TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 20 Holiday Season Refresh!

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!

We have new sellers joining our Bootcamp all the time, so even though this is Class 20, you can join now or anytime! You can complete the classes at your own pace. The entire series so far: Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, Class 4, Class 5, Class 6, Class 7, Class 8, Class 9, Class 10, Class 11, Class 12, Class 13, Class 14Class 15, Class 16, Class 17, Class 18 and Class 19. The first 8 classes will take you through opening your shop to shipping your sold items. Check out the subsequent classes at your own pace to upgrade your shop when you find the time. The trick is to continually improve and you'll find your business can grow, become more efficient and professional as it evolves.

LittleBellwoods' adorable creatures are beautifully photographed
with just the right winter wonderland feeling! Check out
her fabulous use of props - and her lovely handcrafted toys.
It's now November, and though it might seem to be rushing the season to talk about Christmas before we even reach Remembrance Day for you Etsy (CA) sellers (it's known as Veteran's Day to Newbies south of the border), the truth is that as small online merchants, there's no such thing as "too soon" when it comes to holiday preparations. In fact, if you are looking to get your items into print magazines for their holiday issues, you'll want to have them available in July! Unless you only sell digital downloads, you will have to ship items, so you'll want your customers to do their shopping early enough to get their gifts to their destinations. So, there's no time like the present... and with any luck, you'll have found that sales have already picked up.

Time for Santa's workshop! Feature your festive items
like eleandela's Elves bandana bib!
On the other hand, it is possible to turn buyers off with too much Christmas too fast. My own strategy is to list items as early as possible but to hold off on the Christmas promotion until after Halloween and to ramp up from there.

So, what can you do, as a new Etsy seller, to make sure you're prepared? Review our Holiday Prep Checklist!

Canada Post's Holiday Shipping Dates for 2014 is here! If you are a Newbie based elsewhere, be sure to check with your own postal service as deadlines can be much earlier than you may expect. All shipping slows down this time of year.

An item like LivingArtRameet's Freshwater pearl
necklace can be both holiday fashion or a small gift or stocking stuffer
Tip: As we get closer to Christmas you can focus your sales efforts closer and closer to home. In broad terms, air parcel service can get most items delivered abroad this month, and to the US even if mailed as late as December 8th. Canada Post will deliver packages by Christmas within your province if mailed by December 17th and within your city if mailed by December 19th. 

Tip: Some customers are willing to pay even exorbidant shipping rates to get items on time. If you use Shipping Snippets you can list all options. You or I may never choose to pay more for shipping than for a gift, but if you do offer the service, you'll find some customers will use and appreciate it!

Once your shop is looking its best, you can tweek the merchandizing and run with the holidays theme. You may also want to consider some seasonal sales. Here are some ideas to make your shop extra inticing to holiday shoppers:

Need some manly gifts? We love WillowdaleForge's hand forged
pocket knife with a leather shealth, and other hand forged items!
  • Be prepared and try to forecast your holiday sales
  • Think like a customer and make your shop easy to navigate for those who are most likely to be there. Do you sell things which might make great stocking stuffers? Why not feature those items and place them in a "stocking stuffer" category? How about items for a specific group like "gifts for men" (in my opinion, a more challenging group to shop for). This is useful information to your potential shoppers. Price categories can also be popular! And... don't assume everyone is hunting for bargain basement prices. Sometimes buyers are looking for a minimum price because it indicates something about value and what they want to communicate with their gift. Always choose fair pricing for you.
  • It's not only Christmas! As we approach the end of the year, there are several holidays and events which attract buyers including: Hannukah, US Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Boxing Day and New Year's Eve.
  • Decorate! It's a lot of fun to decorate your home seasonally, and you can have fun with your shop too. Some sellers upload a seasonal shop banner. Feature your items which best fit the holiday theme. Make product photos with a little seasonal cheer, or props. Consider offering suitable extras like gift wrap or expedited shipping. 
  • Spread the word! Check out our guide to getting some press.
Looking for a fun New Year's Eve item?
SnaptureThis has just the typographical print

So, are you feeling ready? Is this your first or second holiday season? How is it going? Got any questions, comments or suggestions? Let us know! You can leave a comment below or drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.

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