Friday, August 28, 2009

Member Profile--JPAT Purses

Category: handbags and purses
Specialty: JPATPURSES specializes in unique designed wallets and accessories.
An extra step is used that no other Etsy Shop does that makes her items so unique.
Due to the special bat quilt interfacing technique that she developed, each item has structure, strength and stability yet still so soft and comfortable to carry. IJPAT use no patterns in the making of her items.
visit JPAT's blog here.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fall Treasuries!

FTEC members not only work hard making crafts,we work hard making treasuries too! Check out our two newest treasuries --

"Fall on Me" by SusanSheehan featuring 6FTEC members -- top row in the middle: cricketscreations ; second row, left to right: ileaiye, pinkquartzminerals, muyinmolly ; and bottom row, left and middle: eleen, MarlaJDesigns

Full Blue Moon by mpaperarts
Featured members(top to bottom, left to right)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Celebrating Big Sales Numbers with Shared Etsy Seller Tips

Joining the Full Time Etsy Crafters (FTEC) Team earlier this year is one of the best things I've done for my handmade business. That's a whopper of a statement, but I speak the truth! The esteemed Oprah Winfrey once said: “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher” and that is just what I did when I become a part of this team!

In fact, my teammates so inspire me that I decided to toot some horns on their behalf. I asked FTEC members who've recently hit a nice-looking sales milestone to share with the rest of us:
  1. One of their "hottest" or most newly discovered Etsy seller tips, and
  2. What they do to celebrate when their counters hit a nice round number
After all and if I can just invoke the Big O(prah) again, she and I agree that “The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate.” So without further ado -- and before too many of them hit their NEXT milestone before I get this published -- congrats to my fellow FTEC team members on your success to date...and thanks for sharing!

Beck and Call Girl
Milestone: 1000 sales

Your hot tip?
Do what you love, and it'll get you through the tough, don't-wanna-work times.

How you celebrate?
I held a drawing to randomly select buyers to win extra goodies.

Crickets Creations
: 1000 sales

Your hot tip?
My little tip is to make sure to tag/title with subtle color 
variations. For example, if I carry five yellow items in my shop, then I 
tag/title each with both "yellow" and with whichever specific yellow that 
item is, such as mustard, sunshine, marigold, goldenrod, canary, maize, 
sulphur, etc. This helps my items be noticed during keyword searches by 
treasury curators, bloggers, etc.

I wrote a forum thread with more 
tips for how to increase chances of being chosen for treasuries. I've been 
on the Etsy home page over 50 times now, so the information is good even though the 
post is outdated!

How you celebrate?
My big celebration was to write my teammates to share the news!

Girls Can Tell
Milestone: 1500 sales

Your hot tip?
Post new designs as often as possible, and maintain a consistent and unique aesthetic in your work. And remember: communication, communication, communication! Try to answer convo's as quickly and efficiently as you can.

How you celebrate?
My 1,500th buyer will get a whole gift pack to match the diagrams of the items they purchase.

Mae Bee Jewelry
Milestone: 800 sales

Your hot tip?
Blow your customers' socks off with amazing quality, awesome communication and ultra-fast shipping...and throw in a freebie once in awhile just for the heck of it.

How you celebrate?
I sent a boastful announcement to the family, had a little toast with my hubby and then sent a tweet to the world. I also reflect back on how excited I was when I hit 100...same great feeling.

Mu-Yin Jewelry
Milestone: 3000 sales

Your hot tip?

Help customers easily find matching or related items in your shop by putting links in your product listings. You could put a link to one of your shop sections, but since every once a while I move items to a different section or even rename the sections, that doesn't always work. Instead, I place a link to a search results page.

For example, my new "My Lil Birthstone Necklace" collection has 12 listings that are currently listed under my "gorgeous gemstones" section, which has a total of 55 listings. When someone bumps into a lil birthstone necklace listing and want to see other birthstone necklaces, they'll see a link at the very bottom to help them find the other lil birthstone necklaces. It says:
♥other "Lil Birthstone" necklaces can be found here--
The link 
takes them to a search result in my shop called "my lil 
birthstone" (typed out in my search box), NOT to a section or to sold 
listings, but to a whole page of the "lil birthstone" search results.

I also use the same trick to quickly direct customers to matching 
Since our options for customizing our shops can be limited, it helps to 
creative. With a combination of the search box and EtsyHacks, I have saved a 
lot of time on editing my product listings.

How you celebrate?
I gave my 3000th customer a surprise gift! For me, I bought a bottle of champagne and took a break from work for the rest of the night.

Nicholas & Felice
Milestone: 5900 sales, and one of the top 100 Etsy handmade sellers!

Your hot tip?

If I don't have time or the right conditions to re-take product photos before I relist or renew a product, I use the photos I currently have and touch them up in 
Photoshop. I don't know a lot of tricks, but even just bumping up the contrast can 
really help a picture pop off the page. In many cases for me, my 
originals were too dark so I went back and I brightened them. I often don't have 
the time to go back to every picture, so I'll at least spiff up the first picture since that is the one that will come up in search results.

