Basketball Bounce

June 18, 2011

400 sales!

Finally! 400 sales! Just wanted to stop by and talk about my journey with my Etsy shop and a couple of tips on running an online shop. While Etsy is a great venue with lots of traffic, there is lots of work to be done once you set up shop. I started my shop about 3 years ago with a different kind of product. I started selling my circle skirts in my other shop in Etsy while I was still experimenting with other products to be added to the line, I had lots of beautiful buttons, beads, trims and fabrics around the house. I decided to test a couple of listings of my vintage looking buttons and some beads that I had. Beads did not sell well, as the category was already saturated up to the point where I was not able to compete with the competitors prices. Therefore, I started to look into other supplies that I was able to sell the best and that would fit with my current situation. I did not have much space for large inventory items, so supplies fit the best in addition to the fact that I love buttons, perfect match!

The following are a couple of hints on ow to build a successful store and get best views and sales:

*Look for your nitch!  Research into many categories or merchandise of your interest.

*Research the market and category to see what your competitors are doing. Find your  competitiveness and differentiation against the others. This will be your strength.

*Test your product to see if it sells, make a couple and list them. Have in mind that your product may  have to be modified, tweaked or even changed into a different category. It all depends on the target market your customer is and what group you are aiming for.

*I can't stress this enough, invest a lot of time in your visual merchandise and display. How your product is presented is key to everything. Remember that people can't see the product in front of them so you will need to have great pictures in addition to creating a good mood that matches with your shop. Provide views of all sides and angles that make the composition interesting.

*Having accurate complete descriptions is key to a successful listing. Tell your story, what inspired you to make the item, people like to hear stories behind products. For jewelry makes, providing measurements in cm's along with inches is important, specially if you selling international.

*Never under-price your items. Price according to the time you invested and materials. Also check your competitors prices and where you stand compared to them. Consider that other shop may be almost giving away there items and me underbidding and underpricing the market they are in, and it you can compete with that and separate your shop and differentiation from those so that you have set your own pricing strategy.

*Customer Service! This is very important. Be consistent and follow up with your customers. Every time you send an order, so follow up sending shipping confirmations and convos or emails. This gives the customer a sense of security that they are dealing and an actual person being your operation and that they will have someone to contact in case of any issues. Do not feel bad about asking for feedback. Ask for your customers to kindly place feedback as soon as their order arrive. I know that some customers just dont do it, but this has worked for me over the years, and do get people sending convos letting me knwo they got the order and placed feedback.  

*For al Etsy sellers, dont fall into the "renewing trap", yes i call it a trap. Been there, done that! I have experimented renewing items in my most busy hours. It does not get me necesarrly more sales, yes, you can get more views, but folks, it will not guarantee sales. For me personally, it didn't works. The only thing that it did was giving me a bill of over $50 a month with very few sales. Not worth it! specailly if you are just strating out with little investement capital.

*Pack your items with LOVE. Customers like top know that you take care of your merchandise and you care about your customers getting there orders intact and safe. For instance, I always seal my fabrics with some plastic (so that if the envelope gets wet with rain the fabric wont get affected). My buttons and trims, I always pack them with a plastic baggy and seal them with a cute fun looking tape.

*Last but not least, Patience, Hard Work and lots Love into your work. I learned that only with time, you will get more customers, more views, and more sales. Of course if you apply all the ones above and mentioned. Participating in Etsy forums, cats and teams will keep your shop very exposed to many creators and people that like your stuff. Also there is a huge amount of resources that you can find in these places, you would be surprised what you will learn just from hearing other people's experience. Have patience, there could be times where frustration will take over, but stick to you shop and creations and believe in it. You will see tat 3 years later you will say, "I am glad that i didn't give up!"

1 comment:

cheeky curves said...

Love love to hear success stories, It help to know that this is not a flight of fancy. Thank you for sharing and I wish you even more and more sales