Tag Archives: Online shopping

Taking Good Photos to Increase your Sales Numbers


It’s a  well-known fact that photos are a key piece when selling an item online.  Photos can sometimes make or break your sale. If your goods can be photographed with good lighting and interesting angles you’ll have a better chance of selling your item at a high price than if the photos are out of focus or poorly angled.

Below are some tips that will help you when taking photographs of items you put in your online stores.

  • Use Natural Lighting – Natural lighting is the absolute best way to show all details of an item.   I find that early morning and late afternoon are the best times to get bright lighting for your items.  Many times you can place them next to a window that gets a lot of sun to take advantage of natural lighting.  It also helps you add interesting shadows to your products.  The second best thing to natural lighting is Halogen which has a bright glow that doesn’t glare too much.
  • Take a million pictures of your item – Ok, maybe not that many! You want to have a good choice of photos to choose from when listing your item. Sometimes they look better on the camera than they do on the display so don’t cut any pictures from your camera memory as you take them. Wait until you can check them all and pick from the best. With sites like Etsy you only get 5 photos to upload for each listing so taking a ton of pictures really increases the chances of getting those excellent shots.
  • Use Photo editing software to make your products more interesting – Photos online tend to be all the same. Dull colors are a common theme among products on both Ebay and Etsy.  By using a photo editing software and adding effects to your pictures, you can increase the chances that people will zero in on your photos out of the million others out there.  I love using Picnik.com which offers a ton of free functions and lots more if you want to pay for the premium version. Some of my favorite effects are lomo, increase brightness, cross process and adding seasonal banners. I have found sales really increase when doing this and all I have to do is add a note stating “first photo was edited and colors may not match actual item.”
  • Use a plain and simple background with nothing but the item in it – People want to see what they are buying and a plain background is usually your best bet for increasing sales volume. It keeps photos uncluttered and keeps confusion down about what’s included in the sale.  A light box is surprisingly cheap when purchased from eBay. They work great for photographing small items.  Using a light-colored wall and a mannequin is best when photographing clothes.

I hope these tips help you increase your sales volume! If you have any other tips please feel free to share them in the comments so others can learn from them.  Below is an example of a photo that I’ve edited with Picnik. Don’t you love the Christmas lights?!

Happy Holidays everyone!


Tips for improving your customer’s experience this holiday season

Traditional Japanese wrapping cloth,furoshiki,...

Image via Wikipedia

The holidays are a great time to really shine with customer service.  Online selling is a demanding job so you want to stay on your toes when interacting with customers.  Here are some things that will really make you shine and keep customers coming back.


  • Gift wrap items in tissue paper and add a ribbon. This really makes a package sparkle. It helps a customer see that you cared enough about their item to take special time wrapping it. Tissue paper is available fairly cheaply if you go to the 99 cent stores or places like that.  Also, if they were going to give the item as a gift you already saved them a step by wrapping it.
  • Send a free extra for large purchases or those over $50.  People love to get something for free.  By including something extra you’ll show the customers that you really appreciate them.  They will remember your shop and definitely be back to buy more.
  • Ship the same or next business day payment clears.  People hate to wait for their purchases. By shipping the same or next business day you can cut down the shipping time and make sure customers get their items in the time frame they think is reasonable. That frame is smaller than it was a year ago!
  • Always be friendly.  I can’t stress this point enough. You will deal with mean or unfair buyers, I promise this. But, by not falling into their emotional trap you can stay calm and take care of business. They will be much more responsive to you and if anything goes wrong, much more willing to work out problems.


I hope these tips help your profits this holiday season. I try to practice them in all seasons. The holidays are a good time to focus on building up these incentives for your customers. Feel free to share any tips you may have in the comments below.

This holiday season do your shopping on Ebay/Etsy


We’ve heard a lot this year about recessions, people struggling to make ends meet and large corporations taking advantage of consumers. We all want to do something about this, to help one another recover from this difficult economy we are living in.

I think the best way to help one another is to do our holiday shopping on sites like Ebay and Etsy.  We know that supporting large corporations is not helping the economy to recover. They put the money into the hands of their investors who likely will not put it back into the economy very quickly. The rich do not get rich by spending their money and if they do spend, they are more likely to support large businesses.  The middle and lower classes however are those who need help the most. They are the bulk of sellers on sites like Ebay and Etsy.

Etsy is a fantastic resource for finding vintage and handmade goods.  Vintage goods are usually of a higher quality than goods purchased today. They are also more unique and more appreciated by recipients.  Handmade items usually have the same high quality that vintage items do.  Everything I have purchased on Etsy has been of exceptional quality.  I am always impressed by people’s ability to make something more lasting than a large company can (though why would the large company want you to have something that lasts).  What else  is fun about Etsy is that many items are customizable to your recipient.  You can add monograms, messages and so much more to make it special for that person.  Another fantastic thing about Etsy sellers is that many of them make their products with little to no impact on the environment.   They are conscious and Eco-friendly. We cannot say this about large factories producing in bulk.

