Are people constantly asking you where you got your luxuriously soft handknitted merino wool scarf, or hassling you for details on how you make your beeswax candles? Maybe you’re constantly getting requests for your beautiful handcrafted jewellery, your meticulously embroidered throw pillows or your lovingly carved cheese boards?
Whatever your talent, the internet has opened a realm of opportunity when it comes to showcasing and selling your handmade goods. We absolutely love Etsy when it comes to shopping for handmade treasures, but what about becoming a seller?
If you’re interested in turning your hobby into an online business, this guide is for you.
Set up a seller profile
First things first, go to Etsy.com and register your seller account. The site will guide you through the registration process which is amazingly easy. Everyone starts out as a buyer so you’ll need to click on the ‘Sell’ tab at the top of the screen to switch to a seller account.
Take beautiful photographs
As your customers won’t be able to physically see or touch your products you’ll need to tantalise them with beautiful photos. At a minimum, you’ll need at least three different photos for each product. iPhones can snap surprisingly good pictures, especially in natural light. Ideally, enlist a friend with a good camera who can help you take high-quality photographs that do your treasures justice.
Once you’re set up with photos you can click the ‘Add New Item’ link to start listing your pieces. The easy to navigate system will walk you through preparing a description for each item and uploading photos. Don’t worry, you can always go back and make changes later. It’s best to be detailed yet to the point. Buyers will want to know all the exciting details about a product, but won’t want to read an essay. Stick to the basics, use dot points and don’t be scared to get creative with your descriptions.
You’ll get to choose the types of payments you accept, however, to keep things easy we recommend sticking to PayPal. It’s the most widely accepted form of payment and allows you to receive funds instantly. Once you’ve got a stockpile you can then transfer your earnings to your everyday account. Setting up an account is easy, just head over to PayPal.com to get started.
As an Etsy seller you’ll need to master the art of packaging your wares so they arrive safe and undamaged. Basically, bubble wrap and newspaper are your new best friends! You’ll also need to be prepared to head to the post office every time you receive an order, as customers will want their purchases ASAP. Depending on the size and weight of your products you can make things easy for yourself by purchasing prepaid postage satchels and simply charging a flat fee.
After each sale encourage your customers to leave you a positive review and offer feedback on their experience. You can use this to improve your status as a seller and ensure that everyone is happy with their purchases.
Do you have experience as an Etsy seller? We’d love to hear your tips on how to navigate the platform and boost business.