There are lots of ways to get beautiful treasures in front of potential buyers. I have my own website here plus sell on marketplaces such as Etsy. I also tap into buyers who spend their time on social media. One of my favorite ways to sell is by posting an item on Instagram and letting my followers have first shot at buying the piece before I list it. In this way I can provide a discount because I'm not taking the time to write up a listing nor am I paying fees to the marketplace hosting my shop.
If you want to sell your pieces on Instagram, here's what you'll need to do:
- Build an Instagram following. You can certainly use hashtags on the post itself to help get your item seen by more people, and by all means do use hashtags. Yet what's most important before you begin is to have a critical mass of followers. For me, I started being able to sell directly on Instagram once I had 4,000+ followers. I built the following over the course of several years, posting consistently and engaging almost daily with others.
- Take very good photos. Your photos do not need to be professional, but they should be compelling. Shoot outdoors with indirect light for the best outcome. Vary your photos. Add more than one photo if the item needs to be viewed in different ways in order for the potential buyer to decide to buy.
- Choose pieces you can price well. I take seriously the fact that I'm saving at least an hour, if not more, by not having to create a listing. I'm also not having to pay whatever percentage transaction fee that my hosting site would take off the top. Time is money, and so pass on those savings and set a price that gets the attention of potential buyers.
- Publish your post at peak days and hours for your audience. There are apps that monitor your peak times. A lot will depend on what your brand is and what you sell. Pay attention to those who sell similar items and do well. What days and times are they posting and selling? Follow their lead.
- In the caption, talk about what the item is and--this is important--STATE THE PRICE. If someone has to send you a direct message to find out the price, that's one extra step one must take in order to act. And every extra step in a social media context is essentially a deterrent. Plus, not including the price sends the message that the price is probably pretty high; hence, you don't want to share it publicly.
- Once someone tells you they want to buy the item, ask them to send their email address. You may get to the point that all you need in order to sell the item is the email address in the comments. Either way, you'll need that address to send the invoice.
- Send the invoice via PayPal. Some buyers have asked me if I want them to "venmo" me money so I don't have to pay PayPal fees. I decline, as I like that PayPal gives me a 1099 at the end of the year, and I want to report my income. I run a business, and it's important I do it well and right. PayPal also has both buyer and seller protections--important for higher priced items.
- Finally, mark the item SOLD in the caption, as this lets other potential buyers know the item is gone. And it saves you from having to field direct messages that might otherwise keep coming in.
That's how you do it. If the first few times don't get a bite, just keep building that Instagram following. Eventually you'll get there and you will diversify your revenue stream.
If you'd like first shot at buying my items, please follow me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/roma.arellano/
And to see treasures in my shop: https://romaarellano.com/shop