Ebay is a wonderful resource for finding items that are cheap, discontinued or even large lots of items that are able to be split among many people.  You would be amazed to find that items can generally be purchased for less the price on Ebay than you would find at the store they are usually sold in.  Ebayers are held to a high standard by Ebay.  We are not allowed to take advantage of buyers and there are great protections in place for your purchases.  Usually shipping is less than at a large company’s online store and many times it’s free.  It is easier to shop because you can shop on your time eliminating lines you might have stood in and the extra gas you would have spent going out.  Another wonderful thing about Ebay sellers is that many give their profits to charitable organizations so you can make a large impact just by shopping with them.

This holiday season I hope you join me in supporting each other.  pledge to support local and independent sellers, artisans, designers and crafters.  I believe that this is one step we can all take to improve our situation.

Please share you comments and ideas so we can better understand how this helps our nation in a big way.

The wonderful world of Etsy

Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

It’s incredible to me how many people still don’t know anything about Etsy. I tell them I sell online with Ebay and Etsy. They are so familiar with Ebay but have no clue what Etsy is.  So, here’s some enlightenment for those that need it:

  • Etsy is a marketplace where sellers are only allowed to sell in three categories. They are vintage, handmade and supplies. To qualify for vintage items need to be over 20 years old, meaning they must have been made in 1990 or before.  Handmade items are required to be handmade by you.
  • Etsy is a huge online store full of really amazing sellers. The best part about Etsy is the uniqueness factor.  There are things here that you won’t find anywhere else, some you’ll be amazed to find even exist.  Sellers pride themselves on top quality pictures which are part of why Etsy shines so brightly.
  • Another feature besides buying and selling on Etsy are the treasuries!  Treasuries are made by any Etsy user. They are a collection of items generally with some type of theme. Sellers cannot feature themselves in a treasury so it’s a great tool for helping other sellers find more exposure. It also works well for showing people how skilled you are in creating a collection of eye-catching pieces.
  • The best part of Etsy I have found are the teams.  Teams are very active on Etsy, working together to help each other be successful. This is where Etsy really feels like a community. Sellers are there to help each other critique and improve their shops so the entire marketplace can benefit from sellers that offer amazing value. Teams also help you promote your own items, treasuries or ideas for the marketplace.

I’ve been on Etsy for about 9 months now. They are cheaper than Ebay making their site a good resource for people selling handmade goods, vintage items or craft supplies.  Sales are a little slower but prices generally tend to be higher since the perceived value of the site is higher for buyers.  20 cents to list any item at any price sure encourages me to wait for those sales though! The fees are incredibly low too compared to what Ebay now takes.

Let’s all move our vintage, handmade and supplies over to Etsy. This marketplace needs to grow and I’d love to see more buyers/sellers like you participating in it. Send me your questions if you want to know more about Etsy or just go check out http://www.etsy.com!

If you’d like to check out my store front it’s Hippie Chick Finds located here: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JsssikaRabbit?ref=si_shop

Why you should be on Ebay and Etsy….right now!

Image representing Etsy as depicted in CrunchBase

Image via CrunchBase

With all this recession talk, it’s pretty normal to want to close up your wallets and tighten up finances. All the news talks about is how people aren’t spending.  To me, I think that the best way we can stimulate the economy is to help each other out.  We need to simplify while still fulfilling our desires to have more.

Ebay and Etsy allow us to do that.  They provide venues for people to be their own bosses, removing some of the constraints of not knowing how secure you really are in that job.  Online stores are a lot of work, but they also provide you with the tools to see what you can do well, what you are knowledgeable about and best of all, how you can help other people.

One great thing about my work is that I get to provide a really cool item to someone, usually at a much lower price than retail, and then I get to see how happy it makes them.  Many times buyers will write saying how pleased they are, how they didn’t think they could get such a fabulous item for such a low price.  Sometimes they just write to say thanks for being so nice.  It’s those moments that make online stores worth it.  Yes, you get some crabby people (maybe they are having a bad day/week/life) but even those are too insignificant to take away from the joy the happy people who buy from me receive.

The other great benefit is that once we help each other make money we enable each other to spend that money.  When a seller has a great month, do you think they are tightening up finances?!?  Nope!  We spoil ourselves!  We go shopping, we eat out more and we enjoy our lives because we can do so much more! (let’s face it, fun costs money most of the time).

I worked for 6 years full time and did Ebay part time, opening my Etsy shop this January.  I think if you put the right amount of time into your work, not pushing too much, that you too can feel more freedom by having an online shop.  If you are crafty or know vintage well, check out Etsy where fees are significantly lower than Ebay.  If you have a lot of pricy electronices, jewelry, clothes – go see if Ebay is a good fit for you. Both venues have a very active marketplace.  If you don’t want to deal with the hassle, I bet finding a local ebayer to sell your stuff for you isn’t too hard either (wink, wink).

Online stores are amazing.  They show you every side of business.  You’ll learn a lot and make some mistakes but they are so worth it.  You have no idea the personal and professional growth that online stores help you accomplish….the only thing you have to do is remember your goal.  Not the money! No, no, no.  Helping one another out. It’s ok if you have to appease a mean buyer by issuing a refund or if you get a little frustrated when you can’t communicate your point of view to someone over email.  Those times will be few and far between once you have sold for a small time.   Believe me, I’ve dealt with the worst….buyers do get a little crazy sometimes.

Step out of your box ~ Go on ~ Open that online store!