Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Etsy Process, Steps 1-4

Since getting into Illustrator and learning my way around, I've discovered that I really love creating my own designs.  I can't draw anything by hand, so the computer gives me creative opportunities I've never had before.

When I started creating these things, I thought it would be fun to sell them on Etsy.  Why not, right?

Step 1: set up shop on Etsy.com

First, I chose the name Virginia and Charlie for my shop.  Since this blog is somewhat well established (and I like this name) I wanted to stick with this name.  I was worried that if I made the name of the shop different, I would confuse people.

Second, I created a header for my shop.  Etsy gives dimensions for the header space so I knew exactly how much room I had to work with.  I chose to use one of my photos since I will be selling some of those.  I typically use a photo in my header on this blog and I want this blog and my shop to have the same look.

Ok, done.  What's next?

Step 2: Deciding what and how much
The next thing I had to do was decide what I wanted to sell and the price.  To make a more informed decision, I made sure to read all of the information that Etsy gave me.  I learned two very important things:

This is just a snapshot of my etsy home page, that offers me products to fit my taste.  This is not a specific shop.

1. It costs $0.20 for each item you list every month.  Each item gets it's own box/link for customers to click to learn more about the product.  So let's say I have 5 items listed - every month I'll pay $1 for those items (pretty good deal, right?).

2. Etsy charges %3.5 percent of every item you sell.  If I sell an item that I listed for $10, then Etsy gets $0.35.  Again, that's a pretty good deal.  For someone like me that doesn't know how to build their own website, Etsy is perfect.

So when I was pricing my items, I made sure to take into account the price to list and the percentage that goes to Etsy.  $10 - $0.20 - $0.35 = $9.45.  Not too shabby for a $10 item!

I also made sure to take into account the cost of producing each item I'm choosing to list.  For my digital pieces (things I made on the computer) the cost was only my time and since I enjoy that immensely - that was basically free!  For photos that I would like to sell, I have to keep in mind that it's going to cost me to print them.

Basically what I'm saying is that there's more preparation than I though.  I found it really helpful to create a list of each thing I wanted to sell and the price, so that when I start creating my listing I knew exactly what I was doing.

Which leads me to the next step: listing an item

Etsy could not have made it any easier to list an item.  Everything is ready and all you have to do is plug in the information.   They even have some handy tips to help you sell your products.  I also found it very helpful to look at some other shops that were selling items similar to mine.  First, I need to make sure my prices were not ridiculous.  Second, it was really helpful to see how other people are selling their products.

Step 4: taking photos

Which I will tell you about later because that's a whole different animal.  It turned out to be a lot tougher than I thought.

In case you are wondering, I'm planning on opening my shop in mid-July.  The end of June is just crazy for me and I need life to slow down a little before I can really focus on this shop.  But I must say, the more I work on it - the more excited I get!

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