About 8 months ago decided to start my own Etsy shop. I had never taken on this kind of venture before but 700+ sales and 6k+ Instagram followers later I’ve learned so much about running an Etsy shop and maintaining a social media presence. (Btw – if you’re looking for tips on social media check out my post about what I wish I knew before I started running multiple social media platforms here and my post about favorite apps for running social media here.)
I’m guessing you found this post because you’re thinking about starting your own Etsy shop and want to know what supplies you’ll need. If you have a shop already – that’s great! Hopefully this post will help you think of some items that would be helpful in your shop. If you haven’t opened your Etsy shop yet, you’re welcome to use my referral link which will give you 40 free listings when you open your shop!
To be honest – it’s not easy and takes A LOT of work and A LOT of time to become established but it has been so worth the effort. Amazon has saved me so many times (and occasionally AliExpress when I need large quantities of craft related items.)
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If I could start from square one and do it all again these are the things from Amazon that I would have had overnighted to me ASAP! The nice thing about having Amazon Prime (which has become an essential for me) is that you can get things quickly delivered when you need them.
Photo Light Box – I can’t believe it took me so long to just give in and get myself a light box. As soon as I started to take photos of my products in a light box I started getting more sales almost instantly. It was literally like a light switch that turned on the sales. Without nicely lit photos so many products on Etsy just don’t look that great. Below is the lightbox similar to the one I have at home. Emart Photography 24 x 24 Inches Table Top Photo Studio Continous Lighting LED Light Shooting Tent Box Kit, Camera Tripod & Cell Phone HolderCardstock Paper – Speaking of nice photos, you’ll want to make sure you place your products on simple and clean background for some of your product shots. I do recommend having a few “action shots” of your products so customers can see them in use as well. You have to know what look you’re going for with your shots. For me, I loaded up on some pastel and bright colored cardstock to place my products on for photos. It ended up helping the overall look of my shop by having bright colored listings. There may be more sophisticated solutions long term but to start out the cardstock has been a cheap and easy solution! Here’s a link to the pack that I ended up getting.
Darice Core’dinations Premium 65-lb Cardstock Value Pack – 12×12” Sheets of Premium, Acid Free Cardstock with a Solid-Dyed Core, 100-Pack Includes Five Sheets of 20 Colors
Nice Camera – I really can’t stress how important product photos are. These days having a cell phone camera isn’t the worst thing but getting a nice camera will really up your photo game. You’ll be able to get so many great shots of your products which will ultimately help you sell more. Below is a link to the camera I recently purchased and love!
Tape Gun – This may seem like a really random item to keep on a list like this, but trust me you’ll be glad you have it! This partially comes down to how to package your products/if you use self-sealing envelopes. A majority of my orders are packed in boxes which require tape and a little bit of juggling to pack up. Here’s a link to a similar tape gun to the one I use everyday.
Tape King TX100 Packing Tape Dispenser Gun (2 Pack) – Plus 2 Free Rolls of Packaging Tape – Best Side Loading 2 Inch Lightweight Ergonomic Industrial Gun for Shipping, Moving, Carton and Box Sealing
Shipping Boxes – I’m not going to lie, finding the right shipping boxes can be a pain. I can link you to the brand that I’ve been using currently but you’ll have to do some research and testing to figure out which boxes fit your products best, are light to ship, and easy to store at home. Sometimes it sounds much easier than it actually is.
Tissue Paper – Something you’ll want to consider is the unboxing experience for your customers. I’ve bought a ton of things from Etsy that are just shoved in a box with no care. An important part of my process is making sure that each customer’s order is packed with care and they enjoy opening up their box. Typically I will neatly wrap up each one of my orders in tissue paper and tie with some string. It gives it a nice appearance and looks like some love and care was put into the packing process.
ArtVerse 100-Piece Tissue Paper Pack – Premium Quality Tissue Paper for Gift Wrapping, Paper Crafts, Packing and More, 20”x26”
Bubble Wrap – I don’t need this for every order I pack but occasionally I’ll need to pack something with a little extra care. I’d recommend grabbing this off of Amazon as it can be expensive to buy this in person.
Thank You Stickers – I use little “Thank You” stickers to finish off all my packages. It’s a nice little touch in the unboxing experience. Although it’s not necessary to have them, I like adding little touches to make each customer feel special!
Assorted Color Round Thank You Stickers 1.5 inch | 500 Adhesive Thank you labels per Roll | 5 Unique Designs |
Label Printing Machine – This is something that I still need to invest in myself. When I’m shipping out multiple orders at a time I quickly get annoyed with having to print/cut/tape every single label. I don’t have a label printing machine yet but I’d recommend it for convenience if you anticipate a high volume of orders and have a little extra cash.
iPad – I recently got an iPad which has been amazing in helping me stay organized. I keep all of my photo editing apps, Adobe apps, and Etsy related apps on there. It’s been nice to have an extra tool that isn’t as bulky as a laptop and isn’t mixed with my personal stuff on my phone.
Outside of all of the physical objects to help make my shop successful the most important thing has been the support of my wonderful fiancé. There have been many late nights and tough days trying to get started with the whole Etsy shop thing going. I’m happy to say we are at a very stable place with running the businesses but it takes a lot of trial and error to get to that point. My best advice is to stay patient, do your research, and don’t forget to have fun while doing it all!
What other things have been critical to starting up an Etsy shop in your experience? Be sure to leave it in the comments! If you haven’t started your shop yet, be sure to use my referral link to get 40 free listings.
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If you need Mouse Ears for your next trip, check out my Etsy Shop: AdventurelandEarsCo