Sunday, September 25, 2011

4 Reasons Your Store isn't Full

I talk a lot about SEO and getting people to your store but happens once they are there? Do you are a full shop, at the very minimum 30 items? Or are they looking at 5 or 6 items or there is just no choice. If this is the case, what is keeping you from listing more items? 
I decided to go over my list of show stopper and ways to work through each becasue honestly, you can't make sales if there is nothing to sell. I found as I worked my way through each step, something got in the way but you can do it.

Here are some of the common excuses

1.I have nothing to list- well then getting cracking here. If you honestly have nothing already made, why are you worrying about selling. Get to your craft room and start producing. On the flip side, you may be like me. I have so much stuff but a lot is older or forgotten. If you items are seasonal, who cares. Items on Artfire don't expire anyway and you'll just be ahead of the game.

2. Pictures are too much work to take- You have items already for sale but they sit there becasue you don't like taking pictures. Especially for a beginner, pictures seem to be that sticking point that blocks the gate but it is crucial if you want to sell on line.

Part 1: Get a decent point and shot camera. This will help you get much better pictures. Use the Macro setting (you'll see a little tulip when it on). Don't use the flash and set up some good lighting. Be sure to use the 1600x1200 size. It will give you a large enough image to work with.
Part 2: Expect to do some editing. You'll need to crop at least the first picture to a square for a good thumbnail if you do nothing else but you will quickly find if you play around, editing can make all the difference. There is lots of free editing software availble from web based programs like Picassa and Avairy and downloadables like GIMP, there are plenty of tools to help.If you want to invest a little more, there are programs for under 100, like PhotoShop Elements or PaintShopPro Corel Photo.

Most of these include one stop tools for enhancing the photo and fixing the white balance (to make the whites white which corrects all the colors), use them. Crop pictures to have your items fill the image. Always have the first picture cropped to a square. This takes some time to get used but after you do, you'll find picture taking less painful becasue you know how to fix the mistakes.

3. It takes too long - Actually the Artfire listing page is pretty easy to handle. Do some prep work and have shipping profiles set up so you don't need to re-invent the wheel each time. Have sections ready. You can just pick a primary color rather than try to be perfect. If you are selling vintage or supplies have that information handy.

4. I can't write - This has become my sticking point. The basics: Try to put the keywords at the front of the title. Repeat the title in the first line of the description. I always seem to get stuck but the first paragraph should accurately describe the item in all its glory. Tell me what is, colors, size, basic material, anything else. What would a buyer find important? 
The following paragraphs can then describe the item in further details and then uses or suggestions. One quick tip, if a customer ever contacts you with a question, add that answer to your description.
Don't take things for granted - like are the beads gem stones, glass or acrylic, do you use wool or a blend? I've come to assume if nothing is mentioned then assume the worst.

These are some broad reasons, where in particular are you getting stuck? Where do you find you need help. Let me know and I'll try to explore that in another post.


Peggy said...

Ok, you must have been in my brain this weekend.

I think I thought of 1-4 this weekend and still didn't do anything about it.

Goal #1: Monday, Retake pictures. (My original pictures cam out a little dark and they shouldn't have. Will try your settings and retake the pictures tonight.

Goal #2: Tuesday, Do prep work for listing items. (I have some to list and the ones I did list, I don't like the descriptions).

Goal #3: Wednesday, write better descriptions.

Thank you for the kick in the butt and the new goals!

AvocadoLane said...

Hi from a new follower. I am really enjoying your blog posts. I am Kamm's Attic on ArtFire.

EtheraPeril said...

thanks for the tip about picasa. I've been using paint and it's a pain in the butt! also the hint about cropping the first picture to be square. It seems so obvious now that you mention it!

Anonymous said...

here are a couple of posts about editing your pictures

CalliopeCreations said...

Great suggestions. I keep planning to reactivate my Artfire shop (currently, it's drifting) but something always gets in the way. I'll really try to get a handle on things and be active.