#1 Most Important Tip for Selling on Etsy

What is THE #1 Most Important Tip for Selling on Etsy? It’s not SEO, not having the best keywords, not writing a good description, not holding your mouth right.


Depending on SEO for Etsy sales is like putting all your eggs in one basket.


So what is the secret???




That’s all. The End. You may be excused.


But I hope you’ll hang with me while we expound on this a little more.


It sounds like a no-brainer, but if you don’t have attractive photos, no amount of other tips and tricks will help you sell successfully.


Not that I have “arrived,” you understand. My efforts at this goal are always a work in progress.


I can’t tell you the number of times I have bought what I thought was a unique item, only to get home and see 3 pages of the same thing on Etsy. Frustrating.


But surprisingly, mine often sells. Why? Good clear photos that show the whole item. Not partially cut off, blurry, or too dark. I know this sounds overly simplistic. Everyone knows that, right?


But here’s what I see on Etsy ALL the time. Photos with items cut off, requiring an extra click for a potential buyer to see the whole thing, and they often won’t bother.



It is acceptable to take half shots of large or tall items, as in the below photos.



More no-no’s…blurry or too dark….


If you find you have taken a blurry photo, for heaven’s sake, re-shoot it! Blurry photos do not sell!


Yesterday I saw an Etsy photo that was not only too dark, but blurry as well, and they were paying for an ad to promote it! A waste of money.


Photos too dark. Yes, I have seen them practically black where you really can’t see the item at all. Why don’t sellers bother to fix it?


Here are some of my early product photos….are these REALLY too dark?? Absolutely!



When you don’t have auxiliary lighting, or a good camera station with natural light, photo editing is the next best thing.


There are many photo editing sites. The one I use is Picmonkey, which has a free version, allowing you to do most everything you need.


Here are the 4 photos again, lightened and improved using Picmonkey’s tools.



Each of these could be improved a little more by shooting on a white background, as in the flag holder photo, top left. Debates rage for using/not using white backgrounds. Personally, I think they are beneficial and really help most items pop. To each his own.


You can use the photo editing features of picmonkey to get a stark white background, or you can use another free website called fotofuze to get the same effect.


Tutorial for Using Picmonkey


Enter picmonkey.com Click “Edit Photo.”


most important tip for selling on etsy


First click “Open” at the top to grab your photo….


Here is the screen for the most basic photo edits~cropping, rotating, straightening, sharpening, exposure, and resizing.


I commonly use cropping and exposure tools the most. A handy feature in the rotate tool is “straightening,” which comes in handy for me to fix crooked photos from using an uneven table at my camera station.



most important tip for selling on etsy



A look at the cropping tool….You can easily manipulate the size of your finished photo by enlarging or making your photo smaller.



most important tip for selling on etsy



Ta-da my favorite….exposure. This is how I get more light on my photo magically! I can’t believe how long it took me to notice this tool!



most important tip for selling on etsy



You can also use Picmonkey to watermark your photos….



Click the “T’s” on far left…

most important tip for selling on etsy


You can easily add your logo or shop name to photos by clicking “add text” and using any number of fun fonts of your choice in assorted colors.



And all this is available in the free version of Picmonkey, which is a great deal!




most important tip for selling on etsy


Here are three Etsy sellers whose photography I admire:


PJ, vintage seller and owner of SeasideCollectibles shows us this exquisite crystal bowl. Did you know clear glass is hard to photograph, but PJ has nailed it. Look at the artistry of this piece!



most important tip for selling on etsy



Ellen Gonzalez, owner of KaleidoscopeWear, makes these lovely coats from sweaters she buys at the thrift store!



most important tip for selling on etsy



Tavin, vintage seller and owner of TavinsChoice, shows us a heart shaped trinket box, and just look how she has captured the details!



most important tip for selling on etsy


Each of these Etsy sellers have some beautiful photos and they immediately entice us to pull out the credit card, which is the whole idea for great photos, don’t you agree?


Etsy sellers, what is your favorite photo editing site? Do you have any tips to share?


Please Pin or Share!


most important tip for selling on Etsy

18 comments on #1 Most Important Tip for Selling on Etsy

  1. Great info article. Great tips! I sometimes use the smart photo editing app in my phone to add contrast.

    A tripod would add crisp focus, especially to small items, like jewelry & smalls.

    Branding is important to some whereas we prefer to show as much product detail as possible – without or the minimal addition of props.

    Delightful to learn about photo editing options! Thanks!

    1. Thank you PJ for those other tips. I must confess I have never used a tripod. I really need to master that art for my product photos. Thanks for dropping by and commenting. Wishing you many more sales!

  2. I am honored Florence! Thank you! A very informative post. A bit of time can make a nice addition to the listing description. My nemesis is clear glass. Best wishes and prayers for your husband’s recovery.

  3. I was working hours on each photo in gimp before I heard about PicMonkey. It makes all the difference. I have hard an especially small window for photography because our winter days can be really short.

    The importance of pretty photos cannot be stressed enough and its a learning curve will all need to conquer. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Totally yes on the difficulty in getting good photos in winter! Long shadows do not a good picture make. And photographing on cloudy days…things turn out too dark. Thank God for Picmonkey!

  4. You nailed it, girl! It distresses me to hear people complain that “nothing sells” and when you look at their pictures (and prices) you immediately know why. I’m like you. Still striving for the perfect pictures.

    I use a free program called PhotoScape. Been using it for years and years. I’ve tried others, but nothing seems to do anything any better, or easier, so I stick with what I know.

  5. Florence, I agree all the way. I don’t have an Etsy shop but my blog is all about having clear photos so you can understand what I am showing and doing. When I first started I didn’t know about Pic Monkey and so I had to go back and redo years worth of photos. It is definitely the most important thing.

  6. Great tips, as I know I am not a photographer and need help. I agree, great pics sell your merchandise, which is why I am about to reshoot some of my coats using a model and a photographer, instead of using the dressform in my studio. The picture you shared above was done with a model and a professional photographer at a local spot. What a difference! Thanks for the mention of my shop, etsy.com/shop/kaleidoscopewear !

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