Selling full coverage, press-on nail designs online means your creations are available worldwide. It allows you to try out new tools and techniques and let your creativity shine. Since press-on nails are normally worn as party nails for special events, you can play with a whole range of elaborate designs. The most common way to sell your press-on nails is through Etsy — and getting started isn’t difficult.
Setting up an Etsy Account
Follow these steps to get your own Etsy shop up and running:
- Choose a name for your shop. Names must be 4 to 20 letters long and can't have spaces.
- Create an account on Etsy and follow the instructions to open your shop.
- Create a custom banner to make your page look professional. You can find plenty of websites with easy-to-edit templates by googling “custom Etsy banner.”
- List your products — remember to take the best photos you can!
- Select your payment methods. You’ll be asked about customer payment methods, as well as how you want to pay your Etsy expenses.
- Work out your shipping options. Do you want to sell locally or globally?
- Be sure to check your Etsy messages regularly so you can keep up with inquiries. Customer service is important online as well as in person!
"I personally feel that communication and customer service is extra important as an online seller, says nail tech Saori Jinnai, whose Etsy shop is called ESZakka. “Unlike in-person clients, it's not possible to see the client's hands, which often determines things like what their lifestyle is like, how much they use their hands daily, and what the most suitable nail services for them may be."
Work out your pricing, making sure to take into account the cost of materials, packaging, time, and fees.
Be aware of Etsy selling fees. There is a listing fee, a transaction fee, and a payment processing fee. It costs $.20 to publish a listing, and each listing lasts four months or until the item sells. The transaction fee is 3.5% of the sale price, and payment processing fee varies depending on what country you’re in.
Check out the competition to see how much other sellers are selling similar nails for. As Etsy is a global marketplace, prices can vary a lot, so make sure you don't try to undercut and undercharge.
Making Your Product The first thing to consider is whether you want to allow for custom orders. You can take specific requests from customers or simply make what you want and list it. Be sure to take notes on how you make each item in case you ever need to recreate them!
When it comes down to making your nails, the sky really is the limit. To get started you will need some full-cover tips in whatever shape you like. Get enough nail display stands to work on to make your life easier (although an orange stick and some putty will work if you don't want to make the investment). You will need to build strength in the nail to stop it from flexing or cracking with a layer of builder gel, acrylic, or dip powder.
"I use a range of different materials, including acrylic for 3-D designs such as unicorn horns and aquarium nails, builder gel for securing large 3-D crystals and nail art, UV gel-polish and gel top coat, as well traditional nail polish, foil glue, gel paint pots, glitters and more!" says UK-based nail tech Hanna xo of The Nail Empyrean.
Getting the Right Fit
One of the biggest challenges with selling press-on nails is making sure your customers get the right fit for their nails. There are a few approaches to this:
1. Create a sizing kit with a sample of each size tip that you can send to new customers.
2. Have a measurement chart so customers can work out their best size estimate.
3. Add extra sizes to your sets. It might be more work, but you’ll have no sizing concerns.
"I have prepared specially sized forms for press on nails. All you have to do is measure the width of your nails," says Iga Otczyk of the NailRoomStudio.
Giving your customers an “extras kit” to help them apply their nails is a good idea. Some things you could include are: nail adhesive tabs, nail glue, file/buffer, alcohol swabs, and an orange stick.
Wrapped Up and Ready to Go
How you package your nails is important as it represents the quality of your work. There are many way to do this, the most common being a rectangular gift box with the nails mounted inside with double-sided tape. Other options are drawstring bags and flat printed cardboard with the nails attached to it.
Victoria Thorp is a journalist-turned-nail technician from Australia who dedicates all her time to writing about and creating nail art. You can find her blog at www.onemorecoat.com.