Here are a few useful things to consider when coming up with a new name for an shop on Etsy, eBay or any other selling venue. They are also useful if you are launching a named product line etc.
Grab a pen and paper…
Is the .com available
This not only helps confirm the name is not already being used, but also means you have the option of adding a website if you want in the future. Having the dot com will allow you to also have a branded email.
There are, of course, other domain types. If you sell only to your own country, having your country’s own domain type might be a selling point. So a British seller might go for a .co.uk type domain. These are often a lot cheaper than the .com type too.
Be aware that many domain sellers offer very low rates for the first year, but it goes up a LOT for future years. This is especially true for some of the newer custom domain types such as .art, .blog and .photo. So do be sure to find out how much it will be once the special offer year is over.
Domain sellers will often suggest you buy a bunch of different domain name types so as to “prevent anyone else having a name that is confusingly close to yours”. This can be a good idea once your brand is established, but not essential for a new shop.
Why the fuss over having a .com rather than any other type? The .com is often considered the “standard” domain name. If someone knows the name of your business, and are looking for your website, they will probably try .com first. Plus many people feel a .com is more “prestigious” than any other option.
Having said this, be aware that the bulk of visitors to your site will not be typing an address in to find you. They will find you from searching in a search engine or via a link from your social media. So the domain type probably isn’t as essential as it might have been a few years ago.
Will people be able to remember it, and how to spell it?
If your name is very generic people may have problems remembering it. For example, you are called Jenny and you name your new jewelry “Jenny’s Jewels”. Catchy, yes? But will people remember it? Or will they be thinking, “was that Jenny’s Jewels, Jenny’s Jewelry or Jewels by Jenny”? Will they be wondering “What was that name, it began with J… Julie’s Jewels? Jane’s Jewels? Jennifer’s Jewels?”
Your name needs to be something that people have a chance of spelling. Names like Ppplumberz4U may be unique and seem funky, but will someone struggle to type this from memory? Was it 4 or four? You or u? How many Ps?
Another potential problem with very generic names is that they can be associated with resellers and “dodgy sellers” on Etsy.
A lot of resellers (people who are reselling mass-produced items, which are against Etsy rules, whilst claiming they are handmade) have shop names such as “BargainsForYou” or “BestBargainsToday” or “GiftsYouWillLike”. Basically names that sound like discount stores.
Of course there are plenty of perfectly legitimate sellers who have very generic names. But because of the possible negative associations, it is something you might want to consider when choosing your name.
Might you want to change course?
There can be SEO advantages to having words associated with your niche in your shop name. But doing so can also make it awkward if you later want to to add other product types to your shop.
BeadyBeadBaby is great if you are only ever going to sell beads. But if you want to start selling your hand-knitted gloves you will need a new shop, a change of name, or risk slightly confused customers!
Many sellers go for a name that can be adapted if they want to start selling other items (in a new shop).
BlueApricotBeads can be used for a bead and supply shop, and if you sell new things you can create other “Blue Apricot” shops- BlueApricotHats etc.
My own Tin Teddy can be used to sell ANYTHING! I use this name for my graphics supply shop, and also for my business as a whole. My die cut shop on Etsy is called Tin Teddy Die Cuts. If I wanted to open any additional shops in the future, i can easily use the same format – Tin Teddy Art, Tin Teddy Knitting etc.
If you intend to stick to one niche then a name that reflects that can be an advantage. But if you think you might want to diversify later down the line it is worth considering this now.
Does it mean what you think it means…
Double check it doesn’t mean something different in other countries or to other groups of people.
Check every word if need be by searching for them on Google.
For example British people find the word ‘fanny’ in a shop name hilarious. (Google that if you need to). But I have seen it in quite a few US shops.
Similarly, consider how the name will look when written without spaces. Etsy shop names can not have any spaces in them as they are used to create the URL for your shop – and URLS can not have spaces.
Kitty Scrap Shop sounds like a nice name for a shop selling scrapbook supplies… until you see it as kittyscrapshop – Kitty’s Crap Shop!
If your shop name has multiple words, I’d recommend capitalizing them when setting up your shop to make it easier for people to read it – and remember it.
Does it match the style of what you sell and the overall feel of your brand
SkullDuggeryToday is great if you sell gothy stuff, but is not going to work so well on babies’ hats. Similarly, if you sell high quality wedding gowns, then a ‘posh sounding’ name may well help a lot. No bride would want to admit they shopped at CheapGownzRUs.
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For lots of info on setting up an Etsy shop for success, check out my article – 5 Steps to Start an Etsy Shop
Would you like a detailed critique and review of your Etsy shop? I offer this service, covering all areas of your Etsy shop. My aim is to offer you lots of useful help, quality suggestions and inspirational ideas to help your grow your Etsy shop and business. For more information, please see my listing on Etsy – Tin Teddy Shop Critique and Review