright at all. I hadn't even heard of Outright, so I Googled it right away. It's an online service that merges your Etsy and Paypal into spreadsheets and charts that you can actually use and it does it automatically! YOU GUYS! Outright is a Godsend! It was like waving a magic wand. I'm not even kidding and it's FREE! All I have to do for myself is manually enter in mileage and money I spend on supplies. I wish I'd know about it ages ago! They even have an app so I can add to my account on the go. I'm saving so much time now! As my business grows, I may decide to upgrade to the version that prepares tax documents too.

Ok, guys. Part 3 will be coming next Monday and will answer lots of questions about packing & shipping. I've learned quite a few lessons on that front and look forward to passing them on to you!

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