That may not sound like a lot, but it's over 300 more then I had before I started my online shop with Etsy. I've really enjoyed having a place to share my handmade pieces and vintage finds. I'm also super proud of my reviews. My customers make me glow. Heres a short list of what I've learned and some resources.
1. Etsy is just the platform. They do not direct customers to your shop. You make your shop easy to find with clear product descriptions and tagging with accurate key words. You can also drive customers to your shop using your social media. I see people complaining in the forums sometimes about what Etsy doesn't do. Remember though, it's your shop.
2. Pictures are so very important. It is the first thing your customers see and their only way to judge your work until you've got some reviews. Your images need to be clear, show the size or scale and as many angles as possible. Having one or two pictures of whatever you are selling being staged or used is helpful too. Natural light or using white light is important. Etsy has a way higher standard for picture quality than eBay.
3. Key words in your title, tags and description are important. Think of all the ways someone searching for your item might find it. Things like art vase, floral vase, functional art, modern vase, Mothers Day Gift. You get several tags with each listing and also get to fill out an attributes questionnaire for each item you list. These things are important and should be done as accurately as possible to help your customers find your stuff.
4. The Etsy Success Podcast is worth listening to. Their episodes are very structured and it sometimes sounds like they are just reading a script, but they share a lot of Etsy insider information.
5. The best resource is the Etsy Sellers Handbook. It is a collection of articles and guidelines organized by topic. It grows all the time, but I highly recommend this being your number one source of information.
6. The Etsy Forums are another great place to read articles about selling on Etsy, but it also has tons of peer to peer support as well. I've learned a lot of interesting things here over the years.
7. Customer support is key. This includes having clear pictures and accurate descriptions so that they are not surprised by what they are getting. I always send a postcard that has a short handwritten thank you. On the bottom in fine print it says that all my customers deserve five star treatment and how to contact me if they have questions.
If you are thinking about starting a shop with handmade, vintage or crafting supplies, go for it.