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03 December 2012



Great article Sue! I've been selling on Etsy for years and never knew about repeating exactly my title wordage in the tag. Only thing I might add is be aware of customs restrictions in some countries. Italy is one that comes to mind. They have a LONG and extensive list of exclusions including ALL clothing (crazy right?) Just because your buyer lives there doesn't mean they are aware of the exclusions, as I found out myself...

Peggy Jennings of Gramma's Linen Closet

These are wonderful suggestions!
Getting the right lighting on my photographs has been a real challenge for me. I have a decent camera, but I either have shadows from the flash or the pictures are dark. I use a photo editing program which certainly helps, but still... I love those clear, clean, bright photos I see and haven't quite gotten the hang of it myself.
Second, your keyword advice is wonderful. I'm going to print it out and tape it next to my computer to help me when I'm writing my descriptions!




I've been mulling Etsy over for a while now and the only thing that is holding me back is lack of know how and confidence. Now I have the know how! Thanks for the list, I'll be hanging on to it for reference!


You've said it all, girl! This was great. I'm not a haggler, either, and I really do hate when I get asked for a better price. (If somebody's buying a lot, I'm happy to ... that's usually not when this comes up.) My stock response is thanks, I'm pretty comfortable with the price that's listed, and that's the end of it. (Even though I want to say, well, since I listed it TEN MINUTES AGO I don't think I'm ready to mark it down yet.) I find the Shop Stats section on Etsy really, really helpful, especially in regards to where traffic comes from.


This is so helpful. I just opened my shop in Nov. and made my first sale today. I need all the help I can get and I know I need to brush up on photography. Thank you for all these great tips!!!!! :>)

Maria (Magia Mia)

You about covered it all Sue!

I have many pet peeves, but 2 high on my list are photos and description. The seller puts up one picture only, and in very poor light. Then only one sentence in the description without quantity and measurements. I saw a post the other day for some millinery holly. The description said "Holly picks. Bunch of many." To those sellers I say to myself "Wow, don't hurt yourself" (with all that listing effort, you might strain your brain).

If two sellers have the same product I'm shopping for, I reward the seller that made more effort in the listing, even if it costs a little bit more. Because as a seller, I understand the effort in producing a quality listing, and if the vendor isn't generating any enthusiasm for the item, I'm sure as hell not moved to buy it. You need to think like a shopper when you're presenting your item.

Sarah (Jean July Vintage)

GREAT tips! I have a few more that I've learned over the years through plenty of trial and error.
1. Photographs - Natural daylight is king! But if you can only photograph indoors or at night, use daylight light bulbs (instead of conventional bulbs) to light up an indoor photo shoot. They will portray colors more accurately than fluorescent. And if you only adjust one setting on your camera, it should be the white balance.
2. International Shipping - Just do it! Your sales will increase. Use the 'Everywhere Else' spot in the shipping profile so that your items show up in international buyers' searches no matter where they live. Enter a shipping price on the higher end to cover your bases, and refund overages to international sellers.
3. Shipping - Have an organized and efficient shipping set-up. Use USPS.com to order free Priority Mail boxes in every size (not just flat rate!), use a scale and Etsy's shipping label printer (makes international shipping so easy!), and use the free Carrier Pickup from the USPS. You'll save time and you'll never have to go to the post office again!
4. Pricing - Don't undercharge so much that you don't make a profit. You're offering the world a service by being in business, that's why your buyers pay you to find awesome vintage pieces for them. I've undercharged in the past just to make a sale (which is fine to boost your sales & feedback numbers), but understand that it won't support your business.
5. Have fun! If it's not rewarding, it's not worth doing.

- Jean July Vintage


Thanks so much for the advice from Sue and the comments that followed. I have been thinking about opening an ETSY for a while and had many questions. Now I have the answers, I just need the courage!


Thank you so much for this post! I'm all new to Etsy, and will especially look into the SEO.


I love all the tips and have also been debating whether or not to switch from ebay to etsy...I think I'm going to etsy for sure now! It just seems soooo much better and lots lots cheaper! Now if someone would just tell me how to get started on a blog - I really want to do one but cannot figure out step 1!!! help!!!


Thanks for all the tips. I'm just getting started with Etsy (opened shop in Sept). So all your advice is greatly appreciated. I've gotten a little better with the pictures. It's harder than people think to get a picture that makes your item look good.

kristi day

Fantastic post, Sue. And it made me remember that I have a neglected Etsy shop just waiting for some TLC.


Thanks for writing this. I had no idea about that SEO and repeating the noun part. You have a knack for telling things in such a clear manner that it's easily understood. Thanks!

Bohemian Valhalla

Though I haven't gone into Online Sales yet, it is a Future Possibility and so I appreciate these Posts Schooling us of the Process so that we don't have to Learn the hard way or be intimidated nor lulled into false confidence by ignorance of what it takes! Dawn... The Bohemian

Sea Witch

Fantastic and well written article on the art of selling on-line. It is all about the presentation and photography. Keep it clean with eye appeal and you have won the battle. Can't say enough about good use of tags and titles as they are the queens of the search engine. They can make or break a possible sale. People forget that there is "work" involved in a successful online shop. Well done!

Shabby Vintage Junk

Hey Sue....!

What a GREAT post Lovey....I'm sending the link to a Friend who has recently started selling on Etsy....I'm sure some words of wisdom from an experienced Etsian will be most useful....Mind....I'm smiling as I type that last bit thinking back to when your Etsy Store was still in its 'alleged' form....!!!!

Take care & if I don't make it back before the 'fat man' makes his way down your chimney, have a SAFE & Merry Christmas....!!!!!

Tamarah xx

Joanne Selig

Good advice for a novice, such as myself. Thanks!

Curtains in my tree

GREAT advice and great info.
I am wanting to start an etsy on my blog but just scared I can't get it done . Now I am going to try , really try, I know I need to work on the pictures because I just have a small sony digital camera


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