Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Etsy Store Countdown #1

Okay, now that I've decided on starting an Etsy store, there is so much to do! I figured I'd write about it in case anyone else decides on starting one in the near future.

Reading the forums

The first thing I did yesterday was to read the Etsy forums to see if there was any advice on pricing. I discovered that most sellers recommend increasing prices when items are popular but don't sell. This doesn't seem to make sense, but I guess increasing the price makes buyers perceive your product as more valuable (and thus a better buy). It also appears that most sellers don't charge enough for their products, or forget to take all their costs into consideration.

I also did some reading on what people find the most annoying about Etsy stores. It appears that bad spelling, blurry or tiny photos, and long store announcements are the biggest pet peeves. Not selling to international countries comes close, followed by not listing all the materials used. Some other pet peeves include no banner, minimal descriptions, no profile, not showing all angles of the product, and not listing location.

I also came across a Storque article called A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Shop on Etsy.

Deciding on pricing

I needed to decide on how to price my items. There were lots of formulas listed on the forums, but I decided to keep it simple for now. I made a list of all of my products. I made a column of the lowest amount that I'd be willing to let them go for, and then I made a column of the highest amount that I think someone would be willing to pay for the item. It's fun to see how you value your product compared to what you think you can charge for it. Of course, I can't be completely sure that the highest number amount is correct, but it's still fun to guess.

After that, I added all of the amounts up to see what my total would be if sold them for my price and for the highest price. This let me see whether I would be covering all of my costs and keeping afloat assuming I sold everything. At this point, I stopped and decided to take a break. I did some gardening, looked at my dolls, thought about what would happen if I sold them all... it was just part of the process.

Next on my list is to make an Excel sheet to start listing and calculating all of my costs exactly. I want to know exactly how much I can expect to lose in sales based on Etsy fees, Paypal fees, overhead charges, supplies, packaging, etc.

More to come...

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