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Monday, June 02, 2014

Part 1: Open for business online...soon-ish

A short post today because it's a little bit of a rant combined with a little bit of information.

ETSY...It's a great place if you want to search for 1. Handmade, 2. Vintage or 3. Supplies.  In preparation of opening the LeilaBel Anne shop, I snapped over 800 product photos over a 3-day period.  Why did I take so many photos?

ITEM #1: Take a few test shots before taking photos of all your products.
After staging my props and Super Cute goodies, I took photos of ALL my products prior to checking a few shots on my computer.  The result: almost 600 photos.  What I should have done - take a handful of photos first so I knew how the lighting was and chose which angles to take.  Based on the quality I saw on my computer screen (details you can't see on a camera screen), I had to re-shoot...EVERYTHING.  Poor lighting.  Poor angles.  Some colours did not translate well through the camera lens.  Editing could not save them.

After I took an additional 300 pictures, I was finished with my camera.  Onto editing.

ITEM #2:  Use photo editing software and don't OVER EDIT!
I used Photoshop Elements 3.0.  ANCIENT!  But the 'Enhance' functions worked perfectly.  Adjusted layers and color variations.  I tend to over edit my photos - pics look over exposed, so it took me a few days to sort and edit - keeping the integrity of the fabric colours and textures.

With all my photos now sorted and edited...PLEASE KEEP YOUR FILES ORGANIZED WITH PROPER FOLDER NAMES AND FILE NAMES, it was time to write the content.

ITEM #3: Standardize content for similar product listings.
Save yourself time by drafting content which is product type specific, not single item specific.  Pour example, I wrote an outline for all of my mother/daughter infinity scarves, not a whole new write up for each style of mother/daughter infinity scarves.  The only lines I changed were the title (changed a few words for colour and print), measurements, description of fabrics used (one line), and tags (changed 2-5 of the 13 allowable tags).

Now it's time to post online!  Aaawww yeeahhhh!!!  

ITEM #4: If you have more than 3 products to add, set aside a lot of time.
If you have large, high quality photos (which is recommended to have), ETSY takes a really really really long time to upload multiple photos.  I have a clean laptop and excellent WiFi connection, but it took about 7 minutes to upload the 5 photos per listing.  7 minutes x X amount of items = A LOT OF TIME.  I would start uploading then step away to do chores, feed the kiddies and do other stuff.  Came back to check completion.  The time will seem to pass quicker when you're not staring at your screen.

In Part 2, I'll write about shipping...uuuugghhh...shipping.  I guess this didn't turn out to be a short post.  *oops

Much love,

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