Etsy is an e-commerce website, rather like an online craft fair. Each vendor has their own virtual shop-front and the focus is on selling hand-made items, toys, vintage items, food, clothing, jewellery, beauty products and craft-making equipment.
At 20 years old, Etsy has provided many users with a supplemental income or, in some instances, full-time business opportunities. If you are considering starting an Etsy business, then take a look at our list of top tips to help get you on your way:
1. For many users, Etsy is a pleasurable hobby that makes them a bit of cash on the side. However, if you approach the enterprise as a hobby, then this will be reflected in your earnings. To start an Etsy business, you need to think like a business owner. You need a business plan, just as if you were starting up a more traditional enterprise.
2. Just as if you were setting up a ‘real life’ shop, you will need to do your research. You’ve got start-up costs, marketing and product costs to consider. Fortunately, the internet is packed with resources, so ask yourself the same questions that you would if you were starting any other form of business and hit the Internet to find your answers.
There are even Etsy forums online, so you can talk directly to other vendors and learn from their experiences. In addition to finding out how much you need to invest, you should also get a good idea as to which products and services sell and which don’t.
3. As an Etsy vendor you might be a one-man (or lady) band, but it’s still vitally important to stay on top of your finances. Booking software such as Intuit QuickBooks can help you keep track of what’s going out and what’s coming in – essential if you’re going to have any idea of how your Etsy business is performing. There are various types of invoice software available, so if you’re not a natural accountant, then look for those that are easy to use, jargon-free and that simplify the task.
4. Etsy is a competitive marketplace, so you’ll need to make sure that you achieve ‘Goldilocks pricing’ for your products; you need to choose the price that is just right. A good idea is to set yourself a bottom-line price – the price that, if everything goes belly-up, will ensure that you at least break even.
Factor in costs such as product development, the price of manufacture, supply and raw materials and use this as your starting price. A little research will tell you what the most is you can charge and then you can make an informed decision as to what price to apportion to what you have to offer. Use low-cost and free advertising through social media to bring in new customers cheaply and be smart with creative ways to drive traffic to your sales pages.
5. It’s often the obvious things that escape us. Be clear in what you offer your customer in terms of delivery charges, delivery times, your returns policy and the type of payments you accept. It’s also worth adding a word about online security. In a world where internet theft is on the increase, people are far more likely to buy from a vendor who’s gone the extra mile on ensuring his customer’s online safety.
Author: Carlo Pandian is a freelance writer for blogs about making money online, management and technology. He loves sharing entrepreneurial tips with the Australian community of Home Business Hub providing great insights on new sales channels.