Monday, February 4, 2013

Tips for New Etsy Sellers Pt. 4

I hope you've found this series helpful so far. This is the last installment for now. I'll definitely let you know if I discover anything else that I find useful! Feel free to contact me with any questions you might have. I'm more than happy to help fellow Etsy sellers!

In order to successfully sell ANYTHING, you need to know your product. You need to be an expert on whatever it is that your selling. This is true for handmade and vintage items. Customers will feel more comfortable buying from you if you're knowledgeable about what you're selling. Make sure you're calling your products by the correct name, that you're certain of the manufacturer, era it came from, etc. You don't want your customer to know more about your products than you do!

Don't make stuff up or pretend that you know more than you do! Do your homework and know your stuff. Also, if I see one more tacky 80's print listed as "art deco", I may scream.

Let me give you an example here. Let's pretend you're trying to sell a crocheted owl hat. You see that another Etsy seller has a very similar hat listed for $20. Your first instinct is to list your hat for $19, so shoppers buy your hat over the competitor. DON'T DO THAT! I understand the urge, but in undercutting your competitor, you're shooting yourself in the foot. List your hat at $20 too (unless you honestly believe $20 is overpriced).

First of all, you deserve to make what your product is worth. By undercutting your competitors, you're undercutting yourself. If 10 Etsy sellers are selling owl hats for $20 each, they've made that the industry standard. If some fool comes along and sells theirs for less, they're not making what they should and they're making shoppers think the other hats are overpriced. That hurts the whole market and their own profit margin. It's really hard to keep a crochet business going if you don't have money for new yarn!

This goes for vintage items too! If everyone undercuts everybody else, no one will make money! If you're not sure what to charge, research it!

The best help you have is right at your fingertips! The Etsy community is the best thing about opening your shop on Etsy instead of somewhere else! If you have a question, there are forums you can read that will probably answer it. You can even start a new thread with your question to get answers. Most Etsy sellers are more than happy to help new sellers. You may think of these people as competitors, but you should be thinking of them as colleagues.

You'll be a more powerful seller if you work with your new colleagues. Joining Etsy teams is a great way to get your items promoted by others. All you have to do is return the favor! It may seem counterproductive to promote for others. However, if you're tweeting or pinning or facebooking their items (and your own) and they're doing the same, everyone gets more exposure. Take full advantage of your new friends! Branch out and network. You're business will grow so much faster!

That's all I have for now! I spent the weekend moving and I won't have internet in my new place until sometime Wednesday. Hang tight and I'll see you soon!

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