Saturday, January 2, 2010

My love affair with Etsy

I started my Etsy shop, Fashionably Chic, in July 2009 and really had no idea what I was doing. All I knew is that I liked to make jewelry and had a stockpile of it in my apartment. Randomly while being bored at work and surfing the net I came across Etsy. And that is how the love affair started.

Etsy is such a wonderful venue. There are so many incredible artists in the world. I love the idea of being able to purchase handmade from all corners of the world without leaving my home. Starting a shop was great. I’ve definitely learned a lot and I continue to learn. Here are just a few tips that I wanted to share:

Five things I’ve learned (and continue to learn!) since opening my Etsy shop

  1. Photos are really difficult to take!
    1. I have taken so many photos of my jewelry it makes me sick thinking about it! The number one advice I can give you is to learn about the settings on your camera. When I started taking photos I had no idea my camera had a macro setting. I had no idea how to change the white balance or shutter speed on my camera. After learning about these settings my photos are much, much better. Not perfect, but better! Check out the before and after on my Amber Ice Cube earrings:
  2. Promote constantly.
    1. I’ve learned that hanging out in the forums is a great way to promote as well as discover new shops. I’ve had a more than a few sales from shops that have seen me in the forums so I recommend posting at least a few times a day.
  3. Write thorough item descriptions.
    1. This is something that makes sense, yet it was difficult for me to do. Now I try to give measurements of all major beads or components, lengths of anything, as well as saying exactly what types of wire, chain, or beads I use. The more detailed, the better. Remember, people can’t touch or hold your items so more description leads to more potential sales.
  4. Create a catchy banner and avatar.
    1. Create a banner and avatar that is in line with your product and brand. Banners are one of the first things a potential customer sees when they enter your shop. Make it memorable! Avatars are especially important in the forums. You need a creative avatar that will stand out amongst hundreds of others. If it isn’t clickable no one will find your shop. This is a struggle for me so I’m making it a major goal for 2010.
  5. Write thorough shop policies.
    1. Shop policies are there to cover you if a customer doesn’t like something about their order. Make them as detailed as possible. Try to think of every scenario possible and put it in the policies. The topics I think are the important are returns/refunds, exchanges, losses, damages and shipping (where and how much). The more you cover yourself, the better off you will be!

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