tag: etsy savoir faire

Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

making a banner for your etsy shop can be a bit of an overwhelming task at first- but after this post (hopefully!) you’ll be able to make one with ease!  before we get to the nitty gritty- let me show you some of my favorite banners first.

how to make an etsy shop banner

katy daisy does a great job here with the wheatfield by setting the tone for her shop.  her banner coordinates with the shop and gives you a sneak peek of what’s to come!

how to make an etsy shop banner

lorasea intrigues the viewer with this banner.  not giving too much information but just enough to get you curious and clicking for more!

how to make an etsy shop banner

rust belt threads gives you bold and bright- and it certainly catches the eye.

how to make an etsy shop banner

lost and fawned’s banner is straightforward and simple.  simplicity in itself can sometimes be the  most intriguing- leaving you wanting more.

how to make an etsy shop banner

be happy now gives you insight into their shop and what you can expect.  a great way to show off your best work and let the people know what’s coming!

how to make an etsy shop banner

city light photograhpy is simple. elegant. timeless.

how to make an etsy shop banner

finding a photo or scanning one in and then cropping it to fit (760 x 100 pixels) can be an easy way to get the look you want- without much hassle. {shop :: photographic artwork}

holiday etsy shop banner

the house of hearts did a wonderful job with their fun banner.  banner’s that change with the season and/or annoucnes a sale you have is eye catching, fun and a wonderful marketing technique.

pendant etsy shop banner

simply taking a picture and then cropping it to size can be a useful, easy, and fun way to get exactly what you’re looking for in a banner. {shop :: miniature rhino}

no matter how you get your banner- it can be an important step in setting up you shop.  your avatar is just as important as well- because it’s seen on every page of your shop as well in the forums, workshops and the like.  your banner is also shown on your facebook page if you use the my etsy facebook application.

here’s a quick tutorial that you can use to make an easy (and free) shop banner- as well as an avatar!

how to make an etsy shop banner

boston handmade offers this great tutorial :: ‘how to make and etsy shop banner’.

how to make an etsy shop banner

etsy for everyone offers this tutorial on how to design a banner using power point.

and a few helpful forum posts can be found here: ‘how to make a banner without a fancy program’ and here: ‘how to make a banner using picnik’

how to make an etsy shop banner

etsy offers a free banner generator- which is a great way to get started!

how to make an etsy shop banner

and, you can always use one of etsy’s free banners to help promote your sale or announce that you’re on vacation.

how to make an etsy shop banner

etsy member catherinetterings offers a few free christmas banners on her blog :: catherinetterings.

finally- here is a list of some free image editing websites:

picasa - free photo editing software from google

picnik - online photo editing service

aviary - web-based photo editing with lots of fun tools

gimp – free image editor, alternative to photoshop

last but not least!  if you still don’t feel comfortable creating your own- do a simple search for ‘etsy shop banners‘ on etsy to find tons of designers that will make one for you!

hope this helps!  please share any advice or extra links you have in the comments!

xoxo, bonnie

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Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

one of the first things you do when you set up a new shop is outline you policies- shipping being one of the most important ones.  today we’re going to talk about shipping- and if you haven’t written your policies yet, etsy’s seller handbook has a great section on seller how-to’s for shipping that will help you get started!

love note

etsy released this article recently- that has tons of great info in it- i’m summarizing it here for you plus adding a few of my favorite shipping features!  customer service is of the upmost importance on etsy.  good communication along with clear policies, prompt shipping and thoughtful packaging will do wonders for getting you off on the right foot.  to begin- here are some general shipping guidlines for the following countries:

usps mailing and shipping guidelines

canada post shipping products and services for your business

united kingdom royal mail tool kit

printable PDF shipping guide from australia post

la poste (france) shipping guidelines and customs guidelines

postman paper doll

calculating weight and rates:

depending on the service you use, you may have to calculate your weights.  us first class mail uses weights to ship, while priority mail depends on the type of envelop you use.  having a measuring tape and a shipping scale like this one makes your job of shipping (and correctly calculating the cost of shipping) a breeze!  once you know the weight of you package (and possibly the dimensions) you can use the following calculators to accurately calculate the rate.

