How I Make Consistent Sales All Year In My Etsy Shop (What No One Tells You) + SBO Merch

Hey friends! I’ve talked about my apparel and accessories Etsy shop quite a bit on here and over the past couple of months I’ve had quite a few people asking me how I’ve grown my shop and specifically how I make consistent sales. This post is full of my best tips on how I’ve had over 1500 sales on Etsy in the past year. If you’re a small business owner, Etsy seller, considering starting an online business or just interested in how a small business operates this post will be helpful for you!

Do Something For Your Shop Every Day

Add a new product, ship orders, update your shop announcement – just make an effort to do something (even if it’s really small) to be active on Etsy every day. This is good for your shop in several ways (keeping up with tasks, having a quick response time, etc) but it mostly boosts your shop in Etsy’s algorithm. Etsy wants to and will promote shops who’s owners are active on the platform – in other words responding quickly to messages, shipping orders on time, and adding new products will get you boosted in Etsy’s algorithm.

Ship Out Orders and Respond To Messages Quickly

This ties to the last point, but is super important so I figured I should make it a point of its own. Etsy really doesn’t like it when you ship out your orders late or take a long time to respond to messages. This is so important that Etsy even has an estimate of the owners response time posted for literally EVERYONE who visits your shop to see.

I’ve personally noticed with my own shop that when I get behind on orders or responding to messages that my sales go down. It’s honestly kind of weird how much this can impact your shop, but it definitely does! To stay on top of messages I have the seller app on my phone and I make it a point to routinely check for messages throughout the day. My biggest tip for staying on top of orders would be to make sure that the quantities you actually have in stock are accurate on the website (so you can ship quickly and don’t have to make/ order more of a product) and also to not let orders pile up if you can avoid it. 😉

Invest In Your Photography

The photos are the very first impression that potential buyers will get of your products – so they really have to be on point! If I had to invest my time, money or other resources in one thing for an online (and particularly Etsy) business it would be the product photography.

The thing is, with online shopping potential buyers cannot touch, feel, taste, smell or experience the product in the same way that they can in an online setting. As a seller, your photos need to do two things: 1) They need to give the potential buyer the details of what the product is and 2) They need to help the buyer picture what the product will look like on them, how they will use it and how it will benefit them.

Here are a couple tips for product photography:

  • Focus on the lighting of your photos and don’t be afraid to edit the lighting a little bit – I do this with almost all of my photos and it drastically improves the quality of them!
  • Include photographs of someone (it can even be you!) modeling the products – this will help buyers imagine using the product themselves!
  • Make it obvious what is being sold (don’t include props that could be mistaken for the actual product).
  • I know everyone says this but don’t be afraid to use your phone for product photography! Yes, I’d say that a good quality camera does do a better job, but definitely don’t be afraid to use your phone if it’s all you have!

Don’t Rely Solely On Etsy To Bring You Customers

Etsy is great and can direct a lot of traffic and buyers to your shop, however you should not rely solely on Etsy to bring you your customers. Social media (particularly Instagram and Pinterest) are great ways to bring traffic to your Etsy shop!

This will also be extremely important when/ if you switch your shop to Shopify. Unlike Etsy, Shopify has no search engine like Etsy does. You are responsible for getting people to visit your shop organically, so if nothing else, getting good at social media and other types of marketing is super important as you grow your Etsy shop!

Recognize The Type of Shop You’re Running

Etsy shops that are hobbies and that are businesses both can be super rewarding and successful, however they have different goals and as a seller you need to recognize that. Running an Etsy shop as a hobby is going to have different goals than running an Etsy shop as a business. I won’t go into a ton of detail here but if you are interested here is a great article completely on this topic!

Do Product Research

When I first started out on Etsy several years ago I was just listing whatever I wanted and thought other people would like. In other words I was totally guessing. Ha! Now before I launch any new product I have thoroughly researched the keywords and actually already have planned the keywords I’ll be using for the listing. There are several ways to determine the keywords that are popular and apply to your listing, but whichever method you choose make sure to research the keywords BeFoRe you invest your time and money in a new product!

Make It Easy To Order From You

Have you ever gone and tried to order something online and there are just so many hiccups!? If so, you know the frustration and annoyance! When you have convinced a buyer that you are a shop worth purchasing from, the last thing you want is for them to have a difficult purchasing experience. Thankfully, Etsy makes purchasing pretty easy, but to make it even easier for your customers make sure that you offer both credit card payments and PayPal, have clear return policies and also clear processing times.

Strive For Progress Over Perfection

I’ll be totally honest here – this one is super hard for me. I’m such a perfectionist and it can be hard to balance doing things well and getting them done. I’ve been learning though to focus on making progress in my business rather than waiting around until I can do it perfectly!

Act The Part

Please, please don’t get me wrong – I’m NOT saying that you should not be yourself or that you should not be relatable, or authentic, etc. But I am saying that there is a level of professionalism that you need to maintain with your customers, your clients, your suppliers, etc. For example, I wouldn’t text a customer the same message I would text my friends. It’s not that you’re not trying to be relatable, authentic or yourself (definitely be all of those things) but by showing a level of professionalism you are communicating that 1) You are serious about your business and 2) That you take seriously the relationship you have with your customers. It also shows reliability and consistency! This is especially important for teen small business owners!

