Jul 24, 2014

Business or Hobby? by BeadtopiaVintage

So -- you are selling on Etsy, or “thinking” of selling there.  Will you be dipping your toe into the water, or plunging in full force?  I knew when I joined Etsy, I wanted to have a business, and having had experience on another website for over five years, I knew the business could happen.  However, I was skeptical to start on another venue and knew what it takes to have a real business -- so I started out by putting just ONE item on Etsy.   It took about 3-½ MONTHS, but someone found it, and it sold!  These Isadora Duncan etched glass drops were the first item I sold.  I figured if they could find my “needle in the haystack”, if I really poured on the items for sale I could soar.

A hobby, by definition means “an activity done regularly in one's leisure time for pleasure”.  If this is your goal, then you may not be interested in learning the ins and outs of having a business.  There will be no reason to fuss, worry or calculate how you prepare your listings and how many sales you will make.  And that is just fine.

A business, by definition means “the practice of making one's living by engaging in commerce”.  If you do decide to “kick it up” to a business here are some tips that have helped me…. and have made my shop one of Etsy’s top ten vintage supply sellers.

Ten Etsy Business Tips  (in no particular order)
1.  Clear, sharp pictures.  If your picture does not look good to you, it does not look good to anyone else either.  You are selling on-line.   Make sure your picture looks like the potential customer is seeing it “in person”.
2.  Make your listing title unambiguous.  In the world of SEO, “blue glass antique necklace” will be found by a potential customer much quicker than “Emily’s blue dream fantasy necklace”.
3.  Use those tags!  Make sure you use a tag for every aspect of the item you are selling.  A vintage iron pan can translate in “tag language” to:  vintage cooking, vintage pan, iron pan, antique cookware, vintage cookware, antique fry pan, frying pan, iron fry pan, antique pan, iron cookware…..etc.   Use as many words that relate to your item that can be found easily in a random search.
4.  Answer convos quickly.  And friendly.  What may seem like an innocuous question can turn into a sale -- and even a big sale.
5.  Mail your items quickly when sold.  Speaks for itself.
6.  Put new items on as often as possible.  You will establish a customer base, and believe me after a while they will jump like a shark on your newest listing.
7.  Network.   Use social media…. tell your friends.   Use everything available -- most of it is free.
8.  Keep your shop fresh.  Rearrange the items.  Move stuff out that has had no views or that has sat there for three months with hardly a view.  Keep it moving.
9.  Customer service is #1.   Without my repeat customers I would not have the business I have today.
10.  Don’t give up!  It take time to establish a business, and you have to be self motivated.  
Yes, I work at least 40 hours a week.   This is my job and I love it.  Whether you choose to have a business or hobby, Etsy is a real platform for opportunity.

Written by Beadtopiavintage

1 comment:

Linda Shore said...

Great advice for both new & seasoned sellers! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.