~Use a neutral background. Whether it be dark or light (it depends on your item), make it all one color...it 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.
~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:
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.
~http://www.twitter.com/ 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...
~http://www.blogspot.com/ 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.
~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.
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.
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.