Monday, August 16, 2010

Tips for Etsy Success- Getting your first sale

Etsy has so many wonderful features. The community is fabulous, the administration is truly there to help you, the fees are low and the advertising and promotion opportunities are endless. Like most things, etsy is not perfect. One flaw (at least to new sellers) is the fact that your sales are posted for the world to see.

One of the most common ways that the etsy seller shops is based on your sales number. The higher your sales are, the more sales you will get. Simple as that. It seems a little unfair to a new seller. You have that big fat “0” on your shops home page and it is glaring at you. Why won’t people buy your cute products? You have your shop designed professionally, your prices are right, the photographs are great…so, what is the problem?
The “0” is the problem. Think about the world outside of etsy for a minute. When price and quality are the same, wouldn’t you be more likely to purchase jeans from The Gap than the no-name shop in your neighborhood shopping center? We are naturally more likely to purchase from a name we trust than someone we have not heard of. The higher your sales number is, the more trustworthy your shop comes across as.

Okay, so how do you get sales? I am not telling you that you will not reach any new customers with zero sales. You will, eventually someone will purchase from you. As long as everything else is in line, someone will eventually shop with you. But how can you really get your sales number up? How do you get the ball rolling?

The best advice I can give you is to enlist your friends and family for help. If you are a crafter, you are undoubtedly making things for friends and family. Every time someone you know asks you to make them an item, instead of letting them pay you in cash, ask them to purchase through the etsy site. If they want to pay cash, they can. Just have them purchase the item in etsy and then bypass the paypal payment screen. Then you go into your etsy sold items page and manually select the payment received box. This way, you get some sales on your site and you are still helping your friends out. Do you offer your items to friends at a cheaper price than on etsy? No problem, just set up their orders as a custom listing.

The other bonus to keeping your personal sales on etsy is that when you run sales reports, you are truly grabbing everything- personal and etsy sales. If you plan on paying taxes for your shop, this will be super helpful later.

Other than the number of sales your shop has, the other thing that potential buyers look at is your feedback rating. Your feedback rating is based on a combination of feedback from people who have purchased from your shop and from other shops that you have purchased from. That being said, while you are waiting for someone to purchase from your shop, buy something from someone else. It does not have to be large or expensive, anything will do. Buying something from another etsy shop, will get something (hopefully positive) to show up on your feedback rating.

Of course, there is a lot more to getting your first sale than just what this article talks about. All of the tips posted in this series will help you get your sales up but this particular post is something that a lot of people do not often think about. I wanted to share it with you in hopes that it will help someone as it did with me.

Getting your first sale can take weeks or months. Keep working at it and buyers will come.

Stay tuned for more tips coming soon!



Ashley N said...

I am so loving this series. It's like you're reading my mind and posting for me : ) Great tips that I will use...I'm stuck at one sale...better than zero I guess.

Garilyn said...

Thanks for the helpful tips. I'm working on my etsy page and trying to revamp it and get items ready to list. I've often thought that having friends or family that would buy from you, to send them to the shop would be helpful to get that number up!

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