March 31, 2009

I learned it from watching YOU!


Last night I was busy writing tutorials for a publication and didn't get any jewelry made but that's okay. I was thinking yesterday about all the things I've learned about Etsy in the past 2 years, as a Buyer and a Seller. And so I thought I would take this opportunity to blog about some tips on running an Etsy shop. Now, keep in mind, these are my OWN OPINIONS and this in now way is THE WAY, or YOUR WAY. I am just giving you my thoughts on how I like to see a shop run. Although I'm talking mostly about a jewelry, shop- these tips can be used for any type of craft.

Okay, the following things are important in running a successful Etsy shop.

* Take GOOD photographs of your craft.
HOW?
*Natural daylight, No Sun, No Flash- I've tried a lot of different ways, and have found that this is the best way. I have tried the Light Box and am quite disappointed in the outcome.
*Neutral backgrounds- Jewelry gets lost on backgrounds with busy print.
*Photograph things like jewelry, on someone! It helps the buyer see the scale of the piece.

*Give credit where credit is due! If you didn't make the jewelry elements used in your designs, don't make it seem like you did! That's like fraud- Do you have to list every single bead supplier? NO- but do list what the beads are- what materials they are.

*Write good and clear descriptions. Add humor! It helps! Descriptions don't have to be 150 word essays, however.

*Write a clear and concise shop policy and put in the appropriate spot- SHOP POLICY. I don't want to read all about your shop policy in the description of each shop listing.

*VERY IMPORTANT: This is like the most important thing for me, as a seller. COMMUNICATION is KEY. I don't know about you, but I shop on Etsy because I like buying handmade things. But more importantly, I really like that I can have communication with the crafter. This is something you don't get when shopping at any other online venue. But if you are a seller, create an open dialogue. SEND A NOTE confirming the purchase!!! I want to know that:
1. You got my order 2. You are proud of your craft and you stand by your handmade goods 3. That you appreciate my business and 4. that you'll be shipping my purchase on such and such a date.
Zero Communication from a Seller is POOR CUSTOMER SERVICE. This is just my opinion. But I think most people enjoy the communication.

*BLOG!! People like to know how your creative process develops. Blogging is easy and can be quite fun. Even if you don't always have a lot to say, a picture of what you're working on or a picture of your workspace is always interesting to a blog reader and can spark lots of dialogue between blogger and blog reader. This in turn creates a RELATIONSHIP, which in turn results in repeat business at your Etsy shop.

*Self Promotion is important and EASY! And doesn't take that much time.
-FLICKR- upload pics of your craft to Flickr and add photos to appropriate groups.
-Twitter- announce sales, blog giveaways, or when you Blog or list new items in your shop
-Blog
-Facebook- Start up a business page. Announce when you have sales, giveaways, show pics of your newest listings

*Always leave feedback! BUYERS AND SELLERS!! Not only does this help future buyers at etsy shops, but it helps boost morale between the buyer and seller, and can in turn result in future business at your shop.

These are just some tips I jotted down yesterday afternoon. Do you have any Etsy tips you'd like to share?? I'd love to see them, leave a comment on this post! I hope this was helpful!

19 comments:

  1. Good one Lorelei! Just a couple of things. I've had good luck with using daylight bulbs in aluminium clip on light fixtures from Home Depot. I think my whole set up cost less than $15. I also found the light tent disappointing.

    I think you are spot on with communication being so important. I like to shop on line and I love Esty because I get to shop with a real person not just an anonymous shopping cart. The only thing I would add to communication is to make sure and follow through. I do a lot of custom work. If I'm unable to get something done when I say so, I step up and let my customer know. Most of the time people are understanding. Also, if I say I'm going to ship on Tuesday, I do it. I think this is so important to build trust and confidence and make the shopping experience more than just an anonymous shopping cart.

    My, my LeAnn is wordy and opinionated.

    Cheers

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  2. Thanks Lorelei as you know I am new to etsy and it was your blog that motivated me to get my rear in gear. My blog will be up and running soon, and I agree, following a blog and learning about an artists inspiration and process always pulls me to their etsy site.

    Thanks, Anne (gardanne)

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  3. Very good tips Lorelei! I think the communication part is very important. I hate when I convo someone on Etsy, and they take over a week to get back to me. By that time, I've moved on. When I sell something or get a convo, I pride myself on responding as fast as possible. Also feedback is very important to me...especially from people who buy my things, and I am surprised how many don't leave feedback. It is appreciated on both ends! I can't think of anything else to add to your list...I think it covers everything important!

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  4. Wow...great post and every single one of your points are spot on. I would also add that as a seller, it is very important when sending a piece that it is packaged well. I get so many pieces in that are just rolled in a piece of bubble wrap. Presentation is everything and buyers really appreciate a well wrapped, beautiful package in the mail. I send everything carefully wrapped in tissue paper, in a beautiful organza bag and then in a flat box. I can't tell you how many buyers come back pleased with how they received their piece of jewelry. Lets them know you take pride in what you sell.

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  5. Excellant tips from an excellant seller!

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  6. I think you're one of the best for giving credit to suppliers. I am not so organized, so my admiration for you on keeping track of all that information is great!

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  7. lorelei, this is a great post and one that i could really use since i am so new to etsy and it was with yours and some other very nice bloggers encouragement that i got up and running on etsy. I could use all the help i can get!! thank you, really appreciate your sharing. you have been more than kind to me!

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  8. This is a great post! Thanks for sharing your insight! I was debating about starting a blog for a while and I believe this post just helped me make my final decision!

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  9. Lorelei: As someone who is thinking about opening and Etsy shop, I really appreciate these pointers. I was wondering where to find ideas on packaging, business cards, photography, etc. Any other suggestions or ideas would be welcome.

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  10. Two more things I want to mention!!
    Do Etsy seller not know that they can note in Etsy when they've shipped an item? When you go to into the SOLD section of Etsy, you can click a box that says either Received Payment or SHIPPED. CLICK THE BOX!! Some shoppers, like myself, constantly check this status to see if our purchase shipped! If you don't click the box, I don't know that you've shipped it!
    Secondly, It's always good etiquette to put the shipping date in the Feedback that you leave for buyers. That is another way they know when the item shipped out.

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  11. These are all super great points and I agree with them 100%! You'd think they would be common sense. :9

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  12. I love etsy, and all the promotional tools they offer as being part of the site. I think your tips are wonderfully helpful, Lorelei. Thank you for such an informative post :o)

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  13. This is one of the best entries in a blog I have ever read. Thanks so much! Jean Yates xox

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  14. Never can be enough discussion of how to succeed on ETSY !
    Thank you for this post !
    Always remember to say please and thank you
    and
    List ,List , and Re-List !!!
    :) m.e.

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  15. Thanks for the information. I have been wanting to open an etsy account but never have to sell items but I have bought things and I couldn't agree with you more about communication. Thanks for the tips, you are most gracious to share!

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  16. Excellent advice! Thanks for sharing it :)

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  17. These are great tips...I am fairly new to blogging and Etsy but have had a successful business with my face to face customers...and it is a whole new learning curve for me...yay for your advice!

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  18. in the process of setting up Etsy shop so advice welcome & well noted. Thank you for sharing :-)

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