The Ultimate SEO Guide for Etsy Sellers – Plus a FREE Workbook!

The Ultimate SEO Guide for Etsy Sellers

SEO. Everyone always talks about SEO, but what exactly is SEO and why does it matter when it comes to being an Etsy seller? Well, I’m going to cover all of your questions about Etsy SEO in this blog post, so sit down and breakout a pad and paper and take notes! Oh and grab a snack too!

And, you can download this super awesome workbook that you can print out and use for your shop.

See, I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2014 and I’ve learned all of the ins and outs about SEO on Etsy. Most of my items are on the first page of search results which is the ultimate goal when it comes to SEO for your Etsy shop. I earn 6 figures a year on Etsy and having strong SEO is one of the reasons why.

SEO sounds complicated and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be! Follow along as I spill all of my secrets below 🙂

 

What is SEO and why is it important for your Etsy shop?

First things first, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Search engine optimization is the process of optimizing your product page or listing in a way that customers will find your product when searching for it. Make sense?

Well, if I just completely confused you let’s put it in simpler terms. You want customers to actually find your products, right? Well of course you do! And that’s what SEO is about.

 

What factors contribute to SEO on Etsy?

There are multiple factors that contribute to SEO on Etsy such as product titles, descriptions and keyword tags, customer experience, product quality, recency, your shop title and about page, backlinks, and your click through rate.

Factors that Contribute to Etsy SEO

Got it? Alright let’s dig in!

 

Optimize Your About Section

Okay, let’s start with the basics. Do you have your shop’s About section filled out? If not, you really need to get on that. And if you do then let’s see if we can improve it!

To edit your About section for your shop, click on the pencil icon next to your shop name under “sales channels” on the shop manager menu.

Once you’re in edit mode scroll towards the bottom until you see the About section.

Start off by adding 5 awesome photos of your shop, workspace, favorite product, or anything that represents you and your shop! These photos should be crisp and bright. You can also add a video if you’d like, but I never had any time for that 🙂

After you add a few awesome images, you should fill out your shop title. Your title should be short and it should pull the customer in. Choose three bomb ass keywords that describe your products. Here is my current title:

“Are you looking for affordable, professional, high quality invitations?”

See, that type of question will get the customer to read the next area of the about section, which is the description about your shop.

It’s also important to use awesome keywords in this area because it will help boost your SEO. Etsy will “rank” your shop higher if you have this information filled out.

The biggest tip that I can give about your description is be honest and personable. Don’t tell your story like you’re this big corporation when it’s really just you. Don’t use “we” instead of “I” when writing this section. People love when things are personable and usually like to support small businesses.

Give a little background on yourself and what got you started on your business journey. Write a little about your process without giving away your secrets. Most importantly, write about why your products stand out from all the rest!

If you’re totally stumped on writing this description feel free to use my “mad lib” template that’s included with the workbook that’s provided above.

 

Product SEO

Once you’ve established an amazing About section, let’s move onto product SEO, which requires a lot more dedication. There are a lot of parts that are involved with product SEO, and the biggest factor are your keywords.

Keywords are extremely important to use throughout your product listings because customers are using keywords to search for things they want to buy. Let’s get started on brainstorming keywords.

If you’re using the workbook I provided write down the answers to the following questions:

  • What is it?
  • Who is it for?
  • Is it for an occasion, if so what occasion?
  • What materials are used?
  • What is the main color or pattern?
  • What size is it?
  • Is there a scent? If so, which?
  • Can it be used as a gift for someone, if so who?
  • Are there any synonyms related to what the product is? (example: sweater, cardigan)
  • Are there any adjectives to describe your product? (example: elegant, rustic, modern, chic, etc)

Next, write down a few other keywords that may help to describe your product.

Finally, look to see what keywords your competitors are using! You may be thinking, isn’t that sneaky? Well, probably. But there’s nothing wrong with it just as long as you’re not copying your competitor word for word! It’s completely normal to check out what your competition is doing.

So with that being said, do a quick search on Etsy for your type of product and see what keywords other people are using in their titles and descriptions. Here’s a quick example:

Here’s one of my products that I’ve been selling as “Greenery Bridal Shower Invitations”. This product wasn’t selling for the longest time and I know something had to be wrong with my keywords. So I did a quick search and realized that similar styled invitations were being sold as “botanical bridal shower invitations”. Lightbulb moment! I honestly would have not thought of that before.

 

Using Long Tail Keywords

Now that you’ve got some keywords written down, you’re going to want to come up with long tail keywords. 

Say what???! Long tail keywords are like a group of 2-4 keywords used together to describe your product. It’s so much better to use long tail keywords.

For example, so you have a sweater that you want to sell. Sweater? Um yeah, there’s like a million “sweater”s available to purchase online. How about this: Light blue cotton sweater. Much more descriptive, right? By using these groups of keywords together, you’re helping customers find the exact thing that they are looking for.

Different combinations of keywords are going to work for different types of items, feel free to use my long tail keyword planner as a guide for your items.

 

Product Titles

Whew, is your head spinning yet? Because mine is just by writing this blog! Onto the next: boosting the SEO for your product titles.

Product titles on Etsy have a maximum character length of 140 – you’ll want to use all of the keywords in your titles as you can! This is called “keyword stuffing” and it’s usually a rather old method of SEO but it’s totally okay for Etsy still!

Remember those long tail keywords I talked about? Well I want you to use your best long tail keyword in the very beginning of your title – this is SUPER important! The first few keywords used in your product title are the foundation of the SEO for the entire listing.

After your first group of keywords, add a hyphen or a comma to separate each group of words to make it look somewhat organized. Many people believe that adding a hyphen or a comma in the title is bad for your SEO, but that’s a total myth!

Here’s one of my titles: “Fall Baby Shower Invitations – Printed Invitations – Little Pumpkin Baby Shower Invitation – A Little Pumpkin is On the Way”

Don’t forget to use all 140 characters for your titles before moving onto the description.

 

Product Details and Description

Moving on! There are a few details that also contribute to your SEO on Etsy including the category, color, holiday, and occasion. It’s important that these options are chosen if applicable. Why? Because when customers are searching for a product they may be selecting these options to narrow down their choices. If you don’t have these options selected then buyers may be missing your products entirely!
 
Up next is your description. Again, super important area for your SEO. You do not want to skimp over this area.
 
Firstly, when writing your description you should include your star long tail keyword in the very first part of your description, just like your title. So give a quick intro about your product with those keywords. Include these keywords throughout the description if possible.
 
There are quite a few other things that you should include in your description also, which I will explain later on. Just know that your description should include lots of juicy keywords. I’ve also included a template in the workbook.
 
Here are some samples of awesome description introductions:
“Beautiful genuine leather wallet with custom leather engraving. This wallet would make the perfect gift for Father’s Day!”

Floral baby shower invitations for sale. These invitations are perfect for a spring baby shower or any time year round! You can select a digital version to print yourself or you can have us print them to save you the hassle! See full details below”

“Do you love the smell of vanilla bean? If so then this vanilla bean body scrub is for you! It would also make a perfect gift for your mother’s birthday or even your wife’s birthday, whoever!”

