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Ask me Anything About making money on Etsy (Etsy AMA)

Discussion in 'Making Money' started by William702, Aug 14, 2017.

  1. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Hey everyone. I wanted to start an ask me anything thread for Etsy. I see plenty for things like YouTube and Instagram but have not seen one for Etsy. I have put this in the make money section because I did not see a relevant place for it, maybe an Etsy or general eCommerce section could be started. I also decided to start this in the open forum and not in the Jr VIP section so that more people can see it and benefit from it.

    I've managed to do well on Etsy taking over a quarter of a million with one of my shops. I'm certainly not saying I'm an expert but I'm no slouch either. Lately most of my time is spent assisting other Etsy shop owners with managing their shops or offering ORM services as well as Etsy shop critiques and traffic generation. I have preformed well over 1000 Etsy shop critiques which I charge $150 for so be happy that I am doing this for you all for free because I have no doubt that I will have to spend some time on this.

    Once again I want to clarify that I am not some asswhole who thinks he is a guru, I just want to be able to help others with Etsy by answering Etsy related questions. I have no intention of trying to promote anything here or sell anything of my own. So this is in no way a thinly veiled attempt at that. I'm happy just to help other BHW members. I'm not going to list all of the accolades and things we have achieved on Etsy because I dont want to come across as a dick but we hold the record for a LOT of things on Etsy so again I know a fair bit but do not class myself as an expert. My wife and I live a simple life and have not had to work a job for over 7 years, we have been self employed for about 10 years but for 7 years exclusively making money online living on our own timetable.

    Rules:
    Don't ask me to show you my shops.
    Don't PM me. Ask your questions here so everyone can see it.
    No posturing, we are all here to learn including me.
    Don't ask me to prove anything, if you don't believe me then you know where the door is. I find this behavior very rude yet understandable in some cases. I hope that my replies will be proof enough. If I have to I have no problems with showing everything to a mod so they can vouch for what I am saying or claiming, I'm just not posting it here for the whole world and Etsy to see.
    Don't rip into someone if they posted a seemingly obvious question or if they asked a duplicate question. They took the time to ask so take the time to point them to the answer if its already there instead of just ripping into them.

    Last rule is Wheaton's rule! Don't know what that is...Look it up.

    I'm online throughout the day so I will try and make sure i log in to check for any questions within a reasonable time frame. Here is to your success on Etsy
     
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  2. jumbug

    jumbug Junior Member

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    Ok, my question isn't about selling on Etsy but the Etsy affiliate program.

    I promote interesting products on my site and so Etsy is a great source for a lot of the products I promote since there are some really interesting things listed on Etsy.
    Do you have any tips on how I can find more interesting items on Etsy?
    Is there any sort of RSS feed I can subscribe to or a search term that always brings interesting results from Etsy?

    Thanks for doing this ama
     
  3. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Define interesting. What is the niche of your site and the products you promote? do you sell products on this site or is it a site just to promote products for others? Interesting can mean literally anything to someone else.

    If they offered more than 4% commission I would be more interested in their program but for 4% I would rather do nothing an eat frozen oven ships straight from the bag.
     
  4. thescrrr

    thescrrr Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    what are the ground rules to make a successful shop on etsy?
     
  5. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Hey OP, thanks for this AMA.

    1) Could I dropship from other platforms to etsy

    2) How do I find good products to sell on etsy?

    3) Is it a review game on etsy? ETC, the seller with the highest review gets the best organic reach
     
  6. jumbug

    jumbug Junior Member

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    I don't have a specific niche. I just post viral content on my site and promote on Facebook.
    Example products:
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/544324521/vintage-tv-cat-bed
    https://www.etsy.com/listing/102502826/19th-century-traveling-vampire-killers

    Just stuff that is interesting and out of the ordinary.
     
  7. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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  8. Kodys

    Kodys Newbie

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    Hey!

    Are you making stuff yourself and selling it ot you know where to take and know how to sell? Or you gathering in your shop tallented people giving them traffic ? I just do not understand how the monetizing works?
     
