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Ready Starting an Etsy Shop, Part 2 – Listing an Item

So, now that you’ve got your Etsy shop all set up and pretty, it’s time to list an item.  This part is much easier that the initial set-up, but there are still a few surprises your first time around. There are five sections to navigate, so let’s start at the very beginning (it’s a very good place to start):

Item Info

Title – You can be as artsy or as cut and dried as you want here, the only thing you can’t do is use special characters.  I tried to call something “Aliens!” and it wouldn’t let me use the exclamation point.  You’re stuck with just the plain old alphabet.

Description – This is always the hardest part for me.  The instructions for this part are, and I quote, “Start with the most important information and provide enough detail for shoppers to feel comfortable buying.”  I was kind of nervous about putting my craft out there for the world to see for the very first time, so when I read this I almost peed my pants.  What does that even mean?  I don’t know what makes people feel comfortable.  The trick here is to avoid over-thinking.  The vital statistics are easy.  What is it?  How did you make it?  How big is it?  What’s it for?  After that, don’t worry about making other people comfortable, just say why you like it.  I love the stuff I make, and I’ll bet you feel the same way about yours, so just write something that tells people why it’s so awesome.  At craft fairs I have found my most effective selling technique is to point out my favorite thing about whatever they are looking at, and the same holds true here.  I get the most positive responses to the items that have fun, enthusiastic descriptions.

Materials – Easy-peasy, list the materials you used.

Sort Your Item

It’s tagging time!  First you select a “top-level Category” from their drop down list, then add whatever tags you want.  Be creative, but also cover the basics.  There are people who will search Etsy for a “pink necklace” to go with their new favorite top, you don’t want to miss out on them because you forgot to add a color tag.

Selling Info

Price – This is another hard part for the newbie.  There are a few different ways to decide on your prices.  First things first, you have to do the math.  Add up the cost of your materials.  Decide how much you want to pay yourself per hour and figure out how long it took you to make your thing.  Add those two numbers together and you have your baseline – DO NOT charge less than this.  For example, I use about a dollar’s worth of glass in each pendant.  They take me about half an hour to make, and I want to make $15/hour.  I also pay an average of $0.25 for annealing, so my baseline is $8.75.  From there you can search related items and find out what the average price is for what you are selling, or you can just use your gut.  My sister-in-law’s method is to “figure out what I can sell it for without feeling like a dirty craft-whore and then add two dollars.”  I use a combination approach.  I look to see what other people charge, them I look at my piece and ask what I would want to pay for it.  Then I add two dollars.  The two dollars is actually important.  I only have anecdotal evidence to support this, but if you charge too little people assume your product is crap and will look to someone else who is charging more.  So, if you are debating over a little more or a little less, go with a little more.

The rest of this page is easy.

Section – If you made sections when you made your shop, choose the appropriate one.  If you didn’t leave it at -None-

Payment – You also covered this in set-up

Shipping Profile – Again, you should have made a profile or two in set-up, just pick the one you want and click “Next”

Images

This is my favorite part.  I have had fun learning how to be a photographer and I like seeing my pictures in a formal setting.  You can upload up to five photos from different angles to show off what you made.  The first in line will be the main image and the thumbnail in the lists.    Etsy has a number of helpful articles about taking good pictures and making your product look enticing, so I refer you to them.  They do a much better job of explaining it than I could.

Finish

This is your chance to preview your page before it is posted for the world to see.  Make sure everything is right and click the “Finish” button.

Congratulations!  You have listed something on Etsy.

One thing I like about the Etsy people is that they do everything they can to help their artists.  They have FAQs about everything. They also send a out weekly newsletter with tips for success and interviews with sellers who are doing well.  One of the keys is to list often.  Every item on the site is shown in chronological order, based on when it was listed.  If you are serious about making money on Etsy, it pays to post something every day, even if it is just a re-list of something already in your shop.  Etsy charges $0.20 to list an item, and 3.5% of the purchase price when it sells.  It is a cheap and easy way to get yourself used to selling on the internet, and a lot of people have done well enough to stick with it for years.  I does have its drawbacks.  It is a really big site and it’s easy to get lost in the crowd, but it’s a good way to test the waters and figure out how much work you want to put into selling your craft.

Good luck!

By [E]SaraB

Glass artisan by day, blogger by night (and sometimes vice versa). SaraB has three kids, three pets, one husband and a bizarre sense of humor. Her glass pendants can be found at www.etsy.com/shop/AngryOwlStudio if you're interested in checking it out.

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