Besides having an awesome introduction paragraph, there are a few other things that I believe are essential to have in the description including exactly what’s included with the purchase, directions for ordering, followed by your processing and shipping times and any disclaimers and/or copyright information that you may have.

I separate my descriptions with sections just like that so it’s easy to understand and hopefully answers all of the customers questions beforehand 🙏

These sections are amazing from a customers perspective because they know exactly what they’re getting, they know how to order, and they know when they should expect to receive it.

Use the workbook to finish up the rest of your product description.

Tags

The product listing tags are probably the most overlooked area by new Etsy sellers. This section may seem non-important to your SEO, but believe me, they are super important!

What most people do is use one word for each tag. While that’s all fine and dandy, I suggest using long tail keywords for your tags as long as they’re under 2o characters long.

Yes that’s right, you can totally use 2-3 words in ONE tag. And you should! You will see a lot more results by using “elephant baby shower” instead of “elephant” “baby” “shower” all separately.

Curious what tags your competitors are using? Find a product listing on Etsy and scroll all the way to the bottom where it says “related to this item”. Shhhhh… you didn’t hear this from me!

Use up all 13 of your tags!

And as for “materials” I’ve heard that this area doesn’t effect your SEO, but it doesn’t hurt to try, right?

 

Quality Products

Having a quality product is absolutely huge. You have to believe in your product 100%. Your customers are trusting you to deliver a quality product. If it easily breaks or rips, or whatever, then you risk getting negative reviews. Once negative reviews roll in your SEO will drop drastically and your listings will fall behind in search 🙁

 

Good Customer Service and Experience

Another thing that I cannottttt stress about SEO is customer service. Seriously, if you cannot handle customer service then you probably shouldn’t be in the retail industry, period. With that being said, I’m definitely not telling you that you have to kiss the ass of every extremely rude customer because trust me, I don’t.

But, what counts as customer service and experience? My pro tip: think of every detail from the customer’s point of view. This starts with your listing itself. Make sure your titles are clear and understandable. List every bit of detail in your description and include very detailed photographs of your products.

Shipping your orders on time is also important not only for your customer service, but also because Etsy “punishes” your search rankings if you’re not shipping packages on time. They announced this at their 2016 Etsy Up Conference in New York. So at the end of the day always check that you’ve shipped your items on time by their ship date. If you can’t make the shipping deadline then I suggest contacting the customer and updating the ship date.

Another customer service tip I can give you is COMMUNICATION! Communication is HUGE on Etsy. After every order that’s placed I personally message that customer with the details of what they ordered and exactly how long it will take for processing and shipping. I also ask if they have any questions about the purchase. This is excellent for customer service because I confirm with them the details and make it more comfortable for them to ask any questions.

And lastly, when it comes to shipping issues: the only thing that I can say is again, look at everything from the customers perspective. If the item arrives defected or broken then either refund the sale or resend the item. Please do not put the buyer at fault if something arrives broken or it doesn’t arrive at all. That’s totally not fair to them.

 

Recency

The recency of your listings is also a determining factor for your SEO. You see, if your product is constantly selling and the listing is being renewed at least once a day, Etsy’s search engine is going to believe you’ve got a trending item. This can happen organically of course if you do in fact have an item that’s selling at least once a day. But, there’s also a way of “tricking” the system. 

Yes, that’s right, you can actually trick the system by manually renewing your products. You can manually renew your products by clicking the gear icon on a listing from the listing manager page.

Or! If you’re like me and totally don’t have any free minute of the day to do anything, you can use an app to auto renew your listings for you. I highly recommend using the Etsy on Sale app. Click here to sign up and enjoy 10 FREE credits!

For only 5 credits you can schedule up to 10 listings to auto renew once a day, twice a day, or whatever floats your boat!

 

Click Through Rate

One of the major factors of SEO is your click through rate. Your click through rate is the percentage of people who are clicking to view your items from an internal or external source. 

Okay that’s cool and all, but how do you increase your click through rate? Well there are tons of ways!

To increase your click through rate internally (via Etsy only) you’ll have to have amazing photos, titles, descriptions and keywords like I stated earlier. The more you work on those factors then the more clicks you’ll receive by people searching on Etsy.

To increase your click through rate externally, start out with what you may know best: social media. Pinterest is my absolute favorite! I’ve written an entire blog dedicated to marketing on Pinterest for your Etsy shop. If more people are finding you through Pinterest then your click through rate will increase! This goes for any other platform too such as Facebook and Instagram.

Another way of increasing your click through rate is by blogging (hey that’s what I do!). If you write blogs about your products and include links back to your products then that will surely help boost your SEO. You can also look around the internet for blogs that offer guest posting. Guest posting is where you write an article for a blog and in return you get exposure from their followers! Including the link to your Etsy shop will boost your click through rate!

 

 

Whew! I believe this is the longest post I’ve ever written. Over 2700 words to be exact! And yes, I actually WRITE my blog posts in a notebook before typing them up. Crazy, right?

I really hope that this blog has taught you the ins and outs of SEO on Etsy. I’ve included a full checklist for you at the end of the workbook that goes along with this blog.

Feel free to comment below with any questions you may have 🙂

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Why I Stopped Selling on Handmade At Amazon

Why I Stopped Selling on Handmade At Amazon
 
If you’ve been following my blog recently then you most likely saw the blog that I posted a few weeks ago about How to Sell Your Handmade Products on Amazon. I gave tips on opening up your first H@A (Handmade at Amazon) storefront as well as my opinions on the platform. Well, the other day I decided to delete all of my H@A listings and I am no longer going to list my products with Handmade at Amazon. Sadly, my venture on H@A didn’t last too long.
 
But, don’t get me wrong. selling on Amazon has definitely been a learning experience and i was able to venture into another world that I never knew existed. I’ll get to that part later.
 
But first, why did I quit selling on Handmade at Amazon? Right now Amazon has almost 250 million customers so I must be out of my mind, right? Well, I probably was out of my mind way before I started selling on Handmade at Amazon, but that’s besides the point 😊
 
ANYWAYS, let me hop to it. Here are the 5 reasons why I stopped selling on Handmade at Amazon.
 

Lack of Communication from Buyers

If you’re like me, a seller who crafts custom products for each customer, there’s a bit of communication required between you (the seller) and the buyer. Normally I handle all of my communication with Etsy through their messaging system. I rarely ever run into a situation which a buyer doesn’t respond to my messages.
 
But for some reason, communication on Amazon is a complete DISASTER.
 
See, I sell custom printed invitations. This requires names, dates, times, addresses, etc to be printed on the invitations. In order to avoid mistakes I always send a proof to a customer first before doing any printing. I require that they approve the proof before I print them, and this is where communication between me and the buyer is crucial.
 
For some unknown reason, I rarely ever get a response from my customers on Amazon. It drives me nuts! Does Amazon not notify them that they’ve received a message? I’m not sure. One of my customers said that the message went into their spam box. Big no-no.
 
