Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guide to Creating & Selling on Etsy

Etsy stores open & close every day. What will make your indie products stand out? You need a plan!
deep thinking lip piercings nose ring white girl blue eyes updo hair1. Who is your target customer? Do you want to specialize & supply solely to a niche market, or do you want to explode onto the general masses from the start? Is your customer younger or older, male or female, a particular religious or cultural demographic? It's important to build a strong customer base to begin with, but also consider expanding your product line to reach consumer outside your normal market. Incorporate different product characteristics to offer different appeals for your brand- colors, shapes, scents...

2. Price? You want a price low enough that customers think they're getting a good deal, but it also needs to be high enough that they feel it's good quality. Make a spreadsheet and calculate in every last detail- cost of materials, packaging, shipping, Etsy listing+selling fees, Paypal fees- and then calculate the prices you have to sell the items to break even. Now decide on a selling price that gives you a fair profit while keeping you competitive in the marketplace. You should also consider having your prices high enough that you can have "sales" while maintaining profit.
blue mineral makeup diy teal powder mica shimmer3. Permanent products vs. limited edition. If you're working in small batches, of eyeshadow for example, it's easy to see which colors sell well over time and which colors not to restock. If your product is more expensive and time consuming, like handmade jewelry, you'll want to make one or two at a time and offer to take orders on consignment. You should also consider seasonal and holiday promotional items, certain scents and colors will sell better during particular times of the year (like peppermint around Christmas).
4. Packaging? Packaging is important! Do you want your products to have a professional or a more hand-made touch to them? Jewelry should come in a gift box. Beauty products are a personal luxury, so packaging should make the buyer feel special. When in doubt, keep the packaging simple- but try to add a little touch that makes your product stand out, like a cute label. Have a signature color of gift bag or tissue paper, match it back to your company's logo so the customer remembers you. Color is, by far, the most powerful presence on your packaging- it elicits an emotional reaction so make sure you're sending the right statement by distinguishing yourself.
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5. Ingredients and product claims? It's important to tell customers exactly what they are buying so they won't have any allergic reactions. Is the jewelry sterling silver, 14k solid gold, gold-filled, nickel-free,...? Beauty products need an ingredients list, I cannot emphasize this enough! Think long and hard about your customer and what claims they're looking for in your type of product while you're developing it. Will you sell organic, gluten-free, scent-free, moisturizing, natural pigments...? 
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jesse pinkman what? gif red car beanie confused7. Social Media. Aside from Etsy, where will you advertise to attract customers- Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, a blog? Word-of-mouth is important for an indie brand to grow its customer base. It's also a great way to advertise sales and coupon codes. Facebook and blogs especially open a door to customers to build a personal bond with you, they'll feel they know & trust you so they'll be more likely to buy. Keep your audience in mind with every single post, do NOT go off on political rants or post potentially offensive material. Youtube is another great way to advertise your products, give demonstrations and flaunt the quality work you put into them! Another popular promotional tactic is to host a small giveaway contest.

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