Thursday, April 30, 2009

Secret to Success on Etsy?

Everyone wants to know what it is. What is that one magical secret that will make me sell and sell and sell?

The fact of the matter is, there are no secrets. Successful selling on Etsy comes down to one thing -- Common Sense.

I don't consider myeslf the Be All End All Know It All of Etsy selling...there are other shops more successful than us...but we have had over 900 sales since opening shop in August 2008. That's an average of over 100 sales per month.

We've sold that well because we follow some rules. I've put them together for a common sense approach to selling on Etsy that has worked well for us.

1.) Make a product worth selling. This one is pretty simple. I am not even going to go more in-depth on this. Are YOU going to buy a crap product? Nope, didn't think so.

2.) Photos. Photos are such an important part of successful selling...and again, this should be common sense. You are selling online. People cannot touch, hold, smell your items. Your photographs are their only way of seeing how wonderful your product is. Do you really want to put your $50 silver and gemstone pendant on your kitchen table and take a picture with the overhead light on and your camera flash glaring off of it? NO. It's going to make your amazing, gorgeous and wonderful pendant look like garish costume jewelry. When taking photos, follow these rules:

~Use a neutral background. Whether it be dark or light (it depends on your item), make it all one will let your product steal center stage, as it should! Don't use a busy, decorated background.

~Natural lighting is best for picture taking, but direct sunlight isn't the best. When I take photos of our products, I do so at our kitchen table where there are two windows that let sunlight shine in.

~If you cannot use natural lighting, the next best thing is a light box. You can buy or make these. I have never used one, but I know many people who do and they have great photos.

~Do not DO NOT DO NOT use your flash.

~Get close-ups of your items. I find that off center, close-ups that don't necessarily show the entire item attract more attention. You can use a photo editing program to crop, brighten, and otherwise edit your photos. I use Picasa and it's free. Here's an example:

~Remember, a good photo...attractive picture will not only catch a customer's attention, but has a better chance of making it into a treasury and therefore possibly making the Front Page.

3.) Make sure you thoroughly describe your item. How large is it? Give me measurements. Is it Bath & Body...then I want to know exactly what the ingredients are.

4.) Do not list items and expect them to magically sell because they are available. Do not rely on Etsy to sell for you. Yes, you pay Etsy when you list AND when you sell, but don't think of that money as going toward advertising. Think of it as rent. Etsy is a venue. They aren't an advertising site.

5.) Market, promote and network your Etsy shop. As I said in #4, this is your job. It takes work, and it can't be done overnight and quickly. Some of the simplest ways to do this is to participate in the Etsy Forums and Etsy Chat rooms...but don't stop there. There are a ton of ways to freely promote your shop. Here are just a few:

~ Twitter is one of those great networking sites that doesn't take a lot of time or energy. I call it The One Sentence Blog. I use it to show what just sold, what's been relisted, what specials or sales we are running, new items that we've listed. And on and on and on...

~ Blogging can be the single most effective marketing, promoting and networking tool in your arsenal. "But Misty, I hate blogging!" Boofreakinhoo. You want to sell? Then you have to work. "But Misty, I don't know what to blog about!" Blogging is important...and blogging regularly is even more important. You need to build up a base of regular readers. Which means blogging about interesting things, along with blogging about new products/items in your shop, specials, sales, etc. etc. Feature other shops/blogs on yours. Do a giveaway. Blog about things you have found on Etsy that are just completely awesome. Hell, blog about the newest recipe you tried for your family's dinner.

~Business cards. They are a must. We send a few out with every package, I hand them out to friends, family, strangers. Check out They have good business cards at very decent prices...heck, usually they are free and you just pay shipping. They have a lot of other promotional items you can purchase, too.

~How often do you email? I have the links to both of our Etsy shops in the signature line of my email...and in the signature line of every online forum I frequent.

~Join an Etsy Street Team.

~Word of mouth. Have your friends and family let other people know about your shop.

6.) "Misty, I bought a showcase slot and it didn't do squat for me...not much traffic and no sales! What gives?!" Showcases are notoriously hit or miss. If I had to take a guess, I'd say about 90% of those who have told me they've done one, wouldn't do one again. Myself included. We have found that we get much more exposure, traffic, hits and sales by taking the money we'd budget for a showcase, and use it to renew items in our shop. It costs $.20 per item, so we usually renew anywhere from 2-5 per day. Renewing is like listing or relisting in that it moves the item up to the top of the searches and you get your few seconds of fame by appearing on the front page.