Whatever reason it is, it sucks. So just as I do on Etsy, if I don’t get a response about the proof then I cancel the order. I don’t want to take the risk of sending out something with the possibility that the customer won’t be satisfied with.
 

My Account is ‘At Risk’ for Being Suspended

So one fine morning I woke up and realized that my account was “at risk” for being suspended. What the …..? As I investigated into the matter I realized that Amazon “grades” your sellers account based on orders shipping on time, your order tracking rate AND your cancellation rate. I had a total of 11 orders that month and 3 of them had to be cancelled due to no communication from the buyer.
 
Dear Amazon, that’s pretty F’d up. I totally get suspending an account when the seller is at fault, but it’s ridiculous to suspend a sellers account when they are not at fault, am I right?!
 

It’s Not Worth The Hassle

I’ll be straight up with you. Selling on H@A is nothing like selling on Etsy. Out of the 2 months that I was selling on H@A I only received 12 orders. I normally receive that many orders or more in 1 day on Etsy.
 
In all honesty I don’t think that buyers on Amazon are searching for Handmade things. Amazon customers are more interested in items that are available for Prime, meaning they will receive their item within 2 days. 
 
So with that being said I didn’t think it was worth the hassle any longer. Why risk getting my account suspended for such little orders?
 
And don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that everyone won’t have luck with selling on Amazon. Perhaps my customization process is too tedious for some people. It’s always worth the try, but it just didn’t work out for me.
 

Handmade at Amazon Fees Are Ridiculous

I thought it was so great that Amazon doesn’t make you pay a fee to list an item like Etsy does. But then I saw their “referral” fees, which are 15% of the sale. Say WHAT?!?!!! 
 
Then, on top of the 15% referral fee you have to pay a sellers fee, which is $39.99 for a pro-merchant account (over 35 sales a month) or a fee of $.99 per item sale as an individual seller. 
 
So in the end the fees weren’t really worth it for my business either.
 

Focusing More on Fulfillment By Amazon

At least something good came out of my entire experience with H@A. While selling on Handmade at Amazon I looked into selling with Fullfilment by Amazon. 
 
Fulfillment by Amazon is where the gold is at, at least for me anyway. When you see items that are offered with “Prime” that’s done with Fulfillment by Amazon.
 
The way Fulfillment by Amazon works is you send in items to Amazons warehouse, and they are stored in the warehouse until the item is purchased. Amazon then handles the packaging, shipping, and all customer service for you.
 
 Let me tell you, it’s magical. I do all the hard work up front and then Amazon takes care of the rest. I absolutely love it. 
 
So if you create Handmade products that don’t involve customizations, I would highly recommend trying out Fulfillment By Amazon. Let me know if it works out for you!
 
Okay, I’m done with my ranting for today! Hopefully Handmade at Amazon works out better for you if you decide to try it. 
 
 
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10 Ways to Brainstorm Ideas for New Products

10 Ways to Brainstorm Ideas for New Products on Etsy

I don’t know about you guys, but June happens to be my slowest month of the year selling online. I’ll be lucky if I can get 5 orders a day when I typically get 10-15 orders a day on any other month. So with that being said, I panic lol. And when I panic like that the first thing that I think to do is to create new products for my shop.

But, how do I come up with ideas for new products? There are so many different ways that I brainstorm ideas. I actually have a list of idea’s that’s so large it’s quite overwhelming.

Here are the 10 ways that I brainstorm ideas for new products.

 

Improve Existing Products

Before you go off to create more products perhaps you can improve on products that you already have? I do this all-the-time. Over time I’ll realize that a product is not selling as much as it used to, which usually means it needs to be updated. So before I jump into new projects I focus on updating my existing product designs first.

 

Offer Matching Items

My business exploded overnight from just this one simple tip: offer matching items or items that go well with your products. So for example, I was selling just printed invitations for the longest time, and baby shower invitations are among the most popular. After a while I had a lot of customers messaging me asking if I offered matching diaper raffle tickets or thank you cards. So over time I slowly started to add matching items like those to my shop. I know 100% that offering matching items makes a difference.

In fact, when I was searching for a specific quilt for my daughter’s nursery I found two different quilts that were made by two different sellers. The one seller had an option to purchase a super cute matching pillow along with the quilt, and that’s what sold me on that purchase. The other seller lost my potential sale because they didn’t offer the matching pillow.

 

Sell Holiday Themed Items

Another way that my business exploded was by offering holiday themed items. People LOVE seasonal items. If you can sell an item with a seasonal theme then please do! You would be surprised how much pumpkin stuff sells in fall. Fall is surprisingly my biggest season for selling online.

 

Search for Trends

Where on earth did this unicorn trend come from?! I have no freaking idea! But I do know that if you jump on a trend quickly you can make some big $$$. But, how do you find out what the latest trends are? Research, research, research! Use platforms such as Instagram to see what people are posting. Use #hashtags to search for terms related to your products and see what’s going on in the world!

 

Use Stats on Etsy

If you sell products on Etsy then you should definitely check out your stats page! There is a brand new feature which I absolutely LOVE! When you locate your stats page, click on the “customers” tab. There is a super useful tool called “What else your customers have searched for”. Use this information to your advantage!  See what other search terms your customers are searching for and brainstorm new products based off of those keywords.

 

Use the Search Bar on Etsy

Another one of my best magic tricks is to use the search bar on Etsy. Did you ever notice that when you start to type words into the search bar on Etsy there are keywords that start to pop up on a dropdown list? For example, if I start to search for “Baby Shower Invitations” on Etsy the search bar automatically suggests search terms like “baby shower invitations elephant” or “baby shower invitations for a girl”. I can use these search terms to work off of when brainstorming products.

I can even go further by using the search bar for searching for terms alphabetically. What I mean by this is there are only a limited amount of suggested terms that come up when I search for “baby shower invitations”, but if I try to further my search with each alphabetical character, I can find more specific commonly typed suggestions. 

Yeah, that was totally confusing. Let me show you. I’ll start searching for “baby shower invitations a” and additional terms pop up such as “baby shower invitations all star” and “baby shower invitations animals”. Then I can search for “baby shower invitations b” and terms pop up such as “baby shower invitations boy” or “baby shower invitations boy nautical”. I can keep repeating this step for the entire alphabet to gather ideas for my newest design!

How To Brainstorm Ideas for New Products for Etsy

 

See What’s Selling

Another way to brainstorm ideas for new products is to see what’s selling. A lot of people feel sneaky doing this, but it’s actually something that all businesses do. It’s very smart to see what the selling trends are. On Etsy you can view what’s selling by typing what you sell into the search box and then refining the search by showing “most recent”. So for example, if I type in “baby shower invitations” into the search box I can select “Sort By” and click on “Most Recent”.

The most important point that I should note here is that it is SUPER important that you see what type of items are selling, but not to actually copy those items. Copying items or designs can get you in trouble with copyright infringement. Make sure that you are using this information wisely and to create completely different items from your competition.

