March 12, 2013 in Smart Money

4 tips for selling items on Etsy

With the growing prominence of Etsy, anyone can open a virtual store selling handmade goods. Here are four expert tips to make your Etsy selling experience profitable.

Charge more

While it may seem counterintuitive, you may increase sales by raising your prices. Michelle Kann of Celadon Home says that people buying customized wedding gifts through her site feel they should spend a certain amount for the gift. After raising her prices, sales went up.

While you have to be realistic about what people will pay, says Polina Zismanova of Po-Zi Designs, don’t be afraid to charge more for unique items. “People think of it as more exclusive,” she says.

Photos are important

For a visual site such as Etsy, the photography represents the quality of your item. Use a simple background and make sure the item is in sharp focus. If necessary, “Photoshop” the picture to improve the image without creating a false impression of the product you’re selling and compromising your brand. “I notice when other people’s pictures aren’t good. It tells me that they don’t care enough to make it look nice,” says Zismanova.

Use natural light (no flash), so the color is accurate, says Marcia Layton Turner, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Selling Your Crafts on Etsy.

Standardize shipping

Packaging your item can be time-consuming, as is figuring out shipping costs by weight, box size and destination. Standardize your shipping by using Priority Mail Flat Rate boxes from the U.S. Postal Service. Buy a postal scale for smaller items, and use your bathroom scale for larger ones, so you can weigh and ship items from home, avoiding the post office.

Customer service is king

If a buyer is unhappy, “just take the item back give a refund,” says Turner. “If the color was wrong and you have something that was closer, give them an alternative. You’re more likely to get positive feedback.”

The feedback system affects sales, says Kann. Potential buyers look at that. “I will bend over backward to make sure someone is happy to prevent a negative review.

Do you have any tips for selling on Etsy? Share them in our comments section.