7.) Tag your items properly and use as many as you can! I strive to use all 14 tags in each of my listings. These are important! If someone is searching for something on etsy, it's the tags that will make your item appear in the search. So if you are selling a silver pendant, and you don't have "pendant" or "silver" in your tags, then you are not only S.O.L., you failed Common Sense 101. Tag, TAG, TAG!

8.) Fill out your profile and shop policies completely. Cover all the basics. What type of payments do you take? When must payments be made? At the time of purchase? Do you give a 1-3 grace period? What is your return policy? How long after receiving an order do you ship it out? How do you ship? USPS? Parcel Post? First Class? Priority? UPS? Fed-Ex? These are important things that I consider before making any purchase on Etsy.

9.) Price your item correctly. This is hard. Very hard. Do a google search. Search the Etsy Forums. Find a formula that works for you. "But Misty, it costs me $25 in supplies alone to make this pendant but I see someone else selling something similar for $30. What should I do? I know I should list it for more if I want to make a profit, but I want to be competitive." Here's my answer: Who gives a flying f*ck what other shops are selling things for? Price YOUR items how you need to. Don't pay attention to what other shops are doing. This is a cardinal rule. You will be much MUCH happier if you worry only about your shop instead of everyone elses.

10.) Offer unparralleled customer service, but stick by your policies. If there is a problem with an item you sent out, fix it. Send out another item or offer to reimburse the customer. If the customer just doesn't like the item like they thought they would...well, that's not really your fault (unless you mislead potential buyers with false information in your listings), but you need to handle it with finesse. If a package never makes it to the destination, it is your responsibility to replace or reimburse the customer. I see all too often shop policies saying that once the package leaves their hands, they are no longer responsible. Nope. That is completely wrong. The customer has up to 45 days to file a claim with Paypal if the package is not received. You ARE responsible. The short of it is, if you run your shop well and have great customer service, your buyer is more apt to come back again.

Well...I think that is it for now, lol. I am sure there are many more things that could be added, but this is a good start.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Giveaway!!!

Our Chat Team members are feeling generous.

If you go to you can enter a giveaway to win three toe rings!

All you have to do is add a post comment their about the favorite thing in and they are entered to win 3 free toe rings of their choice. (Comment on her blog not here!!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

100-Followers $50 Giveaway

Last Friday April 24 our Etsy Chatters blog hit the 100 Followers milestone. Okay, we're not going to scare the big Twitter hitters or massive blog presences, but we're pretty darned tickled!


So, to celebrate this momentous achievement, we're having a giveaway with a difference. Between now and when we hit the 200 Followers mark OR on May 27 (whichever comes sooner), we'll gather entrants to receive a giveaway from a participating Etsy Chatters team member.


The winner gets to pick from among the participating shops, and the shop they pick gets the sale!


How does it work? Etsy Chatters team members and blog followers who would like to participate, please leave a comment to this post (with your Etsy shop name in case it's not your blog name), that you're willing to post a special reserved gift certificate listing if your shop is selected.


We'll select by number from among the blog Followers, and the winner will have a $50 gift certificate to spend at the shop they've selected from among those who decide to participate.


The fine print: The giveaway is for a total of $50 value to be used at the participating seller's shop, and cannot be redeemed for cash. The winner may not select their own shop (or one they control).


Go ahead, comment and let us know if you'd like to win the gift certificate, want to have it spent at your shop, and/or want to become a new Etsy Chatters team member!

Judith / jswrites

Saturday, April 25, 2009

The winner of Bibs4Drips giveaway

Almost forgot to mention..

BLUENOSTALGIA you are the winner of the bibs4drips giveaway!!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Getting Chatty with vantiani

Who wants a cute set of 10 oragami balloons cards?? You? That is what I thought.. Well, read on and find out how you can WIN. This is rather easy.

I was going to change the layout of Vantiani's QnA to be more interview style.. But, I thought the way she usd third person, was sooo cute. Vantiani is a clever gal and I hope you all enjoy getting to know a bit more about her - like I did!!

Vantiani is a red gemini living in old dusty house full of zines, books, records,
films and ideas with her tall punk lover. She works as copywriter by day and
everything else in between it. She used to run a craft shop and a creative space with her two gilfriends, but now she is focusing more in building her own crafty coccoon.

Vantiani starts making collage only last year but has been addicted ever since and
after her first collage exhibition last August, she decides to open her first etsy

Vantiani mostly inspired by her local crafty comrades, blogsphere, magazines, films
and of course her creatively chaotic house.

Vantiani's favorite medium is always paper and fabric.

