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Selling on Etsy: Small Doesn’t Mean Not Professional

Etsy has grown beyond its original niche of small artisans and crafters, hosting big sellers who notch up tens of thousands of sales monthly. Yet, it’s still the best platform for small sellers and artists looking to reach a wide audience. Contrary to popular belief, Etsy favors smaller shops rather than larger ones. Competition is tough and even small sellers need to take a professional approach to succeed on Etsy. In this blog post, we’ll explore what this means and why it’s crucial for Etsy sellers to approach their business professionally in certain areas.

Product Quality

Ensuring top-notch product quality is non-negotiable for every Etsy seller, regardless of their business scale. Etsy distinguishes itself from platforms where buyers might prioritize price over quality. Here, customers are in search of originality, craftsmanship, and customization, placing high value on quality offerings above all. Without maintaining this standard, sellers risk losing customers to cheaper alternatives on platforms like AliExpress or eBay.

Listing Photos

The initial impression customers form of your products, and thus your entire Etsy venture, is heavily influenced by the quality of your product photos. It’s crucial to invest adequate resources, in terms of both time and money, to ensure your images are professionally crafted.

One effective strategy is to hire a professional photographer for product photography. A skilled photographer can achieve remarkable results in significantly less time than you might spend attempting it yourself, ensuring your products stand out in the marketplace.


However, there are a couple of drawbacks to hiring a professional photographer that need consideration. First is the financial aspect: the costs involved can be significant, posing a challenge for small businesses to manage regularly. Second, there are time constraints: organizing photo shoots for your entire collection requires careful planning. This makes it difficult to swiftly accommodate new products or changes.

Nevertheless, if you’re running your Etsy shop on your own, you still have the opportunity to create photos that rival those of larger sellers. While it requires an investment of time and effort, taking a DIY approach to photography is more budget-friendly and can still produce high-quality results. Here are a few tips to consider:

  • Professional equipment is crucial for high-quality shots. Nowadays, many smartphones come with cameras that rival traditional ones. If you don’t own such a phone, consider borrowing one from someone you know.
  • For specific products, additional gear might be necessary to achieve a professional look. For example, a lighting box could enhance photos of small items like jewelry, whereas clothing or small furniture may require extra lighting. Consider renting additional equipment if needed.
  • Quality photo editing software is vital for post-processing, even minimal adjustments. Dedicate time to finding editing software that’s both powerful and user-friendly. Remember, there are free options available that can meet your needs, like Pixlr and GIMP.

Etsy SEO

Images are the first impression you make on potential customers, provided they find your shop. To make sure your products get discovered on Etsy, it’s crucial to optimize your listings for the platform’s search engine. This means choosing the most relevant keywords, writing compelling titles and descriptions, and carefully outlining logistical details like shipping and returns.


At the core of successful Etsy SEO is keyword research, a process that can be more complicated than it initially appears. Many sellers find it challenging to fully utilize all available tags in their listings. Yet, the good news is that even small-scale Etsy sellers can achieve substantial SEO improvements with dedicated effort. At Koalanda, we’ve simplified this process by offering powerful tools to identify the most impactful keywords for your listings. Armed with the most accurate data, we enable you to make informed decisions quickly. Check out our Etsy Keyword Tool to find keywords in an efficient and effective manner.

Customer Service

Engaging with customers is an essential part of your Etsy journey, offering you the chance not only to match but to exceed the customer service provided by larger sellers. This is where you can add a truly personalized touch. Customers appreciate feeling valued and knowing that a real person is there to help them. Yet, it’s crucial to maintain professionalism. Be warm, approachable, and personal, but remember to set boundaries. Prompt responses are key; being a solo entrepreneur doesn’t justify delays in replies, even over weekends. Customers are unlikely to wait for a response until Monday and might turn to other sellers. Aim for excellence in customer communication by combining the swift responses expected from larger businesses with the personal touch unique to smaller ventures.

Shipping, Packaging, and More

After all your hard work in perfecting your listings and capturing professional images, the moment a buyer trusts you enough to make a purchase is a significant milestone. However, this is not the end of the journey. Your goal extends beyond just securing a sale; it’s about ensuring the customer is satisfied throughout their entire experience with your shop, building a relationship that encourages them to return, whether it’s next month or next week. Every purchase is a gesture of trust from the customer, giving you a chance to turn them into a loyal supporter of your brand. This crucial moment should not be overlooked. Think about ways to make a memorable impact on the buyer, leaving a lasting impression as they conclude their transaction with you.

Firstly, ensure a smooth delivery process to prevent any unexpected issues. Being transparent about delivery times is essential, and offering a tracking number, when possible, gives customers peace of mind and the convenience of tracking their package’s journey.

Carefully plan your package’s presentation to create a moment of awe when it’s unveiled. The unboxing experience is a precious chance to enchant your customer, so make every effort to ensure it’s truly memorable.


Surprise your customer with a thoughtful addition in their package. A handwritten note of thanks, offering a personal touch larger companies often miss, or a discount code for a future purchase can significantly enhance their experience. Use this opportunity to make a lasting impression, aligning this gesture with your brand’s identity and values to enrich the customer’s journey.


Being one of the smaller sellers on Etsy doesn’t equate to compromising on quality. Despite potentially having fewer listings, a narrower range of colors or sizes, or slightly longer processing times, always strive to produce your products with excellence, optimize your listings to the fullest extent, and deliver exceptional customer service that exceeds even the standards set by larger corporations.

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