Selling Face Masks on Etsy
There is no questioning that face masks have become an integral part of our daily lives. We’ve re-written our internal checklists when leaving the house — “phone, wallet, keys, face mask.” We all have our favorite masks, our back-up masks, our special-occasion masks… We’ve developed our own rules for how we like them to fit, look, and feel. What that should indicate to every seller is that, regardless of style, the masks you’re selling are exactly what someone is looking for. Despite the competitive market for face mask sales, you (yes, you) can make money by selling this valuable product to your customers. Etsy’s most successful face mask sellers have developed strict attention to detail. Below, you’ll find our summary of what to do (and not do) if you want to follow become one of them.
Be Mindful of the Context
Before you get started, consider why you’re selling masks in the first place. Face masks are now required in most public places as we face a global health crisis. This is not just any other product. You are selling a ticket to return to school, work, or simply visit the grocery store. We’re in the midst of a global pandemic & emotions are running high — your customers need to know you believe in the quality of what you’re selling.
Know Your Product
Testing your own face masks before selling is vital to providing accurate information to your customers. If you’re using an outside vendor to supply your masks — order a sample! When a customer asks you whether you product would be good for participating in group yoga classes (or wearing for 8 hours at the office), you should be able to answer them honestly based on an intimate knowledge of your product. This doesn’t mean you have to test your masks in all extreme environments, but your customers deserve honest answers about your experience with your face masks. You should use your product yourself to anticipate your customers’ experience. If you have any issues while wearing your face mask, chances are your customers will experience those issues as well. Be solution-oriented as you discover what you’d like to improve about your masks.
Describe Your Mask Accurately
Are you selling ultra-thick masks that will keep your face warm or lightweight & breathable masks for hot summer days? What materials are they made from? If your mask has a nose clip, filter, or filter pocket, make sure you mention that! Do the mask’s straps tie, loop around your ears, or wrap around your head? These are all features that customers take into consideration when purchasing a mask. If someone is expecting a breathable mask but receives one they can’t wear without sweating, they’re not likely to be a very happy customer regardless of how well-made your product might be. Describe the features of your mask with succinct but detailed product descriptions and include the most marketable features in the product title.
Post Accurate Photos
Detail is vital when posting photos to your mask listings. For the best results, take actual photos of your masks to ensure your customers don’t feel misled when they receive their orders. Customers can be drawn to your listings by stylish photos of someone wearing your mask. They may be more likely to complete their purchase if they also see the details. It may be tempting to use a mock-up creation service, but if you’re using one you should be diligent in selecting only mock-ups that represent your masks accurately. Think about things like mask shape and ear loop color when choosing a mock-up.
Provide a Sizing Chart or Mask Measurements
Before face masks became a part of our everyday lives, we didn’t realize how much the size of a face could vary. Your mask that looks great on your female mask model is probably not going to fit a burly man with a beard quite as well. It’s important for customers to have the opportunity to determine whether your mask will fit before purchasing. If you’re offering different mask sizes, provide ranges of facial measurements (bridge of the nose to the chin, ear to ear, etc.) that your masks would fit well. Encourage your customers to take their own measurements before ordering.
If we’re going to be wearing masks every day, we may as well look good doing it, right? When your customer finds out that your face mask is exactly what they’re looking for, they’re going to want to coordinate with a variety of colors & patterns for different occasions (and outfits) so they can integrate masks seamlessly into their style. Even high-end designers are creating masks emblazoned with the same patterns as their swimsuits, dresses, and tops to recommend to customers when they make a purchase. Take their cue — people have to wear masks and they like to look good. Give them the tools to do that without needing to find another seller.
Offer Supplementary Products
Become a one-stop-shop for all things related to the masks you’re selling. Do your customers love that your masks come with a filter or filter pocket? Try selling or linking to filters that will work with your mask. If your masks don’t have adjustable ear loops & you’re noticing high variation in fit amongst your customers, try adding ear loop tighteners or mask strap holders to your inventory. When customers can find everything they’re looking for in your store, they’re more likely to become loyal customers.
