Tips for Selling Online

By Brittni • Updated on 02/12/2024

A guest post by artist and maker Mayi Carles.

Selling online can be super fun, but it’s an art one needs to learn how to master. Customers don’t have the item live, so it’s hard for them to give their money up for a product they haven’t even seen + touched + tried or smelled.

But despite this little inconvenience why are so many shoppers skipping the mall + deciding to go indie + purchase at site such as Etsy + Big Cartel + Papernstitch Shop or Supermarket? Well, if I have to make a wild guess, it’s because indie businesses + handmade boutiques + arty shops offer something more, a uniquely extraordinary personal + exclusive shopping experience, that no factory made store can offer, so some shoppers are willing to take the risk + shop online.

But as sellers we have to do our part to make sure the shopping online experience is as smooth + comfortable for our clients as humanly possible. Here are some tips I want to share with you to help your online indie shop become more convenient for potential buyers:

1. Write a clear + friendly + easy to find return + exchange policy. Even if you don’t offer free exchanges + free returns + free shipping + accept full responsibly for damages or lost packages, having a concrete return + exchange policy will help you gain consumer confidence.

2. Your photos need to be stunning. I cannot stress this point enough. There are lots of things that make a beautiful photo, but if I could recommend only 4 tips that are absolutely crucial, these would be it:

a. Composition. Use interesting backgrounds to make your items pop, being very careful about your composition so it’s not too crowded or too boring. Play with textures + props. Light fabrics + vintage books + scrapbook pages are awesome + easy to use alternatives.

b. Angles. It’s important to take lots + lots of pictures + from various different angles, so you have a wide variety to choose from when editing + so your customers can get a sense of the products from all sides.

c. Lighting. Shoot your products in clear bright daylight or in a light box if you have one. There is nothing more unattractive than seeing a product in darkness. Play with the settings of your camera to suit your needs.

d. Editing. Don’t stress to much about your photo shot, you always have the editing process to retouch your images. And you don’t need a fancy photo editing software. I personally love to use picnic. It has many of the cool features that expensive photo editing programs have, but it’s completely free.

e. Modeling. If you are selling clothes + shoes + accessories, show your items on an appropriate model. This will give your shoppers an idea of how the product looks on. State in your description the size of the model as well, to give a better reference guide. When a model is not readily available, use a referencing object, like your hand + a ruler or a hanger to shot your items, so that your customers can have an idea of the products proportions.

3. Be very descriptive about size information + color + texture + fit + any other aesthetic aspect of the product you are selling. Don’t just tell me “The bag is red”, I can probably see that from the picture, tell me if it’s burgundy + ruby + strawberry or rhubarb. Tell me how it feels, is it soft or filled with texture? Appeal to my senses with your adjectives.

4. Show them you. Tell your customers a little bit about you + your philosophy + what you’re passionate about + why the product that they’re buying is special. Be sure to nail your “about” page so customers can identify with you + feel they are actually buying from a human being. The more they can identify with you, the more likely they will buy from you.

By following these easy guidelines you are sure to please your customers + probably land some sweet sales too.


Mayi Carles

Thanks so much Mayi for sharing your business tips with us  this week. You can check out Mayi’s next guest post with even more tips for your business in a few weeks.

More about Mayi:

Mayi Carles is a Panamanian multi-passionate artist + avid eco-friendly designer + the heart behind heartmade blog + fun indie coach. To connect with Mayi, follow her tweets at @mayicarles.

Image Credit: gilded bronze hair pins via woodland belle; cloud studs via the angry weather; sunshine bow via nadinno; tea cup bobby pin via chou chou; large red bow via bowlabeau; white wood dweller brooch via sweetbestiary; flower headband via mayi carles

18 comments | Click here to reply

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Thanks for this great article. I just tried out Picnik and I love it! It’s way more understandable than most photo editing programs. Thanks again for the wonderful resources!


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Thanks Mai + Le Chou Chou + tricotaria + Underanewlight for your comments + support! I’m so happy you liked the post + you find it helpful.

And a HUGE thanks to Brittni for having me here. I love pns!

Mayi Carles @ Heartmade

Hi Mayi,
Thank you for sharing those good points. As a buyer always I pointed out seller policies and how the seller care about their potential customer.
And the pics are ultimately the link between buyers and the product. The presentation is in must.




Very helpful! Thanks for sharing Brittni and Mayi Carles.


Loving all the support for Mayi in the comments! I gave a talk about this very subject last weekend locally and Mayi’s points are right on!


Hi Mayi! Thanks for featuring my bobby pins in this interesting article!



Le Chou Chou

A fantastic post! Thanks so much Mayi!


thanks for you support elk!

Mayi Carles @ Heartmade

hello friend happy to see you in this wonderful space!!


Awwww! Thanks April. I’m always so appreciate of your comments + suggestions!

Mayi Carles @ Heartmade

Hey Mayi-

This is an amazing resource for artists and crafters who sell their products online. I definitely think that the return policy is a BIG deal. When I’m buying handmade items, I make sure that the return policy is simple and fair. But, I’ve never had to return anything…I just want the option in case what I get is completely not what I’m expecting.

And good photos are also a must. I have to feel like I can really picture the item as if I’m holing it in my hand.

Thanks for this lovely post!


Hi Char. So glad this post helped you. I am really looking forward to the rest of Mayi’s business tip series. Hope you’ll come back for the next one!


So glad my tips were useful Char! I can’t wait to see what Mamas and Chicks does next!

Mayi Carles @ Heartmade

This helped A LOT!! I need better pictures and better descriptions…when our Mamas and Chicks show is over…watch out…here I come!

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