“Etsy puts their sellers first. It is refreshing and eye-opening to see a company that cares so much about their sellers.” -Valerie, Marvelista Studio
Etsy is a popular reselling marketplace with approximately 31.7 million active buyers worldwide. Etsy is a rapidly growing and expanding international platform. The top-selling category is handmade items, and you can also sell vintage apparel, and decor and craft supplies.
To learn about Etsy terms and conditions, seller fees, shipping policies, and how to create an account, check out the article: A Reseller’s Guide to Etsy: How to Start Selling on Etsy
Recently, I interviewed Etsy Star Seller Valerie Micheals, owner of Marvelista Studio, and learned some of her best tips and tricks for selling on Etsy.
You might also be interested in the article 8 Great Marketplaces Every Reseller Should Consider
How to Get Started Selling on Etsy
While any new marketplace can seem intimidating, selling on Etsy is super simple and straightforward. While the Etsy listing fee might be a turnoff, it is only twenty cents, a minimal investment to sell on a rapidly growing marketplace. Similarly, Etsy only takes 5% upon sale! Etsy has the lowest fees of any reselling platform.
Etsy is a super simple platform to sell with only three selling categories:
Selling Handmade items on Etsy is the best way to get started. Handmade items are those made by the seller and range from clothing to décor and everything in between (including digital downloads).
Valerie explains that her Etsy merchandise is greatly influenced by current trends and seasons. “Holidays are a huge deal on Etsy” she explained, and major holidays can be the most lucrative time for Etsy sellers.
Valerie is an incredibly talented artist and has her illustrations printed on apparel, accessories, and home decor. She explains that she sells more wearable items such as stickers and apparel than stationary decor:
“Illustrations that you hang on the wall are fun, but people like to buy something where they can be part of the art- live and wear it, and interact with it. It adds another level to your artwork; it becomes a part of someone’s life” -Valerie, Marvelista Studio
Selling Vintage on Etsy is another great way to grow your Etsy shop and customer base. You can sell vintage decor and apparel at least twenty years old, for which you can provide authentication of age. “Etsy is really picky with vintage; if your items do not look old they will remove your listings and request proof of age.” Be sure that the pieces that you are selling on Etsy are most definitely genuine vintage.
Selling Craft Supplies on Etsy can be very lucrative; Valerie explains that Etsy sellers love to support and purchase from other Etsy sellers. Craft supplies include “tools, ingredients, and materials whose primary purpose is for use in the creation of an item or special occasion” (including party supplies).
Valerie warns that many Etsy sellers are professional crafters and will not pay up extreme amounts for supplies as they recognize the value. She explained that if you have a wholesale source for supplies, you will likely be more successful selling craft supplies than if you attempt retail arbitrage at your local craft stores.
What to Sell on Etsy
Competition is hot on Etsy. A quick search will reveal that many sellers are selling similar if not identical items in their Etsy shops. Valerie emphasized that it is important to set yourself apart by selling unique items:
Question: In these days when everyone has a Cricut machine, how do you create Etsy listings that stand out?
Valerie: On Etsy, there are so many people selling the same product. Find something unique, do something true to yourself. I highly recommend that you forget everything you see and make something of your own that reflects your own interests.”
Rather than using the downloadable fonts provided on Cricut or word processors, Valerie suggests getting creative, and adding a personal touch by using your own handwriting. Anything that you can do to set yourself aside is essential in a sea of pretty crafts.
How to Create Better Etsy Listings
The best tips for your listings from an Etsy Star Seller include:
1. List Consistently:
Like all reselling platforms, the Etsy algorithm likes when you list items regularly.
2. Use Vendoo to Crosslist to Etsy:
In just seconds, you can get your listings on Etsy and start making sales!
3. Enhance Search Engine Optimization (SEO):
With descriptions rich in keywords and hashtags.
4. Create Beautiful Listings:
Make sure to present your items beautifully in photographs.
5. Execute All Listing Fields:
This is important to achieve better results and search-ability.
6. Provide Great Customer Service:
Etsy buyers are incredibly supportive and proud to support small businesses.
7. Consider Etsy Marketing Ads:
You can use them to promote your listings across search engines and social media. They are inexpensive and expand your customer reach!
8. Price Appropriately and competitively.
How to Price your Items on Etsy
I asked Valerie how she prices her items on Etsy, being that there aren’t necessarily comps on unique, handmade items. She suggested that you “Look at similar things, think about what you would pay as a consumer… so much of art is about perceived value, and part of the pricing strategy is ‘What do you determine your perceived value to be?’ and ‘Can you convince your customer to perceive the value?’
Valerie explained that pricing of art is a complex and philosophical topic that essentially comes down to respecting your craft, and marketing and presenting your items in a way that demonstrates their value.
In addition to the Vendoo Blog and the full interview with Valerie, she recommends checking out the Facebook Group “Etsy Underachievers” and the Etsy Club on Clubhouse to network with other resellers, ask questions, and learn more about how to grow and scale your Etsy business.
Etsy is a great place to sell and connect with people all over the world. Valerie explains that the “customers are so amazing, and the appreciation they have for what we do blows my mind. They’re happy to support a small business.” While you don’t often hear someone excitedly proclaim, “I got this on eBay”, Etsy buyers are proud to show off their Etsy finds and support small businesses and sustainable shops.
Check out the full interview with Valerie on Vendoo’s Seller Spotlight!