You’ve opened your Etsy store, you’re really excited to get make your first sale, and… crickets. No one has bought anything yet. Don’t worry -- Rome wasn’t built in a day!
We know it can be daunting to start a business online. Many people try and fail every day. But it often comes down to what you know before you jump into the deep end.
This guide will help you make your first sale on Etsy, and also help you increase sales once you’ve secured your first customer.
Read this guide to learn...
- What to do before you make a product listing.
- 10 tips for how to sell your first product on Etsy.
- 6 tools to help you work faster and sell more.
Once you’re armed with this knowledge, you’ll be on your way to turn strangers into customers and build a successful Etsy store.
What to do before you sell on Etsy
Before we dive into the nitty-gritty on how to make your first sale, it’s important to do a bit of preparation work. Here are two things to consider before you create your product listing.
1. Create a product that people want
It might be an obvious point to make, but what seems like a great idea to you might not have value to others. Do some market research to see if there’s an actual demand for your Etsy product.
Try to identify a niche you can establish yourself in if other sellers already offer your type of product. Find out how much demand there is for your particular niche before you commit to it.
2. Analyze your competition
Chances are there will already be established competitors in your product category. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you can learn from both their successes and their mistakes.
Analyze your competition by making a note of what works for them and what doesn’t work. Find out who their target audience is by looking at their customers. What do you have in common?
10 tips for how to get your first sale on Etsy
Have you researched the market and found your niche? Then it’s time for some tips on how to sell on Etsy. Each of the following ten tips will get you one step closer to getting a happy customer.
1. Use high-quality photos
You should always use high-resolution photos of your products. Not only do they look more professional, but they’ll also help sell your items.
Hire a professional product photographer if you can afford it, or watch a YouTube tutorial on how to take a good photo with your smartphone.
You can also use a free design tool like Canva to add cool fonts and other elements to your product images. Or why not try Remove, which can remove the background of any image so you can customize it with your own.
2. Write compelling copy
A picture paints a thousand words, but the words next to it close the deal. Describe why your product is amazing, what problems it solves (if any), and how it will make the buyer feel.
Read a few guides on how to write compelling product descriptions if you’re not a strong writer. Etsy has a dedicated guide for how to write product descriptions that will help you.
Most importantly, you should never assume the sale. End with a strong call-to-action that clearly explains what the reader has to do next to buy the product.
3. Optimize for search engines
When people search for Etsy products like yours, they’ll type in certain words and phrases. The more of these keywords you include in your product copy, the likelier you are to be found.
Keywords are how to get noticed on Etsy.
Many of the search terms and keywords will be obvious -- just imagine what you’d type in yourself. Others won’t be as obvious, and you might want to use a keyword tool.
4. Build trust
Although Etsy is an established online marketplace, you’re still a stranger on the Internet. It’s important to be as transparent as possible if you want to build trust with your customers.
One way to do that is to fill out the About section on your Etsy store will all your details. Explain who you are, what you do, and why you think the reader will love your products.
Another way to build trust is to have clearly stated shop policies for your Etsy store. People want to know what happens if the product arrives damaged and they want to return it.
5. Expand your catalog
You can’t read the mind of Etsy customers no matter how hard you try. You don’t know what they’re looking for, so it’s sometimes a hit and miss scenario.
But you can increase your chances of making a sale by expanding your catalog. The more products you have the more likely you’ll have something visitors want.
6. Include free shipping
No matter how good of a deal you offer customers, it’s always a downer to find out that an extra delivery charge will be tacked on. It’s enough for some customers to abandon their cart.
But you need to cover your shipping costs, so what do you do? Include it in the price. That way, the customer is happy and you’re not out of pocket.
As of 2019, Etsy actually prioritizes products with free shipping in the search results. So now you have two reasons to include it if you want to make your first sale.
7. Promote on social media
Social media how most businesses market themselves. The good news is that you don’t have to be a Facebook Ads expert to promote your Etsy store online.
Your social media marketing strategy can be as simple as sharing your product photos with a link to your store for anyone who’s interested. Visual social media platforms like Instagram and Pinterest are particularly good for promoting Etsy items.
8. Create sales and coupons
Everyone loves a good discount, and Etsy allows you to add a variety of coupon and sales offers to your store. Use them to drive traffic and increase the likelihood of making a sale.
You can also send a compelling email to your friends and family with the discount and ask them to help you out by becoming your first customers.
9. Provide excellent customer service
Making a sale is not always straightforward. People might have questions to ask you even if you’ve written clear product descriptions and used high-resolution images.
Make sure you reply to any and all inquiries and use it as an opportunity to make the sale. Don’t be pushy, but explain the value of your products and why they’ll enjoy them.
10. Use Etsy’s ad platform
Finally, you can promote your products with an Etsy Ads Campaign. It’ll cost you money upfront, so you have to be willing to take a risk. But the rewards can be great if you do it right.
Tools to help you sell on Etsy
Knowledge is half the battle, but it doesn’t hurt to bring a toolkit along. Fortunately, there are quite a few online tools you can use to help you sell your first item on Etsy.
1. Fee calculator
How much does it cost to sell on Etsy? If you’re not sure how to calculate how much you take home, then try using an Etsy fees calculator. It’ll help you get the exact figures you need.
Remember the keywords we mentioned earlier? Marmalead is a handy tool that’ll help you identify the best keywords to use for your product pages. No SEO expertise needed!
Although Etsy offers a relatively convenient shipping solution, it’s not your only option. Stamps.com lets you print your own shipping labels at home. All you need is a printer.
You don’t need to learn Photoshop or hire a graphic designer to help you with product images. There are loads of free graphic design templates on Canva that you can customize.
It’s handy to have a social media scheduling tool if you want to promote your products on more than one platform. Buffer lets you do exactly that and comes with both paid and free options.
It can be very labor-intensive to research your competition and find out which products sell best on Etsy. But you can cut that work down to seconds by using a tool like Alura to help you.
Time to make those Etsy sales
You now have ten tips for how to sell on Etsy successfully and six tools to help you make your store a success. That already puts you head-and-shoulder above most of your competition.
Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered:
- Research your competition and market.
- Find a niche and expand your product catalog.
- Use high-quality photos and compelling copy.
- Include popular keywords and search terms.
- Build trust and provide good customer service.
- Promote on social media and consider Etsy ads.
Still in the beginning stages?
- Check out our guide on How to open an Etsy shop – A Definitive Beginner’s Guide to learn the basics
- Want to know how to get more sales on Etsy? Check out What can be sold on Etsy? for more product ideas.