Saturday, 5 July 2014

Etsy Tips and Advice - Selling a wide range of items in one Etsy shop

This week we had a great topic brought up in the team forums about selling items in an Etsy shop that may not fit under the umbrella of just one target market. This struggle seems to be quite popular in the Etsy community. I see sellers frequently posting in the forums with questions on how to handle their eclectic shops...

"Should I open a second shop?"

"Should I narrow my shops focus?"

"How do I define my brand if I sell a variety of products?"

These are extremely important concerns when you are trying to run a successful Etsy shop... So, let's figure out some answers!

Opening a second shop... 

When you are thinking about opening a second shop on Etsy there are some important things you should take into consideration: 
  • First of all, would opening a second shop help categories what you sell?  If you try dividing your products into two groups and they still don't seem to "fit together" then I suggest thinking about narrowing your focus (we will get to this in a minuet).
  • If you did open a second shop would you have enough inventory to fill both shops? The more items you have in a shop the easier it is to be found in searches... So, this is very important to consider! If you only want to open a shop for 5 items then I would advise against it. 
  • Do you have the time and the management skills to run 2 individual shops? If you think you would favor one shop over the other or you think both shops would suffer due to the change then maybe you should stick to just the one shop...
When opening a second shop you will need to start back at the beginning to build your traffic. It could take months to make that first sale again... It could also only take a day! You never know :) but you need to be aware that success won't come without the work. If you answered yes to all the above questions and you are ready to put the work into building to individual brands then I say go for it!

Narrowing the focus of your shop...

So, maybe your shop has to much variety to just split your items between separate stores. If this is the case then you may want to think about narrowing your focus... How many different people are you trying to sell to? If you are trying to sell to everyone then you will most likely end up selling to no one. If you have more then 2 or 3 target markets you are trying to sell to in one shop try to think of ways you can narrow that down. It is very important to be able to define your target customer (or customers) to market your products successfully.

If all of this target market talk is something new to you, then here are a few articles to get you familiar with marketing your brand:

Where to go from here... 

So hopefully you have decided on the whole "second shop idea" now, and you've defined your target market (or markets)...

Let's talk about what you should focus on now...

Cohesive shop photography -

Cohesive shop photography is important for all shops to establish but especially shops that have a range of products. You can pull all of those pieces in your shop together by creating a recognizable image for your brand. The Curious Case Shop on Etsy is a great example of cohesive shop photography with a variety of items. They use a simple consistent background throughout the shop to pull their items together. 

Example of cohesive shop photography from The Curious Case Shop on Etsy

Take a look at your own shop... Do you have a consistent backdrop you photograph your items with? Maybe you have a specific color scheme you like to work with? If you think this is a place where you could improve you should play with the photography of your items to see what works well for you. There is a great article on the Etsy Blog on How to Create a Cohesive Shop. I strongly suggest checking it out if you haven't read it yet :)

Branding -

Do you have a logo for your shop? Is your shop banner complementing or fighting what you sell? What do your business cards and packaging look like? How do you communicate with your customers? I could go on and on about how to help build your shop brand but I think I should save that for it's own post... 

In the mean time if you need some help with developing your brand you can check out these articles:

Etsy Blog - Branding Opportunities to Boost Your Sales

I know this a lot of info to take in so I think I will wrap it up for now... Hopefully this has helped :)

Do you have any follow-up questions? Requests for future Etsy Tips and Advice articles? Do you have more tips and advice on running an eclectic Etsy shop? We would love to hear from you in the comments below and don't forget to follow the blog for more Etsy shop tips!

Happy selling everyone!

♥ Rockabeauty Mama 

About the Author - RockaBeauty Mama (OBSD Team Leader)
TJ, aka RockaBeauty Mama, is an Etsy seller who has spent years learning the ins and outs of running a creative small business. When she became a stay at home mom, back in 2011, she began doing regular research on and off of Etsy whenever she found the time. She loves sharing what she has learned with other Etsy sellers who want to better their shops. In early 2014 she opened her own Etsy shop, RockaBeauty Boutique, where she sells her handmade retro inspired and alternative style accessories.


  1. Here is another great article from Handmadeology that may help some of you who are considering multiple shops: