Monday, 12 September 2011

How to Get That Elusive First Sale on Etsy

You Need Solid Structure
There is a formula to achieving success on Etsy. And with a little bit of discipline and focus, you will achieve your first sale in no time.

If you’ve had a store open on Etsy for a while (8+ months) with no sales whatsoever, then you need to rethink your approach. 

Your best bet is to start over, implementing a strong strategy before anything else.

I will spare you the ‘you need great pictures’ advice, as this should go without saying, and to be honest, it gets very irritating reading it time and again.

What you do need is structure.

Start with pen and paper and write down some ideas on store themes. The best performing stores on Etsy are super niche; they sell many variations of the same thing again and again.

If you’re a knitter, stick to scarves or hats or leg warmers etc, don’t try to attract everyone by offering everything. Choose the one that you enjoy making the most and know you can make a lot of, perhaps in different colours or sizes (whatever it is you make) once you have decided, stick with it.

Make a list of your variations and combinations i.e. colours, styles, sizes, etc. Know what it is you will be selling before you even make or list an item.

Once you have your list of items, go make!

When your items are all made up, you need to decide who you are selling them to, young women? Mature ladies? Mums for their kids?

Knowing who your audience is will help you to decide on how to design your Etsy store from choosing your name to writing your product descriptions.

If your audience is the mature lady, you could read magazines that target that audience and see how they do it, how do they speak to their audience? What colours do they use? Will your banner display classy italic writing? Will it be cluttered or simplistic? How about the pictures, lifestyle or product shots?

You need to make sure your store is communicating the correct message that will attract your desired audience. And you must tailor to a specific audience, as we said earlier; you can’t target everyone with everything.

The real secret to obtaining that first sale on Etsy is not how many circles you’re in, nor is it how much feedback you have, it is consistency plain and simple; your store must be consistent throughout. People like things to appear civilised and by coordinating every aspect of your store to create a sense of synergy will help to ease your customer from browsing to buying.

Once you have consistency pinned down, then you can work on other aspects such as pricing structure, SEO, renewing, tagging, etc. Because, while good SEO and tagging will get people in your store, there is no point if your store is lacking in consistency, as they are likely to be clicking the back button.

So go get consistent and grab yourself some buyers!


  1. Cute post with some good points. I think it does take a while to find your niche on Etsy. I'm still refining my niche and my target audience, and I've had a few sales.

  2. Thanks

    Congratulations on your sales so far. I started out on Etsy with a store that resembled a jumble sale. Once I decided to get serious and really be consistent with what I was selling, I immediately made a few sales.

    Still need to improve my pictures tho :P

    Good luck with your Etsy store!

  3. Good advice! Having an etsy shop is not the only prerequisite to becoming a successful seller. You are getting right to the point!

  4. Thank you Kernelstrand.

    I'm glad you could relate to the advice.

    I am your newest blog follower btw :)