usps shipping calculator

canada post – find a rate

uk royal mail – price find

australian postage assessment calculator

up and away clipboard

holiday shipping

the holiday hustle and bustle can make shipping deadlines a bit stressful.  use these shipping deadlines provided by your postal service to make sure your items will arrive on time.  this would also be great to refer your customers to!

usps – 2009 holiday mailing dates

canada post – holiday suggested mailing dates

uk last posting dates

australia, international post guide

waiting for the post man

shipping internationally

etsy just announced that as of november 2009, 30% of all etsy transactions are across borders- how exciting!  but, if you haven’t shipped much internationally before- it can be a bit of a learning curve. here’s a few quick guides:

usps international delivery services

canada post international shipping products and services

uk royal mail’s international delivery options

australia post international services

if you find yourself constantly going to the post office to fill out customs forms, make sure to check out endicia.comendicia allows you to print shipping labels online- along with their customs forms!  printing all your information and printing at home makes shipping internationally so much easier.

ladyship print

customs forms

personally, customs forms tend to get a little tedious for me, but if your shipping overseas you’ll have to include one.  make sure not to mark your package as a ‘gift’- if it’s an item that you sold.  filling out customs forms appropriately will help prevent your packaged from getting held up in customs.  although international shipping goes smoothly most of the time, make sure your customers know that you cannot be responsible for items held up in customs.  it’s just nearly impossible to track a package once it leaves your country.

your customer should also be aware that they are responsible for any additional fees charged by customs- let them know by adding it to your policies page.

love letters

etsy provides this great information about customs forms:

  • In the U.S. you’ll need a green CN 22 customs form which you can pick up at the post office or order for free from USPS.com.
  • In Canada, refer to this link on the Canada Post website. Terrain adds, “For U.S. and International Xpresspost and Expedited parcel services, fill out the ‘Customs Declaration’ section of the shipping label. For U.S. Small Packet/Light Packet, CN22 Customs Label (white for SP, green for LP).”
  • PeculiarForest notes that for UK sellers, “Customs forms will need to be filled out at the post office if parcels are being sent outside of the European Union.” Memake notes that you may also download a PDF form from the Royal Mail website here.
  • Australians need the green forms available from your post office for free.

fly free necklace

paypal shipping labels

for your customers that use paypal to purchase their items, printing shipping labels can be a breeze!  as long as you can calculate the weight of your item, you can print your labels right at home, then just drop them off at the post office or have them picked up (below).  even if your customer didn’t use paypal, you can still print their labels by creating them yourself using their multi order shipping tool- you can read more about that here.  there are also a few forum’s that can be very helpful when considering shipping w/ paypal: ‘how to ship with paypal‘ and ‘do you prefer paypal shipping’.

bon voyage banner

package pickup

finally, when your shipping out even a few times a week- running back and forth to the post office can get tiring.  there are a number of ways that you can let your mail carrier come to you!  thus, shipping your items without ever leaving the house (imagine that!).  here are the options for usps pickup: usps pickup options and a forum that helps explains it: click ‘n ship, paypal, package pick-up.

no homework! i think there are plenty of links above to keep you busy! what’s been your experience?

love, bonnie

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Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

so what is this whole thing about twitter?  did you twit or did you tweet? would you like to retweet that please?

twitter can be a little confusing- but today i hope to show you how easy it is!  we’ll start as if you’ve never even heard of it- then move on to if you should do it, why and how it could help your shop!

twitter non conformist birds

here’s a good definition (from sharpened) “twitter is a service that allows people to stay connected with each other by answering the basic question, “what are you doing?” once you sign up for a twitter account, you can post your own updates, or “tweets,” using a computer or cell phone. You can also view the updates posted by other users you are following. since each tweet is limited to 140 characters or less, the updates must be short and sweet. however, you may twitter as often as you want, meaning there is no limit on how much information you can share.”

