May 10, 2013

Three Tips For Selling Food On Etsy

 Yesterday I introduced you to Beth Kirby, a successful cookie maker who sells on Etsy under the SunshineBakes name.   During the course of our interview Beth was kind enough to share the following tips for any other food entrepreneurs who are looking to open their own Esty store:

  1. Pictures are key as that is what captures people’s attention.  Beth’s photos are gorgeous and help showcase the level of detail in her cookies.  “Getting a good quality picture that shows that you are very detail oriented and that the product is professional.  How your product is presented is really important.”  Interestingly enough, Beth says that she’s terrible with a camera.  “I really cannot take a good picture for the life of me,” she admits.  Her secret?  “I take all my photos with my iPhone!”  Beth admits that she has a fancy camera but hasn’t been able to figure it out yet so for now it’s just her trusty iPhone and a trifold whiteboards that she bought at Micheals.  That being said, she’s done a ton of trial of error with her photos and now knows exactly the best time of day of take pictures to maximize the light and will play with the brightness and contrast of the photos after taking the picture if it needed.  “I have a ton of cookie pictures that I don’t even have on Etsy since I don’t have time to sell them,” Beth says.  “I have maybe 20 different cookies on Etsy right now but I have pictures of a good 60-70 others!”
  2. Reposting items helps keep items fresh and at the top of the page rankings.  However, Beth strategically posts pictures that she knows people might be looking for so, for instance, in advance of Mother’s Day Beth posted lots of cookies in the “hearts and love” theme.  “If I want to sell things I will definitely repost.”
  3. Beth also recommends that Etsy sellers put serious thought into the tag words they use to describe their products.  With so many items available for sale on Etsy, the tag words are how people might find you for the first time.  “With the right tag words you can cut to the front of the line and be one of the first items customers see,” Beth says.

Unfortunately it may be too late to order some of Beth’s beautiful cookies for your mom but after taking a look at her Etsy store I’m willing to bet you can come up with some special occasion to buy them for.  Like, uh, the fact that the third Wednesday of the month of coming up.  That certainly deserves a celebration!

*This article is a reprint and originally appeared on this site in May 2011.