Selling online has become very popular as a way to market everything from yard sale treasures to family collections. There is nothing that will make or break a sale faster than the product photo you list with it. This is the only look your prospective customer will have at your product and an out of focus, blurred or badly lit picture is a good way to lose a sale. Don’t worry; we have some simple tips that will help you. It is all about making the product look appealing. A few easy steps can ensure you have a much better chance at selling your wares.
It is important to have a lot of natural light if possible. Use your windows or white wall space to get a good shot. Pay attention to shadows. You do not want to place your product where the shadow is obvious. You may consider taking the picture outside if it is a nice day. Use the white balance on your camera and edit your picture before you post it.
Avoid using the flash on smaller items; especially if the item is something that sparkles, like jewelry. The flash will create a glare. If you have to, tape a bit of tissue over the flash. You may need the flash on larger items or items that are dark. Play with the lighting and backgrounds to get the best look. Using a box as a shadow box sometimes softens the picture.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when taking photographs of things they are listing, is not paying attention to the background. If your table is a mess, place a pretty cloth over it. Use simple backgrounds. Books, soft cloth, paper, lace and wood can make lovely backgrounds. Simply crop the picture to cut out any clutter around it. If you are selling something like a handbag, take a picture of it sitting on a table and also hanging from something like a purse hook, or even a door knob. People want to see how the bag will look on their arm. If you can take a picture with someone holding the bag, that is even better. Ask a cute friend to model a sweater or necklace and take several shots at different angles. Something like earrings may be too personal to photograph in someone else’s ears. In that case, a picture of the earrings on a black cloth or in the earring case is better.
If there is a flaw in the item, make sure you list the flaw and do your best to show the flaw in at least one photograph. As long as you disclose the information in a clear and honest way so that the customer knows exactly what they are buying, you will still make the sale. The problem comes in when you do not explain the nick or scratch or show it in the photograph. Honesty is the best policy.
YAY! I am coming up to my 1 year anniversary on Etsy. Things have certainly been a learning experience and I’m incredibly proud of what I’ve accomplished in a year. Here’s some of the things I’ve learned along the way. (Also, add what YOU’VE learned too – the more helpful info, the better!)
1. Don’t expect everything to go as planned.
When I opened my first shop (A week before I started FourLetterWordCards,) I had HUGE ideas of making jewelry and selling pretty stuff. Except no one visited and it stayed stagnant. Part of the problem was my photos, my tags and titles, my descriptions and the fact that I was in an over saturated market. Once I put my time into something I truly loved and had fun with (this shop,) things blossomed and I started working on EVERYTHING.
2. You think you know…
I thought I had a good grasp on how to run a shop online. HA. HA. HA! LIES! There is so much crap to learn, it isn’t even funny. There will always be someone who does something better and someone who you can learn from. Be open to suggestion and pay attention to what other’s are doing. The more you learn, the better!
3. For only 1 million dollars, you can learn…
There are a lot of people that want your money. They’ll sell you this workshop, this plan, that online fail-proof business. If you don’t have the time to find free resources – then by all means, give your money away. But if you have the time to invest in yourself and read, GOOGLE THAT CRAP! You’ll save yourself money and not fall into the online ponzi scheme of learning from someone who may not even have an Etsy shop or know exactly what they are doing.
4. Invest in yourself.
Take the time to actually invest in your business and yourself. Buy the materials you need, purchase the organizing crap to make your life better. Put money where your mouth is and faith in yourself. If you’re always going crazy because you have a messy office (my own problem,) you need to find some time and resources to fix it. The less crazy you are, the more time you have to dedicate to your business.
5. Always work on improving!
Holy crap. I’ve changed my logo like 4 times to date. I have another change in the works soon and will be rebuilding my website this month. This is the third time I’ll be changing my website…in a year. Next year, I have new photos that will be taken of ALL my products and more changes in the works. There isn’t SOMETHING you can’t improve and if you remain stagnant, you’ll bore yourself eventually and your customers. Make things look as good as you can and then improve gradually. Your sales will thank you!
6. Do right by your customers!
Customers are the blood of your business. Without them, you have no business. Granted it can be hard to always see eye to eye with them, but it’s our priority to do right by them. I’ve had customers never get an item, even though it showed as delivered. I’ve taken care of them and even though Etsy would have supported my decision, I still tried to ensure they were happy with everything. Thank them for their purchase and make purchasing from you an experience! I always include a thank you note and other goodies – because I want them to have FUN and to feel like family.
At some point, you’ll double, triple and quadruple your orders. You need to figure out a process that allows you to do the most work in the shortest amount of time. Streamline everything you can and find a pattern that works for you. I’m still learning this and have so much more to figure out. I can do 100-150 cards a day – eventually I’ll need to learn how to get more done, in a shorter amount of time.
8. Have an online presence!
Be somewhere online. I’ve gone mad trying to navigate ALL social platforms and have figured out I’m happiest on Instagram. Figure out what social media works best for you and do something with it. Fans will find you and eventually buy your stuff!