  9. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    that's a bit of an expansive question lol. Maybe answering specific questions will help build a bigger picture to answer this one. But as a rule of thumb here are a few things to take into account.
    1) you need a good descriptive name thats not too long for your shop. II try to stay under 15 characters so that i can get the name on social media.
    2) take good photos, get a decent camera. I have a decent camera with a good macro lens for close ups. It's a cannon EOS T3 rebel or something like that (not a camera guy)
    3) dont assume just because you started a shop that traffic and sales will flood in on its own. you have to send the people to your shop.
    4) have reasonable shipping prices and ship your items out VERY fast.
    5) dont price yourself out of the market
    6) use lots of keywords in your descriptions and titles.
    7) use the etsy features to network such as teams and liking other items and shops.
    8) dont be pretentious, too many artsy fartsy people on etsy and not enough people living in the real world. Don't do things for looks.
    9) offer great customer service
    10) if your selling products you make personally make sure you have some sort of inventory so that you can ship out an order fast

    1) Etsy is for handmade and vintage goods. so it would be tricky to get past their mods, if however you were selling craft supplies you could do it. not sure if there are any apps out there to help automate this.
    2) like I say most people make the products they sell but you can have a manufacturer however you have to OK them with Etsy. You cant sell any old thing on etsy. I cant even sell phone consultations on there because its not a handmade physical product or a vintage item. its a joke really but hey you have to do what you have to do.
    3) no, like any shop reviews help close the sale but you are not ranked on the number of reviews. that would make it too easy :)
     
  10. Nut-Nights

    Nut-Nights Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Which paid traffic source works good with etsy ? you ever tested paid traffic on your etsy shop ?
     
  11. hippo123

    hippo123 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    If that's the case, how do you get traffic to your store?

    Does etsy send you natural traffic, or are you using other paid sources such as Facebook?
     
  12. Markus Aurelius

    Markus Aurelius Regular Member

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    How do you sell your ORM service? Any tips in this direction will be very helpful.
     
  13. DentalMidget

    DentalMidget Regular Member

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    Thanks for the AMA, etsy is really not much discussed topic here, so a good effort.
    So I have two questions.
    1. What are the top methods to do niche or product research or how to find which products to sell?
    2. What are the top traffic methods since fb has been over saturated and expensive lately?
    forgive me foor noobness
     
  14. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I see, well 4% of a grand is not too bad so if you are sharing the content anyway because you think its interesting you may as well be apart of the aff program. My advice is whatever way you found those interesting product is the best way to find interesting products, because like i say its all down to what you think is interesting or viral. the only real way is to get inspiration from something such as the vampire thing you shared and go from there.

    Lol tell me about it. Etsy is for rich people. think of etsy as a bespoke eBay and instead of selling commercial goods its only handmade and vintage. you can get 4 times as much for things on Etsy compared to eBay. one of the smaller shops I have i sold vintage jewelry in. I would purchase lots of cufflinks so they were 50c - $2 each. take a nice photo of them and list them for $30 - $80 and make a ton of sales. Etsy is nuts.

    Our biggest shop is handmade. We did everything ourselves from purchasing the raw ingredients, packaging, labeling, shipping. my wife and I did the whole thing. In fact it was my wife's shop that she started on a whim and i used the features of etsy to growth hack it and it ended up becoming one of the top selling shops on the site. In the cosmetics niche. We also had a few shops in the handmade jewelry, vintage jewelry and craft supplies niche. Anyone ever catch that staples commercial in the US. it had a guy named Dave walking around an office filled with clones of him self all called Dave. if you have seen it you will know the one I mean. Well that was what it was like for us we did absolutely everything ourselves and I must admit we did get burned out on it a bit which led us down a more digital path and offering affiliate services etc. All of our sales were on Etsy for the first 2 years and then we created our own site, again all ourselves so we had to learn a lot along the way. I have dabbled in growth hacking for a long time. I think I am better at that than I am at etsy or marketing. I just played the numbers game and used the features of etsy to generate traffic. no one was using the site like I was in fact there never used to be any limits on things like favoriting other items or shops. I made a few imacros with jitbit that automated a lot in the early days. so i could go to sleep and leave it running. I would wake up and would have added thousands of shops to my favorites and thousands or tens of thousands of items and all these people would get a notification saying that i had done it so it was a cheeky way of getting their attention. 99% of people didn't think anything of it, some people would see what you were trying to do and bitch but there was no rule against it. however they put in limits on all sorts of things a few years ago so now there are other exploits one can take advantage of. they have specific forums on there that they call teams about pretty much anything and lots of people discuss things or view threads there so its another place to advertise and platy the numbers game. you can still take full advantage of the ones with limits on a daily basis though. still works well but its not unlimited, sort of how it was on Instagram back in the day with following.

