How to List an Item on Etsy

Once you become a registered seller on Etsy, it’s time to list items for sale. From choosing an attractive title to uploading images of your treasures, there are a lot of factors to consider when listing an item. Don’t worry, after a couple of listings – you’re sure to get the hang of it.

Step 1: Details of an Item

When listing an item on Etsy, you will need to create a title, write a description, and list materials. First, choose a descriptive short title that will catch the attention of shoppers. Keep in mind that the maximum number of characters you can use for a title is 155. Next, you will describe your item. Include information about the size and how it was made. This is also your chance to highlight any special features. Lastly, list the materials used to create the item. You can use single or compound words, such as “gold fillings,” “pearl,” and “silver chain.”

Step 2: Tag and Categorize

Item listings need to be tagged and categorized. Tags are keywords that assist shoppers in locating the items they wish to purchase. Use tags that are accurate and relevant to your item. For example, if your item is not vintage, do not use the tag ‘vintage jewelry.’ Some crafters choose suggestions from Etsy for their tags, while others create their own.

From the dropdown menu, select a top-level category that best fits your item. The Category will automatically become the first tag in your listing. Categories include handmade items, vintage (handmade or non-handmade items that are at least 20 years old), and supplies for crafting. Non-handmade supplies can also be listed as supplies, but must be tagged as ‘commercial.’ Etsy only allows up to 14 tags per listing.

Step 3: Selling Info

The price, quantity and shipping information is included in the selling info. First, enter the cost of an item (not including shipping fees). Next, enter in the quantity of the item. For example, if you are selling 3 bars of coconut-scented soap, increase the quantity in stock for the listing. As you sell the soap, the quantity in stock will go down on its own. You will be charged a listing fee of $0.20 per quantity in stock for the listing.

Place the item listing in a shop section by choosing from the dropdown menu or creating a brand new section. The coconut soap could be included in a section called Tropical Scents. Choose the forms of payment you will accept (personal check, money order, PayPal and/or other). Lastly, indicate the shipping information for the item.

Step 4: Images

Many shoppers purchase items from Etsy just from the image alone. You can add up to five images for each listing. The photos must measure at least 430 pixels wide with varying heights. Images should not measure more than 1000 pixels wide or high. When you add images for a listing, Etsy will automatically resize and crop from the center for square thumbnails and rectangular gallery view images. Keep in mind that the first uploaded image is used as the main thumbnail that shoppers will see in a search.

Step 5: Review and Post

The last step to listing an item on Etsy is to preview. Look over all of the details to make sure it is accurate. You can click on the pencil icon to revise a listing before it is posted. Once you have looked over the information, click the Finish button to announce to shoppers that you have an item for sale on Etsy.

Taking Pictures on Etsy: How to Make a Light Box

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take eye-catching, clean images for your Etsy listings. To enhance the images of your listings, consider an inexpensive, relatively easy do-it-yourself project – make a light box (or light tent). With a few simple materials, you can be well on your way to taking the snapshots that sell.

Materials

A plain ol’ cardboard box will serve as the main ingredient to creating a light tent. Any size is fine as long as it will accommodate the kinds of items you intend on selling. It is suggested to choose a box that is as square as it can be. Use one of your old boxes or pick up one discarded at the local grocery store. Any type of fabric, such as white muslin, is needed to cover the entire light box. Visit an arts and craft store (like Hobby Lobby or Michael’s).

Masking tape is used to attach the fabric to the sides of the box, whereas glue stick or spray adhesive will stick the lining to the box. White Bristol board will line the inside of the light box and also serves as the background. Purchase 2 to 3 sheets, which are cut up to form the lining. If you have a large box, you may need more. Bristol board is a heavyweight paper (.006″ thick) that is commonly used by artists. If you want to use colored backgrounds for your images, purchase different shades of Bristol board.

When making a light box, of course you’ll need lights. It is the lighting that will determine the success of your images. Keep in mind that using regular light bulbs will cast a yellow light, which is why it is suggested to purchase “daylight” bulbs at a hardware store. You can seek any “full spectrum” light bulb for this project. One of the easiest lighting fixtures for your light box is a desk work lamp. Other miscellaneous items to have on hand include a tape measure, straight edge ruler, marker, scissors, and knife.

Directions

1. With a tape measure and market, measure in 2″ from the side of the box – making multiple dots around the box with your marker. A border will form after you connect the dots using a straight edge ruler. You will have created a square or rectangle in the middle of the box with a 2″ border surrounding it. Repeat this on all sides of the box – leaving the top and bottom of the box alone.

2. Cut out the boxes you have drawn. After completion, cut off the top of the box and remove the flaps. The bottom of the box stays intact.

3. Make lines with your marker for every two inches (16 times) on your Bristol board. Cut out 16 strips with your scissors.

4. Glue the paper strips onto the inside of the box (covering the cardboard borders). Make sure the side with marker goes against the cardboard and is not seen.

5. Take another Bristol board and cut it to match the width of the inside of the box. The length will be much longer than the box.

