It took me almost an entire YEAR to make 100 sales on Etsy while going to school full-time. That is really difficult for me to write and tell the world. I don’t like to admit it, but I’m a prideful person. The fact that I wasn’t an overnight success was a hard pill for me to swallow. I wanted to quit so many times, but apparently, I’m more stubborn than prideful. Instead of giving up, I continued to learn and get better at my business.
To say I learned a lot to make those first 100 sales on Etsy would be quite the understatement. Because I was a newly married college student, I was also extremely broke. I didn’t have any spare money to use for marketing, promoted ads (I didn’t even know they existed at the time anyway!), or really anything extra. All I had were my products and their photos, and my photos weren’t very good.
Why am I telling you this?
Because I want to show you that a business can grow and develop into something beautiful and profitable, even if you’ve only got blood, sweat, and tears to spend. It’s to show you that you can start a business in college or at any other time in your life. It’s never a bad time to start doing what you love and work for yourself!
You’ve Got To START
You may be thinking, “Well, DUH!! This isn’t something you’ve learned from 100 sales on Etsy.” But it is. You can’t get 100 sales of something if you don’t start! It took me months to get the guts to officially open my shop and take the plunge. It was terrifying, putting myself out there knowing I could fail. If you’re anything like me and struggle with perfection, you may be waiting to open your shop because you know it’s not perfect.
Well, guess what? No shop is and it’s always a work in progress. You’ll never do enough research or read enough articles to feel ready. You’ve got to jump in and learn as you go. You’ll be more determined and passionate about working on your shop if it’s actually open and you can see it!
Create More Products
There are 45 million products listed on Etsy. Let me say that again. 45,000,000 items! If your shop has 30 items, your shop represents 0.000067% of all listings on Etsy. That is such a microscopic amount. I am not saying there’s a magical number of items you need in your shop or that if you add 100 more items you will be successful. I am saying that Etsy is a very large marketplace and most likely the more products you have, the more views you get. And we all know that those views will hopefully turn into cha-chings, getting you closer to your goal of 100 sales on Etsy.
Be Open To Custom Orders
In the beginning, most of my orders were custom order requests. The items I was selling in my shop, in particular, were easy to customize. My customizations were oftentimes altering the colors which simply meant I had to go buy more paint. If it is at all possible, say YES to these custom orders at the beginning.
This is a great way for you to expand your shop and create new items that are already paid for by the customer. I don’t have nearly the amount of custom order requests since my shop is large enough that 95% of people can find what they’re looking for already in my shop
One thing to be wary of is getting your hopes up every time someone asks a question about a product. I can’t count the numbers of times where people would inquire about customization, I replied, reassuring the customer that I could make it exactly as they want. Oftentimes, I never heard from them again! Sometimes we would converse back and forth 5-10 times before when everything was agreed upon and then the customer backed out.
Just be aware that it does and eventually someone who contacts you will order your products. You can also choose to charge the buyer before you start putting your own time into their custom order.
Customer Service Is Huge!
I cannot stress this enough. Customer service can make or break you in the Etsy business! Happy customers equal great reviews which leads to more sales and possible repeat purchases from those happy customers. I have learned that a quick response is a really good quality to have; I’ve had multiple inquirers/customers compliment the quick response I can give.
With the Sell on Etsy app, it makes contacting these people extremely easy and efficient. I have noticed that if I can’t reply right away I tend to lose the potential sale and never hear from the customer again.
Kellie was fantastic! The wood sign was perfect and exactly what we were looking for. We even asked for a small change to the original design we saw online and she was able to handle our request and was able to make the sign exactly how we wanted. I ordered it for a wedding gift and we will now order one of her signs for all future wedding gifts. We no longer have to spend time shopping for the perfect gift or dealing with a wedding registry. We will contact Kellie. She is awesome!! Darby.
Seeing a raving review like this when your shop is just starting out will really help reassure buyers. It will show buyers that your customer satisfaction is very important to you. This particular review also talks about becoming a repeat buyer. Repeat buyers are such an excellent way to get closer to those 100 sales on Etsy. Happy customers turn into repeat customers. It’s a win-win for both parties.
You Get Out What You Put In.
Starting a business definitely isn’t easy and it for sure doesn’t happen when it’s not a top priority of your time and research. The first couple of months after opening shop I put my shop on the back burner to study for college finals. I’d had almost no sales on Etsy and I didn’t want to waste my time on something I wasn’t getting any return from.
It was only when I decided to put full-time hours into my shop that something changed.
I began creating products again and focusing on SEO, leading to more sales on Etsy in 2 weeks than I’d had the first 2 months. I know it’s hard to keep putting the effort in not knowing if it will pay off, but keep at it and do your absolute best. Put time into it even if you don’t feel like it. It will pay off!
Finally, getting the first 100 sales on Etsy was by far the most difficult sales goal to reach. My average sales rate for my first 100 sales was 0.32 sales per day. Including the incredibly slow January and February for my business, my sales per day from 100 to 800 orders is almost 3 per day. I can’t wait to see how much my business grows this year and you can get to 100 sales, too. You just have to DO IT and learn as you go.