twitter addict

if you’re ready to get started, it’s easy.  just go to twitter.com and click the ‘join now’ button.  you’ll fill in your name, username, email and password and then be granted a twitter account!  then, all you have to do is start tweeting- i.e. tell us what you’re doing in 140 characters or less!  even if you’re only thinking about it for the future- you may want to go ahead and get your account.  with over 25 million tweets a day- twitter is growing fast- so you want to snatch up your username while it’s still available!

crocheted twitter tweet coffee cozy

next, you’ll want to update your profile.  epheriell designs says that filling in your profile is vital.  have a nice avatar, upload a unique background image, and fill in where you are. use all the characters in your description to tell people about yourself. here’s epheriell‘s description: “i blog about handmade style, indie design, craft resources; i make contemporary silver/metal jewellery; i love reading scifi; i am a tea addict!”.  try to outline who you are and what you do- and make it personal.

boy’s twitter bird fabric wall decal

the next step is to get some followers! twitter will allow you to import e-mail lists, contacts from instant messaging services, and you can find your friends on their search engine. the best way to build a list of interesting people is to go to the twitter search engine at search.twitter.com and plug in your interests. this will then spit tons of people back out at you that you can choose to follow. twitter will also give you some suggestions for people to follow.  if you start following people, chances are, they will follow you back. once you start following someone, their updates (tweets) will appear in your twitter feed- and vice versa.

be sweet retweet

you can either update your twitter status via their webpage, link it to your facebook updates, or from your cell phone.

here are some simple rules to keep in mind.  twitter often and tweet things of value.  yes, you should tweet when you list a new item or have an exciting blog post- but people will generally get annoyed if you tweet only for self promotion.  so, throw in some personal stuff too- twit pics, and discussion about your design process etc.  people are interested in getting to know you- not just about when you list a new item. if you’re including a url- it may be helpful to shorten it by using tiny url- that way you can squeeze it all in to those 140 characters!

twitter notes

is this all making sense? still don’t know why you should be tweeting?  for etsy shop users- tweeting about a new product will increases that product’s number of views.  you should tweet about your latest and greatest items (don’t forget your url!),  and you can easily offer special promotions to your shop via twitter (by providing a discount code), as well as promote any sales you may already have at your shop.

tweet twitter necklace

susans heehan posted about her ’10 days to 2000 followers’ goal on her blog (you can get the quick outline of here) and shares that it has been very beneficial to her.  for going home to roost, about 10% of my traffic here and to my etsy shop come from my twitter and  facebook fan page (combined).  linking them together will save you time and make sure that everyone is always updated!

twitter bird wall sticker

does that help get you started?  what questions do you have?  advice? success stories?  please share!

love, bonnie

do your homework :: {why teams should tweet}

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

p.s. don’t miss the end of this post where you get to submit your weekend deals!

most of us know about black friday, but what about cyber monday?  black friday is the friday after thanksgiving when  most brick and mortar stores have their biggest sales.  cyber monday is the following monday and is when most online stores have their biggest sales.   my suggestion?  if you want to get involved- offer you deals this friday through monday.

crowded paradise

first off- make sure your online presence is updated.  if you happen to have a holiday ad, update your ads around the web as well.  your etsy banner can also help bring attention to your sales- and if you need one in a jiffy you can use a one of etsy’s pre-made ones! you can also start posting about your upcoming sales on your social networking sites.  spread the word via facebook, twitter and your blog- and maybe you won’t have to spend all day twittering on friday!

yes dear

do you even need to offer a sale?  that’s up to you.  however, this is the weekend where everyone will be out to buy!  you could offer a percentage discount, buy one get one free deals, or free shipping.  you consumers will also be using etsy’s search bar to help find them deals.

