Sunday, August 15, 2010

Selling Online --- Part One

Today we are starting a series of posts on places to sell online.

We had quite a few people answer our survey stating they did not sell online but would like to so maybe we will be able to help them get started.

I am starting with what I feel is one of the best places to sell online at a reasonable cost.

What is Etsy?   Etsy is a marketplace started in 2005 to give handcrafters a place to make a living selling their handmades and to connect the makers with the buyers.

Etsy sellers number in the hundreds of thousands today and the buyers and sellers come from more than 150 countries.

What can you sell on Etsy?   Pretty much anything that is handmade by you,  crafting supplies, and vintage items that are 20 years old or older.

It is free to open your shop on Etsy but you will pay a 20 cent listing fee for each item you list.   Your item lists for four months.
When you sell your listing you will pay a transaction fee to etsy that is 3.5% of the selling price of your item.

You will receive a bill each month on the 1st for your previous month's activity.

The first thing you will need to do is register on Etsy. This entitles you to be a buyer.

 Choose your name carefully because you won't be able to change it.

Once you are registered,  you will then  have to upgrade your account to seller.  You will find that option when you login to your account.

The majority of buyers pay with Paypal so if you don't already have an account with them,  you need to think about getting one.    You can accept money orders or checks but it is a slow way to do business and most buyers prefer paypal.

Click here for the help guide to setting up your shop.

Once you have your shop setup you will want to start listing your items.  You will need a good description,  good pictures (you are allowed 5 of them),  price for the item,  shipping cost and decide what countries you will ship to,  and tags.

Tags help people find items they are searching for.   Learn all about how to use tags here.

So you have your shop all set up and your products listed so now what?   A lot of people think they are done and get upset when the sales don't start rolling in.  lol    Unfortunately,  that doesn't often happen.   It is like anything else in life,  you reap what you put into it.

Here are some ways to promote your shop:

Start a blog to:
Keep customers updated on new listings.
Share your skills by doing tutorials.
Have a giveaway of one of your handmade items.
Add one of the gadgets that is a portable version of your shop.  Customers can shop right from your blog.
Go to the community forum on Etsy and post about your new listings.

Add your banner to relevant topsites.  They are free.

Look for low cost advertising on busy sites if you have advertising money.

Join an Etsy Team. There is nothing like being able to chat with other like-minded sellers. And it is a great way to learn from ones that have been on Etsy for a long time.

Here is a free pdf download, Secrets of Savvy Etsy Sellers,  that I just came across on the internet.   You can download it here:

And lastly,  there is a lot of help from Etsy here.

Next week we will be talking about another marketplace,   Artfire.

Thanks for visiting today.

Would you like to sponsor a giveaway?  Do you have a special skill you would like to share with our readers?  Would you like to share a trash to treasure makover?
Are you interested in promoting your store or blog at a very reasonable cost?   If so, just email us. 
We would be happy to send you the details.