I wrote an entire blog about running an ETSY shop, but things that I didn’t mention that now need to be written about are:
- Renewals of listing
Having a shop does take some time as you are going to be managing it if you have a product up in your shop. Sure, there are ways you can have it easy and that is to sell items that are PDF’s and you don’t have to worry about shipping, inventory or any of the other physical item issues. I am going to write about having physical items because that is what I have in my shop.
Shipping sounds like it should be easy to manage, and it is once you get into a routine with regards to getting things mailed to the customers. For us, we have decided that we do the shipping (going to the post office) three times a week depending on the volume of orders. Setting up a routine can make a big difference because we were going to the post office each time we got an order, and it was getting a little much as it meant that we were going every day some weeks. Now what we have done is decided that we will bunch the orders and then take them to the post office and get them shipped.
Another thing that you need to consider when you are mailing your orders is if they are going to fit into an envelope or a box. For us, we have found that most of the orders that we get fit into an envelope, which also means that it is one way to keep the shipping costs down. An envelope is a lot cheaper to mail than if you are putting the items into even a small, light-weight box.
For us, we have a routine when we ship, and there are specific items that we put into each order, and they are:
- Business card with a thank you sticker on it
- Postcard with a handwritten a note on the back of the card thanking the customer for the order.
- Actual items ordered
One we have all the items ready they are placed into an envelope, and they are ready to be shipped.
The physical inventory that you have is something else that you will need to determine how to manage. For our shop, we have all the items made and stored in individual bags, which are all labelled and then they are in tote boxes to make finding them easier. Our tote boxes are sorted by size of item so that it makes looking for each item a little easier. It also helps show when a specific size is running low and more items need to be made.
Besides all of the items being individually packaged, I have index cards for each of the fabrics that are in the shop. Yes, I know that it isn’t necessary to have these, but it makes it easier for me to ensure that the physical inventory agrees to the inventory that I have showing in the shop.
Determining how many items you are going to have in your shop is up to you. Once you start selling items, you will start to figure out how many you want of each item as well as how many listing you want.
Renewals of listing
The actual listings that are on ETSY will run for four months from the time you originally post or 4 months from the last sale of the item. It is nice when you can have multiple of an item because it means that if you have the listing set to auto-renew, it will automatically show up again as soon as a sale is made. Now the auto-renewal only helps when you have items left; otherwise, it won’t renew if you sell the last of a specific item. It is a nice way to ensure that you are keeping items up and visible on the general ETSY site. Each time an item is listed, it has a chance of showing as a new item on the general ETSY site as well as a listing on your shop.
I have found that having more than multiple of a listing makes it easier for me as it means that I can make the items in batches and then I can work on another fabric to get them ready while the ones in the shop are being managed within the system.
There are so many different things that you need to think about when you are managing an ETSY shop but remember that there are people always willing to help you out. If you are thinking of opening an ETSY shop or have just opened an ETSY shop and have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me as I am willing to answer questions if I can.