 

Play a Word Game

This may seem silly, but playing a word game is an excellent way to get the creative juices flowing. My favorite word game to play is called Word Storm. The way the game works is very simple, you write down a word, then write down a bunch of other words that come to mind when you think of that first word. Before you know it you’ll have a long list of random words that you can work off of to brainstorm an idea for your next product or design.

 

Create a Mood Board

I bet you landed on my blog from using Pinterest, am I right?! 🙂 Well, Pinterest happens to be my #1 place for creating a digital “mood board”. A mood board can be a physical board or a digital board (Pinterest) that’s made up of pinned photos, doodles, and ideas for your next project. Pinterest is great for creating a mood board for your next project.

Create a Pinterest board and call it “Mood Board” or “Brand Board”. You can set the board to private if you’d like.

Next, take the keywords that you chose to describe your idea for your project and search those words on Pinterest. Choose anything that you would like to use for inspiration for your project and pin it to your board. Photos, color palettes, fonts, etc. Try to find as many inspiring things as you can.

Soon enough you’ll have a big giant board of ideas to work off of.

 

Ask

Finally, the biggest tip that I can share with you is to ask your customers directly. I don’t mean that you should message each and every one of your customers to see what products they are interested in, but you can post a question to social media or create a poll. If you have an email list you can certainly send out an email with a survey and perhaps offer a coupon for those who complete the survey. 

 

Hopefully this long list of brainstorming tips has helped you brainstorm ideas for new products. What other ways do you use to brainstorm ideas?? Let me know in a comment below 🙂

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How to Sell Your Handmade Products on Amazon

How to Sell Your Handmade Products on Amazon

Hooray! My long hiatus has finally come to an end! For those of you who don’t know, I recently had a baby at the end of February and I’ve been SUPER busy ever since. Even though I’m a work-at-home mom it’s still very hard to juggle my business, blogging and two babies (I also have an 18 month old).

I’ve also been really busy with a couple of other new ventures I’ve been pursuing and selling on Amazon is one of them.  I recently applied to be a seller at Handmade at Amazon and I was accepted 🙂 

Update: I have stopped selling on Amazon Handmade after less than a month! Check out why with my newest blog Why I Stopped Selling on Handmade at Amazon.

I know I post a lot about selling on Etsy, and that’s because Etsy is my main squeeze. And now Amazon is my side snuggle 🙂

Handmade at Amazon is still in its early stages. Currently, you have to apply to be a handmade seller at Amazon. 

 

What is Handmade at Amazon?

Handmade at Amazon is a new section on Amazon.com that offers handcrafted items. You can list, sell, and ship your handcrafted items via Amazon just as you would with Etsy.com.

 

Why did I choose to sell on Amazon instead of strictly selling on Etsy?

Well, for lots of reasons. I’m a firm believer in never putting all of your eggs in one basket. God forbid, what if something were to happen to my Etsy shop? I’ve heard tons of horror stories about shops being suspended. I would be left with nothing. I wouldn’t be able to provide for my family.  That’s seriously my worst nightmare. So, selling on Amazon is kind of like a “fall back”, I guess. 

Selling on Amazon also opens up my business to a different audience, meaning I can reach more people and achieve additional income.

I also wanted a new challenge. I’ve been selling on Etsy since 2014 and I’m pretty used to the operation on Etsy. By selling on Handmade at Amazon I’m opening myself up to a new challenge, which is much needed.

 

What are the requirements for selling your products through Handmade at Amazon?

The first requirement for selling on Handmade at Amazon is that your products have to be made entirely by hand, hand altered, or hand assembled. Massed produced products are not allowed to be sold through Handmade at Amazon and you cannot sell items made by other people.

Next, there are only certain categories of products that are allowed to be sold on Handmade at Amazon, here is an insert from their website..

“Right now, Handmade at Amazon is open to artisans who make Jewelry, Home products (Art, Baby Bedding, Bath, Bedding, Furniture, Home Décor, Kitchen & Dining, Lighting, Patio, Lawn & Garden, Storage & Organization), Beauty & Personal Care, Pet Supply, Party Supplies, Stationery, Accessories, Baby, Sporting Goods, and Toys & Games. If your products don’t fit into those categories, don’t worry – we are working to open up more categories in the upcoming months. Sign up to be the first to know.”

 

Are you allowed to sell your products on Etsy and Handmade at Amazon?

Yes! You are absolutely allowed to sell your handmade products on Etsy as well as Handmade at Amazon.

 

What are the costs of selling on Handmade at Amazon?

So far, it seems to me that the price of selling on Handmade at Amazon is much steeper than the costs of selling on Etsy.  Unlike Etsy, there is no fee to list items but there is a $39.99 monthly fee for the professional selling plan. In addition to the selling fee, you also have to pay a referral fee for each product that you sell, which is 15% of the entire transaction (including shipping fees) or $1.00, which ever is greater. So, if you are selling something for $29.99, your referral fee will be about $4.50. That’s a pretty hefty fee if you ask me, Etsy only charges a 3.5% transaction fee and shipping costs are not included.

 

How to Apply for Handmade at Amazon

Applying to become a seller with Handmade at Amazon is easy, you’ll need to apply on a desktop computer and the application takes approximately 30 minutes. Click here to begin filling out an application. You’ll be asked to provide photos of your products, your workspace and your production process so make sure that you have those ready to go 🙂

Once you complete the application it will take about 1 week for Amazon to review the application and send you an invitation. Once you accept the invitation you can fill out your profile and start listing products for sale!

 

The Pros and Cons of Selling on Handmade at Amazon

Lastly, I want to give my final all around thoughts on selling at Handmade at Amazon so far. I’ll be honest, selling on Handmade at Amazon is nothing like selling on Etsy.  It’s similar, but definitely different. For one, I don’t believe that I get as much traffic from Handmade at Amazon than I do from Etsy.  The reason for this I believe is people go to Etsy specifically to look for something handmade.

Not many people go to Amazon to search for handmade products. Also, when people are searching for products through the search bar the first products that show up in search are the Amazon Prime products, unless they’re searching directly underneath the “Handmade” category. Selling on Amazon Prime is different from selling on Handmade at Amazon. To be honest I’ve only made about 5 sales within the past 3 weeks.

And as I mentioned earlier, the prices are pretty steep compared to selling on Etsy. Not many handmade business owners would want to pay the $39.99 monthly fee, especially if they’re just starting their business.

I also feel that navigating the site is not very user friendly. Link text is small, pages are hard to locate. It’s confusing when you’re a first timer, but I guess that happens when you’re trying new platforms.

One good thing about selling on Handmade at Amazon is that you open yourself up to a new audience, as I stated above. You can use Amazon as an additional income stream like I am 🙂

 

 

If you happen to try Handmade at Amazon let me know about your experience in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!

 

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8 Things I Use to Package and Ship Products

8 Things I Use to Package My Products

If there’s one thing that I’m constantly trying to improve about my Etsy shop, it’s got to be my packaging. Seriously, my shop has been open since 2014 and I’m STILL constantly changing up the way that I package my orders. However, I think I’ve finally found a happy medium so I decided to sit down and write about the things that I’m currently using to package my products.

