How it's going with my Etsy shop!

in , by Kristen Woolsey, 6:00 AM
Vinyl Decal Etsy Shop

I started my Etsy shop in 2018 selling planning printables. There were a modest amount of listings, but it was nice to make passive income selling digital downloads. When I got my Cricut machine last year, I mainly used it for myself (and still do!), but I dabbled in listing a few designs in the shop. Mostly though, I was too nervous to put any effort into it! It was a very casual approach. I'd make a few bucks here and there, which was nice.

When 2020 was approaching, I decided I wanted it to be my year for Etsy! I spent extra time creating designs, listing new items and even doing a little advertising. January and February had a dramatic increase in sales. Very encouraging to see that a little effort paid off. 

Of course, we all know March brought quite the lifestyle change for everyone! With more time on my hands, I really kicked it up a notch! Etsy also gave out free advertising during the month of April which created a big spike in sales. May has ended up being my biggest month to date, bringing in several hundred dollars. So exciting. 

I've done and learned a few new things, I thought I'd share. 

One | I've spent a lot of money too.
Upgrading my shipping labels, envelopes, stationary...it all costs money! Fortunately, I've got a good supply and I think it'll last for a few months. 

I already had a good inventory of vinyl colors, but it still seems like I'm having to order fresh supplies more often. I think I will start ordering larger rolls instead of single sheets. Especially black and white, which are by far the most requested colors. 


Two | I need to set up 'office hours'. 
At first, I got so excited for a new order that I'd sit down and do it right away. Obviously, being stuck at home has made that possible, but that won't always be the case. I work best first thing in the morning, and it's nice to do several orders at once. My goal is to have orders out within 24 hrs, so I think if I work between 6-7am on Etsy that would be most productive. Working that out still obviously. 

Three | SEO
Blogging has taught me a fair amount about SEO, but I had no idea how important it'd be with Etsy. For example, I had a decal listed that had not sold at all. I touched up the title with some better and more specific key words and I got a sale within the hour. Pretty cool to see. 


Four | Starting an Instagram
Social media is not my forte. In fact I don't use my Instagram account at all for blogging. It's just for friends and family. Blogging sin, I know, but that's what I want. Starting an Instagram account for my Etsy shop was the most intimidating thing I've ever done! I was in a cold sweat the entire time. It's been a great way to get a little exposure. The support from my family and friends has been SO nice! Plus some people have ordered through direct message. (If you'd like to follow, I'd love to have you! Instagram.com/kwprintables


Five | This is just a big ole experiment.
I have SO much to learn, and I'm learning every day. It's interesting to see what sells, and what doesn't. For me, custom items are big and so are my labels. Decorative decals for cars are something I love to design, but I obviously need to work on the SEO because they are not top sellers. 

Another thing I want to figure out is how the heck all these Etsy sellers aren't getting sued. Sports teams, Disney items...it's all trademarked, so how are all of you selling this stuff?! I can absolutely make them 'for personal use' but I know it's what people are buying! For example, Baby Yoda is a huge seller on Etsy, but I've noticed a lot of people have to name it something else like "Baby Imaginary Creature". Definitely something I want to research more and figure out how to do. Legally. 

Packaging is something else I'm playing with! I have had a nice system for a few months and it was totally upgraded by cardboard envelopes and sticky labels. I have a little pouch with an application directions and cute stationary. I've ordered some other little things like alcohol wipes and little scrapers to add in for a personal, extra touch. 

Just taking it one day at a time! But what a fun creative outlet this has been! Hoping each month is better than the last. Leave a comment below if you have any suggestions! I'd love to know what you think about special packaging...or maybe you have a design idea! Let's chat. 

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