6. Place the long piece of Bristol board into the box so that the paper curves to the bottom. Do not create a crease, as this will affect your photos. Cut the excess paper that is sticking out of the top.

7. Cut the fabric so that it will cover the holes in the box. Cut a large piece that will cover the top of the box. Tape the fabric to cover the holes except for the one that is facing the background. The last piece of fabric to attach is the one covering the top of the box.

8. Before inserting your item into the light tent and taking pictures for Etsy images, position the desk map over the top of the box.

The Ins and Outs of Etsy Feedback

Feedback on Etsy is one of the best ways to establish a reputation as a crafter who offers quality goods and who can be trusted as a seller. Every transaction gives both buyers and sellers an opportunity to leave feedback. Since feedback directly affects the reputation of a member, it is important to stay consistent, fair, and honest with your opinions.

Etsy Ratings

Whenever someone makes a purchase from your Etsy shop, they are asked to submit a rating: positive, neutral or negative. There is also a space for an optional comment. A buyer may say that the jewelry shipped fast, the cranberry soap smells amazing, or the T-shirt fit their daughter perfectly. If you’ve really knocked their socks off, the shopper may submit an optional Customer Appreciation Photo.

Time Frame

Etsy feedback can be submitted for up to 120 days after the date of the transaction or until the seller has canceled a transaction – usually in the case of void or invalid sales. After 120 days has passed, the option to leave feedback expires and cannot be restored.

Etsy Feedback Details

Keep in mind that positive-rated feedback cannot be edited or removed after submission. This also includes the optional comment and Customer Appreciation Photo.

Negative- or neutral-rated feedback may be changed to a positive rating when both parties agree. Etsy offers the “Kiss and Make Up” feature, which allows shoppers and buyers to work out their differences. If you have received negative or neutral feedback for a canceled transaction, the Kiss and Make Up is not available. However, this Etsy feedback can still be removed only if the shopper contacts Etsy support.

Members may ask Etsy to review feedback for removal by contacting support. Etsy will not investigate whether or not opinions or statements made in feedback are valid. They will only remove or alter feedback if a member includes personally identifying or private information (such as real name or physical address), mature or racist language, inappropriate images, spam, links, or outside advertising.

6 Tips for Beginners Running a Home Crafts Business

When you’re ready to make a little extra money at home or transform a hobby into a full-fledged crafts business, there are a handful of ways to prepare for this new adventure. Are you ready for the groundwork and organization it takes to run a crafts business at home? Before you get started, there are a few things that all beginners should know before they dedicate their time, energy and resources to the competitive world of crafting.

1. Determine Money-Making Potential

For the majority of beginners, the point of running a crafts business at home is to turn a profit. Whether you’re a wizard at crocheting baby blankets or making organic lotions for sensitive skin, you have to ask yourself if your craft is something that customers need. Your crafts business will be a success if you provide goods that serve a purpose, which translates into sales. Will there be a demand for what you have to offer?

2. Do your Homework

Before establishing a home-based crafts business, one of the first things to do is research the basic market. After establishing the demand for your crafts, pinpoint the type of people who will most likely purchase your goods. This will also come in handy when making advertising decisions. Identify the places where your potential customers will live – think of local, regional, national and global interests. Research the average price of similar products.

3. Are You Unique?

Since there are thousands of crafts businesses competing for the attention of consumers, it is important to stand out from the rest. To succeed in the industry, you must offer something unique and in many cases – one-of-a-kind crafts. For example, if you make beaded necklaces – what sets your creations apart from the thousands of other jewelry makers? Do you use a special technique, exotic stone, or offer an intricate pattern? Recognize your competition and analyze what makes their business work. This doesn’t mean the same formula will work for you, but you can get an idea on how to become a better business within your industry.

4. Test Out the Demand

It’s hard for many crafters to take a step back from their creations and assess the true demand for their product. When you’re looking for constructive criticism, call upon friends and family to lend a hand. Seek out five to ten of the most honest loved ones who will give you the best opinions. Also, pick people who most likely shop for the kinds of products that you offer. For instance, if you sew baby outfits, ask new parents for their opinions. Interview each loved one on an individual basis. Ask them what they like about your products, if any improvements are needed, if they have any concerns, and would they give your product as a gift.

5. Set a Competitive Price

Once you’ve assessed if there is demand for your product, you’re going to need a competitive price. One of the easiest ways to create a price range is to follow the lead of competitors. Take notes of an acceptable range for highest and lowest dollar amount. Keep in mind that your prices will fluctuate throughout the lifetime of your crafts business.

6. Sell Beyond the Internet

The Internet is not the only place to sell your crafts when starting a small business at home. Many crafters find success in setting up a booth at a local craft fair, farmer’s market, and other venues. Approach local shops that sell gifts, art and other trinkets. Ask the store manager if they’d be willing to carry one of your lines.