Another thing to NEVER do as a small business owner is to beg for sales. I can’t tell you guys how many of these messages I’ve received. Here’s an example:

hey i’m new and really want some sales. nobody has bought from me and i’d love it if you would. i sell stickers and keychains. i can even give u a discount if you’d like. lmk, thx.

A message like this communicates unprofessionalism to say the least. It also makes you look desperate and not confident in yourself or your business (which we’ll get to next). Nobody wants to buy from somebody who sends other business owners a bunch of messages like this and you really don’t want a bunch of people who buy from you only because they feel bad for you. Not a good idea!

If you do want to share about your brand in a professional way and also make friends with other small business owners, feel free to message them, but don’t make it all about you and again, keep that professionalism up. Here’s an example:

Hi there (insert their name here)! I love what you’re doing with your shop, and I especially appreciate xyz about it! I’d love to connect somehow, please feel free to message me here or on Instagram (insert shop Instagram here).

Bam, you just shared your Instagram account with them and gave them an opportunity to make the move and check out your shop, all while being super professional, but also authentic and friendly. MUCH better, wouldn’t you agree!?

Be Confident In Your Business

This kind of ties to the last point, but I had to make it it’s own point because confidence in your business is so important. Confidence is what sells your brand. If you aren’t confident in your own brand and products, why do you think that anyone else will be?

Running a business, building a brand, writing a blog, running an Etsy shop can be nerve wracking. I’ve definitely grown in confidence, but like even the other day I got a bad review in my shop and suddenly every little bit of confidence in my shop felt like it wasn’t there. I wanted to quit and just stop doing it altogether.

The reality is that no matter how well you run your business, there are always going to be people who leave bad reviews, who give negative comments or who just do other things that make your confidence sink. And as your business grows, it’s probably going to happen more and more often.

You have to learn to be confident in yourself and in your business, no matter the size/ scale. Not in an arrogant “I know everything” way (you definitely need to be teachable and able to take constructive criticism) but in a way that says “I know who I am and I know why I’m doing this.” This get’s to the next and last point:

Focus On Your WHY

And I saved the best (and maybe the most important) for last! Figuring out why you’re (or you want to) run an Etsy shop is super important when setting goals and even just staying motivated in the day to day tasks. Remembering my why always helps me stay motivated, especially on the tough days! ✨

I hope these tips will be helpful for you guys and if you have any questions or would like me to go into more detail on any of these points feel free to message me any time! 😊

If YOU are interested in getting started on Etsy make sure to click the link below to get 40 free listings when you start your shop! Typically on Etsy you will have to pay $0.20 per listing, but when you use the link below and get 40 free this can help you save money as you’re starting your shop. With 40 free listings you’ll be set for a while!

Also, if you (or a friend/ family member) are a small business owner then make sure to get my adorable small business owner tshirt! It comes in a variety of fun colors and makes a perfect gift! The shirt is also super fun to wear while packaging orders or working on you small business! ✨

Alright you guys, I think that’s it! I hope this post will be helpful for you guys and make to save it to Pinterest for future reference & to help keep this blog going! 🙂

18 thoughts on “How I Make Consistent Sales All Year In My Etsy Shop (What No One Tells You) + SBO Merch

  1. Wow, Hannah, these are all amazing tips! I definitely need to work on updating/being active on my shop more regularly. I’m hoping to improve that over this summer. Thanks for the amazing post! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. These tips are incredible! I’ll definitely be saving this post to look back on. I know you mentioned Pinterest marketing — do you do any of that for your shop? Any ideas for how to find people who want to buy and aren’t just DIYing?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Anna! Pinterest marketing is actually something I’m hoping to work on with my shop this summer, so unfortunately I don’t have a ton of advice/ experience with it yet. To answer your second question, I think it really depends on what you’re selling. For instance, if you’re making something that most anyone can make (eg. beaded keychains) highlight how YOU make that item uniquely or why there is an obvious benefit to buying from you. Also focus on the purchasing experience (quick shipping, easy to checkout, nice packaging, etc). If you’re selling something that would be harder for anyone to make, this is definitely easier. Keep in mind though, that there are always people who will want to try to get your processes to DIY, but in my experience, most people would rather purchase items from someone (at least for most things) than try to DIY themselves.

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    1. For specific Etsy help, the seller handbook is really helpful for basic things. I’ve also found a lot of great tips and tricks in various blog posts and YouTube videos. I’ve never taken any courses for Etsy before, but I know that there are a ton of great options out there, just none that I myself have tried.

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  3. Wow! This is awesome Hannah. 🙂 Thanks SO much for sharing all these tips. I never knew that not being active, etc, etc, could affect your sales.

    I really appreciate you taking the time to write a post about this. 🙂

    Have a lovely day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Aww, thanks so much Bronwyn! It’s kind of crazy isn’t it!? Also, I received your email and will be responding soon, I’ve just been behind this week! 🙈

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Ahhhh! I love this post, Hannah! Yet another great one 😉 I’m hoping to start an Etsy shop soon-ish (whenever I actually get around to it!), so this was definitely helpful!

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  5. Heyyyy Hannah! I know I commented on this post earlier, but I have a quick question that I was hoping you could answer! Do you have to pay taxes for your Etsy shop? I assume you do, but I wasn’t quite sure. Thanks!

    Like

  6. These are such lovely tips, I definitely might start an Etsy shop soon so this is great advice! I’m not sure what I could do though so maybe a post on that would be great! 💕

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