Etsy should be your first port of call if you have something authentic to sell online. The marketplace for vintage and handmade goods lists millions of items. In the jewelry shop alone, buyers can browse almost 2.7 million items at any given time.

Buyers on Etsy are spoiled for choice. But if you’re a new seller, you’ll compete with super-users who have succeeded in building small businesses on Etsy. Etsy’s seller education specialist, Nickey Skarstad and community manager, Michelle Spaulding teamed up to provide first-time sellers with some tips to stand out from the crowd. As a sometime Etsy buyer, I even threw in an idea of my own (#7).

Before you dive in, heed this cardinal rule:

Thou shalt never sell ugly crap that is slowly gathering dust underneath thy kitchen sink.

On Etsy, reputation is everything. So here are the best ways to attract the right kind of attention:

1. Sell great products. Pretty simple, sell what you love and believe in and people will take notice.

2. High-quality photos: Looks are everything! Don’t even try to upload anything without taking an amazing shot of it first. Well-lit, attractive photos will entice buyers from search results. Here’s an Etsy video designed to help sellers improve their product photography.

Screen Shot 2012 04 19 at 8.29.02 PM 520x265 Here are Etsys own tips for getting your goods noticed and sold on the online craft marketplace

3. Fill up your shop: The more items you have, the more opportunities you have to be found.

4. Tag liberally: Use all of your tag space; consider keywords and phrases that buyers are likely to search for. Read more about how to get found in search here.

5. Share your story: Communicate what sets you apart in your Shop Profile. You may even get selected for the Etsy blog as a featured seller. [Telling the world your personal sob story will not help your cause. Instead, make like the pros and share the journey of the item you’re selling.]

6. Keep up with the trends. Etsy’s monthly Merch Desk series will keep you in the loop about what will be featured across the site from month to month.

And one of my own…

7. Pin It: This year, Etsy was one of the first e-commerce sites to integrate with Pinterest. Do not underestimate the power of the pin. There’s a community on Pinterest that organize their wish-list for items to buy on Etsy. Do your homework by studying their pinning habits. It’s the best way to get ahead of the trends.

If it helps, here’s a breakdown on the most popular categories on Etsy:

And finally, let us know what works for you!