So­cial me­dia pro: Etsy

LEARN HOW TO SELL YOUR BE­SPOKE PROD­UCTS TO THE MASSES.

TechLife Australia - - WELCOME - [ TIM BOTH­WELL ]

ALONG­SIDE THE RISE of the word wide web, on­line shop­ping is some­thing that con­tin­ues to grow in pop­u­lar­ity. Etsy is a global mar­ket­place of­fer­ing clothes, gifts, and one-of-a-kind goods sold by or­di­nary peo­ple just like you. While seem­ingly sim­i­lar to sites such as eBay, Etsy stands out from the crowd thanks to its heavy em­pha­sis on cre­ativ­ity — whether it’s unique jewellery, hand­crafted toys, even vin­tage fur­ni­ture. Think of Etsy like your lo­cal mar­kets, al­beit dig­i­tal. We’ve put to­gether a guide to find­ing the per­fect gift for that spe­cial some­one, along with the steps to set­ting up your very own on­line store.

THE BA­SICS

SIGN­ING UP. Reg­is­ter­ing for an ac­count on Etsy un­locks use­ful fea­tures such as the abil­ity to mes­sage shop own­ers, along with the op­tion to save prod­ucts as favourites. From the home­page click Reg­is­ter and en­ter your first name, email ad­dress and a pass­word, or al­ter­na­tively sign up us­ing your Google or Face­book ac­count. Once done, be sure to ver­ify your de­tails via the mes­sage sent to the email ad­dress you pro­vided.

BROWS­ING. If you’re un­sure where to start, the home­page of­fers a wealth of in­spi­ra­tion to help get you on your way. Sim­ply scroll to see a range of fea­tured prod­ucts and col­lec­tions cen­tred around dif­fer­ent themes and oc­ca­sions. At the top of the page you’ll find cat­e­gories rang­ing from fur­ni­ture, toys, and jewellery which you can use to nar­row down your search. Also on the home­page is a list of your re­cently viewed and favour­ited items.

BE­COM­ING A SHOP OWNER. Be­fore de­cid­ing to sell your prod­ucts on Etsy, it’s im­por­tant to con­sider a num­ber of the costs in­volved. Each item in your store is re­ferred to as a list­ing — Etsy charges AU$0.27 for ev­ery prod­uct you have ac­tive on the site, with in­di­vid­ual list­ings vis­i­ble to cus­tomers for a pe­riod of four months (un­less sold prior). It’s also im­por­tant to note that Etsy will take a 5% cut from ev­ery sale.

SET­TING UP SHOP. To cre­ate a store, click ‘Sell on Etsy’ at the top of any page. Start by choos­ing your shop’s lan­guage, coun­try and cur­rency. Next, you’ll need to come up with a unique store name — if what you want is al­ready taken, Etsy will sug­gest al­ter­na­tives. Af­ter de­cid­ing on a name, it’s time to add some prod­ucts to your page. Each list­ing re­quires a photo, ti­tle, de­scrip­tion and cat­e­gory, along with a list of tags and ship­ping in­for­ma­tion.

STEP IT UP A LEVEL

PRO­FILE. While by no means es­sen­tial, fill­ing out your pro­file will help oth­ers get to know both you and your cre­ative abil­i­ties. Click the edit but­ton on your pro­file and you’ll be taken to a page for adding a pic­ture, birth­day, and home city. There’s also space to write a brief bio — per­fect for list­ing any craft-based in­ter­ests you may have. A se­ries of check­boxes at the bot­tom of the page al­low you to ad­just what’s vis­i­ble on your pro­file.

SEARCH. When it comes to find­ing that unique one-of-a-kind gift, Etsy’s search tools are very im­pres­sive. You can look for both items and shop names, usu­ally with great ac­cu­racy — even searches such as ‘blue ar­cade cap’ pro­vide wor­thy sug­ges­tions. Searches can be sorted by rel­e­vance and cost, with the abil­ity to fur­ther fil­ter by cat­e­gory, ship­ping, price range and sale prod­ucts.

FAVOURITES. Keep­ing track of in­ter­est­ing prod­ucts and stores is easy thanks to the Favourites tool. While brows­ing, hover over an item’s thumb­nail to see a heart icon ap­pear. You can also favourite en­tire shops by click­ing the same icon dis­played on a store’s home­page. Lists go one step fur­ther, al­low­ing you to or­gan­ise your favourites into a se­ries of col­lec­tions — to do this, visit a prod­uct’s web­page, click the heart icon and select ‘Add to list’ which ap­pears at the bot­tom of your browser.

SEC­TIONS. Many stores will have their prod­ucts or­gan­ised into dif­fer­ent cat­e­gories for eas­ier brows­ing. This will be vis­i­ble on the left-hand side of a shop’s home­page. You can cre­ate cat­e­gories in your own store by nav­i­gat­ing to the list­ings sec­tion of Etsy’s shop man­ager.

