Photo courtesy of Collected Edition. Illustration by Abbie Winters.
"There's a tremendous amount of competition on any platform, but especially on Etsy. Something I've tried to maintain, even as my volume has grown, are personal connections to my customers. You can go to any e-commerce site and purchase a huge number of goods, but what you can't get other places is a connection to the artist that makes them. So, if someone says, Hey, I'm interested in this piece for my wedding
, I try to partake in some of that excitement and ask them questions: What day is your wedding? Where are you having it?
It's a much more conversational approach and I think people enjoy knowing there's someone else behind the screen."Set Clear Expectations With Customers And Manufacturers
"It's easy to overcommit and tell people that you can get things to them faster or cheaper than you actually can, or to only give them the best-case scenario, but that ends up creating a huge headache for both you and your customers ... Over the past four years, I've learned to change the way I write my descriptions and where I put the lead times. Those are the first things you'll see; even before it says 'this is a necklace,' I'll have, 'two-to-three weeks wait time.'
"If you're working with a manufacturer, be strategic about your calendar and be honest about the numbers you have, and then see what they can do for you. Some of these companies will be able to fit you in more easily during off-seasons. If you're selling apparel and are trying to get things made in January and February — right before Fashion Week — you're probably not going to be able to get into these factories. When ordering, don't place an order for a hundred pieces. Just say, 'Hey, I'm starting out and I can do five at a time. Is this something you can work with?' More often than not, you'll be able to find someone who will be a good fit."