i’d rather be diving

updating your titles, tags or even your shop announcement with phrases like ‘black friday’ and ‘cyber monday’, ‘free shipping’ or ‘holiday sale’ will help you gain exposure.  here’s some advice straight from etsy:

  • Remember to tag your items with the sale tags Etsy is promoting this weekend! Read this Etsy blog post: Seller How-To: Get Involved With Black Friday and Cyber Monday Promotion to find out more.
  • If you have a mailing list, send out an email blast on the morning of Black Friday announcing the sale.
  • Purchase ad space on your favorite blogs. Either directly or through companies like Project Wonderful.
  • Use social media like Twitter, Facebook, and MySpace to get the word out.
  • Stock up on your most popular items so they can get mailed as soon as possible. That includes packaging and shipping supplies as well. That way you are ready to go!
  • Look over your listings and be critical of your photos. If you have anything that might need some revision, now is the time to do it. It’s helpful to have a friend look over your shop with a critical eye. After all, you are so close to your listings; what seems obvious to you might be confusing for a potential shopper.
  • If you don’t already sell internationally, do it now! It’s easy, and you open your shop to so many more potential sales overseas. Probably a third of my customers are international. Just pick up some customs forms or order online from USPS or your country’s postal website. These customs forms are simple to fill out and can still be used if you’re scheduling a pick up. Make sure your international shipping profiles are all set up — it is about making it as easy as possible for your customer. To calculate prices just go to USPS.com and plug in the weight with a few far flung locales.
  • are we there yet

    SO! if you would like a little added exposure- please send me your deals for this weekend.  i will be posting everyone’s sales (including mine!) here on friday and would love to include yours!  all deals must be submitted by thursday night.  please include: your sale, the start and end date, and your website address.  you can submit your deals by emailing me, posting them on facebook or leaving a comment on this post.

    have fun!  love, bonnie

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

december to do's for your etsy shop

country winter

hello lovelies!  this week etsy released their goals and expectations for december!  just in case you haven’t taken a look already- i’m going to sum them up for you.  there’s a lot of great information that will help you and your shop succeed this holiday season!

december to do's for your etsy shop

mourning dove in snow

i thought these points were so helpful- that i giving them all to you! coming straight from etsy- these are what they specifically want you to keep in mind as you prep for the holiday hustle and bustle:

