Free friday - Question

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photo and products by Judith Brandts

One of my students, Judith, asked me about opening an Etsy shop the other day. I thought it would be nice to share the information here, for those of you who've been wondering about the same. She had more then one question and I'll try to answer them today and next friday.

What is important when I open an Etsy shop?

It all starts with good products. You'll need at least 10 items to list that form a nice collection in your style. Make good photo's! They need to be bright, crisp and clear, and must highlight your product at its best. Light backgrounds work best and also make sure you show your product in different angles and maybe on a model.

You also need a shop name and clear style for the appearance of your shop. This means a banner, logo but also business cards and maybe note cards (or combine those two) to add to your sold orders. Think about how you would like to receive a package: with a handwritten note from the seller, with a little extra something, how is it wrapped?
Think your shop name through! Is their another shop that has an almost simular name (you don;'t want that!). Make sure it's easily reminded and also pronounceable in english. You own name can work too, especially if you have a website with your name in the url too.

Set good shop policies. Who's responsible when shipping goes wrong? Can people return their purchase? Do you offer an extra gift wrap service? Look at other shops what their therms are (see mine here).

When all the above is set, you can start listing your items. Create a clear title and description and tag well. This is very important as people need to be able to find your product! The right key words will make this much easier and generate more visiters to your listings and shop. For more detailed information on this see here.
I'll tell you more about how to get more people to visite you shop next friday.

Think about what you would want to know about the product if you were the buyer. Include size, material, colour, details (a close up photo!) and maybe even the story behind it.

Now you can set your shipping rates. It's easy to make a shipping profile that you can use for multiple items (so you don't have to fill it in with every new item you list). For a how-to, see here.
Think about if you want to ship insured, with track&trance (more expensive rates) or just a basic. Inform your costumers about what is and isn's included in shipping and how long it takes for you to ship the item.

When you list your first items, make sure you have at least 10 items in your shop to start with. An almost empty shop doesn't look too good, as if you're not serious about what your doing. You can list the first items all at once. When you start listing more, it's wise to spread the listings over a few days. This way it's more likely people wil notice you shop (etsy shows recently listed items on the bottom of their home page). I listed my items in the beginning at the end of the day (in the Netherlands around 18.00-20.00 o'clock) cause then most costumers around the world are awake too (America, Canada, etc.) and more people are likely to see my new listings.

Ok, that's it for this week. I'll tell you more next friday!


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