Friday, October 02, 2009

Etsy - Jazzin' up your shop

So you've now got your etsy, and paypal account set up - You've got lots of gorgeously photographed iems to post - but something is missing to tie everything together.

You need a banner for one, and a nice little avatar. I mentioned the importance of branding once before. In a retail bricks and mortar setting, this generally means your packaging. Online, it's your image - What does your banner and avatar say about your business? If your banner isn't up to snuff, your whole shop will have a very unprofessional look. Those of you who have graphic design skills will find this a very simple task. Not all of us do, myself included. Instead of futzing around for ages trying to do it myself - I paid someone else to do it for me!

For a fairly small fee (under $100) I got a banner, an avatar, a business card, a sticker design to put on my jewelry boxes, and an image I can use for jewelry cards. Pretty nifty :-) I saved myself a huge amount of hassle, and headaches. I'm happy with mine, for what I'm using it for (selling the odd bead, or piece of jewelry here and there) If I was more serious with my jewelry, and wanted to take it in to stores - it wouldn't be quite so cutesy.

Here's a screenshot of my jennifertough etsy shop

What you do want to ensure is that your store look fits you. Does it work with the type of products your selling?

If you want to do it yourself - Read up on the specifications on etsy regarding file sizes for your banner and avatar, and make sure they fit properly, and are the correct resolution. Nothing looks worse than stretched or pixilated images.

If you want to get someone else to do it - Search on etsy for "etsy business package" there are a ton of people out there creating banners and such for blogs and etsy sites. Be sure to look at feedback carefully - and keep in mind the old adage...You get what you pay for! Beware of those who seem to be charging way too little for their services. You probably won't be happy with the outcome.

Business cards - get some! They're cheap, and hand them out to everyone you know! Etsy is a great place to sell, but remember you need to promote yourself. Etsy is definately not a simple case of if you build it - they will come. You need to promote yourself, and your business outside of etsy at every opportunity (without spamming and being annoying of course) It's a fine line sometimes! Get on facebook, write a blog, join forums, post your photos on flickr, tweet - you name it. It's time consuming, but the most successful sellers on etsy have managed to get themselves noticed.

I think that's about it. Lets here your comments - anything else you want me to cover?


Anonymous said...

Any advice on how to ship items to customers?
Thanks, Shannon

Anonymous said...

Any advice on how to ship to customers?

jen said...

I think I covered a bit on shipping in a previous post - but to recap - Definately use paypal's shipping option. Your packages will arrive much faster than if you just take it to the post office.

An interesting thing to note - is that it is actually cheaper in most cases to ship to the US than to Canada- ya gotta love our postal system (snort) If you have an expensive, or one of a kind item. The best way to ship is via express post. Anyone buying a luxury item online, will probably not mind paying the additional shipping fees.

You can also set up an account with UPS if you are shipping a fair bit. The prices for ground UPS are quite reasonable. And there is an option for under $200 packages to go through without you or the recipient having to pay brokerage fees.

Dolores said...

What is an avatar? Never heard the word before.

jen said...

Hi Dolores,

An avatar is small picture that represents you, or your shop. It's generally small, and it was first used in online chats, and forums so that you could put an image, or a face to the person you were chatting with. (I think that's where it was first used - feel free to correct me)

Sally said...

Hi Jen,

Would you be willing to share the name of the shop you got your avatar and logo from? There's so many to choose from, it's confusing.