Vantiani wishes one day her etsy will be her full time job.

Vantiani finds the almighty etsy during one of her blogwalking journey when she bumps into those inspiring etsians and crafters blogs.

Vantiani actually always been a chat addict since years ago, but how she amazed with
etsy chat with its endless surprises from the first time she find out about it. She
finds lots of wonderful new friends, really really awesome swaps and also a lovely
community that she never thought she will experience from a chatting community before.

Vantiani put her favorite piece as her avatar and another one is on the attachment.

Vantiani has way too many favorite etsy shops but those that really inspires her are
magicjelly, suspectshoppe and marmeecraft.

Vantiani always believes that everyone is an artist, therefore find your art and
explore them.Having fun with them and if you want them to be able to feed you too,
nurture them profesionally as early as possible.

Vantiani used to sell pirated porn films for a couple of years among her office mates.
(sorry had to BOLD this one, it made me giggle.

Vantiani feels that to surround herself with amazingly talented and creative people
is a really good idea. Because they will not only make her feel small and
meaningless, but also make her always have enough confidence and strength to try
harder and better in lots of things that she does.

Okay.. Now, Go to .. Browse around, see what you like. Come back here and comment. Tell me what you think is awesome, link it. People wanna see what Vantiani has to offer!!
(Winner will be chosen next Friday!!)

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Get out there and do something for your mother earth today!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Mbell34 giveaway winner..


you WON!!

Lucky number 12.

COntact Mbell34. Send her your snail mail address and wait for your awesome soapy goodness.

Featured Chatter Shop of the Week: Bibs4Drips

Bibs4Drips... What a cute name for an adorable shop.

Let's get to know her a bit more!!!

1. Who is bibs4drips?
Bibs4drips is my 3rd baby. I do treat it differently and it doesn’t get as many hugs and kisses as my two other children. But I think that’s ok and so far, it did very well. I want to see it grow up more and get stronger and bigger.

2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it?
I do crafting since I am a teenager. I started sewing with 16 when I got my first sewing machine. My grandma was a seamstress, I have grown up with it. I am also taking lots of photos and do my own cards ( and My friends call me Martha Stewart because I do lots of things by hand as gifts.

3. Where do you pull your inspiration from?
Necessity. And love for beautiful things. Photos. Fabrics. Colorful ribbons. My children. Thinking about something and then make it.

4. What is your favorite medium?
Fabric, the cutter the better. Photographs, paper and glue.

5. Is Etsy your art, your full time job, or just an on the side project?
Since I am a stay at home mom, I consider bibs4drips my part time job next to taking care of the kids and husband. I also love to take pictures and work on cards and name tags so I consider myself an artist in that regard.

6. How did you find Etsy?
I started with bibs4drips in the summer 2008 and was ready to give an update to all family and friends in the fall of that year. Shortly after I sent out my look-at-my-new-business email, my sister in law forwarded me an email from her friend who said I should check out Etsy and post my stuff there. I researched it for few days and signed up shortly after. Love it since!

7. How did you become ADDICTED to Etsy CHAT?
That wasn’t hard at all. I meet all these great people who are funny, talented, and willing to share their life with me. Most of them are supportive, helpful and enthusiastic. And this is what we need to be successful. Thank you all you Etsy addicts.

8. What is your favorite piece that you have done?
I think my bibs4drips are just sensational. They are small and handy and useful.

9. What is your favorite Etsy shop (other than yours)?
Oh, this is a hard one. Really, I couldn’t list all the shops that I have looked at and loved. And booked marked. And looked at again.

10. Tips for other Artists?
Be yourself, believe in yourself and your product, provide a good made product and people will come.

11. Tell me a Secret about yourself.
I have moved to the US with 2 suitcases and $4000. That was 8 years ago. Now I have a handsome and smart husband, 2 beautiful kids and a life that I love.

12. Any parting words of wisdom? Questions? Comments?
Keep doing what you are doing. If you enjoy it, others will too.

And now.. a Giveaway!!! Edith (bibs4drips) will be giving away a one of her Lovies (like the cute yellow with bee one pictured here!!) Just go to her shop, and come back here commenting about what you love most in her shop!! NExt Friday, she will randomly select a winner and post that here!!

While you are at blogger, go on and check out Ediths Blog:

Good luck, have fun and happy chatting!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Promotion Tools and Sneaking in a giveaway on Thursday!

Vegan? What IS VEGAN? Well, here is your chance to explore that answer if you do not already know. If you DO know and you ARE... Then - this is your chance to grab some Vegan Stuff! If you SELL vegan friendly items, this is your chance to learn about a great new avenue for promoting your wares!