In case you’re wondering what I sell, I sell printed invitations. You’ll see that I don’t have the most fancy packaging, and in my opinion, packaging shouldn’t be over the top anyway. At the end of the day it’s just packaging and most likely it’s going to be thrown away. Keeping packaging costs low keeps your prices low, and I like to save my customers money any way that I can.

If you’re just starting out selling online and you aren’t comfortable buying packaging supplies in bulk just yet, you can certainly find most of these shipping supplies in a department store such as Target or Walmart. But, if you find that your sales are starting to pick up you’ll save a ton of money by ordering these supplies online in bulk. I’ve found that my Amazon Prime membership is worth it’s weight in gold because I order from there so much.

Anyways, let’s hop to it. Here are the products that I’m currently using to ship my packages.

DYMO 4XL Thermal Label Printer

The DYMO 4XL Thermal Label printer is hands down my absolute favorite thing to use to ship my products. Before getting this little nifty machine I used to print labels out on my home printer, cut them down to size and tape them on with packaging tape. And don’t get me wrong, that’s totally fine. But, when you start shipping more than 5 orders a day that process is tedious. This machine changed my life. You simply connect the machine to your computer via USB and you can print labels instantly through Etsy. Just peel off the packer and stick the label to the package! So easy. No cutting, no taping. Best of all there’s no ink required! It uses thermal technology to print labels, it’s like magic.

You can learn all about the reasons why I highly recommend this machine, just check out the 5 reasons why you need a DYMO printer for your online business.

Cello Bags

These 8×10 clear cello bags are perfect for keeping my paper products nice and snug. I feel as if they’re a step up from using ziplock baggies. They also keep the invitations safe from any water damage just in case anything were to happen to my package. I love the fact that they have an easy peel and seal strip.

 

Tissue Paper

After I seal the invitations and envelopes in a clear cello bag, I wrap the whole bag in tissue paper. Luckily I found navy tissue paper to match my branding off of Amazon as well (like I said, the Prime membership is worth it’s weight in gold!!). The tissue paper is a great way to add some padding inside of the box so the invitations don’t bend in the corners while in transit.

 

Review Stickers

Once I wrap my invitations in the tissue paper, I seal the tissue paper together with a sticker. But not just any old sticker, I actually designed these stickers specifically to remind my customers to leave a review. Each sticker says, “We love what we do and we hope you will too. Please come back and leave a review!”. Since I’ve started using this sticker I’ve noticed a significant increase in my reviews. 
 
At first I purchased the 2″ Round Avery stickers from Staples, but I found them to be much more affordable on Amazon.
 

Thank You Cards

I also include a 4×6 thank you card with each of my orders. I make sure that I thank my customer for their support and I include a coupon code on the thank you card. If you’re interested I’ve created a FREE thank you card template that you can download along with the 2″ stickers mentioned above. I designed this card specifically so that it does not use up much ink if you’re printing at home. Simply print these 4×6 thank you cards out on cardstock and cut them out by using the black guidelines that I’ve included on the PDF. You will need to have Adobe Reader (this is free) or Acrobat in order to open and edit the thank you card.

*Also, you will receive the files in .ZIP format because there are 2 different files attached. You will need to unzip the folder in order to open both files. If you’re already signed up on my email list you can access these files via the free resource library!

 

White Shipping Boxes

I place the invitations wrapped in tissue paper into a white 9x6x2 box. The cheapest place that I could find to purchase these was Staples. They come in packs of 25 and I get free shipping (not sure if it’s because my order is over $50 or because I’m a rewards member). I specifically use this size because it fits perfectly into a USPS Flat Rate padded envelope (which I will discuss next).
 

USPS Flat Rate Priority Mail Padded Envelopes

I’m going to let you in on a big secret of mine. I’ve noticed that if my package weighs over 1 pound it’s actually cheaper to ship it via USPS Priority Mail than it is to ship it via ground service. And, I’ve noticed that I can save even MORE money by shipping my packages with USPS Priority Mail Flat Rate padded envelopes. 

How do I do this? I stuff my white boxes into the padded envelopes (I keep my invitations in the white box for extra protection). You can request free padded envelopes from the USPS website, they ship to your location for free too!

 

Kraft Packaging Paper

When I have to use a bigger box than the 9x6x2 I have to use packaging paper to pad the invitations so they’re not flopping around in the larger box while in transit. I found a large roll of kraft packaging paper off of Amazon along with this paper cutter that I can attach it to and use to easily roll out and cut. The roll is over 1,000 feet long so it lasts a long time!

 

What are some things that you use to package your products? I’d love to know! I’m all about discovering new ideas for packaging. Let me know in the comments below!

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How to Network Your Handmade Business

10 Networking Tips for Your Handmade Business

 

Networking. Ugh. I cringe when I hear that word. When I think about “networking” I think about my previous corporate career graphic design job that required us to gather together in our lunch break room every Friday for a “happy hour” (aka a networking event where we are required to ‘fish’ for work from clients). It was awful. I hated “networking”.

But, when you become a business owner sometimes networking is a nessesary evil. There are many benefits of getting yourself out there. You never know who’s path you may cross while networking or what opportunities you’ll be presented with. With that in mind, networking should be a part of your marketing plan.

When you think about it, networking is the least expensive and often times most effective way to promote your handmade business.

And, trust me, there’s more options to networking than showing up to a corporate event with a stack of business cards in hand. You can even network with other business owners online if you’re more comfortable doing so.

Here are 10 networking tips for a handmade business owner.

Network with Facebook Groups

Facebook groups are an amazing way to get yourself and your business out there. Many people are not aware of the many benefits there are in joining a Facebook group.

If you join a group that is related to your niche you will see that there are other inspiring entrepreneurs just like yourself in the group. If you have a question related to your business you can usually ask on a group board and chances are that someone will have an answer for you. I’ve learned so much from Facebook groups.

I’ve even created my own group for creative business owners. Click here to request to join the CreativeCEO Facebook group.

Other groups that I would highly recommend for creative entrepreneurs are:
* The Joyful Entrepreneur
* The Handmade Seller Community
* Handmade Journey

 

Network on Other Social Media

When it comes to networking, don’t just limit yourself to doing it with Facebook groups. You can also network on other social media platforms as well. Comment on Instagram photos or Pinterest pins. You just might find a new business bestie!

 

Do an Online Coffee Meeting

Another popular option for networking in the handmade community is to have an online coffee meeting. I’ve seen many people requesting coffee meetings on Facebook groups. Request to have a coffee meeting so you can chat it up about owning a handmade business, juggling personal life and business, etc. 

 

Participate in Online Forums

Forums are another particular favorite of mine. I’m usually active on the Etsy subreddit on Reddit and I also participate in the forums on Etsy. Make it a habit to check these forums daily. There’s always tons of networking opportunities in online forums.

 

Join a Chamber of Commerce

If you’re looking to get yourself out there in the real world, you can join a local chamber of commerce. Sure, there may not be many handmade business owners that belong to a chamber of commerce, but that’s what will set you apart from the crowd! Search Google for a local chamber of commerce. There’s usually a website available with information available on how to join. Look for a list of events that are hosted by that chamber of commerce and see if it’s worth giving it a shot.

