By Bridget Agabra, GentleTechHelp.com – Special to Artists Sunday
This is not a paid endorsement, just a helpful post for artists who haven’t started selling their work online yet.
Selling your art online brings it to the attention of many more shoppers than could ever walk through a gallery but also brings its own set of responsibilities such as taxes, shipping fees and advertising.
Etsy has grown into a huge business by providing a low-cost and low-friction way to handle the “backend” work of online sales. If you are curious, spend a little time looking through Etsy in categories that are similar your yours and note what appeals to you (and what doesn’t!). Don’t be intimidated by the slickest sellers, it is your unique creation that will speak to a buyer. With some preparation, your own Etsy store can become an important part of your selling kit, especially for holiday gift giving season.
Appropriate sales tax is automatically collected and sent to your state taxing agency.
Shipping details are handled through your Etsy store – they have negotiated discounts with all major shippers, and you can print postage at home.
Etsy provides a quick and clean website for your shop – use your Etsy shop link on your Facebook page and Instagram accounts as well as your business cards. (See last month’s blog post on setting those up!)
Etsy’s app allows you to run your store from your phone, if you like.
Your work is displayed in a marketplace of shoppers who are actively interested in handmade goods.
Store and website setup are free.
Twenty cent fee for each listing, runs for 4 months.
When an item sells, 5% transaction fee and a 3% + 25 cents fee for credit card processing (similar to most other credit card processing fees)
What you will need to get started:
If you know a current Etsy seller, ask them to refer you before you set up your account to get some free listing credits – and probably some selling tips!
Shop name – think of a variant in case it is taken.
A banner (horizontally interesting image) and a logo or small photo.
Welcome and About section descriptions. Share with shoppers your inspiration, creation process and what the work means to you.
A deposit bank account and a credit card.
Social Security or Federal EIN number.
Shop policies such as returns, shipping times, payments, customization, etc.
Establish prices that make sense considering fees and packaging.
For each piece listed, have good photos. Keep the focus on the work, avoid distracting elements.
Know the shape and weight (including packaging) to put in for estimated shipping.
Additional paid advertising is available to boost your visibility. You can do sales and coupons – like giving a discount to someone who looked at an item but didn’t buy.
Etsy is very supportive of its sellers, you’ll find lots of info and tips in their online Seller Handbook.
Information accurate as of date of publication, please check Etsy directly to see up-to-date information.
Bridget Agabra is the founder of GentleTechHelp.com which brings a compassionate approach to solving computer, phone, tablet, and online problems. GentleTechhelp.com provides patient and straightforward assistance with a variety of tech issues to help people feel comfortable, knowledgeable, and connected. Special focus on the needs of seniors, artists, solopreneurs, and the tech uncomfortable. Contact GentleTechHelp.com for special Artists Sunday packages – including Etsy store setup.