Etsy Selling Tips

ETSY SELLING TIPS

Today I want to share three crucial tips and advice, as well as, seven years of experience as a successful Etsy seller.

I may not be a top 10% Etsy seller (most of these top sellers are only selling beads and supplies to other Etsy sellers making jewelry and their own handmade items), but after doing this for many years, I feel I can offer some solid tips and helpful advice.

There are tons of blogs, ebooks, and other online resources about selling.  You should NEVER pay for any of this . . . EVER!  The best advice is found right on Etsy’s website.  They have lots of resources in the forums or on their selling blog that is completely free.  Other sellers are always eager to offer helpful advice and answer questions.  No author or blogger can make you a top successful seller, if you purchase their book or ebook.  Your success is up to you! Now, if you are just starting out, as a new seller on Etsy- read as much free blog advice. . . like mine in this blog topic, before launching your new Etsy shop.  Read as much as you can and become educated about selling on Etsy.

 Information on SEO is going to be the most crucial; definitely educate yourself in this area.

Don’t be discouraged by the nay-sayers.  There are many out there that will tell you success on Etsy is only possible if you have been selling for many years and have over 200 or more items listed in your shop.  Not true. There are many helpful bloggers and experienced sellers who can offer positive and helpful suggestions and tips.   Focus on those resources.

Before getting into the tips, I want to have an honest discussion about shopping online and how it differs from buying off the shelf at a retailer.  Remember you, as a buyer, can see that item up close, touch it physically, smell it, and confirm it’s size and tactile qualities in your hand when shopping live in a retail setting.  This is not at all possible when shopping online.  I mention this because all transactions on Etsy (or ebay, amazon or any online website) have a two party responsibility.

All seller’s have responsibilities and these are set policies by Etsy that you should fully read and expect to abide by them to keep your business and shop in good standing.

Buyers on Etsy (or any website) also have a responsibility to read the full details when purchasing online and so often this is completely ignored or overlooked.

It’s certainly not done intentionally- most shoppers are browsing from their app on a cell phone or tablet and it can sometimes be difficult to find the full written description. Still, I myself, have rarely purchased something online without reading the full written details about a product, handmade or not.  However, that is me and I pay close attention to the written information- not every buyer will read the item details of your listing.  Many online shoppers buy on impulse. They saw the photo and loved it but didn’t realize that not all items displayed in your photo, such as background props, or other items next to it to show scale or the product in what I call “situ” (situation/situated for display) are not included in the sale or purchase.

All online and Etsy seller’s want to provide excellent customer service and we strive to do so, but if a buyer fails to READ a full written description, communicate with a seller before or after a sale with specific questions – they have not meet the seller in the middle and have set the customer service bar so high that it makes it difficult for both parties to have a positive experience.  So if you are a seller- know what you need to do to communicate with buyers and keep them happy.

Consider this fair warning- there will be instances where a buyer does not read your item details and due to no fault of yours, there may be negative feedback left due to ‘buyer’s remorse’. Be prepared to address these situations individually and know that you can make 99% of customers happy 99% of the time – but there will always be that one customer occasionally that can not be made satisified now matter how many hoops you jump through, in an effort to do so.  Do your best, do what’s right,  and be responsive to complaints- even if you know it is not your fault at all.

However, if you are shopping on Etsy as a buyer, do your due diligence to READ the full “Item Details”  (the section found in every Etsy listing that you can click on or click the small arrow next to it if shopping from an cell phone or tablet app) and contact the seller with questions BEFORE your purchase.  Sellers welcome questions and want a buyer to know exactly what they are purchasing.

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 NOW FOR THE TOP ADVICE FOR ETSY SELLERS 

First, we can all agree that customer service is tremendously important.

No matter how great your product is or how talented you are, one of the things that customers are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they have with your company.

So how do you provide excellent customer service?

Here are the three top tips (taken from the Etsy website) according to Etsy’s top sellers:

1. Time

Answer all questions buyers send you as soon as you can, immediately if possible.  Use the Etsy selling app on your smart cell phone and answer questions as soon as you are notified.  Customers really appreciate that!  Although buyer’s need to give handmade Etsy seller’s a reasonable window to respond- let’s face it, we live in an age of instant information at the reach of our cell phones with a Google search.  So be mindful of this.  That Etsy buyer may have sent the same email to several Etsy shops selling similar items.  If you wait a day or two to answer an email, yes- even on weekends, you will most likely have lost that sale to another Etsy shop that responded immediately.

2. Shipping

Always ship by your stated shipping timelines in your shop.  If for some unforeseen reason that you can not ship by your stated shipping date- contact that buyer right away and let them know.  Most are fine will a small shipping delay, as long as they have been notified and can approve it with you in writing.  Professional stickers or labels on your items and packaged well to arrive in perfect condition are key to a making a buyer happy.

 One of my favorite things about packing up an order is to write a handwritten thank you note on include a small printed Thank You tag and then strategically place it in their shipment so they see it and know I appreciate them!  I can’t always do this – especially if I am shipping many packages every few days.  I definitely do this for all rush orders that paid extra.  Think about it.  They paid more for the speedy rush to get an item handmade and delivered quickly but also for a personal touch, a handmade item. Also my regular repeat event planners always get a handwritten note – why else would they come back! They appreciate the extra time to provide excellent customer service in their shipment.

3. Empathy

Think like a customer!  Understand how they want to be treated as a customer.   If you can, offer a little free surprise in every order.  Free items should not be junk though.  It should be relevant to your shop and the buyer’s order.  Be appreciative of your customers that is why you are in business!