If you venture over to you can see what our fellow chatter holisitcallyheather is doing with her time! She and others have teamed up to create a VEGAN SAMPLE BAG!

So, mosey on over.

Enter the GIVEAWAY!

Submit Samples for the bags.

Buy a sampler!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Who IS Mbell34? Well, come and find out....

Mbell34 is none other than... Michelle Bell, married almost 20 yrs and is the mom of three teenagers. (here is where we send our thoughts and hugs to her!! heeh)

What does Mbell34 do? Well she has done jewelry for almost 3 yrs., soap 5 months, i am now doing soy candles.( She just listed them today :)

This delicate piece is sterling silver. The pendant and necklace are available now at !!

When asked what insipres her she says: "The inspiration comes from the heart. I love to make pretty things for other people."

Her most favorite thing is to make soap. She"loves the designs, colors and scents. You can do so much with soap."

Is Etsy her full time job.. Nope.. Etsy is Michelle's side project, She has a full time job outside of Etsy.

Soap that looks delicious enough to eat!

On finding Etsy? "I just stumbled upon etsy looking for something in google years ago, but never opened a shop until a year ago."

As for Etsy Chat... Michelle told me "Etsy chat is awesome! I meet so many wonderful artists in there from all over, everybody is friendly and will to help at the drop of a hat. I have been addicted as soon as I started in the chatrooms."

Her favorite piece that she has done is the peppermint/cranberry massage soap that is in now. The aromas and the colors are what grabs her most about the soaps.

~When I went browsing her shop, I found the peppermint cranberry layered soap Michelle referred to. So. Very. Beautiful. !

Michelle also chares a love for an amazing shop here on Etsy. She says that her favorite shop is none other than... Heathenshearth.Etsy.Com

Michelle's tips for other artists are to be patient and kind to other people, let your creations come from the heart and do what you love to do!

(This custom piece was made for a fellow Etsian. It is a beautiful representation of Michelle's creativity.)

Does Michelle have any secrets?? SURE~! She loves to be pampered! She loves to be waited on. She LOVES "ME" Time... (see that hubby of Michelle!! Take note)

Michelle's parting words of wisdom=just love yourself and everybody else will too :)

What would a promo / feature post be without a great giveaway?

Mbell34 is offering a FREE bar of her sudsy goodness. Just go to and choose your favorite scent. Then, come back here and leave a comment!! It is that easy. Next Friday, she will randomly select a winner!!!

Mamaslittlemonkeys giveaway winner

Jillian.. AKA Eternalimages...

You are the WINNER of mamaslittlemonkeys giveaway. Please convo her VIA Etsy with your mailing address!!


Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Chat Team List

Hi there Everyone.

I am trying to get everyone listed here on the Blog, so that we know who is on the team.

Can all the Chat Team CONVO me?

The list o chat teamers has gone MIA from the side bar!

PS this is jupita

Dear Admin...

Of all the Etsy members, I can't think of anyone better than our bunch of mad chatters to recommend changes and improvements to the chat interface. We experience it every day (or multple times a day) as regular chatters, and also field many questions from folks who are new to chat and/or new to Etsy.

I've seen the comments on the forums where changes have been suggested, and we've discussed plenty of ideas in chat, but what else would we like to see added, changed, or subtracted. And, what do we absolutely LOVE about Etsy chat?

An example? The relatively recent change to mark chatters Away after 5 minutes' idle time, and then gently evict us after idling for 15 minutes. A great improvement, imho. And in the "absolutely LOVE" category, for me it's the ability to show items in the column down the right side.

What about you? What would you like to tell Admin about Etsy chat? Please include your ideas - and some of those things you love too - in the Comments!

Thanks, Judith / jswrites

Friday, April 3, 2009

Mamaslittlemonkeys is our featured Chatter

Mamaslittlemonkeys is a fabulous little Etsy shop with all sorts of goodies. You can find everything from Baby Bibs, to duckie soaps, to clothes and more!

Mamaslittlemonkeys.Etsy.Com is also giving away a set of 12 wipes/cloths. All you need to do is go to her shop, come back here and tell me your favorite item. Next Friday we will randomly select a winner to receive this awesome, useful gift.

Now.. Let's get to know our mamaslittlemonkeys.....

1. Who is mamaslittlemonkey? A former rodeo clown....okay, no really, a mom, wife, friend, sister, blogger, handmade lover, seamstress, soaper, indie music loving, etsyholic, fabricholic, soapaholic crazy lady who happens to sell some nifty creations for baby, mom and more!

