So I have 2 years of Etsy selling experience and I was thinking of some of the mistakes I made in the beginning. I figured I should pass along some of the my "mistakes" in the hopes of helping others to avoid those mistakes.
1.) DON'T list your products on Etsy all at one time!
When your item is added to your Etsy shop, it ends up at the top of the search for a few minutes and then disappears into the search pages. Those first few minutes that your item is up there, it will be in the first few items the buyer sees. If you list a few times each day, different buyers will see your items at different times. Increasing your exposure and possiblity of selling.
2.) Always fill out your policies page!
If you have a problem with a buyer who disagrees with you about how something is supposed to be paid for, or how/when something is supposed to ship, you will need something to reference to show how and when that something is supposed to be done. Otherwise, you'll both be arguing over who is right without a good, standard solution. Especially when it comes to return policies.
3.) You can't just list your wares and sit back and wait for the sales to pour in, you need to do outside of Etsy promotion, here's a few suggestions:
a) Spend at least 1-2 hours in the forums about 6 days a week, reading and posting.
b) Started a blog and post almost every day.
c) Go to forums on other websites, google, yahoo, anywhere you can think of and post there making sure your store link is in your post (but don't just post to spam).
d) Get business cards and put them in all the packages you send to customers.
e) Start a flickr account.
f) Include in your packages to current customers, coupons offering discounts on future orders.
g) Make sure your store link is in every email you send.
h) Sign up for outside advertising (Project Wonderful, Google Ads, Facebook, etc)
i) Read other people's blogs and post messages on them, they will reply and notice your blog and sometimes post a link to yours.
j) Join an Etsy blog ring, so other people also find your blog
These are just a couple of things that I've thought about lately. I'll be adding more, as I think about it! I hope someone can use some of this to help themselves become more successful!