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How to get your first sale on Etsy

Discover key strategies for your first Etsy sale. Our guide offers simple steps for beginners to achieve success and hear that first ‘cha ching’ in 2022.

Selling online

Congratulations! You’ve set up your Etsy shop and added your products listings. You’re excited to get your first order, but you’ve been waiting a while now and no sales have come in. Sound familiar? Don’t worry: it’s perfectly normal to not make a sale immediately on Etsy, as there are many factors in play. We’re here to help you understand what those are and to help you overcome them. 

In this guide, we have one mission: to help you secure your first Etsy sale. 

Let’s do it together!

Quick things you can do to secure your first Etsy sale 

Make sure your product photographs are in focus 

You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take good product photos. These days, most smartphones can take good quality photos. If you don’t have access to a smartphone, borrow one from a friend. 

Etsy allows you to upload 10 photos per item, so photograph your products from different angles and consider using a mix of backgrounds, including white and posing your products in a lifestyle situation. 

Optimise your titles and tags for search 

If you don’t optimise your product titles or choose relevant tags, users are less likely to find you in their search. Do some keyword research and find out what people are already searching for. Focus on the most popular search terms in your titles and tags. For example, for Valentine’s Day, the top five would be: 

  • valentine’s gift 
  • Valentine’s
  • valentine’s love
  • valentine’s decor 
  • valentine’s day gift for him 

Always be specific in your titles and include occasions, colours and styles.

Etsy tries to match products as close as possible to what the customer is searching for, so as an Etsy seller, you should always be thinking ‘what are people actually searching for?’ - the results are usually very different to what you think (or hope!) they are searching for. If your titles and tags match a user’s search, your product will rank more highly in the search results.  

Once you have made a few sales, you will be in a better position to refine your titles by seeing what is bringing visitors in and what isn’t.

Regularly add new listings 

Etsy gives you an incentive to add new listings – they give new ones a little boost in search results to see how users interact with it. This can last from a few hours to even a few days, so it’s well worth adding new listings regularly. If the listings perform well after this, they will each be given a ‘listing quality score’ to determine how they will show up in future searches from then on. 

Make listings interesting 

The quality of your listings is just one of the factors to consider when waiting to make your first Etsy sale. Etsy closely analyses how shoppers interact with each listing. If your product is shown to people and they don’t click on it, this signals to Etsy that the product is not what buyers are looking for. This only has to happen a few times for Etsy to stop showing it for particular search terms. 

However, if shoppers are clicking on your product page and interacting with it – whether that’s through favouriting it or buying it – those actions tell Etsy that your product fits with that particular search and it will continue to be shown higher in search for that term. If you’re new to Etsy, all this can be a bit overwhelming, but you can avoid the most common mistakes new Etsy sellers make easily. 

Free shipping 

Offering free shipping is another way to get a boost from Etsy in search results. Research shows that shoppers are more likely to buy if free shipping is offered. Based on this, Etsy gives a higher ranking to listings that offer it, as it is a platform that first and foremost wants happy customers. If you do decide to offer free shipping, your listings will generally rank higher. 

Although we do believe that it’s worth giving free shipping a chance – especially as you are more likely to make your first sale when doing so – only you can understand the best option for your business. If you do test it out and it doesn’t perform well, you can always stop offering it.

Promote your Etsy shop on social media 

Basically, the more you can shout about your business on multiple platforms, the better chance you have of securing your first Etsy sale. You’re excited about your shop and products, so why not shout about it? Use relevant hashtags on Twitter and write entertaining captions on Instagram that show how passionate you are about your products. 

Your enthusiasm can go a long way in encouraging shoppers to interact with your brand. 

Respond quickly to customer queries 

A shopper has found your shop and has sent you a message. To stand a greater chance of converting them into a paying customer, you should always answer messages promptly. A quick reply will reassure shoppers that you are a legitimate business and you are focused on helping customers quickly. Always respond to their specific questions politely and try your best to provide them with a solution. 

Ready to make that first sale? 

There are a number of factors in play when it comes to making your first sale on Etsy. From the look of your shop and the size of your market to the products you’re selling and your promotion of them.  By doing all of these things highlighted above, you will be well on your way to securing that first ‘cha ching’!

Good luck! When you do get your first sale, you’d love to hear about it – tweet us @SellWithAthlete

Athlete loads your Etsy orders to your Shopify store, so you can manage them in one place.