2. What kind of crafting/art do you do? How long have you been doing it? On I do a little bit of everything, clothing, toys, blankets (I heart minky!), recycled crayons, photography, graphics, soap, gifts, gag gifts, and more! On that is purely my flower pens...something i used to love as a teacher and the only flower I can't kill....

Some CUTE Duckie Soaps!

3. Where do you pull your inspiration from? For MLM, my kids mostly! I don't have girls, so I get my 'girly' tendencies out there, and my boys inspire many of the prints I use (pirates are popular as of late....). On FDI, I just love flowers but have the blackest thumb EVER, so I love that i can have flowers that are functional, pretty and I can't kill. For my soaps, I just love them! Handmade soap is my porn. (can i say that? LOL) I love the colors, fragrances, the mad scientist aspect of it! I only do melt and pour as of now but am DYING to get into Cold process at some point!! ( as soon as I move through my current stock of soap/fabric supplies!)
4. What is your favorite medium? Sewing: is a PAIN in the butt to sew, but a good minky (yes there is bad minky), is just so freaking luxurious you just HAVE to touch it. I've been known to just wander the fabric aisles fondling everything. Soap: I love the fleur de lis mold...I'm still perfecting my black and gold "Saints" soap for the New Orleans Saints. It's my mission in life to get it PERFECT. And I only use soaps that are SLS free and as pure as possible. Flower pens: the 'realistic' roses...they feel so real and are just lovely to look at and feel. (can you tell I'm a tactile person?)

5. Is Etsy your art your full time job, or just an on the side project? Right now, hobby. I've spent FAR too much ON etsy and on my fabric/soap supplies to actually pull a 'profit' at this point! :) But I plan on doing it for a long time! My 'real' job (besides being mommy), is I work from home as Public Relations/Promotions/Blogger for Blockhead Radio. You can check them out at Its a great place for artisans and we focus on exposing artisans to the world. Check out the Artisans challenge and our charity sampler box that's going on now!

6. How did you find Etsy?this is the sad part. I honestly do NOT remember!! I think I found it from friends on a mommy networking site, but I honestly can't recall!

7. How did you become ADDICTED to Etsy CHAT? Because there are awesome freaking ppl there!! :) I just like hanging with people who also support and love handmade! And every now and then I get a sale! :) (ok I mostly go to chat...LOL)

Want something net to keep the kiddies occupied on those car trips? What about one of these crayon rolls?:

8. What is your favorite piece that you have done? Mmmmm. Sewn items, this is my latest: I just LOVE michael Miller and the minky is devine.
Soap: this gift basket is a baby of mine...something I decided to do months ago!
Flower Pens: this set, it's sold but I have more to list... I just love the roses in it!

9. What is your favorite Etsy shop (other than yours)? Oh man. One? Seriously? is that possible? Crap. Man, I don't know if I can decide!! Man, this is hard, and in NO way a reflection of my MANY other favorite Etsy sellers! But I am really digging this shop lately.. and this listing.. because I really need a soap cutter and i LOVE all the wooden goodness! I also love bc he made me a super awesome anniversary gift for my DH! And i LOVe all my team members from Cafemom Team, Lartisans Team, Pluggers United and OF COURSE Etsychatters! :)

10.Tips for other Artists? DO NOT GIVE UP! Every time you get a sale, you should FEEL HONORED! In the wide world of Etsy, handmade, and shopping, someone chose YOUR item to bring into their life. Your hope is they love it as much as you, but if they are unhappy for any reason, you should do your very best to make them 110% happy. Never forget everyone you meet is a potential customer! If you aren't selling you need to look at either your items, your competition, or how you market yourself. (take the crappy economy out of the equation for a minute!) KEEP trying! Try new things, new venues, new promotions, new crafts!

Catch some of those dribbles.. A Funky, Punky Bib..

11.Tell me a Secret about yourself. I am 5'12", can curse in American Sign Language and have Celiac Disease and thus eat Gluten Free. (leading to another of my fave shops,

12. Any parting words of wisdom? Questions? Comments: Keep on trucking! :) Oh, and you can also check out my Cafepress shop! :) I love to do custom graphics!! :)

WOOOOT etsychatters!

The Winner Is....


You have won the Jupita Featured Chatter giveaway!!


a lil hello!

Hi there Chatters!!

This week, I am updating the member list on the blog and sending it to ETSY.

If you do not see your name here, and would like to be added.. Please, convo me on Etsy at JUPITA!