 

Check Out Eventbrite

If you don’t want to take the leap of joining a local chamber of commerce you can always checkout Eventbrite.  Eventbrite is the worlds largest event technology platform. You can search for events that are happening in your area. There are usually plenty of networking events that are available to choose from. Just select “business” from the dropdown menu list to see all of the available events that are business related.

 

Plan Out Ice Breakers in Advanced

Whether you’re networking online or you’re attending a networking event in person, you should try to plan out some “ice breaker” questions in advanced. This is especially important for introverts such as myself. Ask them what motivated them to attend that networking event, or ask if they have any great business tips that they can offer.

 

Be Yourself

If there’s one tip that I could give anyone about networking, it would be to be yourself. I know that networking can seem intimidating. You may even feel the need to dress up in a corporate looking suit. But, just be yourself. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or share personal stories. Be authentic!

 

Don’t Forget a Business Card

If you plan on going to an in person networking event then make sure you don’t forget your business card!  You’d be surprised at how many people actually forget their business card. If you don’t currently have a business card you could create one with VistaPrint.com or Moo.com. Your business card should at the very least have your name, title, business name, business website and a form of contact (either a phone number or an email address).

 

Ditch The Sales Pitch

It’s important to remember that networking is about connecting with other people and building relationships, it’s not just about getting your business out there. Don’t push the sales pitch. If someone happens to ask you what you do simply give a quick description of your business and hand them your card. Done! Keep the rest of the conversation casual. People are more likely to work with you if you’re not constantly trying to sell them something.

 

Hopefully these tips will help you when it comes to networking your handmade business. Is there something that you struggle with when it comes to networking? Let me know in a comment below! I’d love to help 🙂

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10 Things I’ve Learned After 10,000 Sales on Etsy

10 Things I've Learned After 10,000 Sales on Etsy

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. For my full disclaimer, click here.*

 

When I first opened my Etsy shop in the spring of 2014 I had no idea what I was in for. I spent days slaving away creating new products, anxiously waiting for my first sale. Then, finally, “cha-ching”! My phone made this random register noise that I had never heard before. Turns out that it was a notification of a sale in my Etsy shop.

Cue the happy dance.

Fast forward almost 3 years later, I am so very fortunate to be able to say that I have had over 10,000 sales on Etsy. I was also able to quit my corporate career once I was earning six figures a year on Etsy.

But, I’m not going to lie, achieving this success was no overnight thing. I put everything that I have into my Etsy shop. There were nights where I was up until 2 in the morning finishing orders. I’ve even passed on taking vacations because that would mean I would have to shut down my shop while I’m away.

Needless to say, I’m obssessed.

Here are 10 things that I’ve learned after 10,000 sales on Etsy.

 

Owning an Etsy Shop is a Building Process

If you take a peak at some of my most recent earnings reports you’ll see that I earn a full time income on Etsy. But, I’ll be 100% honest and let you know that’s not always been the case. I opened my shop in the spring of 2014 and I did not become a full time seller until January 2016. I’ve learned that owning an Etsy shop is definitely a building process. Anyone who tells you that earning a full time income on Etsy right away is a liar, or a scam artist.

I’ve learned that you should start small by offering a few products to start. Once these products sell you should invest most (or all) of your profits back into your business by creating more products, advertising, etc.

I personally like to think of it like a game. I LOVE tycoon games.

 

You Have to Work Hard

I’ve also learned that once you decide to open up an Etsy shop you’ve got to work extremely hard to achieve the success that you want. You can’t just list a few products and expect sales to come rolling in. You’ve got to really work hard and educate yourself about everything there is to selling on Etsy. I spend a lot of my spare time reading blogs, watching YouTube tutorials, and participating in Facebook group discussions. 

 

The Forums on Etsy are Very Helpful

There are many people who aren’t aware that there’s a forum community on Etsy. I make it a habit of checking the forums daily. You’ll see that the Etsy team gives updates to recent changes almost every Monday. 

If there’s any glitches on the Etsy website it will be posted in the “bugs” section.

But, if there’s anything that you need help with that’s related to Etsy then feel free to ask others in the forums. 

 

SEO is Important to Learn

SEO (search engine optimization) is extremely important when it comes to achieving sales. I’ve spent a lot of time learning all that I can about SEO on Etsy. Take a moment to read my 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search to learn how to optimize your listings for search.

I go over things such as improving your product titles, listing descriptions, keywords, and more!

The more you work on optimizing your products the higher they will rank in search when someone is looking for something in particular. And, the higher your product ranks, the more it will be seen and purchased by others. Make sense?

 

Ship Orders on Time

Another important thing that I’ve learned over this past year is that your shipping rate is one of the factors that determines your placement in search. Etsy recently announced this in a conference. So, not only is shipping packages on time important for customer service, it’s also important for your placement in search. The more orders that you ship on time, the better placement you will have in search.

I kept running into a problem when customers would fail to leave the information that I needed to fulfill orders. If that happens I’ll try to reach out to that customer and if I can’t get ahold of them I refund and cancel their order.

 

Etsy Does Not Tolerate Copyright Infringement

I belong to a lot of Facebook groups that are related to Etsy and one thing I’ve learned from these groups is that Etsy does not tolerate Copyright infringement.

I’ve witnessed many people lose their Etsy shop due to selling things with Disney characters, college logos, etc. I’ve definitely made it a point to stay clear of any material protected by copyright or trademark.

 

Setting Goals Keeps You Motivated

One great way that I’ve found helps to keep me going every day is by setting goals. I have a goal list saved on my computer which I list monthly goals and yearly goals. Every month I set a couple of new goals such as “create 20 new products” or “make x amount of money”. These goals are what keep me motivated to keep going every month.

 

More Products = More Sales

I know that this may seem too obvious, but the more products that you have available for sale, the better chance you will have obtaining more sales. That’s why I’m constantly focused on creating more and more products.

But, I always ensure that the products that I’m creating are great quality. There are shops who sell similar products as me who have thousands of products for sale, but most of their stuff is 👎. Therefor, I’m always about quality over quantity.

 

Pay Quarterly Taxes

I’ve definitely learned a lot about taxes, especially over the past year. One of the things that I’ve learned when it comes to taxes is that if you’re making a decent amount of money it’s a good idea to pay quarterly estimates to the IRS. Hopefully you use a good bookkeeping system such as Outright by GoDaddy. Programs like these automatically track your profit and loss and generate an estimated amount that you should pay to the IRS for a specific quarter.

Do yourself and your accountant a favor and just pay these quarterly estimates. You can easily fill out and print the quarterly voucher here.

 

Track Your Inventory

Finally, one thing I never realized when it comes to tax season is that you have to track your inventory of supplies. Basically, you can’t claim supplies that you haven’t used up for the year.

I found out this information through the Accounting & US Tax Compliance Facebook group. This group is extremely helpful when it comes to tax time.

To learn more about tracking your inventory and other tax related information you can check out Paper and Spark.

