As you all know, I am addicted to buying supplies. I just can't work fast enough to use them all so I have to start selling...so I can buy some more. Yes, it's a vicious cycle. So, as I am starting this new shop, I thought I would make a check list here in case any of you are thinking about starting a shop. Gray steps are nice, but not necessary to me.
- Research! Do you really think people will buy your stuff? Is anyone else selling something similar to yours? If not, is it because you are original or is it because no one wants to buy that stuff? If someone else is selling the same thing, are people buying that stuff? Why would people go to your shop instead of the other shops selling the same things? I like to think I have picked up some unique supplies that people would want.
- Pick a good shop name. I picked Happy Cloud Supplies to keep it in sync with my jewelry shop. I think my shop names are too long, but I like them. I think one word names that are catchy and easy to remember are the best. Keep branding in mind. Here's a couple relevant articles: What's in a Name? and What's Branding?
- Make sure the name is available on Etsy and other major vendor sites you want to set up shop at. Also, make sure it's available as an email address at your favorite mail provider (Gmail, Hotmail, Ymail, etc). Or, maybe just see if it's available as a web domain name. Of course, Google it to make sure there isn't already an established shop with that name somewhere else.
- Register for an email account.
- Register for a Paypal account if you are going to accept Paypal, which you should.
- You may want to register for a web domain in case you ever want to have your own website. Squat on it now so it doesn't get taken. It doesn't cost much, but it's totally optional.
- Register for Etsy account, then activate your seller account by clicking on the "Sell" tab in the navigation bar. You will need a credit card.
- Fill in your bio.
- Fill in your shop policies. Give information like how you package your items, what shipping service you use, return policies, wholesale inquiries, international orders and such.
- Set up Google Analytics.
- Make a logo. There are a lot of talented graphics designer on Etsy. Just search for Logo. I think they run about $50-$100 for a logo. Make sure you check out the designer's feedback.
- Make a banner and avatar. I prefer banners with products. You can easily take one of your product pictures and crop it to the banner size. I like to take the square thumbnails of my products in my shop page and use them as avatars. They are square and perfect size.
- Take great pictures of your products. There are billions of storque articles and blog articles about how to take pictures. Basically, you need good lighting, a camera with macro setting and good props/backgrounds. Taking pictures of supplies is so different than jewelry. No need to be all artistic. Just show the bead!
- Setup your sections and shipping profiles. You don't have to have them, but it'll be nice.
- List your first items. The more the merrier, but I personally think you don't need to list like 50 items all on your first day. Slowly list different things and see how the response is. Remember to include all the measurements and colors and such in the descriptions. Tag well. Use all 14 tags.
There. Do those things and you'll have a shop. The hard part is actually getting people to go to your shop and then even harder? To get people to put stuff in their cart. Then, to get people to actually check out. To do all that, you have to promote! That includes promoting in social networks like having a Facebook fan page, Twitter, writing in the forums, starting a blog, chatting in the Etsy chat rooms, or even pay for advertising on Craftcult.com or Google or Project Wonderful. There are tons of storque articles that go into more details about setting up a successful shop like this one Etsy Success for Beginner Sellers, so read up!
I listed about 20 items over 1 weekend in my new shop. Haven't set up a banner or Google Analytics yet. There's just so much to do! I forgot how hard it is to get people to heart the shop or get fans for the Facebook fan page. It's hard to run 2 shops! It's hard running 1 shop too, so think hard before you start one.