Saturday, July 21, 2012

The TRUTH about Etsy and How to be Successful on Etsy

Many of you have written to Etsy Entrepreneurs.  And the most recurring theme on the comments on our posts from our readers seem to be centered on the fact that they are not making money on Etsy.
We have done A LOT of research from many sources and through our personal experience about this particular topic.  So we do hope that many of you may find this helpful for your success on Etsy.

There are MANY successful sellers on Etsy.  But none of the successful shops achieved success overnight.  MOST of the successful shops on Etsy have been around for at least 2 to 3 years or more.  The reason is because there is a HUGE learning curve.  So when you are new on Etsy, there are a lot of tricks and tips to learn to help your business grow, in addition to learning the basics of selling on Etsy.  Plus, it does take time for people to find you.  There are thousands of shops on Etsy and it does take awhile for buyers to stumbled onto your products and your shop.

So rest assure, success can be achieved, but it takes a whole lot of time, dedication, patience, and persistence.  Many sellers gave up after just a few months or after a year of being in business.  In the "Brick and Mortar" world, most businesses takes 3 years to break-even.

Tips and Tricks that WORKS:
1.  You must have a minimum of 50-100 items in your shop.
If your shop do not have enough to at least fill 4 pages of your shop, your shop will look like it is abandonned.  And no one wants to buy from a shop that seems like the owner is not even there to tend to it.  So it does not build buyers' confidence.

2. Pictures Pictures Pictures
Your picture must look appealing.
You must have probably read so many articles already on the importance of picture quality when selling online, but this topic cannot be expressed enough.
So many times, shop owners would put pictures of their items up and the pictures are very blurry or dark, making the items less appealing.  For more tips and tricks on Pictures techniques, please read our other post on Pictures Techniques on our blog.

3. Network like CRAZY
So if you open a shop and no one knows about it, how can they find it???
So help your shop be successful by telling everyone you know about it and what you sell.  And make sure that you spread the word on all of your social networks as well.

4. Treat your business as a "REAL" Job!
Set working hours like you would if you have a normal job.  The more time that you put into your business, the more fruit that you see from it.  And it does take ALL of the spare time that you have (if you are working part-time), or ALL of your full time if this is your full time job.  You really do get what you put into it.

5.  Do you have a product that others would want to buy?
Many times new sellers thinks that if they put something online to sell, that someone will just buy it.  WRONG!!!  If it is something that you would not buy yourself, then chances are, others would not see the value in it either.  So make sure what you are putting out there is what you are passionate about.  If you are passionate about you do, it will show in your products, shop, and business.  And YES, there are many others out there whom might share the same interests you do.

This topic cannot be stressed enough!  You MUST have exceptional customer service.  If you treat your customers poorly and do not stand behind your products, then you will not get repeat customers.  And most business do rely on repeat customers to be successful.  So if there is a problem, just fix it.

We know all of these tips and tricks sounds like they are just basic stuff.  But they really do work.  And doing all of these does make your business successful.

Having a home based business or selling online is NOT easy.  Who ever said that it is easy and quick is lying to you!!!  So do not waste your money on those kits that you see other people are trying to sell to you for a lot of money.  Because they are successful because you are helping them profit.  NOT because they are selling a awesome handmade product and made a lot of money off of it (except for the kits that they are selling to you).  So please do not waste your money.  All of the kits and ebooks in the world cannot help your business become successful and certainly not overnight if you do not follow all of the simple tips that we have just talked about.

And there are NO such thing as having "quick" success.  Maybe a few sellers are lucky in that aspect and got lucky and made a lot of sales in a very short amount of time.  But many of us have to put a lot of sweat, blood, and tears into our businesses to make it successful to the point where we can quit our day job.  But if you keep at it and do not give up, you too will achieve success.  So next time when someone tries to sell you something that promises you to make money fast online, please do not waste your money.  All of those do not work if you have a "set it and forget it" attitude with your business, or thinking that you will achieve success overnight, in a few days, in a few weeks, or even in a few months.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


For way to long the Etsy community has been taking screen shots of Etsy treasuries to show them off on our blogs. Martin from Whale Shark Websites has made our lives so much easier! He has created a very simple tool that allows you to place any Etsy treasury on a blog or webpage. You will notice that everything that is clickable in an Etsy treasury is clickable on this Etsy Treasury Blog version.
Simple install instructions:
1. First find a treasury you want to feature.
2. Locate the Etsy Treasury ID
Etsy treasury id number
3. Head over to Etsy treasury HTML code generator
4. Copy and paste the Etsy Treasury id number in the box.
Etsy treasury code generator
5. Pick what you want the layout of the treasury you want. You can pick different number of columns and the size of the pictures.
6. Hit the generate code button and your preview and code will show below.
7. Here is what the Treasury html will look like. Click in the box and hit “control a” to ensure you copy all the code.
Etsy treasury html code
8. Head over to your blog and paste the code where you want the treasury to show up. Make sure you are in the html tab before you paste your code.
Blogger will look like this:
etsy treasury blogger
(source: http://www.handmadeology.com/quickly-add-any-etsy-treasury-to-your-blog-or-webpage/)
Info founded by, written, and posted by: http://www.etsy.com/people/RocoByRachel

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Online Labs:
Etsy’s bookkeeping partner, Outright, shares straightforward tips for the small business owner.
Tune in to this Q&A session on the legal and financial aspects to consider when starting a business.