 

Well, in closing, I hope that above 10 lessons that I’ve learned have helped you and your handmade business. I’m so extremely fortunate to be able to say that I’ve achieved over 10,000 sales. Maybe I’ll have more lessons learned after I achieve 50,000 sales 🤔

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February 2017 Earnings Report – How I Earned $9,931.25 Last Month on Etsy

February 2017 Earnings Report - How I Earned $9,931.25 in One Month on Etsy

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. For my full disclaimer, click here.*

 

Hello March 🙂 and hello baby Arya! Just incase you’re new to my blog and don’t follow me on social media I had a baby! Arya Elizabeth was born on February 28th at 4:19 a.m. It was quite a shock considering she wasn’t expected until around March 22nd.

Arya Elizabeth

Funny story: my water broke on the evening of February 27th. I had 13 open orders that needed to go out still! Needless to say, I got to work. No, seriously, I’ve never printed and shipped packages so fast in my life! I even dropped the packages off at the post office before heading to the hospital. By that time I wasn’t contracting yet so I knew I had enough time and the baby wasn’t going to fall out of me. This just proves how dedicated I am to my shop.

Thank God for the DYMO 4XL label printer, it’s such a life saver when you’re in a hurry.

Anyways, now I’m finally home and settled in a bit. She’s at the newborn stage when all she does is eat and sleep so I’ve got plenty of time to catch up on blogging.

Now onto the report…

And, don’t get me wrong – I’m not sharing my earnings to be braggy. I don’t want to come off as cocky because I’m not. I truly want to show the world that it’s absolutely possible to earn a full time income selling what you love to make on Etsy. Even more importantly, I want to show you how.

If you take a peak at my other blog posts you’ll see that I offer tons of tips that are related to starting and running a handmade business. Here are some of my most recent posts:

 

So, how much money did I earn from Etsy in February?

$9,931.25, before any expenses.

At the beginning of February I set a goal of earning at least $8,000 because my books show that I made $6,000 in the month of February last year. I’m so glad I surpassed that goal!

 

How do I earn thousands of dollars a month on Etsy?

In case you’re wondering what I actually sell on Etsy, I sell printed invitations for baby showers, bridal showers, holiday parties, etc.  I did not go to school for graphic design, but I’ve been working with Adobe programs for years.

I first started out on Etsy in 2014 by selling digital files of invitations that people could download and take to a print shop.  After a long time of busting my butt and saving some serious cash, I became the print shop!  Now, I sell invitations that are designed, printed, and mailed to the customers doorstep.  My shop has grown from earning $7.00 a day to earning over $1,000 in one day (but, only on some days 🙂 ).

There are a lot of factors that contribute to earning six figures a year on Etsy including SEO (search engine optimization), great product photography, excellent customers service, quality products, and much more!  I’ll break down each category.

SEO

I preach about SEO (search engine optimization) constantly.  SEO is without a doubt the number one reason why I get so many sales. SEO is basically a strategy of word placement that will help your items rank higher in search.  So when someone searches for “Fall Baby Shower Invitations”, one of my listings appears on the first page of the search results.  To learn more about SEO for your Etsy shop I’ve written an in depth article called 10 Tips to Improve Your Etsy Shop SEO and Rank Higher in Etsy Search.

Great Product Photography

We as humans are very visual. When given a lot of choices at once our minds tend to automatically focus on the one thing that draws the most attention.  That’s why it’s so important to have excellent product photography.  Use natural lighting and avoid photographing items on the floor!  For my best photography tips check out 10 Product Photography Tips for Your Etsy Shop.

Excellent Customer Service

Providing excellent customer service is definitely one of my top priorities.  I’ve had so much repeat business within the past year because my customers love that I communicate quickly and because I ship my orders out as fast as I can.  I know that I’m not going to please everyone out there, but I try my hardest to do so.

Quality Products

To put it in simple terms, if I don’t personally like the quality of my product then I won’t sell it. I always aim for the highest quality product with an affordable pricing point.

Quantity of Products

If you have more products available for sale in your shop then you’ll most likely get more sales.  This year I ended with over 800 products in my shop and I hope to have over 1200 products listed by the end of this year.

Offer Matching Items

Finally, my biggest tip that I have for earning thousands a month on Etsy is to offer matching items.  So, for example, I sell printed invitations.  This year I extended my product line to offer matching inserts for the invitations such as diaper raffle inserts, book inserts, games, etc.  Doing this alone prompted my business to explode!

Here are a few more helpful blogs that I’ve written about selling on Etsy:

 

What’s new this month?

Well, like I stated earlier, I had a baby! That’s definitely something new. This month will most likely see no new change considering the baby situation.

 

What are my goals for March?

I’m not going to stress myself too much this month. I plan on re-opening my shop on March 6th so I’ll see what happens. I’m still waiting for things to pick up for bridal shower season.

But, even with the newborn baby I’m still going to aim for earning at least $7,000 for the month of March.

So wish me luck everyone! I did it last year with my first daughter so I’m sure I’ll be able to do it again now!

 

What are your goals for this month? Let me know in the comments below!

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My Top 10 Must Have Products for Newborns

Top 10 Must Have Products for Newborns

 

As many of you already know, I gave birth to my little Arya at the very end of February. Time is seriously flying by.

I absolutely love the newborn phase though. Seriously, all she does is eat, pee, poop, and sleep.

Now that she’s sleeping so much, I have a lot of time to catch up on blogging. I figured I would take the time to write about my top 10 must have products for newborns.

And, just in case you’re interested, you can check out what was in my hospital bag!

Now, onto the products.

 

 

Swaddle Blankets

My absolute favorite product for my newborn has got to be swaddle blankets. Back when I was expecting my first child, I did a lot of research and found that many women recommended the Aiden and Anais swaddle blankets. So I bought like 3 packs of them.

Guess what? I hated them. They were too stretchy and light that it made my swaddles fall apart (and I’m a really good swaddler).

The swaddle blankets that I absolutely love are the receiving blankets that are given to you at the hospital. They have just the right amount of stretch to make a perfect swaddle.

If you’re a first time expecting mother then I highly recommend learning how to swaddle. Both of my girls couldn’t fall asleep without being swaddled. Oh, and um, take a few of those receiving blankets home from the hospital if you can.

 

Rock n’ Play

The Fisher Price Auto Rock n’ Play Sleeper is also a top favorite of mine. I love it so much that I bought 2 of them. One for each floor of my house (that way I don’t have to carry it up and down stairs).

The Rock n’ Play is the perfect solution for a sleepy newborn baby. It automatically rocks the baby and also plays music or white noise! It also looks super comfy.

 

Perfect Pull Wipe Dispenser

You never realize how much you need both hands to change a newborn. One hand to hold the wiggly legs up and the other hand to quickly wipe. It really sucks when you’re using a pack of wipes and 3 wipes pull out at the same time when you only needed one.

That’s why I love the OXO Tot PerfectPull Wipes Dispenser. The weight that’s used in the dispenser is perfect for pulling out only one wipe at a time (I guess that’s why it’s called the perfect pull?).