  • Seasonal Holiday Gift-Giving: Find our full list of seasonal gift-giving thematic topics in the newly released Holiday Gift Guides. Reevaluate your line and describe why your items make great gift ideas; take the time to photograph your items in a way that shows the potential uses it could have.
  • Seasonal Home Decor: Winter and holiday home decor accents, displays, accessories, centerpieces, ornaments, and all the home accoutrement that make us think of a cozy dwelling.  Think candles, baskets, wreaths, garlands, furniture, tabletop, quilts, blankets, pillows, storage solutions, rugs, windows, lighting, bedding, and bath.  Rich materials and fabrics remain at the forefront of styling options.
  • Entertaining: Celebrations including dinner with the family, holiday parties, and those notorious over-the-top New Year’s galas abound. We’ll be looking for creative and unique seasonal tabletop solutions, dinnerware, glassware and bar, table linens, food for your feast, centerpieces, place settings, place cards, invitations, menus, favors, and hostess gifts.
  • Winter and Holiday Fashion: Vamped up holiday, formal, and party fashions along with warm layers, winter coats, winter accessories, boots, bags, and jewelry all sparkle this season.
  • New Year’s Eve: Ring in the new year in style. We’ll be highlighting party options, celebration accessories and party fashion. Keep in mind with New Year’s Eve, resolution time is right around the corner. January sneek peek: Health and wellness, relaxation, detox, reorganization, and all that emphasizes a fresh new start.
  • Calendars and Paper Goods: Thank you card sets, stationery sets, 2010 calendars, and gift wrapping elements.
  • Shopping Local: With online shopping, comes shipping deadlines. As we near these deadlines, we’ll be looking to promote the Shop Local Etsy shopping feature along with other location-based highlights. Make sure your location is up to date in order take advantage of last-minute shoppers in your area.
  • Boxing Day: Boxing Day is a recognized day of rest in many countries, originating as a day of extending goodwill to those less fortunate. Over time, it has traditionally become known as a shopping holiday for sales and promotions. For many retail merchants, this marketing strategy has become their highest revenue driving day of the year. We’ll be hosting a special Boxing Day extended promotion for sellers interested in participating. Stay tuned for details as we get closer to December including how to participate as a seller.
  • Winter Weddings: Attire, decor, invitations, favors, and gift ideas.
  • The International Vacation: Global adventures, features on warmer weather destinations, highlights of spring/summer fashion in the Southern Hemisphere.
  • December trends: The all-encompassing forest imagery including holly, branches, berries, pine cones, acorns, and related animals (deer, squirrels, chipmunks). Boots, pumps, Oxfords, and ballet flats. Winter accessories. Statement jewelry, metallics and sequined clothing and accessories.  Gem tones, deep berry, plum, forest green, and classic combinations of red, white, black, green and royal blues. Vintage decor, eco-friendly options, and tribal motifs continue to top the trends this season.
  • Turquoise is December’s birthstone, and December’s astrological signs are Sagittarius and Capricorn (November 23 – December 21: Sagittarius and December 22 – January 20: Capricorn).
  • Promotional Opportunities for Sellers:
    • In preparation for our Turquoise Gift Guide, we will be looking for community suggestions and nominations for what items you’d like to see in the guide. Suggest your favorite turquoise-related items in this nomination thread.
    • Suggest and nominate items for Etsy’s Holiday Gift Guides in this Forum thread.
    • Stay tuned to the Selling section of The Storque for additional promotional opportunities through December.

december to do's for your etsy shop

winter snow wreath with cardinal

so, what should you do with all this info?  translate into something meaningful for your shop.  that means update your listings, photos, shop announcement, descriptions, tags and titles.  this way, etsy will be able to find and promote you- and your consumers will be able to find and purchase from you.  also, try to keep in mind the holdiay rush- because who doesn’t wait till the last minute? by building up your stock- you’ll be able to ship more quickly and appeal to all those last minute shoppers.

december to do's for your etsy shop

duikers in red pillow cover

one last thing to remember is that etsy often curates their homepage themes by holidays and special events.  so- here’s a list of dates to keep in mind during december.  if you can fit any of your products into one of them- tag them as such- and you may just find yourself on the front page!

  • November is known as Real Jewelry Month, Peanut Butter Lovers Month, and Aviation History Month.
  • December 1: World AIDS Awareness Day
  • December 6: Spain’s Constitution Day
  • December 6: Saint Nicholas Day
  • December 9: Christmas Card Day and National Pastry Day
  • December 10: Final safe date for international shipping deadlines (save for express and overnight)
  • December 10: Nobel prizes presented
  • December 11: Hanukkah begins at sundown
  • December 12: Poinsettia Day
  • December 12: Feast of Our Lady Guadalupe in Mexico
  • December 17: Hari Raja Puasa
  • December 17: South Africa’s Day of Reconciliation
  • December 18: Final safe date for online shipping deadlines (save for express and overnight)
  • December 18: Muharram
  • December 21: Winter Solstice — shortest day of the year
  • December 25: Christmas Day
  • December 25: England’s Constitution Day
  • December 26: Boxing Day — also known as the Day of Goodwill
  • December 26: Saint Stephen’s Day
  • December 26: Kwanzaa begins
  • December 31: New Year’s Eve

december to do's for your etsy shop

fabric tubby

do you have any advice? experience? xox, bonnie

do your homework :: {customer service virtual labs} {colors to focus on}

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Posted by in indie biz

etsy shop help

lost and found rebus story kit

when it comes to item descriptions, my story telling is admittedly something i’m not very good at.  however, one way to attract and entertain your shoppers is to tell them a great story.  if you have a hard time coming up with something (like i do) try to think about your design or technique.  how did you make it?  what inspired you?  what is your process? if it’s a vintage item- where did you find it? do you know the story behind it or can you make a fun and entertaining one up about it?

