Today’s Biz Ladies post comes from Ashley Jennings, an Etsy seller at Paisley Ann Home, co-founder of Checklet and co-creator of the web app, Favoritizer. She blogs at Paisley Ann Design and works as a social media marketing consultant in Reno, Nevada. Ashley is offering some valuable advice for using Etsy web apps to better organize and optimize your Etsy account. Thanks, Ashley, for sharing your top 10 apps and the helpful tips! — Stephanie
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Etsy™ is a wonderful place to buy and sell handmade. If you aren’t familiar with the site, you should at least know a few things about it. It has given thousands of people, mostly women, a warm and fuzzy selling platform to buy and sell handmade items, supplies and vintage. It has inspired many interior designers to scrap their “big box store” options and dig through the pages of Etsy™ looking for unique home-decor items for their clients. Illustrators like ashleyg and theblackapple have found a good-sized following, which has allowed them to quit their day jobs. In fact, Emily Martin of theblackapple has written her first book, The Black Apple’s Paper Doll Primer: Activities and Amusements for the Curious Paper Artist, and I recently spotted it on a table in Urban Outfitters, SF. Needless to say, Etsy is a happening place for artists, suppliers and vintage peddlers.
Unfortunately, running a virtual store is much like running a brick-and-mortar store in that there is a lot of administrative hoopla to take care of. Etsy sellers put hours upon hours into taking pictures of items, editing the pictures, writing compelling descriptions of the pictures, communicating with sellers, calculating shipping, waiting in line for the post office, and more. Most sellers wear lots of different hats. Any lack of efficiency can cost sellers crucial time that they might have otherwise spent creating more products. As all smart business women know, time is money. Over the summer, Etsy released their Etsy API 2.0, which allows third-party developers (developers who do not work directly for Etsy) to pull in important data from a person’s shop that they weren’t able to pull in before. This led to the development of a slew of new web apps that can be used on the Etsy platform. As a result, several apps have been developed that help make buying and selling more efficient. I will review the top Etsy apps that involve making it easier to buy and sell on Etsy. If I leave any apps out that save you time or are otherwise helpful, don’t be afraid to give a “shout-out” to your favorite app in the comments below.
1. Etsy On Sale
Etsy On Sale is a service for both shop sellers and buyers. Buyers can browse the site to find shops that are having sales. And sellers now have a simple way to manage and promote discounts and sales events for their Etsy shops. This is brilliant because it takes forever to calculate the discounted price and to change the listing price of each item whenever the urge to have a sale arises. What a pain!?! Etsy on Sale doesn’t require you to register; instead it allows you to login using your Gmail account. Sweet because I might have to scream if I have to register for one more site! The way it works is that you can choose between a fixed amount off or a percentage off of each item. You even choose which section of your shop you want to put on sale. Just in case you want to put scarves on sale, but not your crocheted flower pins. You choose the start and end dates of the sale. When the sale starts, each item in your virtual storefront will show the original price with a line through it and the sale price (in red) right next to it. You can also add a custom message that will appear in the description of all of the items. When the sale is over, your listing returns to its original price and the sales tag in the description is removed. What’s more is that all of the items on sale also get promoted on Etsy On Sale’s website.
2. Etsy Text
This app sends you a free text every time you sell something. You no longer need to check your email to find out if you have a new sale. Etsy sellers LOVE it! Especially since “getting a sale” is to Etsy sellers as bacon is to my dog. Upon finding out that they made a sale, most sellers would jump up and down if it were socially acceptable. And, frankly, some do so anyways. This saves a lot of time because you don’t have to compulsively check your email all day long; you can just wait for that “ding” on your phone.
3. Etsy Hacks
Now this is a hard one. I say this because I have heard from several sellers that the interface of the website is too “geeky” and isn’t user-friendly for someone who is a web newbie. It often gets dismissed for that very reason. While this site has some amazing hacks, and many sellers could not do the volume of business they are doing without Etsy Hacks, it is a little more complicated than many of the new apps. The reason is that it requires the seller to install Greasemonkey. Greasemonkey is an add-on for the Firefox web browser that allows you to run “scripts,” or little programs that alter the web pages you view. What complicates this issue further is that the Greasemonkey scripts are currently only available for Firefox. Over the next few weeks the developer will be working to make them available for Internet Explorer, Opera, Safari, and Chrome. He always recommends running Firefox; if you use a different browser, you can check his site regularly for any new announcements, or sign up to receive announcements. In spite of the additional overhead of getting started, Etsy Hacks is incredibly helpful in making selling more efficient. In fact, a few months ago, there was utter outbreak by Etsy Hacks users on the Etsy forums, because when Etsy™ changed some things on their site, the Greasemonkey scripts were no longer able to run. Just know that you run the risk of not being able to use the hacks if Etsy decides to change their site. I can’t see this happening since the developer now works for Etsy (doing quality assurance), but there are no guarantees.
Some of the most popular Etsy Hacks:
- Copy Listing — Create a new listing based on an existing one.
- Item Zoom — Add a zoom icon to images in search and shop listings.
- Edit This Item — Edit or delete a listing from the View Listing page.
- Buyer Info — Add extra information to the “buyer” box on a receipt page.
- Forum Wrangler — Add extra features to the Etsy™ forum pages.
