There is an increasing number of online craft marketplaces, such as Etsy, Amazon's Handmade, Artfire, and many other specialist sites. Selling online is a viable proposition for anyone with access to the internet. No technical skills are required to set up an online store within these online handmade marketplaces. Starting a store on Etsy is relatively quick and easy to do. But, you will need to work hard at taking top-notch photos of your cards, crafting superb product descriptions, and learning about search engine optimization and keywords to really get your online business off the ground. Don't worry if this sounds daunting, the Etsy seller's handbook is a fabulous source of information and will help you get started.
In March 2011, Etsy "introduced a Facebook-style social networking system called People Search...to help buyers and sellers connect with each other and become friends". By doing so, Etsy made any past purchase with feedback easily searchable, which caused many complaints. Etsy then made changes to the site to better guard information regarding users' purchases.
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When a buyer views a product, they can choose to view the positive percentage feedback of each seller to determine the reliability of the shop. Once a buyer finds a product they would like to buy, they click "Add to Cart", and that product is added to their virtual "Shopping Cart". The buyer may then either continue shopping, or purchase the selected item. In order to purchase items, buyers do not have to have an account with Etsy, and can instead register with a Facebook or Google account.
The presentation of the cards—the packaging—helps make a successful handmade card business. A card that is neatly presented in a cellophane envelope looks more professional and can command a higher price than one that is unpackaged. Presenting cards in some form of packaging stops cards from becoming dirty or dog-eared and it also gives the ideal opportunity for further marketing. A label on the back with your phone number or website address could help you solicit further orders. Remember to consider shipping and packaging when factoring the costs per unit in your pricing formula.