Above all, always be courteous and professional.

I hope this advice has helped if you are currently an Etsy seller or thinking about opening an Etsy shop as a new seller.

Come back and visit my blog for more helpful tips and advice and party inspiration!

Christmas Party Ideas

CHRISTMAS PARTY IDEAS & WINTER CUPCAKE RECIPE

Christmas Party Table

Did you survive the Black Friday sales?  I don’t know about you – but I ignored my cell phone and tablet for much of the Thanksgiving weekend to spend time with friends and loved ones over the holiday and to focus on what is important.  So, this morning I opened my email in-box to find over 80 plus sales and marketing emails from the weekend. Ugh!

It was a bit excessive to say the least and annoying! Delete, delete, delete!  I really wish retailers would recognize the difference between successful email marketing and spam, because, even if you do opt in for a retailer’s marketing emails. . .  too much – IS SPAM!

spam black Friday emails

Seriously, some of these online retail websites emailed me 6 times in one day- and on Thanksgiving?? All in an effort to promote the Black Friday sales.  I have unsubscribed to several email lists, as of this morning.

I promise to offer some holiday inspiration over the next few weeks, instead of a  “buy this, sale, shop now, hurry before the sale ends!”, type blog posts.   I know how stressful the holidays can be as it is- so I want to inspire you this Christmas, offer some quick diy projects, decorating tips, and holiday recipes here at the Party Fetti blog to make it more enjoyable and not use my blog solely as a marketing platform.  Although I do email my subscribers with a sale promo about once every two to three months, in addition to my regular blog posts here – generally with links to my Etsy shops at the end of many of my posts , such as today’s post- still, my priority is to help you to throw the best celebration!  I started this blog to inspire my followers to offer tips for party and holiday decorating and I will continue to offer plenty of holiday ideas over the next few weeks.

So, let’s get to it!  Below I am sharing a quick recipe for Snowball Mini Cupcakes – scroll down for the recipe.  

However, first, here are a few quick decorating tips for a Christmas party or for any winter event or winter birthday party-

Onederland Party

Use what you have! Pull items from your Christmas decorations, such as feather trees, snowflake ornaments, large glass containers, and a simple cupcake stand, like this set up shown above, for a 1st birthday as a Winter Onederland party.  Love the pink for the little girl too!

Winter Birthday Party

Set up a wintry scene with fake snow, white trees, pine cones, and snowmen.

This works for an adult holiday party or for a children’s birthday party.  A color palette of white, grey, silver, and blue ties it all together – but don’t be afraid to go with pinks and neon colors for a more contemporary winter color scheme!   Cover all your candy and wine bottles (or soda bottles for the kids) with coordinating printable labels.  You can find many complete printable party kits on Etsy – if you are a diy’er and don’t mind a few hours of cutting with scissors- this is a huge money saver for any party.  You just need a good quality home color printer.  A straight cutter (a paper cutting tool that many scrapbookers use) will save you time on the cutting too.

Wine Labels

Be creative with your signage and use a play on words, like this clever party sign below, and so easy to print and frame-

winter-party-6

If you don’t have hours to cook- that is Okay! Get creative with your packaging of store bought foods, like these labeled and packaged marshmallows for a hot cocoa bar –

winter-party-2

Now for the Snowball Mini Cupcakes Recipe

Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients:
  1. 1 (15.25-ounce) box devil’s food cake mix
  2. 1 cup whole milk
  3. 1⁄2 cup vegetable oil
  4. 3 large eggs
  5. 2 cups heavy whipping cream
  6. 1 (3.4-ounce) box vanilla instant pudding mix
  7. 1 cup chopped flaked coconut
Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (24-cup) mini muffin pans with baking spray with flour.
  2. In a large bowl, beat cake mix, milk, oil, and eggs with a mixer at medium speed until moistened, about 2 minutes. Divide batter among prepared muffin cups. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, about 12 minutes. Let cool in pans for 5 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on a wire rack.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat cream and pudding mix at high speed until fluffy. Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a small round tip.
  4. Make a small incision in the bottom of cupcakes, and pipe 1⁄4 teaspoon vanilla mixture into centers. Pipe vanilla mixture over tops of cupcakes; sprinkle with coconut. Serve immediately.

Stop by any of my Etsy shops for some quick holiday decorations and gift ideas if you don’t have much time to do it yourself this month-

ONCE UPON A HOME DESIGNS

THE PARTY FETTI SHOP

READY SET CRAFT KITS

PINWHEEL PRETTIES

Come back to the blog all this month for more holiday inspiration!

Have a great week!

Jill Signature Party Fetti Blog

 

Fall Decorating & Clearance Sale

FALL DECORATING & CLEARANCE SALE

FallDecorCollage

Are you ready for fall? While I am hoping for cooler temperatures for our move soon (although fingers crossed for no rain on our moving day), I am not wishing summer away by any means.  Although, with the purchase of our new home (sneak peek below) –

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 I’ll admit, I am now dreaming of decorating the new house with fall decor and can’t wait to get in it to start adding my personal touch in the colors and textures of autumn.  If all goes well, we will be moving at the end of September, just in time for the seasonal change to fall.

Don’t forget, with my move coming soon, I am still running the 50% off CLEARANCE SALE in all my Etsy shops!

ClearanceSale

Visit any of my shops by clicking the links below-

Pinwheel Pretties

The Party Fetti Shop

I DO Wedding & Bridal Designs

Once Upon A Home Designs

Ready Set Craft Kits

Jill Signature