Blog Posts:
Other Resources:
Etsy App: Metricorn tracks and visualizes your sales, while expensing shipping data and taxes to boot.
Etsy Team: Blech! provides a friendly place for advanced discussion on business, marketing, accounting, promotions, and Etsy.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


1. Contact the appropriate venue admin.
Contact Etsy, Ebay, Paypal, Artfire, etc...
Even though almost 100% of the time, these sites don't do anything to punish the scammers, it's just protocol.

2. Contact your network on Facebook, twitter, blog, youtube, etc... and tell ALL of your friends and networks about the crime so that the criminal can be identify by many others. Your networks also includes your teams, forums, groups, and guilds online as well.
Heck, they should have billboards plastered with pictures of all of these criminals' faces instead of stupid ads that no one wants to see on the freeway!

3. Write to Etsy Entrepreneurs and we will post your story and the criminals who have committed the crime so that others may be warned and steer clear of these scammers.

4. Write to: http://etsycallout.wordpress.com/
Tell them your story and let them know. They have a wide network of viewers as well, so this will help spread the word.

5. Contact Regretsy.com
Tell them your story. Like etsycallout, they will help spread the word about the scam and con artist.

Any other tips, please comment so that we may all learn together. Let's band together and shut these criminals down!

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Congratulations to
Christine Pankow
Lansing, Michigan
With Any Man Can Be A Father, But It Takes A Special Person To Be A Dad

I have always loved art. I was always drawing, painting, sewing and making things as a girl. I love collecting pretty stones, beads, glass and shells. I got started making jewelry over 10 years ago for gifts for people. It seemed like a more personal and appreciated gift to give, a wearable, handmade gift. It also cost me less than what I was able to buy. Recently people were asking the recipients where they got the jewelry and started requesting it.  I decided to open my shop on Etsy! I really love to make jewelry for other people. I love how it makes people feel special. Every time I get an idea and complete it and then see someone wearing it is such an awesome feeling!
It seemed like perfect timing to start my business because it is something I can do while working around my children's many activities. I always have my travel kits with me to work on my jewelry everywhere that I go. 
What inspired your Father’s Day challenge treasury?
What inspired my Father’s Day Treasury was the quote “Any man can be a father but it takes a special person to be  a dad.” Almost every day I look up quotes by inspirational people of the past and post them on my Facebook page to encourage others.  I decided to look up quotes for Father’s Day to get ideas for my treasury and then started looking for things that made an impression on me, and that fit all different kinds of dads.  The black and white theme started after I chose a few Etsy Entrepreneur items, so I stayed with it, hoping to make an impact and get these shops noticed.
What Father or Male Figure in your life inspired you?
My father, Paul Desens, has always been a dear person and an inspiration to me. He always encouraged me to do things and made opportunities for me to be able to advance my skills. I am very thankful for him and try to make the most of every day that I can hear his voice on Skype or on the phone.  I try to never take anyone or anything for granted. Time is precious and every moment is a gift.

What items do you like seeing/buying on Etsy for male shoppers?
I think a lot of men like jewelry too so I was happy to find so many cool pieces of jewelry for men on Etsy. 
What items would you like to see in your shop geared toward fathers or male buyers?
My son helped me pick out crosses and chain to make necklaces for his friends for their Confirmation Day in May. This  has made me think  of ways to incorporate more masculine bracelets and necklaces into my shop.

Congrats to all and remember to share the love!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Latest Scams & The Etsy Feedback System That Facilitates It

I don't know how many other sellers this is happening to.....but I've had it happen one too many times here on Etsy to not speak my mind about it. I do know some other sellers that have been dealing with similar scams.

The Scam:

The buyer purchases an item from you; then after the purchase is complete they contact you requesting that you send the item to a different address than the one that they have listed in their Etsy and PayPal accounts. If you do that, you will be forced by PayPal to refund the customer if they claim they never got it. In other words.....they have the item and a refund.....and you, the seller have zip.