Make Your Customer Service Policies Clear
Because of the prevalence of highly-forgiving return policies, many customers will be dissatisfied if your more restrictive return policies aren’t made clear before they’re requesting your help. Some sellers explicitly state a no-return policy on products like masks that are placed over the face — we’re in the midst of a pandemic, after all. Others are opting for hassle-free refunds or offering free replacements. Regardless of what you decide is best for your store, it’s vital that your customers are aware of your policies before they experience issues. If a customer is reaching out because they’re already dissatisfied, notice of a no-return policy or having to pay return shipping might send them over the edge.
Highlight CDC Recommendations
Cloth face coverings are not recommended to take the place of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) or to be used to reduce transmission in individuals diagnosed with COVID-19. It is absolutely imperative that your customers are aware of this when they are ordering a cloth mask from your shop. The CDC has resources available you can link to in your listings that will provide more information to customers regarding when, where, and for whom cloth face coverings are appropriate.
Marketing Your Masks
Building a successful Etsy store is a marathon, not a sprint. Etsy is designed for shops to build loyalty with their customers over time, as opposed to one and done transactions.
With that being said, Etsy sellers have several effective options for marketing their stores, including:
- Social media
- Promoted listings
- Email marketing
Here are a few things to keep in mind for each:
The way to build your initial customer base on Etsy is by utilizing Etsy’s tags and optimizing your store for keywords and products that are in demand.
Always consider how people search for things and prioritize those terms. For example, if someone is looking to buy a face mask with the American flag on it, would they search for “U.S. Flag Design Face Covering” or something more like “American Flag Face Mask”? Optimizing for the latter is much more likely to yield results since it is a more natural way for users to search for that product.
Social media is a great tool for finding new customers outside of Etsy and pushing them to your products. On platforms like Instagram, you have the ability to make your products look stunning.
Be aggressive with how you market on your social media platforms so you can maximize your reach and build a strong following. Here are some things you can do to broaden your reach:
- Use lots of targeted hashtags
- Interact with posts on popular accounts
- Reach out to influencers & develop partnerships
- Feature pictures of customers wearing your masks
Promoted listings are ideal for when your store becomes more established. You want to ensure that you have adequate reviews and a solid reputation so that when you start spending money, you’re more likely to see a return. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:
- Spend the majority of your budget on proven winners
- Set aside 10-20% on testing new designs
- Kill low performers fast
In the long run, building an email list is the surest way to profitable, recurring revenue. While Etsy doesn’t allow email collection unless you sign up and pay for Etsy Pattern, you can still encourage people to sign up through your messaging and social media channels.
Check out this blog post from ohshecreates.com for email list building tactics for Etsy.
CustomCat’s FMA & FMM Face Masks
CustomCat’s 2-Layer FMA & FMM Face Masks are light & breathable, perfect for extended wear at the office or for exercising. Our face masks are moisture-resistant & tested by a third party in the US where we received a rating of 95/100 moisture resistance when new and still 90/100 after 25 washes. With two size options, these masks are great for anyone ages 10 & up. The base price for our FMA & FMM Face Masks is $5.95 with $3.99 shipping. We recommend setting your price below $20 — $14.95 is a great price point to keep the masks affordable for your customers while allowing room for shipping costs (and profits). CustomCat’s sublimation printing allows you to display your unique designs vividly across the front of the mask, from edge to edge, with flat black soft-stretch ear straps for maximum comfort.
So How Do You Sell CustomCat Masks on Etsy?
With our new Etsy Integration, using CustomCat to sell on Etsy has never been easier. All you need to do is:
- Create a CustomCat account
- Connect your Etsy shop
- Upload your designs & select your products
- Publish your new creation to your listings.
Your design will be pushed to your draft listings for review & finishing touches. Check out our Etsy Integration Tutorial for more detailed information. Our 4-step quality control ensures that only the highest quality masks are shipped to your customers. They’ll be delivered to your customers’ doors in white-label packaging customized with your store name and return address.
Remember, we’re all in this together. Selling masks is a necessary service. CustomCat is here to help you find the customers who need you the most.