Today we're going talk about starting an Etsy shop for crochet, knitting and needlework. Those are three kinds of items that Etsy considers handmade and which are relatively highly time intensive.
As a handmade seller you want to do your product research right up front. You don't want to be wasting your crafting time making a whole bunch of products that nobody wants to buy!
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Start With Etsy Dropdown Search
The first thing we want to do anytime we're starting a new product idea is go to Etsy and see what they say. We're gonna search crochet so…
- crochet patterns
- crochet blanket
- crochet bag
- crochet baby blanket
- crochet top
- crochet hooks
There are a ton of different related crochet related keywords that we can find right off the bat that are popular on Etsy. We know this because they are the ones that appear in the drop down search!
Drill Down Once More!
I am going to be talking about niching down a lot today so we want to drill down once more in this research…. click on a link and see what more Etsy has to say.
So for “crochet animals” we see that unicorns, octopus, bunny and elephant are popular as search terms! Whoo whoo… start making those right away!
No… for real wait, we want to figure out A LOT more than that before we start doing all that work!
Next back way out and see what are showing up under searches….
There we can start to see all different kinds of “trends” that are things we want to note as ideas!
Another thing that you could do is if you like making patterns that people want to purchase, you could also sell the patterns.
Checking Craft Count
Now we can go through and find all kinds of cool things on Etsy that could be a good idea, but we don't really know how many of them are selling. We want to know that we're going to spend our time making something that people want to buy.
To do that you're going to go a site called www.CraftCount.com. They're doing daily counts of which stores have the most sales.
We're gonna go to Top Sellers By Category > Handmade > Knitting > Needlecrafts (check this)
The #1 seller is pixiebell who does hats, cowls and patterns.
She has her sales “closed” so you can't see a link to what she has sold, but you can check her reviews to see what she sells the most of.
Then DON'T copy her or her patterns! She is doing a great job and competing with her would be super hard. But you can start to think of things that you can make yourself that could serve a similar buyer!
Kitchen Sponges & Nylon Scrubbies
So now let's talk about another kind of product you could sell and some ways to think about it!
Having done a ton of research about needlework, I know that scrubbies are a product that lots of people are selling on Etsy. They are also called kitchen sponges and a bunch of other things!
Doing our dropdown we see that there are 1,600 searches a month for that keyword term (I am using a Google Chrome plugin called Keywords Everywhere to get that number).
And there are 7,559 results so that is not a crazy number of other products to compete with.
But are they actually scrubbies, or kitchen sponges or something else even MORE popular that people search for?
.. I use a tool called Marmalead to check this!
So first I look up “kitchen sponges” and see what else they are called…
So now we have:
- kitchen sponge
- reusable sponge
- washable sponge
- cleaning sponge
AWESOME, those are starting to be great keywords but where are the scrubbies? Let's do a comparison between scrubbies and sponges and see who wins the contest!
Ohhhh interesting! Some thoughts about this data…
Scrubbies has the most searches and not that much more competition. “Reusable sponge” is a better name than “kitchen sponge” with more searches and fewer competition!
For those of you who want definitive answers about what to make, most SEO (figuring out the right words to use) is like this, a tradeoff of better and worse, rather than ONE right answer.
Now, before you make and list a million scrubbies, let's check the Trademark search database.
You want to pick “plural and singular” and “live” so that you know if there is an active trademark on the term you are using.
There are a few listed:
- IC 023. US 043. G & S: Yarns for knitting and crochetting. FIRST USE: 20150406. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20150406
- SCRUBBY Goods and Services IC 003. US 001 004 006 050 051 052. G & S: A bar of soap with a sponge inside and the sponge is exposed on the top surface of the bar, sold as a unit. FIRST USE: 20060500. FIRST USE IN COMMERCE: 20060500
Based on this the little handmade scrubbies sold on Etsy, Amazon and elsewhere do not seem to be a trademarked item!
Note: I am not a lawyer, nor is this legal advise, make sure you do your own research!
Additional Research :: How To Avoid Problems With Disney For Etsy Sellers
One last thing to think about is how many different kinds of products you are going to sell in your store!
I know crafters and your mind is racing right now thinking I can sell chunky blankets and pot holders, embroidered patches and bags. Heck, I can make anything anyone wants!
Unfortunately what happens when you are a mish mash of things in your shop, it becomes a weird shop that looks more like a bargain basement flea market than a fun, hip boutique where customers are willing to spend more to get quality.
There are a couple of ways you can niche down…
Pick one product like hats the way pixiebell did. I KNOW that feels like torture just cranking out hat after hat, without anything else fun to do.
But don't forget you can change colors, styles, etc.
But say you can't even fathom doing one thing, how can you still make a cohesive shop that is appealing?
You could pick a type of shopper to make things for…
- eco-friendly, reuable products
- trendy fun neon for younger buyers
- cute travel trailer related items for campers
- super soft products for newborn babies
- birds or animals for people who love nature
Any of these is fine and the more you know about that kind of customer the more likely you are to make things that they will HAVE TO BUY!
Starting An Etsy Shop Wrapup
That was A LOT to think about as you are getting started, but for real, these are all things that will help you to make products that people want to buy!
Use your creativity and talent to make amazing products and for sure your brand new Etsy shop can get up and running the right way… I believe in you!