Etsy Lessons Learned The Hard Way - Store Tips

February 26, 2009

So I've reached a 3 month milestone on Etsy! I've learned so much and didn't realize it until I stopped and tried to write things down. Some of this came from the forums, others from experience, and others from mistakes now corrected. Hope this can help a few people

I originally posted this list on the Etsy forums, but wanted to save it here too.


  • White or gray backgrounds look great with most things. Start simple and try new things from there, but have fun and don't be scared to experiment. You can always upload new photos for a particular item.
  • Blurry photos? Buy a tripod! It's the best thing for macro shots.
  • Taking photos is time consuming - Making some reproducible items instead of all one of a kind items to saves on photo taking and editing.
  • Silver Jewelry looks best in natural light. Avoid flash.
  • Partial photos seem to work better as the main (thumbnail) image than an overall photo depending on the item.
  • Don't forget the rule of thirds. Imagine a tic-tac-toe grid over your image. If you have something interesting at one of the points where the lines intersect, the photo will look interesting. This works really great for those partial thumbnail photos.
  • Photoshop actions will save you photo editing time (I will write a tutorial on this sometime soon!)
  • Only list one of each item even if you have multiple quantities and relist if it's sold. That way your item will be closer to the start of a search.
  • If you renew an item, change something: the order of photos, the description, or upload new photos.
  • Spread out listings over different times, and different days instead of uploading everything at once. This way people in different parts of the world will have a chance to see your store.
  • Make sure your shop policies are clear and filled out completely.
  • Google analytic can give you insight into the best time to list things in your shop.
  • Focus your marketing or you will be overwhelmed. (I focus on my blog, twitter, and posting on the forums at least once a day.)
  • Social networking is that - networking. Make friends. Post comments on other blogs. Post about other sellers. Help other people out. Good karma will come back to you. You will get views!
  • The forums do work for views. Start a topic or post on a newly started topic (anything less than 10 posts), and you will be seen.
  • Your etsy avatar does make a difference. I'll visit your shop if the avatar makes me curious about what's in your store, or if I want what's in the pic.
  • Measure accurately and list those measurements in inches/cm. Make sure they're accurate to the best of your ability. Measure Measure Measure!
  • Test your products! Wear them / use them for a day, and you'll learn a lot. Wear them / use them for a week, and you'll have an even better product.
  • Buying a shipping scale! I use a kitchen scale for measuring light things and it works perfectly.
  • Always write down measurements for items you want to make again!!! Save them carefully.
  • Price shipping correctly so you don't lose money.
Some things that only improve with time:
  • Do what you can manage a little bit at a time so you don't get overwhelmed. It's your store, it should work on your time, you don't work for it. (hehe a hard one I know!)
  • Shop policies, your bio, descriptions, tags, titles, photos, website, pricing.
  • Your product. Keep learning. Keep improving. There's always more to learn.

And slightly unrelated: BACK UP YOUR COMPUTER!!! Do it now. I'm not kidding.-Tea

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