20 things you should know about your Etsy shop


I’ve received numerous emails from my readers, asking for some guidance and advice on how to manage their small business. Today I’ll be covering some of the main questions about how to increase traffic and sales on etsy.

I am sharing all my tips from my own experience, so be aware that some of these tips may apply to you or may not! I am very happy to share everything I know, which the hopes that it will help you in some way.

Looking back to the beginning of my own business {in September 2008} I have to say, lots of things have changed since then. I have learned a tremendous amount about how to run a business, by managing everything myself. I must admit that I could have done some of the things different, to make it easier …however I don’t regret any decisions I made. 

Speaking of managing your business, I’d like to get started with the first few steps you should take after opening your etsy shop.

// Tip No.1:

first of all it’s important to list at least one page full of items (25+ items) to your etsy shop {imagine you are browsing through etsy and come across a shop that has only one or two items listed, no matter what the item is you most likely will move on, right?}

Since you should be working on your listings now, let’s take a closer look into how to set up your listings the right way!

First step - listing an item

Depending on what you are selling, try to match the drop downs to your items category. If your item can be customized, leave the check mark checked for “custom”.

Your next step would be to add Variations, from Ring sizes to the finishing option for your product. This will make it easier for the customer to place an order.

Add Variations

Now, lets move on to the images for your listing.. 

// Tip No.2:

When it comes to your product images, we want your product to shine and sell itself. And this is what you can do to accomplish that:

  • take pictures during the day (outdoors preferably) between 3-6pm – not in direct sunlight
  • to find the best setting for the shoot, you can take one to two pictures with each setting of your camera and pick the best image/setting for your product.
  • clutter free backdrop, means that it’s best not to overcrowd your image. A clean background will make your product shine (your potential customer can focus on the product instead of what’s around it) 

// Tip No.3:

Now lets move on to one of the important parts when talking about listing an item. As you may know SEO is a big part of your business, if you didn’t know you should make it an important part. You can find a few helpful links on SEO in my blog post of 5 THINGS I RECOMMEND // ALL ABOUT BLOGGING

Let’s use my Heart stackable Ring as today’s example


This is what you need to focus on when giving your product an “Item Title” and “Description”:

  • as it already says above the “item title” field – Try to describe your item the way a shopper would 
    • example: We are selling a handmade heart stacking ring in sterling silver (lets give them a cute and powerful title and description, shall we?)
    • Title: Sterling Silver Heart Ring, 925 Sterling Silver Ring, Silver Stacking Ring ,Tiny Heart Ring, stackable ring, eco friendly, size 4 to 9
    • To get the most out of your listing, I would add the title line into your description. This will help the search engine(s) to find your product much easier. The first few words from your description will be visible in search engines right beneath your product title (see example below)

google preview

    • But it’s also very important to give your clients a very detailed description about your item, so make sure to include all the features your item stands for. Details, details, details…

Screen Shot 2013-08-08 at 8.11.12 AM

    • last but not least, add your item to a “shop section“, in this case we would add our example to the RING section.

// Tip No.4:

We are almost done listing our item, but this part of your listing is just as important as the title and description area. The first section is split in Recipient, Occasion and Style. You may use these to help your customers find your item a bit easier.

But What if my item is for everyone? or Why only one occasion?

Now, lets move to the second part of this area, to the TAGS! When choosing the tags for your item, you want to picture yourself as the shopper, what would you enter into the search bar on etsy to search for your product? 

So lets see, for our example I basically copy/pasted the title into the tag area and also added a few more tags like; Heart Ring 925 Sterling Silver Ring Silver Stacking Ring Tiny Heart Ring promise ring friendship ring handmade ring skinny band Bridesmaid Gifts unique ring comfortable

under Material you only add the main material you used. For our example we added: sterling silver to the area.


tagging your product

ok, so now all that’s left is the pricing and the shipping cost. Which leads us to our 5th and last tip for today. 

pricing and shipping

// Tip No.5:

When it comes to pricing our handcrafted items, most of us forget to add labor to our pricing or to include packaging material. I’ve used a simple but effective calculation for years. And I love to share it with you all.

// Pricing your product:

Example 1

Base price = (cost of materials + packaging) x 4
+ your pro-rated hourly labor rate, then + 10% of that total for overhead costs.

Okay, say you have a labor cost of $20 per hour (think about how much you could live on if this was your full-time business!). And your materials cost for an item was $25. Lets say I made a ring that took 1 hour. The packaging averages at $1, and let’s says $1 for overheads, too.

($25 + $1) x4 + $20 + $1 = $125 

Now, this is the base price. You can’t sell it below this price without losing money. To make a profit, however, you will need to increase the price (or decrease your costs!).

Example 2

Cost Price (labor + price of materials) x 2 = Wholesale

Wholesale x 2 = Retail

Using the same details as we did in the first example…

20 x 1 = $20 labor + $25 materials = $45

$45 x 2 = $80 = Wholesale Price (Retail price $125)

Now, if you want to make a profit – which is the amount you have to grow and re-invest in your business, you should double this amount for Retail, which equals $160. Sounds like a lot, hey? It is. Well, that’s why you need to take the next two steps into account, too.

  1. Research your niche. Means you have to look around and search what other sellers in your niche charge for a similar item.
  2. Choose a price that feels right. If your calculation comes out too high or too low, now is the time to adjust the price.

Before I wrap it up for today, let’s cover the shipping charge real quick. This is fairly simple but should be done right! 

To ship my ring, I wrapped everything up just as if I would ship it to my customer. By using a scale you can be exact on the weight and price your shipping cost the right way.

Etsy also has the feature of using a DYMO printer for your shipping label, with endicia.com for the labels this is a luxury but it has made my shipping process so much faster and easier. 


I hope you enjoyed my today’s post, and would love to hear if my tips have helped you setting up or adjusting your shop. I’ll be covering 3 more etsy subjects, which are scheduled to be published in the first week of each following month.

If you have any questions, please feel free to comment below. 

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  1. Hey Bettina!
    Great post as usual 🙂 I may not be on etsy but I definitely found this post useful. The digital scale in your image above? What is the exact name of the scale? I am searching for a decent scale that provides accurate info.
    Also, is it possible for you to write a post sharing your experiences (pricing, packaging, tracking etc) in shipping your products domestic & international.

    Great packaging too.. that bow is super cute.

    1. Thank you Oyin, I can definitely write in a more detailed matter about pricing, packaging and tracking from domestic to international.
      Since I’ve lived in Japan for the past 3 years, I can share my experience about international mail and give our domestic and out of state readers an idea on how to ship and what to look for.

  2. just found this blog post (and your blog) randomly while clicking through google. very informative! i’m new to etsy and i feel that the points you made are important and highly relevant. i also love the look of your website and jewelry! i’ll definitely be following along with your story. thanks!

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