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Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Top tips for selling on Folksy

Are you thinking about starting a little shop on Folksy to sell some of your handmade creations? Or perhaps you've been selling online for a while but would like more sales? Follow these top tips for selling on Folksy and you'll have your shop looking top notch in no time (they probably work for other online sales venues too, like Etsy).

Over the past year I've been interviewing Folksy sellers and nearly 100 shops have taken part - you can see all the interviews here. One of the questions I asked was 'what is your top tip for selling on Folksy?'. There's a great wealth of experience and wisdom shared in those answers, so I have collated some of my favourite answers. Here are the top tips for selling on Folksy, from those who are doing it.

1. "Take good photos, it really does make or break your appeal to customers." Helen from A Farmer's Daughter. Dawn from Audrey's Cat adds "Work on your photos and then work on them again and then work on them a bit more!" Jo from JoSara has some great advice for improving your photos:

"Your item photo is the first thing a customer will see of your shop on a page of other search results, so it needs to grab their attention and entice them in to find out more. If dull light is a problem, make a small investment in a photo tent and a couple of daylight lamps to brighten the items up. If it’s difficult to get a clean, bright background, try, which will magically transform the background for you. Another tip is to make use of the Macro facility on your camera. You don’t need a flashy camera to get great close ups, just find out how to change the camera setting to Macro (the tulip flower icon) and you’ll have pin sharp images. Lastly, make sure to use all 5 photo spaces in your Folksy listing to show the whole of the item (on all sides if it’s got a pattern, or detail that you can’t see in one go), show close ups on any important details (try using some arty camera angles to get some interesting close ups), and you could put the item into context, too, i.e. if it’s a bracelet, show it on a real arm. Imagine you are your customer. What would you look at on your item? What would you want to have a closer look at? You have to be the eyes and hands of your customer via your pictures."

2. "Be active on social media," says Lesley from Phoebe Dreams. "I find that linking items from my Facebook page brings in lots of extra traffic, and quite often sales too." Sam from Pants and Paper agrees, "My best promotional tool at the moment is Facebook. I have made a real effort lately to try and spend more time there and it has paid off, with most of my viewings/sales coming via my page."

3. Josiane from Wee Peoples recommends getting involved in the Folksy Forums - "I receive a lot of orders from other makers and the forum provides an opportunity to introduce yourself and your work."

4. "Have a strong identity and brand" says Heather from Popsey. "Being consistent with photographs and products strengthens your presence online". Jenny from Little Red Robin says "make sure your shop banner matches colours in the packaging you have and business cards".

5. "Put as much effort into how your shop looks as you do in making your items," advises Tracy from Cinnamon Jewellery.  "Write a profile – buyers like to know a bit about who they're buying from. A well presented shop reassures buyers you care."

6. Work on your titles. Anna from Anna King Jewellery says, "The majority of my customers are new to Folksy. I like to think that they find me through search engines. Having descriptive titles and putting the important information at the beginning of your descriptions can really help with visibility in searches." Andrew from Bright Stem adds, "Think about what customers might type in to find your products. It takes time and requires research but is definitely the cheapest way of attracting customers."

7. "Promote promote promote and then promote some more" urges Teresa from Creative Treasures. Emma from Ritzy Swish recommends using Stumbleupon, Twitter and Craftjuice.

8. "Customers can't pick up and feel your items so you need to give them plenty of information," say Catherine and Jennifer from Daisy Beth. "Make your descriptions as detailed as possible including materials, dimensions, colours etc. It helps to imagine they can't see the item you're describing."

9. Ali from Very Berry Fabrics suggests writing a blog. "I get the most traffic when I feature new additions to the shop on my own blog, I have worked really hard on getting regular traffic to my blog (I average 20,000 hits a week), and I take advantage of their good nature now and again by shamelessly promoting my lovely fabrics." 

10. And my top tip for selling on Folksy is make sure you're charging enough for your items. There's no point selling 10 items if you actually don't make any profit on them. Work out what it costs you to make and sell them (including materials, your time and selling fees) and make sure you add a price tag that is larger than that. You may find that charging more for your items means you sell more too. It sounds a bit odd, but customers can be suspicious of items that are too cheap and wonder how well they have been made. My advice is to charge a little bit more than you would be happy to pay.


  1. Brilliant advice thank you :) I have thought of starting a blog but find it daunting and dont know really where to start but now I am going to look into it. I have two shops one is etsy and the other folksy and I find the etsy shop a lot easier to run but however it took over a year to make my first sale. You have given some good advice which I will be coming back to for a further read thank you :)
    Denise (dpart247)

    1. Thanks Denise. I'm pleased you found this post helpful. Definitely try starting a blog. It helps to share a behind the scenes look at what you do, which customers seem to enjoy. I've written some blog posts on blogging which you can find here - Off to take a look at your shop now.

  2. Hello there,
    my name` Simon from snollygoster here on Folksy.
    I really don`t have a clue on the whole social media side of things even though I hear how muchit can help things move along regards sales etc.
    For example how do you link a blog to say, 'say it'?
    how can I link my blog(s) to my shop /
    sorry for being such a dork here!
    Simon x

  3. Hi Simon.
    Thanks for leaving a comment. I've just had a look at your Folksy shop - I love your illustrations.
    If you've got a blogger blog I've written a tutorial to help with adding a link to your shop - I'm afraid I can't help with wordpress though!
    And with the new Folksy shop layout it's really easy to link from your shop to your blog - just pop your blog url in the box on the 'shop appearance' page.
    I'm not an expert on social media, but there's loads of info if you search for it on google. Whatever you want to know, someone somewhere has probably written a tutorial!
    Good luck :-)

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