it’s important to become a ‘real person’ on etsy.  the more your shoppers feel like they know you, the more likely they are to buy.  if it’s cold, questionable, and boring- shoppers might feel a bit apprehensive to click the purchase button.  so, make it personal!

i recently ran across this great article on great story telling.  seth godin says that great stories succeed because they are able to capture the imagination of large or important audiences.  they should be consistent and authentic, make a promise, and be able to be trusted.  great stories should give a great first impression, are subtle and should be short and sweet (especially on etsy).  great stories should appeal to the senses, and not be contradictive- but rather make people feel safe, secure and like they made it to the right place!

so! point taken.  i’m off to *attempt to get creative with my listing description.  good luck!

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Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

hi lovelies!  today’s etsy savoir faire is kinda short- but i think really cool.  have you heard of the handmade movement? it’s a way to support indieprenuers and etsians- and who doesn’t need a little bit of support?

trees & bird

two days a week, and etsy shop with few or no sales is announced on the site.  as many people as possible then buys items from that shop- resulting in a frenzy of surprise and an etsian singing hallelujah.

natural driftwood candle holder

michael phipps who created handmade movement offers this advice: “i’m often asked how shops are chosen as “victims” of the attacks. first and foremost, no one should volunteer to be at the receiving end of a sneak attack. that’s about the best way to NOT be chosen. it wouldn’t be a “sneak attack” then, would it?! the shops need to have few or no sales, have been around for at least two weeks (preferably longer), they need to have some recent activity evident in their shops, and they need to have a good amount of quality, affordable products. we sadly pass by a lot of shops because they have blurry or dark pictures, incomplete descriptions, or nothing has been added or renewed for months.

hand printed holiday cards

since the end of september, handmade movement has sponsored 67 attacks on a total of 81 shops, resulting in 973 sales- resulting in about $6000 worth of products! you can read a few of the sneak attacked etsians stories at the bottom of this storque post.

do your homework :: {handmade movement} {sneak attacks by the handmade movement} {faqs} {past sneak attack list}

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etsy shop help :: craft cult

September 17, 2009

Posted by in handmade, indie biz

etsy shop help

hello!  well, i just want to say- thank you to everyone for all of your support!  i’m so excited- this has all been totally a dream come true!

for now, i’m taking a (small) break from etsy- to do what? talk about etsy!  today we’re going to discuss craft cult- have you been there? other than being totally addictive- it’s an *incredible tool for both shop owners and buyers.  the heartomatic tool is great for shop owners and the vault is a great tool for buyers- however, both can be invaluable to everyone! craft cult 4

the heartomatic feature allows anyone to put in their own (or anyone else’s) shop name and see all relevant info at a glance.  shop hearts, item hearts, time of day, sales, items, feedback- you name it, it’s there!  for shop owners, this is a great tool to see who’s hearting what and when.  then all you have to figure out is why!

craft cult-1

did you find a peculiar spike in views on a particular item?  all you have to do is head over to the ‘featured’ tab to see if you or any of your items were featured that day- on the homepage, in the gift guides, or in etsy’s blog the storque. so simple! craft-cult 3 ok- moving on to the vault!  what an awesome feature- it’s s an archive of all the home page featured lists. talk about eye candy! not to mention food for the obsession- as well as endless inspiration!

craft cult-5 finally, you can even draw up some graphs called heart charts to see all the activity going on in your shop- with a click of a button you can see who’s hearting- whether they’re buyers or sellers, female or male, and a whole slew of other useful information.

so shop owners: get to craft-culting and find out some great info that will help you know your buyers.  and, buyers: go check it out and get to window shopping!

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