RE­VIEWS. While many of us have been raised not to trust ev­ery 5-star re­view we read, you’ll be more con­fi­dent know­ing that re­views on Etsy can only be made by those who ac­tu­ally pur­chase the prod­uct in ques­tion. Hence, if you’re feel­ing overly sat­is­fied (or dis­sat­is­fied) with a pur­chase, then it’s best to leave a rat­ing, which can be done by click­ing your pro­file icon and se­lect­ing Pur­chases and re­views.

CON­VER­SA­TIONS. Etsy makes it easy to get in touch with sell­ers to ask ques­tions or en­quire about an ex­ist­ing or­der. To send a mes­sage, visit a store’s web­page and click Con­tact un­der­neath the shop’s logo. You can also en­quire about a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct by click­ing ‘Ask a ques­tion’ next to it’s list­ing. To ac­cess your mes­sages, click the pro­file icon in the top-right of any page and select Con­ver­sa­tions.

GO­ING PRO

ED­I­TORS’ PICKS. With so many prod­ucts to choose from, some­times de­cid­ing what to buy can be a lit­tle over­whelm­ing. Luck­ily Etsy reg­u­larly pro­vides cu­rated col­lec­tions of prod­ucts com­ing from dif­fer­ent sell­ers on the site. Ed­i­tors’ Picks are or­gan­ised around top­ics such as tech, wed­dings, and gifts for him/her. You can ac­cess a full list of picks by click­ing the ‘See More’ op­tion in the col­lec­tions sec­tion of the home­page.

CUS­TOMI­SA­TION. Many of the prod­ucts sold on Etsy are made to be per­son­alised — whether it’s en­graved cuff­links, an em­broi­dered purse or a cus­tomised cut­ting board, you’ll find it here. For the ma­jor­ity of these items you’ll need to add a per­son­al­i­sa­tion re­quest in the ‘note to seller’ box at check­out.

TEAMS. A fea­ture com­mon on many of to­day’s so­cial net­works, Teams (like groups) are pages set up by Etsy users who are pas­sion­ate about a par­tic­u­lar topic or in­ter­est. Ex­am­ples in­clude those who are fans of tie dye, or mo­tor­bikes, even Hal­loween.

SALES. Hold­ing a sale is a great way to get peo­ple buy­ing your prod­ucts, as well as to help clear out old stock. Etsy pro­vides shop own­ers the abil­ity to of­fer cus­tomers a per­cent­age dis­count or free ship­ping. You can also set up coupon codes to be sent to users who’ve added your prod­uct to their cart, or re­cently placed one in their favourites.

RE­FUNDS. It’s im­por­tant to check what the re­turns pol­icy is for each store. While many sell­ers are happy to ac­cept re­turns, this won’t al­ways be the case (es­pe­cially for cus­tom-made or­ders). You’ll also need to take into ac­count any ad­di­tional ship­ping costs in­volved, es­pe­cially when pur­chas­ing from over­seas.

FO­RUMS. As a plat­form that thrives off a com­mu­nity of cre­atives, it’s not sur­pris­ing then that the site of­fers a fo­rum open for dis­cus­sion about both Etsy and beyond. Con­ver­sa­tions range from how to use var­i­ous fea­tures of the site, ways to run a suc­cess­ful store, even dis­cus­sions on the dif­fer­ence be­tween vin­tage and hand­made.

WHILE MANY SELL­ERS ARE HAPPY TO AC­CEPT RE­TURNS, THIS WON’T AL­WAYS BE THE CASE. YOU’LL ALSO NEED TO TAKE INTO AC­COUNT ANY AD­DI­TIONAL SHIP­PING COSTS IN­VOLVED, ES­PE­CIALLY WHEN PUR­CHAS­ING FROM OVER­SEAS.

To reg­is­ter, en­ter your first name, email ad­dress, and a pass­word.

On the home­page you’ll find a wide range of prod­ucts and col­lec­tions from sell­ers on the site.

Etsy will sug­gest a num­ber of al­ter­na­tives if the store name you want is al­ready taken.

Fill­ing out your pro­file will help oth­ers get to know you.

You can fil­ter your search by cat­e­gory, price and ship­ping costs.

Many stores or­gan­ise their prod­ucts into cat­e­gories for eas­ier brows­ing.

Prod­uct re­views can only be writ­ten by those who’ve ac­tu­ally pur­chased the item in ques­tion.

Or­gan­ise your favourite prod­ucts into dif­fer­ent lists.

Get in touch with sell­ers to ask ques­tions about their prod­ucts.

Visit the fo­rum to join in on the var­i­ous dis­cus­sions hap­pen­ing on the site.

Be sure to check a store’s re­turn pol­icy be­fore part­ing ways with your money.

On Etsy you’ll find cu­rated col­lec­tions based around a par­tic­u­lar theme or topic.

Get peo­ple through the door by of­fer­ing them a dis­count.

Many prod­ucts on Etsy can be cus­tomised.

Teams al­low you to con­nect and en­gage with fel­low users that have sim­i­lar in­ter­ests.

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