If you don't ship the item to the other address they asked you to ship to; the customer will be angry because the scam didn't work in their favor....so they will come up with issues with the item; and either leave negative feedback or they threaten to leave negative feedback if they don't receive a full refund.....and they still expect you to allow them to keep the item.

Another senerio:

They will say they moved and never got the item because you refused to ship the item to their new address that they sent to you after the sale was completed. Which let me make very clear....DON'T DO IT! PayPal will take your money out of your account and refund the buyer if you did not ship to the address listed in PayPal.

The worst part of this type of scam is that you can't do anything about it. Etsy will allow them to get away with it. Etsy will go so far as to tell you to work it out with the buyer, and to refund them or give them another item.....they offer no assistance at all.

In other words; if you don't refund the customer and allow them to keep the item you will end up with negative feedback from the customer.....and that's okay with Etsy.

My latest scammer went into great detail in her feedback; stating the item was damaged, rusted, scratched, etc.; basically calling the item a piece of junk.....and said that she was "ripped-off" by me. She never once tried to contact me prior to leaving the feedback to let me know of any problems....she just told horrible lies when leaving feedback because her scam didn't work out in her favor. She thought I would ship to another address, but I decided to contact PayPal about it, and I was told "Absolutely, under no circumstance do you ship to another address.....and it sounded like a scam to them".

After she left the negative feedback the buyer finally did contact me stating she would consider changing her feedback if I refunded her in full. Keep in mind that she wants the item, and admits that it's a cute piece in her convo to me.....and that she wants to keep it. She never once asked to return the piece for a refund.....even though I had mentioned that she could have returned the item for a full refund, rather than leaving negative feedback.

She also made it quite clear that she understands the Etsy's feedback system....and that the negative feedback that she received from me doesn't show to the public or to other sellers, so she could care less. She even went as far as to gloat about that fact, and how the negative feedback only hurts me, as the seller. She even added a smiley face after the comment to let me know she was gloating about her not being affected by the feedback.

The Etsy feedback system is totally unacceptable and unfair to all the honest sellers. I think as sellers here on Etsy we need to make it clear that these feedback policies only hurt the honest seller; and should be changed to make it a fair place for both buyers and sellers to conduct their business.

I'd love to hear from other sellers.....what scams are you dealing with? I think as sellers we need to look out for each other.....and let others know what kind of scams are being perpetrated here on Etsy!

Also, as a seller.....how do you feel about the feedback system? How have the changes affected your doing business here?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Being Safe on Etsy: Spotting and Avoiding Advance Fee Fraud

It's important for us at Etsy to ensure our community is safe while using the site. Unfortunately there is no foolproof way to ensure safety online at all times. Sometimes all we can do is give information and hope that well informed users will be able to protect themselves. As the Etsy name spreads throughout popular culture and the world, it is bound to attract more and more unscrupulous individuals with ulterior motives. Unfortunately, this happens to web companies as they become more popular.

One of the most common scams is known as Advance-fee fraud. Also called the "Nigerian scam" or the "419 scam," this type of scam is frequently seen in emails where a person claims to be looking to engage in a business deal involving a large sum of money, but these scams are now cropping up more and more on online retail sites.

How this scam shows up on Etsy:

Typically this scam begins with the scammer sending out Conversations (also known as "Convos," Etsy's internal messaging system) to a wide range of Etsy sellers, specifically those that list one or more high priced items. In some cases the scammer may simply purchase some of these expensive listings. If they have checked out and committed to buy these listings, it's likely they have not "paid" in any sense and will send a Conversation along with their purchase.

The Convo will usually indicate that this buyer will pay with a money order or a cashier's check and will need to tack on an extra amount for their "shipping agent." Usually this amount is very high — sometimes even higher than the original cost of the listing. If this is agreed upon, then the buyer will send out the money order or check and typically a fake "invoice" from the shipping agent. They will then request that any over-payment from the money order be sent back to them.

This works because the check or money order (typically from an overseas bank) is a forgery. Your bank may allow you to deposit it, and then by the time the bank realizes it is a forgery, you have already sent back the over-payment to the scammer. Once the forgery is detected your bank will hold you liable for the amount, and now that the con artist has their money, you will not hear from them again.

What to do:

If you receive any suspicious Convos like this the best thing to do is ignore them and report it to Etsy's Support Team or forward the Convo notification email to abuse@etsy.com. If an item was purchased from your shop, you may cancel the transaction as well.

Sellers should never send any money in a situation like this, no matter what reason is given. If you do find yourself facing a potential loss, or realize too late that you were being targeted by a scam, be sure to contact your financial institution as soon as possible. You may also want to contact local law enforcement. Again, let us know about this and send us the pertinent information, so we can take steps to remove and block these types of users from our site. Please share this article with your family and friends so we can spread awareness!

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