Increase Your Etsy Shop Exposure with Bloggers

Let’s say you’ve added listings to your shop, purchased space for an online directory, passed out business cards, and followed all other usual advertising routes. However, you’re still not happy with the traffic to your online shop. When looking to increase exposure for your Etsy shop, you may want to enlist the help of the blogging community. A few suggestions include:

Purchase Ad Space

Many bloggers sell ad space to “pay the bills” of their website. Some ads (including text links, web buttons, and banners) are paid monthly, while others can be purchased for a year at a discounted price.

Solicit Reviews

It’s easy to slip through the cracks of online advertising. For starters, you only have a few seconds to truly capture the attention of a buyer. To make matters worse, you are competing with millions of other crafters scattered all over the world.

How do you develop a loyal base without burning a hole through your budget? One way is to offer free samples or goods to bloggers in return for an honest review of your product. They get to try out your goods for free and offer interesting material to their readers, while you enjoy exposure to potential clients. Many bloggers also take photos using or wearing your product, which leaves a valuable impression on consumers.

To make the most out of your reviews, seek active bloggers – the ones who post on a regular basis, engage with others on Twitter, and update their Facebook statuses. Don’t know where to start? There are plenty of online services that connect businesses with bloggers interested in promoting your products. A Google search can also point you in the right direction to find bloggers with growing readerships filled with potential buyers.

Host a Giveaway

What is one thing that catches a person’s attention and speaks to the senses of savvy shoppers? Free stuff! Increase your Etsy shop exposure by allowing a blog to host a giveaway featuring one of your products. From handmade candles to a necklace/earring set, the variety of blog giveaways marketing Etsy shops is endless. When working with a blogger, make sure one of the mandatory entries is to visit your shop and share an item that they like most. This will also give you an idea of the goods that truly appeal to the public.

The Art of Soap Book and Giveaway – CLOSED

Today I’d like to introduce you to “The Art of Soap” book!

It was written by Debbie Chialtas and has just been published! It’s hot off the presses! It showcases stunning images and personal stories of 24 remarkable soap makers from around the world, from Australia to Taiwan to Canada and U.S.

Here is a quick peek inside (the excerpt is featuring SV Soaps). 

Priced at $34.99, this beautiful book can be yours free if you are the lucky winner of this giveaway!

For those of you who cannot wait or would like to purchase this book as a gift for someone else, please visit artofsoap.com .

GIVEAWAY

This giveaway is open to US residents only.

Prize: 1 “The Art of Soap” book

How to enter (required): leave a comment telling us your favorite fragrance in soap.

For additional entries (leave a new comment for each additional entry):

– one additional entry if you join us on Facebook;
– one additional entry if you follow us on Twitter;
– one additional entry if you send a tweet about this giveaway, please post the link (once a day only);
– one additional entry if you blog about this Giveaway with a link back to Craftsyble.com and artofsoap.com
– one additional entry if you follow Craftsyble via email.
– one additional entry if you join our Google Friend Connect (on the sidebar);
– one additional entry if you join our Flickr group.

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The giveaway ends on Nov. 20, 2010 at 10 pm, Pacific Standard Time. The author will ship the prize directly to the winner.

*Please make sure you leave a comment for each additional entry so you get credited.
*Also, please make sure you typed in the correct email address.
*The winner will be announced via e-mail and has 2 days to get back to us or other name will be chosen.
*Incomplete entries will be disqualified and deleted.

Interview with Grace Anker

photo courtesy of potterswheelny.com

Today’s guest is Ms. Grace Anker from “The Potter’s Wheel” in Kew Gardens, New York. I absolutely love her work and I want to share her story. Here is our interview:

What made you choose ceramics?

Raised with old-world values, I was introduced to needle crafts at the age of four or five.  It gave me great pleasure to use my hands to create intricate patterns and to construct  decorative and functional pieces – everything from toys and clothing, to wall hangings, to table linens and bedding.

By chance, while in my early twenties, I happened upon a pottery studio in midtown Manhattan.  I immediately took to it, but soon found little time for it when raising a family.  Nearly, thirty years later, I found myself enrolling in a wheel class, and I haven’t stopped since. The clay inspires me and helps me center focus my energy and imagination.

2. If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?

Easy! I would have never stopped potting, but then again, it may have all happened for a reason.

 3. What’s the best advice you would give to someone who is just starting pottery?

What I tell beginners is to have patience and give themselves time to develop their style.  Patience means to focus the “now” – creating in clay being a lengthy process – each step is important.

soap dishes by Grace Anker
soap dishes by Grace Anker

4. What accomplishment is the closest to your heart?

That is so hard to answer because I am so passionate about creating, however, what I deeply prize are the stamped cylinders I’ve created over the years. I often incorporate the textured surfaces some of which resemble textile and others that evoke the graphic patterns of Gustave Klimt, the Austrian Impressionist.

5. What are you up to now? What are you working on these days?

My work centers on three distinct forms – platters, vessels, and tiles. It is constantly fresh for me and recently animals and landscapes are figuring into the designs.

6. Where can we find you?

I can be found at graceanker.etsy.com , on Twitter @platterpotter and at the teaching studio potterswheelny.com