Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Etsy Store Selling Tips

If you want to read the whole thing - go here:

Online Selling – Etsy and Beyond - Lori Peterson   PART 1

Picking a name

Try to pick something that will either identify YOU or what you are selling. “Your Name Designs” is one that I recommend (i.e. Lori Peterson Designs). It covers a broad range of products and services, should your focus change. I chose Loribeads before I really thought about that. Also, think about what website names are available. Chances are if you want something like or it is already taken. Do your research before making a final decision on picking an etsy store name.

Policies & returns

I could load this section up with examples of what not to do. Put enough info in the policies to inform and protect your interests but not so much that it puts buyers off of doing business with you. Keep it simple, straightforward and above all else, shopper-friendly. Don’t gouge customers with shipping charges. If you want to make more money on the product, price it accordingly. Returns policies should reassure customers that you want them to be happy with their purchase. Try to keep that in mind. Occasionally you will get a difficult customer, that’s just the way it is. Try not to let those experiences form your policies. This is my opinion only.

Logos and branding

Pick a look and create a logo, online banners, etc. Etsy is a good place to look if you want someone to create all that for you. Some website hosts will have templates you can use and customize. Branding is so important that unless you are just dabbling in selling, spending time getting this right is really important. Make sure your logo/banner says something about your aesthetic.

Announcements and artist intro

Here’s the place to announce your grand opening! You can also announce sales, coupons, new products and even general chit-chat here. Artist profile is the place for your artist statement, how you came to be an artist, stuff like that. I don’t like to shop at a store when I don’t know their location so be sure to put where you are, too.

Photos, photos, photos
     -lighting and cameras

Honestly, it’s more about the photographer than the camera. Get a decent camera – no need to spend a bundle – most point and shoot cameras are fine for web photos. I sell beads so I made sure the camera I picked had a macro setting.

     -photo tents and lighting

Light diffusion is pretty important, especially when photographing glass. I recommend getting some good, bright lights and a photo cube, sized for the product you intend to sell. Ott lites are a good choice for lighting but other daylight bulbs will work just as well. Most bad photos are bad because there wasn’t enough light.

     -post production
Photoshop, Gimp, Paint Shop Pro, there are many different photo editing programs out there. Some are free, some are really pricey. I have tried them all and trust me when I say that none of them can turn a bad photo into a good one. Pick one that works with your level of photo-editing interest. Photoshop can be a resource hog on a slower computer and is very expensive and has a pretty big learning curve but it is the industry standard for photo editing so if you get stuck and need help, you’re likely to find someone online who will have an answer to your question. The bare minimum you will need from a photo editing software is to be able to resize photos. Out of the camera, they will likely be too big. Etsy has a 1000x1000 pixel recommendation for your shop photos.

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