Friday, August 22, 2014

Selling on Etsy: Some Key Points for Setting Up Shop

I opened my first Etsy shop in 2008 and have since added two more so that I can target specific markets/customers for different types of products.

ASpinnerWeaver sells general handwoven items which change but can include: scarves, shoelaces, guitar straps, camera straps, shoulder straps, guitar strap kits, belts and more.

iWeaveSashes caters to folks who do historic reenactments as well as those who might need a sash for their Native American regalia. 

WeaverGuitarStraps is linked to my website of the same name and only carries my one-of-a-kind guitar straps.

Over the years, I've made hundreds of sales combined in these shops. I've learned a few things and there is much more to learn. Since I have also been employed full-time during these years, I feel like I am not doing as much as I could to promote my shops and fine tune the content. But, when asked by someone new to Etsy if I have any advice or can I help them to figure out how to get started, the answer is YES!

While Etsy does a great job of providing information for sellers here in the Etsy Sellers Handbook , reading the whole thing can be a challenge. Where do you start? I've targeted some key points that I think are important to figure out before you are ready to set up shop.

The links next to them will take you to helpful articles on Etsy's site. 
Shop name: 
Banner art: 
5 Photos for each item:       AND
Item descriptions: 
13 tags (keywords, search words) for each item: 
 Shipping costs and policies: 
Shop policies:
About page:

And finally, I'd like to tell you why I think selling on Etsy is a good idea.
1) They have got Search Engine Optimization figured out. Anyone searching the web for anything, especially  "handmade" is likely to find referrals to Etsy right off.
2) You can network with other sellers, make friends and help each other to promote.
3) If you want to have a website, but don't want to the expense and complication of setting up a shopping cart on your site, you can create an "Etsy Mini" like I did to give customers access to buy your products.

Etsy has begun a new program which is spreading around the country (and in the UK) one city at a time. It is designed to offer help to people who would like to become sellers. It is called the Etsy Craft Entrepreneurship Program" and more info can be found here:

Footnote: If you are already an Etsy seller, but want some tips on how to make your shop better, are you signed up to get e-mails from Etsy? On your Account Settings page, click on the E-mails tab and sign up to get one or several regular messages from Etsy including tips, education and inspiration.


  1. Wow. Thanks for sharing. I have a shop, but it's slow going....I'm going to read all the links you posted and see if there's something I'm not doing. It's not every day, that I find people that are willing to share their experience and knowledge, so thank you!

    1. Martha, your comment made me think of another suggestion for those who are already using Etsy, but want tips for making their shop better.
      If you go to your Account Settings and click on the E-mail tab, you can sign up there to receive messages from Etsy, including tips, education and inspiration. Good luck! What is your shop name?

  2. Awesome! It was about time someone shares their Etsy secret. After all, online marketing is difficult to grasp without knowing the right marketing strategies. Of course, it's totally understandable when someone keeps their strategies to themselves, as to raise the sales competition. Though, there's nothing bad about genuinely giving a helping hand from time to time. Anyway, thank you so much for going out of your way to share those with us, Annie! More power to you and your business! :)

    Clifton Johnson @ Insuring TheProduct