    Now there are all sorts of limits on adding shops to favorites, items to favorites, how many people you can follow, how many treasuries you could comment on (they dont have treasuries any more)

    As for understanding how you monetize. well you are selling something so that's where you get the money from. of course there are so many ways spammers can exploit things on etsy. I know of them all lol but with my shops on there I dont really want to rock the boat, I am already the black sheep of etsy so I dont want to risk losing some of my resources there. there are so many ways to mass advertise something to get views to it even if its not something on etsy.

    Well yes and no. no i have never used paid ads before except for a few small tests on etsy own paid ad system. its sucks but you can set it at 1c per click and still get views in some categories. other than that i have never used anything like google or facebook ads. I had a $50 credit on fb once but that did nothing. I am not well versed in that side of things. I generated all of our traffic organically via etsy and social media. I sent literally millions of views to our shop all for free. other than my time. believe me though I wanted to and know it could work well. some things just sell better than others and have a much higher price point allowing for paid advertising so it all depends on what you are selling.

    Anyone who relies on the organic traffic is setting them selves up to fail and by that i dont mean to contradict what i said above. i mean just by making a shop and doing nothing else. of course i spent a lot of time sending traffic there from within the site and from social media. you need to drive your own traffic via social media and by using the features of etsy to network with others like the methods above.

    I guess it just happens over time. the more you help others the more people they tell. I have a big presence on etsy so enough people know of me and my exploits there to get in touch and if i can help them the conversation starts from there. most of my clients come from recommendations. I do nothing special. if i can help people I do, i usually let them ask the questions instead of talking my ass off which i am guilty of sometimes and it just goes from there. I work on a case by case basis. Some ways of explaining wont work on a guy that owns a takeout shop as it would with a local attorney or doctor same goes for the price.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  15. webbom

    webbom Newbie

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    From the social media traffic you generated, did you managed to track which source was more effective?
     
  16. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    There used to be a number of good sites out there. there are still a few. Craftcount dot com Is a good one. you can see the top selling shops for the day/month/year you can see the top selling shops in each category, by country and then you can see in each shop what products are doing the best and go from there.

    Here are a few things to consider when thinking of items to sell.
    1) you need a big enough margin, with etsy fees, payment fees you cant be selling anything too cheap. so make sure you can stick around the $20 mark for the highest volume of sales.
    2) it needs to be something small and light that can ship fast and cheap.
    3) it needs to be popular, dont worry about competition it just proves the market is there.

    As for top traffic methods, most of my traffic came from within etsy, that does not mean it was organic. I just used the sites features to generate traffic back to my shop. I use a few tools on pinterest to automate pinning my items and i also use an app for twitter to tweet out etsy items all day, its free money because i can get literally thousands of tweets out every week with different keywords and its all on repeat so i have to do nothing on the twitter side. there is some work on the pinterest side. I use Instagram and Facebook too. I use groups and our own page. I used a lot of influencer marketing too.

    I would say Pinterest and Twitter, Facebook was a close third. PInterest and twitter only because it was more efficient to do mass marketing there with apps and bots. The best traffic was of course from using influencers. It would only cost us about $10 - $15 to send them some products out and some of them generated thousands of dollars of sales but also promoted the hell out of us on social media which helped us get more of a following.
     
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    Last edited: Aug 14, 2017
  17. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    I wanted to add that people can feel free to ask questions that might be outside the box. I'm not here to just answer basic questions. You can try and stump me with something random lol. Any black hat methods you want to discuss, if you have anything you want to show as an example to discuss it feel free.

