Wednesday, April 16, 2008

"The Secret to Selling -- Etsy Shop Tips"

How many times do you ask yourself "Why am I not selling? What's wrong with my shop?" I must admit that I was asking myself these very questions around a year ago. Funny thing...I started my first Etsy shop in November of 2006, listing about 8-10 pieces of jewelry. Then, I completely forgot that I had an Etsy shop!

One year ago today (April 17, 2007), I got this email saying that I had sold 2 pairs of earrings. I thought, "WHAT?!!?" I thought maybe it was from my actual website, but no, it said "Etsy Transaction". I was SOOOOO excited! So I sent off the earrings, thanking the customer profusely for their wonderful business, and then I proceeded to list about 10 more items. Things stayed pretty slow, although in the past year, I have sold over 30 items from my Ambrosia Delights Etsy shop. I am still trying to figure out what to do with that shop, because I haven't done as well as I have with my Rio Oso Designs shop, where I have had over 400 sales. Of course, my Rio Oso shop sells banners and business card designs, so that could be why I've done so well over there.

I'm pretty sure that one of the reasons that my Ambrosia Delights shop hasn't done as well is because Etsy is over-saturated with jewelry and baby items. What does that mean for me? Do I throw in the towel and change it to a supplies shop, or even quit altogether? No! I just need to try a lot harder to promote that shop. I also need to take better photos. Let me give you an example:

When I first started a website back in the spring of 2005, this is what my photos looked like:

Then, when I first listed on Etsy, I thought I had made some improvements in my photography efforts:

Well, I sold that pair of earrings in that first sale. But I have re-tried taking photos of other earrings, and here is what I have come up with:

What do you think? Which photo would make you want to buy the earrings?

Here's another example. I embellished this pair of overalls to sell online. Here is the first photo:

And the second photo:

I think the biggest thing that I have learned since being on Etsy, is that photos are EVERYTHING! They are your storefront, your first chance to make an excellent impression. Invest in a GOOD digital camera, and a tripod. Take photos in natural light...not direct sunlight, and never with a flash if you can help it. Use the macro setting on your camera, and zoom in so that you can see the wonderful detail.

When I look for products to feature on The Downtown Boutique, I look for awesome photos. Photos that are bright and colorful, well-staged, and clear, and really draw my eye, are the photos of products that I choose to feature on the blog. If a photo is out of focus, dark, dreary, or not well-staged, I'm much less likely to choose to feature that item.

T.S. Lewis of Butterfly Chic Boutique has a great blog with a LOT more fantastic tips for sellers. Here is what she has to say:

Wanna know what it is??? shhhhhhhhhhhh…….don’t tell anybody else……….the secret is………..

……….there is no secret!

I find a lot of people on the Etsy forums asking “why aren’t I making sales?” There is no “secret” to selling and being a successful small business. It’s just know-how and hard work.

Well, part of the reason might be the economy, but there are things you can do to increase your current sales stats.

I plan on making a list in this post, then follow up posts will elaborate on specifics.

..............Yes, there's more to this article....please click here to read the entire article. We will be featuring more great tips in coming weeks. If you would like to share your article or great tip, please email me.



oldbagcrafts said...

fab blog, i'm going to read the other bit now - thank you! (

The Downtown Boutique said...

Thank you for your comment oldbagcrafts! I'm going to go check out your shop now.


Melissa Aubrey said...

That was great to read. I've been trying really hard to follow everyone's advice with the pics and I think it's starting to pay off. Though my pics aren't near perfect, I think they have improved and so have yours! Good luck with everything! Melissa

The Downtown Boutique said...


I think your photos are GREAT! I'm a fan of your jewlery and your photos. :-)


P.S. Original said...

Thanks for the good advice! Great blog too!

elexisb said...

I have heard you need to list a new product every day (or close to that) so that you stay close to the top of the list and keep getting viewed. I do NOT have the time to do that, which is why I've NOT done well with Etsy!

By the way, I love the middle earrings pic with the pink beaded one on the book. And that kid is so cute you should be able to sell anything with him in the pic!

The Downtown Boutique said...

Thanks for the comment elexisb. I have heard the same thing. I think for those of us who really DON'T have that kind of time, it's really unrealistic.

I think that if you pick a day out of the week, or even two days, where you list 3-5 items, that will definitely help, if you are able to do that.

Another good tip is to jump into the forums, and participate in the threads. I often look at people's shops because of either their avatar, or what they said in the thread.

Stacey said...

What a difference a great photo makes!