As an enthusiastic Mercher, one of the (good) problems that I’ve faced, is having too many ideas and designs for the Tier that I was on. I managed to fairly rapidly work my way up to Tier 500, but found that I had filled most of those slots fairly rapidly so with time on my hands and Q4 calling me, the next thing to look at was Etsy.
I’d already had an Etsy store set up and had experience selling coffee mugs last year using the Low Hanging System, so I thought this is seemed like a good marketplace for trying my Merch by Amazon designs as well.
What is Etsy?
For anyone who doesn’t know about Etsy yet, it’s basically another marketplace where you can list a variety of products. Similar to eBay in a way, but the general idea is that products are more hand-crafted and bespoke, rather than products for resale only.
In fact, in order for me to get accepted originally I had to take screenshots of my design process, to prove that I was an actual designer. Etsy are a little bit sensitive if you are not creating the designs yourself and use an external manufacturer like we do for print on demand, so you need to be a bit careful.
Once you get accepted though, the listing process is really simple and Etsy charges 20 cents per listing, which stays up for 3 months.
One problem I had last year with Etsy, was I used Gearbubble as my suppliers for my coffee mugs, but they had no direct integration with Etsy, which meant every time a product sold, I had to go into Gearbubble and place the order manually which was a bit of a pain.
Luckily, for Tshirts, I found another provider called Printful who offer a wide range or products, not only shirts, and integrate directly with Etsy. It’s a pretty awesome service, with a really smooth interface, is dead easy to use and has a pretty decent range of products. I’ll do a detailed review in a separate article on this at some point but the key benefits for me were:
- Easy to set up the integration with Etsy and Amazon
- Price of Tshirts are competitive $8.95
- Shipping pricing and times are really competitive and they distribute from local European printers as well
The other main advantage here was that I could get my Virtual Assistant to upload my products into Printful and with a click of a button they’d be pushed to Etsy, meaning my VA never needs to login to my Etsy account and potentially get it banned.
I also stumbled across a tool called Etsyrank which has a really powerful free version that you can use to find keywords for the title and tags of your listings. I watched the following video which shows you basically just copying the top 10 keywords across into Etsy, which makes the entire process really quick :
If feels a little bit like keyword stuffing but it seems to work.
At the point of writing I still hadn’t been given access to AMS for my Merch listings, however, with Etsy, you get instant access to their promoted listings feature straight away.
Again, there’s a simple interface for you to switch on their promoted listings and you can set a daily budget and a maximum cost per click that you’d like to pay. You can then apply this to all of your listings customise each of your bids on individual listings.
To be honest I had mixed results with this, starting off really well getting me a sale a day but then after time the sales dripped off a little and I think overall I ended up paying out more in ad spend than I gained in profits from my sales. However, on the positive side, it did mean that my store was getting a bit more momentum and I’m sure that having more sales and reviews in your account will boost your listings overall.
One thing to point out with Etsy, is that generally the customers who shop there are a bit of a pain in the ass and can be quite demanding. To succeed on Etsy you need first rate customer service and the customer knows this, so be prepared for people with crazy demands… Luckily after my eBay dropshipping experience my customer service had to improve a lot so hopefully this is something I can apply to Etsy as well.
I’ve managed to get about 350 of my designs up on Etsy already, and want to get the rest up as soon as possible given that Q4 is now upon us.
I haven’t seen a huge amount of sales yet, and the jury is still out on this one, but hopefully Santa will give us a good Q4!