The homepage declares, “Finally organize all of your Etsy favorites. Make any number of lists, name them anything you like, drag your favorite items into them, and welcome back to sanity!” I find this app to be especially helpful for three people: the blogger, the gifter and the seller. It is helpful to the blogger who regularly creates blog posts that include “product round-ups” because she can shop Etsy as she normally would and “favorite” as many items as she’d like without writing down each item I.D. or going through all of her favorites page-by-page (this could take years). She can then organize her favorites into custom-named lists. For example, if she is creating a post on “Gifts for Geeky Men,” she can create a list called “Gifts for Geeky Men” and simply drag and drop any items into her favorites that apply to that list. You can also make that list “public.” When you do so, you will be given a specific URL that you can then share by copying and pasting it into tweets. The second person is the shopper who purchases items on Etsy to give as gifts, but who has thousands of favorites and would never be able to remember which item in her favorites was meant to be a gift for whom. Instead, she can favorite items for friends or family members and put them into different lists so that she can return to them when the right time approaches — birthdays, weddings, etc. The third person is the seller. The seller benefits because the more people who use the Favoritizer, the more the favorite items will be converted into purchases. Last week Etsy announced that they made Favorites and Favorite shops “searchable.” Kudos to them. This will definitely be a time saver. However, there is still no way to categorize or organize favorites. And for this, Favoritizer is handy.
5. Etsy Vintage Timeline
This app is amazing! So absolutely novel! Etsy Vintage Timeline arranges Etsy vintage items by date. You type the name of an item in the search box (e.g., book, brooch, camera, etc) and a list of results will come up that are organized by era. The first item I put into the search box was “brooch.” It was so neat to see how brooches changed over the decades. This can be done with any type of vintage item that one can find on Etsy. This is a great tool for collectors. I predict that I will be using it in the future to fill any gaps in my vintage camera collection. There are probably a slew of things that this clever tool can be used for. Etsy admins love this app as well. It won the Handmade Code Contest in the buyers category.
6. Etsy Catalog
This app is great for Etsy sellers who also want to sell their goods wholesale to brick-and-mortar stores or who just want to leave them in coffee shops or other places for marketing purposes. Etsy Catalog allows you to create a catalog of the items that are in your Etsy shop. All you do is type in your shop name and within a few seconds, the items are loaded into a catalog template. You can then save the PDF and print it out. Super simple and intuitive to use. I wish I had this app two years ago when I had an independent rep selling my home goods to boutiques. I had to use Apple’s word processing program, Pages, to put together my own “catalog” for her to show buyers. It didn’t look half as good as this one — and took me all day. What’s more, this app allows you to edit the item descriptions so that you are not forced to use the entire description that you have on your Etsy shop without making any changes. Since they are getting an overwhelming number of responses to this app that include suggestions, bugs and new feature requests, they are coming out with a 2.0 version that will give you even more flexibility in creating the catalog. Of course, I can’t wait for that, but version 1.0 already does the trick.
This app helps you keep track of all your Etsy sales and expenses. Features really friendly, one-click tools and a very understandable dashboard to quickly see how insanely rich you’ve become as an Etsy seller. This app uses kitschy language and is quite the little cutey. The idea of an app that does what accounting programs do without all of the bells and whistles is a dream come true for most Etsy sellers. I am not sure I have met an Etsy seller yet who wants to spend any more time than they have to on the administrative duties of running an online shop. A few things need to be ironed out but overall the concept seems amazing.
8. Etsy for Android
This app is available in the Android app store and makes managing your Etsy shop from your smart-phone an option. The following features are available:
- Keyword searching of Etsy
- Advanced search for items and shops
- Item view showing picture, description, view, hearts, user feedback, tags and materials
- Shop view featuring title, description, hearts, last updated and listings
- Share shops and items on Facebook, Twitter, email, SMS, etc.
Manage your favorite Etsy listings and users:
- Shop management
- View listings currently available for purchase
- View orders placed including status and item/buyer details
- Mark orders as paid/shipped
This app is useful no doubt. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like you can list items from the phone. But you can do almost everything else. A particularly useful application of this app is when an Etsy seller is at the post office. After sending packages, you can then mark each item as shipped, remotely. You don’t have to be back at your computer with a list.
Essential for shop upkeep, this easy-to-use tool can automatically renew your listings for you. Just choose a listing, set a date and time, and the Clockbot will handle the rest. This is especially helpful as you start to understand your target market better, by analyzing who your best customers are. You might find that most of your customers are in the U.S. even though you are in Madrid, Spain. You might want to list items during prime times in the U.S., even though you might normally be asleep during that time.
This app takes the Google Analytics data from your site and makes it user friendly. If Google Analytics is a Lexus, then Craftopolis is a Toyota. It is not the whole sha-bang, but it is easy to use and can help you to convert more sales, if you have a basic idea of how marketing works, which is all that really matters. It is basically three apps in one.
- Shop Lovers: Gives you access to your sales data, how much you made, views, numbers of hearts and alerts of upcoming expiring listings, all in an easy-to-read calendar.
- Edit Express: Provides a fast and convenient way to edit your prices, titles, descriptions and item quantities. You can choose to edit individual listings, whole sections or your entire shop in just a few clicks.
- Tag Report: Tags are keywords that you attach to your listings to attract buyers. This handy tool knows what search terms people are using to find your items through Etsy search. It also includes the page the item was found on in those search results. This will give you a good idea of which tags are working for you and which ones are underperforming.
This is an app that some Etsy sellers live and die by. It is great for honing your target market and making the most of your sales data, views and hearts. Great tool!
There are a lot more Etsy apps that you can check out as well. Each of them offers something unique to the Etsy community. You can check out the other apps here. If you have a particular favorite that I did not put on the list, do not fret. Please leave a comment in the section below so that we can all see the benefit of using a particular app. Cheers! Happy Selling!