Monday, June 20, 2011

Setting up My Etsy Shop++

Overloaded with quilts, I finally took the plunge and signed up for an Etsy shop.  I found the Etsy site very easy to use and it was really easy to set up my shop.  I did, however make a couple of  mistakes.  I didn't realize that my user name would be my shop name. I thought there would be a user name and then a separate shop name.  So, I put in my user name as beffie48 intending to think up a cute name after I got the shop set up.  I don't know if I just didn't read the instructions very well or if Etsy isn't very clear on this point, but anyway once you choose your user name you are stuck with it.  You can open a new shop with a different name, but once you have gotten some business and have some people who are giving your shop hearts you don't really want to set up a new shop from scratch. 
My second mistake was to put a different name for my shop on my banner.  My user name was beffie48 but I wanted my shop to be called Keiki Baby.  So I put Keiki Baby on the banner.  I didn't realize for several months that this is confusing to shoppers.  First of all it makes it hard for them to find you by your shop name.  Etsy stores your user name as your shop name so if a customer searched for my shop name as Keiki Baby nothing would show up on Etsy.  They would only be able to find my shop name by searching for beffie48.  I also found out the its is helpful to put your shop name in the tag area of some of your items. That way if someone does a search for your shop and they haven't selected "shop" in the drop down search box at Etsy, your shop will still come up. 
I opened my shop put my quilts up for sale and waited.  While I waited I started reading the "help" newsletters that Etsy sends out to you.  They are very helpful and I learned many important things from them.  The first I already shared with you, your user name and your shop name need to be the same.  I went into my shop and changed my shop name to match my user name.  I found a free banner for my shop and put that up until I could figure out how to make one myself.  I also started looking around Etsy to see exactly what types of items were selling well.  You can use Etsy's  "pounce" search to see recently sold items.
In those first couple of months I only sold a couple of quilts.  I felt a little frustrated,  was the price too high?  Did people not like them? Were they able to find my quilts in the vast ocean of Etsy shops?  Was my postage charge too high?  Was there a better, less expensive way to ship my items?

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