Guest post by Kelly Parker Smith
If you are a fairly new business, getting your product in front of people can seem overwhelming. Between social media, website options, and handmade marketplaces your head can spin in a million directions and before you know it you have fallen down the rabbit hole of blog articles claiming why one option is better than the other. It’s even possible that you have spent some money on a website, class, or branding package that you were not ready for. So, let me help you with this. I am going to give you 5 reasons why I know that Etsy is the best place to start. Starting on Etsy does not mean you have to live there forever, but just starting with something is what is important and Etsy makes it too easy.
Etsy is Quick /
You can literally be up and running in about an hour. Will it be perfect? No. Will it make money today? Maybe. Will it be the start of something amazing? Most definitely.
Etsy is Cheap (No, really) /
I started on Etsy with 20 cents for my first listing. 20 cents. Yes, there are transaction fees because Etsy provides you with a service. Just like any of us Etsy wants to be paid for their services. They give you a platform to house your products, marketing, large community of other sellers to connect with and most importantly an audience of millions of customers. Are they promoting your shop specifically? Not necessary, but the customers are there and if you pay attention to your shop and really put in the effort to do it right, the sales will come.
Pricing your items correctly to accommodate the transaction fees are also important.
If you are not making a profit on your products, you might be pricing your products too low. Using Etsy as a jumpstart to your product based business means that we want to make money to eventually have a stand alone website and a marketing budget. Etsy’s 20 cent listings and transaction fees can help you get there as long as you take the time to do the math and price for profit. Value your work and charge accordingly. There are a lot of sellers on Etsy who undercharge themselves - do not try to compete with them. You deserve to be paid for your time and effort and trust me when I say that there are people who will recognize the work you put in and will happily pay you for your products and service.
Etsy is Has You Covered /
You can do almost everything you need to do to run your product based business through Etsy and it is very user friendly. Here is a little list of just some of the things you can do with Etsy:
- Keep conversations with buyers organized with folders and canned responses.
- Keep records of your sales.
- Keep statistics about each listing and your shop as a whole.
- Build customer relationships through conversations and automatic thank you emails and shipping updates.
- Provides discounts off shipping labels through USPS and FedEx
- Offers a seller community including teams, forums, webinars, articles, and opportunities to give feedback through surveys and their Seller Advisor Board all for FREE.
- Crop product photos.
- Link your shop to social media and post directly to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and pin.
Etsy is Flexible /
Wanna change out your product photos? Wanna change out your product descriptions? You can very easily. You don’t need to know how to code or navigate the backend of a website. You just change it. In the beginning this will be so helpful as you are focusing on product development, finding your target audience, packaging, shipping, and your product photography.
Etsy Keeps Them Coming Back for More /
Once customers have a positive experience on Etsy, they are hooked on the platform and if you are the one to give them that great experience they are hooked on you. I get repeat customers to my Etsy shop daily because I offer a shopping experience with great customer service, cute packaging and above all a great product. If you are ready to jump into product sales. I encourage you to give Etsy a shot. You only have 20 cents to lose.
Kelly Parker Smith is the owner at Hello World Paper Co. & Stamps where she designs stamps and stationery for new homeowners, weddings, and small businesses out of her home studio in Belleville, IL. You can read more about the products and services she offers in her Etsy Shop, Hello World Stamps. She also has a free email course all about setting up and managing an Etsy shop and has helped hundreds of other shop owners. And last but certainly not least, Kelly and her company have pledged to build a school through Pencils of Promise! 10% of the company profits are going toward the campaign that started in June of 2016. Read more about that story on their blog!