Etsy Shop Tips
1. Know What You Can and Can’t Sell
It’s easy for any business-minded person to open a store on Etsy, but before you start uploading products, it would be a good idea to know what you can and can’t sell. This will help protect you, your buyer, and the platform from legal issues, particularly against intellectual property. It also helps you understand the best way to categorize your product to make it more visible to potential buyers.
2. Understand the Difference Between Copying and Inspiration
There’s often a fine line between what’s copied and what’s inspired, and Etsy removes material subject to a complaint when given notice. This is why it’s crucial that you understand the difference even before you open your Etsy store.
Though there is a fine line, Etsy offers the following guidelines:
- Never use the name of an artist who inspired your work as the artist may claim that your sales are a result of their brand.
- Avoid tagging your items with a specific luxury brand in an effort to describe the quality of your product.
- Using the brand name in the title, tags, and description of vintage products is allowed, but avoid guessing if you’re not sure.
- Always check for copyright when using someone else’s photos even if the product on the image is generic.
- Avoid purchasing licensed images from stores with a poor reputation.
If you plan on selling branded items, consider investing in license fees. This is less expensive than paying thousands of dollars in damages or legal fees, or having your inventory impounded.
3. Choose the Right Shop Name for Your Store
Your shop name will be your brand. A good name will help your store stand out from other shops, and is memorable enough to type into the search bar. Etsy allows you to use 20 characters for your shop name, which is required when setting up your store. And while you’re free to change your Etsy store name down the road, you wouldn’t want customers to forget your brand because of multiple name changes.
Brainstorming and testing are the two main steps to coming up with the best store name. Start by making a list of options. Descriptive names like “Zen Handicrafts,” is the easiest strategy. You can also try abstract ideas for a more creative and unique name. Try combining words or phrases like “Scentimental,” to showcase a point of interest related to your product.
Use these questions to test your store name:
- What kind of feeling do you want your store name to convey?
- Did it evoke that same feeling when you mentioned your store name to friends and family?
- Is your store name easy to spell and read?
- Does the name look good on your business card?
- Does it have an alternative meaning in other languages?
- Have you tried to search for similar names on Google?
4. Understand Seller Fees
There are fees involved with running any business, and Etsy is no exception. Sellers should always know how much they are spending for using the platform to make sure they are operating well within their budget and protecting their bottom line. Sellers should also know when and how to pay account fees to keep their store in good standing. Knowing what and when to pay will also help sellers plan to minimize their Etsy fees.
Etsy’s most common fees include a 20 cent listing fee, 5% transaction fee, and 3% + 25 cent payment processing fee. On top of these, there are pattern fees, conversion fees, and a variety of ad fees which can easily get away from even the most veteran Etsy seller.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid exorbitant sale costs:
- Use the same currency for your product price and your payment account to avoid conversion fees.
- Make sure to include the packaging when measuring the dimension of your product to cover the actual cost of the shipping.
- Remove slow-moving listings to avoid paying renewal listing fees for products that are not selling.
5. Write an Impressive “About” Page
Etsy is more than just a marketplace, it’s also a platform for creatives like you to showcase your art. However, as a seller, you need to let buyers know the value of your creations to convince them to buy. This includes both your technical qualifications and achievements, as well as your inspiration. Your “About” page should focus on the person behind the designs.
Here are some guidelines for creating the ideal “About” page:
- Use a personal tone to easily connect with your reader.
- Talk about your inspiration behind your designs.
- Introduce any partners you work with to develop your products.
- Keep your paragraphs short.
- Include links to any publication that features you or your designs.
- Include links to your social media.
You have 5,000 characters to talk about your business; go for a more personal approach when writing your story. Add inviting photos and videos that will help shoppers visualize and connect with your store. Include a link to your blog and social media or the landing page to opt-in to your email list.
6. Keep Your Shop Policy Simple
Your shop policy lays down the guidelines for transactions in your store. Customers who read this are usually those who have already found something they want to buy and would like to find out if they are comfortable with your payment and delivery procedures. This section is even more significant for customers who are looking to buy personalized designs because it tells them how involved they can get and how long it takes to complete the design process.
The key for a positive customer experience is to keep policies simple while also being clear on the details. If you’re new to selling on Etsy, you can start with the basic shop policy where you fill out a template that will toggle settings for options on returns and exchanges, payments, shipping, and additional information.
7. Maximize Your Tags
Tags are words or short phrases, up to 20 characters not separated by punctuations, that help describe your product. Etsy relies heavily on these tags to determine your product’s relevance to buyer searches. The search feature is designed to match keywords of listings with a shopper’s query and rank based on relevance. Given that Etsy is home to creative, one-of-a-kind products, the use of tags, combined with categories and attributes, heavily influence search results.
Here are some Tagging DO’s and DON’Ts to maximize your listings:
Use all 13 tags
Repeat tags, categories, and attributes
Use plural or misspelled words
Use tags similar to your title keywords
Use tags in multiple language
Target long-tail keywords
Use irrelevant keywords
8. Make Regular and Quick Store Updates
Regularly updating your Etsy store profile and product listings ensures that important information such as pricing and contact details are reliable and accurate. Unfortunately, busy business owners might not notice or even have the time to perform updates, which leaves them open to potential misunderstandings with buyers and result in disputes.
Avoid this unnecessary risk by planning and regularly making quick updates to your store:
- Refresh your About section: Include any changes in staffing, improvements, and developments in your process.
- Update your shipping profile: This is used to quickly update multiple listings with similar shipping costs including shipping origin, available destinations, services, and processing times.
- Review your store policy: Read through your shopping policy and update for any changes that may have developed since it was written.
- Upload new photos or videos when possible: Sharing changes and updates through images will help renew the interest of previous customers.
To stay on track, create a checklist and set up an alarm on your calendar for these updates. Aside from designating a quick review once every few months, you can also schedule them on significant dates such as special events, holidays, and other peak seasons.