You just have to begin. That’s what I told myself when I began listing items on Etsy in May. I had opened a shop a couple of years ago but only listed a couple of items before taking them down. I hadn’t given it much effort. This time I wanted to give it an actual try and share my creations. In just a week I landed my first sale and every since then I have hit 90 sales. That’s more than I imagined I’d get!
There are many things to consider, and lessons to learn along the way. Being new to this, it meant that I had a lot to learn, and much of it was learning as I go. One thing that is worth considering, though, before starting an online shop of your own, on a site like Etsy or a platform of your own, is to look at your costs. Of course, you want to make sure that your prices aren’t too steep that no one will buy from you or see that what you offer is worth the price tag. However, you don’t want to make things so cheap that you are barely covering the materials or the cost of the items. It really is a fine line, which is why looking at a break even analysis tool could be a good idea. Breaking even, or not being able to even do that, can be one of the reasons why a lot of e-commerce businesses fail, so it is definitely something that is worth considering if you want to take the leap to running a business of your own.
I’ve learned a lot so far about starting an Etsy shop or business in general, and I’d like to share them with you.
- Factor in your time as well as shipping and ALL your costs into your price. I sold my first item for less than I should have but I quickly learned my lesson.
- You don’t have to invest in fancy packaging right away. If you want to, sure, but it’s not completely necessary. I started by reusing boxes that were in good shape and adding dollar store tissue paper and crinkle paper. Customers care more about their order getting there on time and in perfect condition, not that you included fancy cards or candy or other extras. Those can always be added later, if desired.
- Tags and titles are important. I am working on figuring this out, but so far some of my listings have done really well because of the search keywords.
- Don’t be afraid to promote yourself on social media.
- Keep finances organized. Etsy offers a Quickbooks integration to make it easy, but you can use whatever method you’d like. I prefer Excel sheets. Also, open a separate business account(s).
- Sell what you like to sell, not just for money. I have taken down listings because I no longer liked making certain things, or I wanted to do those certain projects for fun only.
- Start thinking about holidays early.
- Believe in yourself!
Have you started an Etsy shop or other business? I’d love to hear about it!
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Marette Flora is the founder of Floradise blog and personalized gift shop. Marette is a passionate storyteller and creator. She attended the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University and obtained a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communication.
She is passionate about creating helpful and meaningful things.