 

Podster Pillow

When I need to set my newborn down for a minute I’ve found that this Podster Pillow does the job of keeping her snug.

In fact, my 14 month old is still using her Podster Pillow to nap in!

 

Travel Wipes Dispenser

For a while when I would go out with my first daughter I would just throw a pop top pack of Pampers wipes in my diaper bag. After a while I realized that my diaper bag was really heavy and turns out the package of wipes was the cause.

The OXO Travel Wipes Dispenser is the perfect size for any diaper bag or purse. You can fit plenty of wipes in the container.

 

Infantino Twist and Fold Activity Gym

This activity gym is great for entertaining your little one. The dangling toys will help him or her develop hand and eye coordination. 

I personally use the Podster pillow to place my infant in under the play mat if she can’t reach the toys.

 

Graco Pack n’ Play with Reversible Napper and Changing Playard

If you’re looking for the perfect playard to purchase for your newborn then I highly recommend the Graco Pack n Play with Reversible Napper and Changing Playard.

I actually use the changer part during the first couple months then once she’s old enough I’ll use it as a playpen.

It’s also great to use as a crib if you’re ever traveling with your infant.

 

Boon Lawn Countertop Drying Rack

I have to admit that when I first saw the Boon Lawn Drying Rack I thought that it was tacky looking and I didn’t want anything to do with it. But, when I started washing bottles on a daily basis I realized that it might actually come in handy.

And, now I absolutely love it. It’s so great just to wash a bottle and quickly stick it into the “grass”.

The only downside is that it can get yucky after a bit so I would recommend sticking it in the dishwasher every couple of days. I don’t think it’s possible to wash all of the grass sticks by hand.

 

Triple Paste

There’s no doubt that you’re going to run into a diaper rash with a baby. Thankfully my first born didn’t have very sensitive skin and we haven’t had too many rash episodes. But, when she was about 9 or 10 months old she developed a very bad rash. It looked so raw and painful that it made me cry just looking at it.

I tried every cream you could think of – butt paste, desitin, etc. But, the rash wasn’t healing as fast as I thought. That’s when my mother in law recommended Triple Paste. I went out and bought the biggest jar. It’s a bit pricey, but it lasts a long time. More importantly, it cleared up my daughters diaper rash overnight!

 

Sleepers

When you’re a first time mom you’re most likely going to be tempted to buy all these cute newborn outfits (you know, the onesies with the matching pants and socks). But, to be honest newborns don’t need all of that. Sure, the outfits are cute but they’re too much of a hassle. Putting a onesie on a newborn is tricky because their head isn’t very stable.

That’s why I love using sleepers for the first 3 months. I love sleepers because they’re so easy to put on a newborn. Just lay the sleeper down flat, then lay your baby over it, slip in their little arms and legs and button them up. I also love the fact that they cover the feet so there’s no need to put socks on.

 

And, that’s it! I hope that this list has helped you in your journey to finding newborn must haves. If you have any questions feel free to leave a comment below 🙂

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5 Reasons Why You Need a DYMO Printer for Your Online Business

*This post may contain affiliate links for products I love. I may earn a commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. For my full disclaimer, click here.*

 

Fun fact: When I first started selling online I used stamps to “pay” for my postage on the packages that I was sending out. Yes, stamps. I would send out packages with 6 to 7 Forever Stamps stuck to them.

Cue the dying laughter 🙈

Mind you that this is was in 2010, a bit before all of the online shipping tools that we have access to.

Thankfully things had changed by the time I joined Etsy in 2014. But, even still, I found that shipping packages was a bit time consuming.

Does the following scenario sound familiar?

*presses “print shipping label” button
*printer makes odd noises while warming up
*label prints out on paper
*cuts label down with scissors
*throws out excess paper
*tapes all 4 sides of the label to the package

… then you realize that you’ve got 5 more packages to ship out 🙄

Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Here are 5 reasons why you should invest in a DYMO 4XL printer for your business.

 

The DYMO 4XL Saves You Time

The main reason why I purchased the DYMO 4XL Printer was to save myself time. When I first started selling on Etsy I would print the label on a 8.5×11″ paper, cut it down to size with scissors, then tape all four sides of the label to the package.

So time consuming.

Eventually I upped my game and purchased Avery shipping labels which I could use to print 2 labels on one sheet of paper. This worked for a while, but I still had to wait for my printer to calibrate before it would print the labels. 

With the DYMO 4XL everything is like, instant. Seriously, the label prints instantly. Then I rip the label off the machine, peel the backer off of the label and stick the label to the package.

Done. Onto the next.

 

The DYMO 4XL Saves You Money

Secondly, although it’s a bit of an investment upfront, I promise that if you purchase this printer you’ll be saving yourself money in the long run. When it comes to printing labels from an inkjet printer you have to factor in the pricing of ink. I’ve heard of some people paying over $200 just to replace all of the ink cartridges in their printer.

The DYMO 4XL is a thermal printer, meaning that the label is produced by using a heat technology. That’s right, this means no ink is required for the 4XL. Let me repeat, no. ink. required. Ever.

You’ll also save money on shipping labels with the DYMO 4XL. Currently, the price for 200 Avery shipping labels is around $16.00, or about $.07 per label. If you purchase the DYMO compatible labels through Amazon then the cost of 880 labels is $29.99, or about $.03 per label.

Just a fair warning that using labels that are not considered a DYMO brand can void your warranty if anything were to happen to your printer. I’ve never had an issue with the labels mentioned above.

 

The DYMO 4XL Labels are Waterproof

One of the major drawbacks of printing shipping labels on an inkjet printer is that if any water gets onto the label it could smear or smudge the ink. This could cause the tracking code to become unreadable, or even worse, the delivery address could become unreadable. Rain happens a lot, and if you’re printing your labels on an inkjet printer then this may happen to you.

Thankfully you won’t have to worry about this issue with the DYMO 4XL! Labels printed with the DYMO printer are absolutely waterproof due to the thermal technology used to print them.

 

The DYMO 4XL Produces Less Waste

It’s always a great thing to be environmentally conscious. There is so much less waste when it comes to using the DYMO 4XL. You don’t have to cut away excess paper AND you don’t have to waste so much ink. #winning 🙌

 

The DYMO 4XL is Easy to Set Up and Install

Finally, I have to say that installing and using the DYMO 4XL is quick and painless. The only advice I want to give you is that if you purchase the DYMO 4XL please don’t use the driver that’s given to you in the package (the CD driver). Instead, download the correct driver from the DYMO website directly. For me, the CD was outdated, causing a lot of label sizing issues.

Just follow the prompts to set up and make sure you change your shipping label settings on Etsy to print on a 4×6 label.

So, in closing, I’ve seriously had zero complaints about the DYMO 4XL printer since I’ve purchased it. If you take a look at the reviews on Amazon I’m sure you’ll see all of the positive reviews as well.

If you do decide to purchase the DYMO 4XL let me know what you think in the comments below! Or feel free to comment if you have any questions about the DYMO 4XL, I’d be happy to help if I can!

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