9. Price yourself correctly.
Don’t undercharge in order to be competitive. When I first started – I actually priced myself against competition. It was okay for awhile, but I realized in order to price well for wholesale and actually make money – pricing for myself and products was smarter. You’ll only ever have the chance to make as much as you ask for – so be fair to yourself. I’ve raised my prices and charged more for certain items and the world didn’t blow up. People buy my stuff MORE now that I charge accordingly. It is awesome!
10. HAVE FUN!
Etsy and an online business or anything really – should be fun. Sometimes crap is tedious and boring and there are certain things we hate doing. But please for the love of GOD – HAVE FUN DOING THIS STUFF! If this is a side business, it should be a way to make money and enjoy yourself. If this is a full time business – it still needs to bring you enjoyment. I LOVE the fact that I work for myself and answer to me, myself and I. I don’t have to do something I don’t want to and I can plan out each of my days, based on my mood. That is incredibly powerful and having the freedom to choose – IS AMAZING! Never forget that you are here to make your life and those around you BETTER!
So what have you learned? What are you most proud of within your business? What are your goals for your business and what are you celebrating?
This is a guest post from Michelle, a Marmalead customer, friend, and Etsy shop owner. Check out her shop (and buy some cards or mugs) FourLetterWordCards.
** This article doesn’t contain the most recent information about Etsy search. For the most relevant info, head over to our Marmalead Help site! **
We’ve been getting a bunch of questions from our users lately asking;
“How does someone incorporate the data given by Marmalead to their shops?”
“How can I use Marmalead in finding great Etsy keywords?”
Well in this article, we show you how to make Marmalead work for you.
Let’s give you an example:
Suppose this mug is one of your items.
The first thing you would want to do is to brainstorm the keywords that you’ll use for this listing.
I would start off by typing in the keyword ‘coffee mug’ to see how popular this tag is.
With 50k results, I know that tag is going to be very competitive. Let’s now look at the two tools available for us to gather more keywords.
The Tag Cloud displays the relevant keywords that other sellers use. The larger the word, the more popular it is.
The Other Ideas, on the other hand: pulls out search terms that people type in Bing.
You can use both of these to help you build up keywords that you can then use for your listing.
I’ve picked the words ‘best coffee mug’, ‘big coffee mug’, ‘custom coffee mug’, and ‘personalized mug’.
I suggest you to build a list of 15-20 keywords, but for simplicity let’s use those words as an example.
Fire them up with the Keyword Comparison tool (this will save you a lot of time).
Based on this data, I can safely say that it would be worthwhile to experiment with using these keywords as target or lead keywords.
I have just 4k and 2k listings to compete with. Along with a high number of views per week: 49 and 165 respectively.
For higher relevancy in search: I will put my best keywords in the front of my title and tags (hat tip to Michelle).
It should look like this:
Big coffee mug – best coffee mug – custom coffee mug – personalized mug – unique coffee mug – funny coffee mug – quote coffee mug – coffee cup – ceramic coffee mug – gift for him – gift for her – birthday gift
You have a great product to sell, but you don’t know how to draw buyers in. Your product description has a lot to do with how your product is presented to potential buyers, so it’s important to get it right. There are a few key elements to include in a well-written product description. Follow these steps, and you’ll be on your way to more sales in no time!
1) Start with a strong statement of what your product is
Don’t beat around the bush. Buyers want to know exactly what your product is and what it does for them, so lay the essentials out in two or three sentences. Also, search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google only show the first one or two sentences in search results, so you have to make a strong impression within that short amount of space. Be concise and persuasive.
2) Make the rest detailed
Once you’ve got your customer’s attention, it’s time to really let them know all the amazing features of your product. Perhaps you have a knit hat for winter time that you want to sell; be specific about the product. Make sure to tell them how warm the alpaca wool is that you used to make it and that it has a special button for adjusting the hat in the back. Use good descriptors – really let your language flow. The only thing worse than no product description is a boring one.
Your customers want to get to know you a little, so don’t be a robot. Use “I” statements that show you’re personable; it helps the customer connect with you. Talk about what your inspiration was for your product. It makes an interesting story of how the product came to be and the hard work that you put into it. Failing to show your humanity to customers will leave them feeling like you’re the cold corporate type who’s just there to make some money (although you are looking to make some money, to be fair).
4) Include links to relevant products
You know that scrolling list of items on Amazon that says “Other Items You Might Like”? People will buy more products from you if you suggest complementary items to go with the one they’re purchasing. They’re buying a bar of homemade soap from you, so why not suggest a handmade loofah or rag to go with it? It’s easy to put hyperlinks to your other products in the product description, so make sure to include ones that complement one another.
5) Use keywords
Put keywords in your product descriptions not so buyers can more easily find them, but you’ll actually assure your buyers they’re looking at the right listing if you carefully place them throughout your product description. Things like “handmade dog collar” or “hypoallergenic mittens” may be what users are searching for. Take a look at your Shop Stats to see what keywords pop up the most and use those in your product descriptions to drive even more sales.