I knew starting up an Etsy shop would be work. I understood the amount of pure labor I would initially need to put into the project to get my products assembled for my initial launch. Having gone through that process and done a few product updates, I've learned a few things:
Keep a well organized system for your listed items on Etsy to include photos and descriptions. I quickly learned that multiple photoshop files, folders and images needed structure. I track file names for images I use in my products in my Lightroom database, print provider folder, listing spreadsheet and photoshop files.
Image file names don't necessarily become the names you want to use in your listing. I found I named my products differently in their listings to be more shopper friendly. I quickly realized I needed to track those names in a spreadsheet with my original file name so I could keep a consistent record.
Use Etsy's provided google display for your listing to review how things will look in google search results. I realized after listing 16 items that the first few lines of my description were what displayed in google results. And because I started the descriptions for those products with the same text describing their size, etc., all my products showed the same info after their unique title in google search results. I had unique information further into each description and moved that to the beginning so each product now shows up in google search results with a unique description.
Pricing and interest is a mystery. I followed guidelines from Etsy to initially develop pricing for my products, but found their formula made my product pricing prohibitive. I adjusted pricing myself to what I thought was still fair and marketable, but am working to see sales results prove me right.
Shipping and handling costs add up. Because I'm selling a lot of greeting cards right now, they require non bendable envelopes which automatically increases the cost of postage. Figuring that cost into the cost of the products through shipping charges does make me afraid people will perceive my overall pricing for a card is too high. In truth, I think the costs are still below what they would be if I figured in labor and miscellaneous bits.
Is it worth it? Since my store is still relatively new, I'm excited to see what happens. I know a big part of success is also wrapped up in how you market yourself, and that should be something I am good at with my professional background. Time will tell, but I'm optimistic!