    Here is a good site to familiarize yourself with some of the statistics of etsy so you can get an idea of how many people there are there to do business with.
    https://www.statista.com/topics/2501/etsy/

    That's a good site for stats on a lot of things and not just etsy.
     
  18. DentalMidget

    DentalMidget Regular Member

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    Since you brought that up. Can you name the marketing tools or bots for twitter and pinterest or other blackhat tools you used. if possible
     
  19. William702

    William702 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Of course I'll be happy to share all that sort of stuff as well as ideas, exploits, theories but none of what i do is that black hat i know of many of the exploits but due to circumstances was never able to take advantage. This is a true ask me anything I'm not going to hide anything useful or any methods. I will share everything just dont ask me to share my personal shops info publicly. I'm down to really help people here. There are some seriously clever people here on BHW way smarter and with more ideas and ideas on those ideas. There are people here who could make millions from Etsy and that's not an exaggeration. I'm not rich and a lot of my earrings are already spoken for so I dont have the capital to test out ads I dont have the money to put a team of people in place to do some of the tasks that are needed yet very profitable. Its all about being able to start something. These methods will come and go so I'm just here to share whatever I can so that people can make what they can when they can. This is a true ask me anything.

    There are so many that I use and have used. I am an affiliate of some at the moment so full disclosure, I wont be sharing any aff links and will say if its a company i am an affiliate of or have been an affiliate of, i will even say what aff deal i had or have. I wont share any links but instead i will just tell you the name of the app or site and you can look it up.

    For twitter i have had to make a lot of my own macros. I use jitbit macro recorder and have been using it for over 10 years. i can look at a site and see if it can be botted in this way in minutes and work out how to automate lots of things (as long as things are in the same place) so there is that. I have never been an affiliate of this company. I just think its really simple to use and have been using it for a long time. It is also the tool I use to automate most of the botting and promotion i do on Etsy.

    I also use a program called Tweet-eye i know the creator well, he is from Ireland. I have been speaking to him on and off on skype and etsy for about 2 years. He gave me a full licence to use it with unlimited accounts. I dont take liberties in situations like this so I just set up 6 accounts to test it a long time back and it worked well. he has since sent me many messages letting me know of other features. he is planning on launching an aff program in the future and this was something i was helping him with and still am, but i am not an affiliate at the moment. I know he just had a baby and i have not personally used it in a while. but for the sake of this ask me anything thread i will give it a go soon to be more accurate. When i did use it i sent out thousands of tweets in a matter of days with one account and had plenty of views. what i liked is that it had a true repeat feature so i could just have set it and been done. but again i did not want to take liberties with his generosity.

    For pinterest i use a tool called tailwind which i think is pretty mainstream. I have spoken to one of the guys there and to their CEO and had a chat about introducing it to the Etsy crowd. I had an affiliate agreement with them that i think still stands. but i must be honest i was given use of another pinterest tool by a member here on BHW that i have yet to use but from what i looked at you can do the same thing with that with less restrictions. I have not used it yet and before mentioning it here i wanted to OK it with that other member. However I suspect it is a great tool for this sort of thing. i watched a video on youtube for using tailwind for marketing and integrated my etsy products into that system. it was simple and i have accounts that i dont even use that get hundreds of repins every day on pins i posted 10 months ago on a shop that does not even exist, that was from a 2 week test all that time ago. i have not used the accounts since and get notification emails each week saying with repins in the 4 figures. tailwind is an epic tool as long as you use it properly, if you dont use a good mix of normal pins in with your product pins it will just look like spam and you wont get any interactions. The video i mentioned explains that well. not sure if i can share it here. Can anyone reading this tell me if i am allowed to share the link to this video. i have nothing to do with it or the person behind it, is that OK?

    like any site etsy will say you cant do this and you cant do that but as long as you dont take the piss and are smart about things you can use simple tools like imacros and apps to multiply your marketing efforts.
     
  20. ababab

    ababab Registered Member

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    Wow great thread william sir.I am a graphic designer.What can I sell as a designer?