It was exactly one year ago that I opened up my etsy shop! I started with just a few items, including notecards and postcards, and slowly expanded into offering more items, including paintings and most recently, prints. Having an etsy shop also encouraged me to take the next few steps, including having my work for sale at homespun: modern homemade and participating in my first art fair.
Here’s some lessons learned from my first year as an etsy seller:
1. Etsy is all about being “found”. What do I mean by this? As an etsy seller, you have to do a lot of work to research tags, titles, and descriptions to be “discovered” by etsy’s search engines. It’s not just as simple as uploading a few photos, writing a quick description, and *poof* – you’re an etsy seller. I recently dedicated a lot of time to researching all of these items to ensure my items would have “relevancy” in etsy’s search engines. It was a lot of work, but it has paid off in a major increase in views, favorites, and sales.
2. The art category is competitive! The art category is the largest on etsy in terms of number of items for sale. So, being found in the “masses” of other great artists is a challenge. I’m happy to know that I do appear to have something very unique on etsy and that I have been able to find an audience for my art. I already have a few buyers coming back for their second purchase, which is a great sign.
3. My paintings are the best items I have for sale. Although it is good to have postcards, notecards, and prints for sale, my paintings generally receive the most views, favorites, and recently, sales. I’ve been trying to turn out as many paintings as possible to list, as I feel these are the “best items” I have to offer. One painting, I listed and sold less than 24 hours later!
4. The etsy community provides great support to sellers. I have to thank the endless other sellers in the Etsy Teams, who provide advice, support, and promotion for each other. I have learned a lot by reading through posts by other sellers to build by own store.
5. Having an etsy store is fun, rewarding, and gives me an opportunity to continue my passion worldwide! I am nowhere near taking my art into a full time job (nor do I think I could ever get to that point), but I enjoy the time I do spend on each painting and being able to share my work with people around the globe. My farthest sale came from Anchorage, Alaska – where I sent an Indiana Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument postcard set!
I am looking forward to continue selling on etsy and hope to learn even more in the upcoming year. Have you pondered setting up your own etsy shop and feel a little lost? I’m happy to talk to you (via comments, e-mail, or in person) about all involved in the process!