Jan 23, 2017

Tips And Tricks To Selling On Etsy - What I Have Learned Over The Last Seven Years

I am contacted daily by new Etsy sellers asking for help.  How do they build a successful shop on Etsy and turn it into their day job? It doesn't happen overnight, but it definitely can happen!  I opened my first Etsy shop over seven years ago and have absolutely loved selling on Etsy.  Since my first shop opened in 2010 I did quit working for someone else and now work full time for myself.

A tiny smidge about me,  I am Tawnya Beck Zebrowski, the oldest sister in a family of five girls, that has blossomed into a family of nearly 30. I have been married for 22 years and have 3 daughters Taylor 24, Breanne 20 and Kaitlin 18.  Growing up in a large family there was never a shortage of birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, weddings and family gatherings to plan and prepare for. Over the years I developed a true passion for the sport and I love scouring the internet, researching the current trends and looking into unique gift and favor ideas to fill the needs of my customers.

I promise I won't bore you, but a little bit about the biz...in 2012 I moved my favor business out of my house and we opened a studio in Rancho Santa Margarita, CA.  This allowed me to expand my product line and hire some pretty amazing ladies to help keep up with the demand for our products. Over the next few years I opened several Etsy shops.  The Favor Box, selling favor packaging, LuLu Sugar, offering high end bath and body products and soy candle favors, Hello You Candles, selling personalized gift candles for absolutely EVERY occasion, and finally Confetti Gift Company, offering a clever line of gift boxes and surprise balls.  I partnered with my very talented sister on this one and I must admit it is probably the most fun I have ever had.  In 2014 we launched, The Favor Design Studio, Inc. where we took all of our favor products from The Favor Box and Lulu Sugar and combined them into one website.  This was more for marketing purposes, we still have all of our Etsy shops and wouldn't change a thing.  Gifting With Style is truly my hobby.  I love giving gifts and I am always trying to find the next great thing for myself and my customers.

Ok, now lets get down to what makes Etsy tick.  This is only through my eyes and someone else might tell you something completely different, but we are on target to break a MILLION this year on Etsy alone and this is how I got here....


  • You have to have a great product!  You don't have to be the only one selling this product, if you put out a great product you will get your piece of the pie.  
  • The picture have to be great!  Here is a video that I found on YouTube from A Beautiful Mess. They give a lot of photography and styling advise that I completely 100% follow myself.  

  • Offer lots of items!  The more items you have in your shop the more traffic you are going to get, especially if the listings appeal to different people.  For example in my shop Hello You Candles I have one candle for a best friend and one for someone who lost a pet.  The search terms for each of these items would be completely unrelated but will both drive traffic to my shop.
  • Which leads me to key words!!  Very important key words.  Think like your customer, really actually do the exercise of going to the Etsy search bar and type in what you would type in if you were looking for what you sell.  You will be surprised when you do the exercise how differently you start thinking.  Once the results come up take a look and see if your item would make sense among the displayed items.  Do this with several words and phrases to come up with your key words.  It takes a bit of time but in the long run well worth the effort.  Another key word tip is to scroll to the bottom of the page and it will have suggested links.  If these apply to your products use them, you can only have 13 phrases per item so pick wisely.  
  • Renewals!  Expensive yes, but the payoff is huge.  I renew 40 items in each of my shops every morning stating with the listings with the best performance.  Every time you renew a listing it gives that listing a boost in the rankings. Sometimes you don't see it right away but I definitely notice a difference.  
  • Make yourself available!  If someone has a question, they want an answer five minutes ago.  I have the Etsy Seller app on my phone and I am (almost) always on duty.  If I don't respond they may move on to another seller with a similar product.  
  • Always be selling!  If someone does message you with a question about a product this is your chance to sell it.  Offer a discount for a large order or if ordering multiple items ask if they want a custom listing to make it easier for them to checkout.
  • And last but not least get back to the basics!  Ship on time; the customer is always right; if the items get lost in the mail or destroyed send replacements even if it's not your fault.  It can be costly but those great reviews will keep the sales rolling in.
Hope this helps!  Please feel free to contact me with any questions, I love seeing Etsy sellers succeed.