How you celebrate?
We celebrate with a quick self-esteem boost and pat on the back, and then we get back to worrying about when the next sale will come and being grateful for each and every one. For our 1000th sale and also when we hit other big numbers, we surprised our customer with an extra free gift.

Pink Quartz Minerals
Milestone: 4000 sales

Your hot tip?
Always double-check your listings to make sure all the relevant information is there: size, amount, colors, variations etc.

How you celebrate?
I give extras to the milestone buyer.

South Paw Studios
Milestone: 500 sales

Your hot tip?
Keep your shop looking fresh with great photography and by adding something new at least once a day. I know it takes time to list new items but since old and new customers are visiting your shop everyday, you don't want them to get sick of the same old, same old. They might stop visiting if nothing ever changes!

How you celebrate?
I held a private sale that I announced to all my current customers through my email newsletter and if any of them made a purchase, they received a $5 gift certificate towards future purchases. I also took my hubby out to dinner.

Susan Sheehan
Milestone: 2000 sales

Your hot tip?
Fill that store up with as much as you can. (Susan has almost 450 items listed in her shop!)

How you celebrate?
I sent a little present to my 2000 customer.

Milestone: 1600 sales

Your hot tip?
Using EtsyHacks saves a lot of time, and I especially like these two scripts:

Copy Listing
Adds a "Copy this item" link to the View Listing page (as well as to the Your Shop page).

Forum Wrangler
Adds color-coded highlighting to forum posts to help you keep track of threads you've read and/or are interested in.

How you celebrate?
I took the afternoon off, read a book outside and enjoyed the summer weather. :]

Our final submission is from Dennis Anderson of Anderson Soap Company. With over 19,400 sales, Dennis is a top Etsy seller who's hitting major sales milestones just about all the time! Here's his contribution:

Anderson Soap Company
Milestone: Over 19,400 sales and at just about the top of the list of Etsy's top 100 handmade sellers

Your hot tip?

I think the biggest tip I could offer sellers of the Etsy community would be to get familiar with the tools on and off the site and take advantage of them. I use seller tools such as Craftcult and Google Analytics to look at real-time and historical data about item views. By observing current and past trends, I can see when visitors are coming and when I have the most traffic in my shop. If traffic is slow or non-existent, I usually would renew or list a new item to get on top of the category page and fresh in search results.

I also notice that when I am not active in creating Treasuries, my view counts fall, so I try to be as active in that aspect of Etsy as I can. This site is so large, it is easy to get lost in your category and the groups if you're not actively participating or managing your shop.

How you celebrate?
My customers are the ones who've helped me get to where I am, so when I'm close to reaching a milestone I devise a sale for them. When it's time for my next mailing list email, I announce the details of the sale. Sometimes I mark down prices storewide, or I introduce new items that at lower prices.

When the day of the milestone comes, the first thing I do is wake up with a coffee in my hand and breathe. Then, I change all the prices in my shop needed for the sale. Next, I post an announcement to Twitter or Facebook. I usually have pretty great success running these kinds of promotions, and I just plan on a very busy next couple of days after the sale.

One last thing I almost forgot to mention, I party like it's 1999.

Congratulations again to my FTEC team members for their fine achievements, and here's to you and all the other Etsy sellers out there for continued success all around!

For more helpful seller tips and information about our team, visit us online at:

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Etsy Seller Tips with Girlscantell: Marketing With Your Own Signature Style

The following article was originally posted on girlscantell's blog on June 29th, 2009. In this article Sara shares her unique marketing tips with us.You can find gorgeous screenprinted housewares, notebooks and totebags in Sara's Etsy shop Girlscantell.


i'll admit from the start that this post is, as it's not rare that my posts are, inspired by a recent post by seth godin. he's nothing if not articulate, usually makes good points and always churns cogs of the thought machine in my head (a very good thing, right?).

this find your voice post jumped out at me in a big way because it hits right at what bothers me about many of the "tips" and "tricks" for marketing that are often fancied about and aimed directly at the handmade business crowd. i'll let you in on a big, important secret: there are no successful one size fits all approaches to marketing a business, especially a business that should be relying on its individuality, creativity and the things that make it different to succeed.

let's examine some of why not everything works for everyone. if you hate blogging, odds are this will become obvious if you try blogging as a marketing technique. if you find twitter's not your thing, you probably won't find much success with that, either. and taking out ads on blogs and websites just because it's cheap or it's a site you (but not your audience) visit everyday might not be the best option for your business.

the only thing that works is to consider these three things and how they best fit together (and the results will be different for each and every handmade business) to do something useful, genuine and visible:

  1. consider what you made, do or provide: what are you in the business of? (ie, i make hand printed housewares featuring diagrams of everyday items).

  2. what are you good at? (i might say talking to strangers has always been a talent of mine, for example).

  3. who are your customers and what do they want? (my customers are thoughtful people who appreciate clever design and things that make them think).

i know this is easier said than done, but the only way to successfully market your handmade business is to connect these three things in a way that works for you.

for girlscantell, i use a couple different techniques to communicate on different levels with the strangers (well, future friends, right?) that like my work - i offer an email list and birthday club as opt-in ways to hear about what's new in the shop. i blog (hi!) about a wide range of things, ideally to start conversations on topics that make me think. then i twitter to interact with people (it's just fun) and post photos to flickr often to be visible.

each of these tools make use of my oddball ability to strike a conversation with pretty much any random person (a characteristic i definitely got from my dad). i feature my unique handprinted items as appropriate, and make them easily available and accessible, but it's all also interesting enough to catch (and hopefully maintain) the interest of people who want more than to just be advertised at (at least that's the idea).

am i suggesting you do things exactly the same way i do? hell no. please don't. really. because you have either a different voice, different talents, different products or a different audience. or all of the above. jcasa has her lovely, inspiring life via her blog. yokoo takes photos that make you look twice. consider what works for you. and then work it.

(and please feel free to post more examples of businesses you love marketing in extraordinary ways in the comments below!)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Etsy Seller Tip with Susansheehan -- Etsy - How To Make It Work For You

The following article was originally posted on our new member
Susansheehan's blog on 7/8/2009. Susan just hit 2000 sales on Etsy and generously shares her experiences with us ..

I do well on Etsy. I often get asked by other sellers, "How do I do it?" After numerous emails and convos I decided it would be easier to post this to my blog.

What works for me may not work for you. It took me about 6 months to figure out a strategy for selling my beads. While I will tell you what I do, it is not a magic foolproof plan. Take pieces of what I do and spend time figuring out how it can work for you.

Research your category. Find and monitor the successful sellers. Figure out what are they doing that seems to work. How can you do similar things with your Etsy shop?

Pictures are your strongest selling point. You cannot simply have average pictures. You need stellar ones. If you want to be the pictures people notice, you have no choice but to make them be as eye catching as possible. Make your first one jump out on a big page full of thumbnails. Be somewhat artsy and interesting. Give the buyer a reason to pick you over every other picture on that page.

Shoppers on Etsy are very visual. Tell your story with your pictures. In your five pictures show the important things people want to see. Watch someone pick up your product at a show. What do they do? Do they turn it over and look at the back? Then make sure you show that in a photograph. Show the necklace clasp, or the back of a pair of earrings. Show the inside of a vase, or how it looks with flowers. Show me the zipper on a bag and how it looks on a body. Be as creative as you can and try to use all 5 pictures. But don't waste people's time with 5 pictures of the front of the item.

List and renew often. Once I decided to get serious about Etsy I budgeted $2 a day to list or renew items. I spread it out over the day when I get a chance to pop on the computer. As sales started to come I upped it to $3. Amazingly my sales doubled. I'm sure some of that had to do with my complete revamping of all my pictures. It was a monumental task, but it was worth it. Now I try to do a minimum of $2 a day and renew or re-list above and beyond by the number of sales I make that day. My goal is to have my total fees (including final value) be less than 10% of my sales. I use the previous months numbers as a budget and monitor my sales by the week to stay on track. Right now I sit at about 7%.

Make treasuries and work on making them good ones. Browse other treasuries and notice the little things that make the good ones stand out. Look at the front page and note what the trends and current look are. The lessons you learn about good pictures and tags will help you be easier to use in other's treasuries. Making treasuries also gets you noticed. People want to be in good ones and if they think you do well, they heart you and start to comment on your treasuries.

You want to be in treasuries for the exposure. If you have a very good first picture you'll get in them. If the picture is better than good you have a decent chance of being on the Front Page. This is huge. It gets on average 500 people an hour in your shop. While I have never sold the item from the Front Page I always see a surge in sales the few days after I am on the Front Page. Plus it gets you noticed by the Admin. I was in a Storque article within months of hitting the Front Page on a regular basis. I'm no Admin darling, but I do get in the Admin curated treasuries from time to time.

Stuff that store as full as you can. List absolutely everything you can. The more you have the more you will get seen. Don't be afraid to list made to orders. If you are willing to do custom work, it's a great way to advertise. If you make multiples of something it's a great way to list without having to have the excess inventory. Each item is a tiny seed within the pages of Etsy and it can blossom into a sale if you are found.

Do tags well. I am in a constant state of looking for new tags to put in listings. You get 14. The first is the category you will be listed in if someone searches categories. If you can, try to spread out among categories instead of staying in just one. Do add all categories you fit in after the first to be found in a site wide search too. Make sure to use color as a tag. Not just red but cherry, lipstick or tomato. People search theme words for their treasuries. Help them out.

Join a team. Not just any team, but one that is serious. I belong to a glass team that is a cooperative marketing effort. Everything we do is about promoting glass and ourselves.

The one thing I do that makes or breaks you. I CHECK INTO ETSY FREQUENTLY. People want instant gratification and if they wait more than 12 hours for a reply to a convo they move on. I have never worked harder at communicating than at Etsy. But it works. Not every buyer wants to chit chat with you, but many really do. Embrace it, you're building a relationship 21st century style.

Here is my shop if you would like to see how I do things:
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