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Category Archives: Etsy

Navigating Etsy

Etsy rolled out a new listing page format last week. Many sellers are not happy and some buyers are just lost.

Not everyone realizes that Etsy is not a store, it is a platform for individual sellers. Each seller has a store front that includes a banner, a shop announcement, a search inside this store feature, shop sections, and other information about the store.

Debnests storefront

Debnests storefront

Most people find individual items before finding the main store front whether they come from Google, Etsy search, or some other link. The new listings format doesn’t make finding the store front obvious enough. There are several links to the shop page, but none are clearly identified. You can click on the shop name or avatar on the top left of the screen or on the right above the additional items. Another link is the square at the top left with the number of items in the shop. The tags at the very bottom of a listing do not lead to other items in the same store, they lead to a general search every store on Etsy.

Debnests

Debnests

 

Debnests

Debnests

Debnests

Debnests

 

Sections are optional, so not every store has them, but they are helpful in most shops. There is no way on the new listing format to tell what section the item is in.  Currently stores are limited to 10 sections. Most of the additional items on the right will be from the same section. The items at the top of the page are simply the most recent items listed or renewed.

Please let me know if you have more questions about Etsy or Debnests.

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What does renew sold mean on Etsy?

Many newcomers to Etsy are confused when an item has thousands of views and hundreds of favorites because they don’t understand why it hasn’t sold. Most of those items have sold many times. You can renew an item that has sold to list the same item, but not a different item. You need to read the descriptions carefully to determine if you will receive the exact item in the pictures or one that could have some differences.

Most items that are not ready to ship will say made to order, but even some ready to ship items may not be the same exact item as in the pictures, especially if it has sold many times.

I do think all of my nests are different, but I do use the renew sold feature on Etsy because items with sale counts are given preference in browse. Also the favorites and views are retained with renew sold. I do change the pictures to reflect the new item when I remake it. All my custom and made to order items are in a special section.

Here are a couple of items I have remade. Do you think they are different or the same?

Three versions of the same ring:

blue and silver ring 1

Blue and silver ring 1

 

blue and silver ring 2

blue and silver ring 2

 

blue and silver ring 3

blue and silver ring 3

 

Bird nest earrings with turquoise dyed jasper beads:

Earrings version 1

Earrings version 1

Earrings version 2

Earrings version 2

 

Earrings version 3

Earrings version 3

 

And ones I haven’t remade since selling:

Sold Ring

Sold Ring

 

Sold Bracelet

Sold Bracelet

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What to feature

Any tips or suggestions on which items to feature in an Etsy shop? Only four items can be featured at once, although you can mark more items so that they will move up if any of the first four featured products sell.

turquoise

5 turquoise dyed jasper beads in antique copper wire

 

Featured doesn’t do that much, just puts those items at the top of the first page of the shop no matter which sort option is chosen. I understand that when featured items were introduced, sellers didn’t have the option to rearrange items, but now I’m not sure it’s as much help. I don’t like the look of duplicate items in the first two lines, but maybe most people are used to ignoring the top line anyway because they expect it to be ads like in search results.

 

Felt and Clay Pin

Polymer clay eggs in a hand felted green nest

Which sort order do most people use? Do you leave it at the default (custom or most recent if the seller hasn’t rearranged the shop), or always change it to lowest price, or do you even notice the order?

Bird Nest Ring

Polymer clay eggs in a blue wire nest on a silver ring

 

So, is it better to feature the most popular items, the least popular items, or what? Or maybe no featured items at all? What’s your preference? Does it matter at all?

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The problem with shop sections on Etsy

And why they aren’t as helpful as you might think.

Sections are another thing that Etsy doesn’t explain to buyers. Every seller can create their own sections and use them however they want, but sections are optional. One of the things I like about shop sections is that the list of sections (top left corner) includes total number of items in the shop beside the words shop home. Unfortunately, without doing the math yourself, there is no way to tell if some items were (intentionally or accidentally) left out of a section. I wish there was an automatically populated other category for missed items.

Debnests Shop Sections

Debnests Shop Sections

 

A shop can list an unlimited number of items, but can only organize them into ten sections. That’s not nearly enough, especially for the large supply stores that can have thousands of products.

Sections are also exclusive. An item listing can only be in one section at a time.  Subsections and non-exclusive sections would help organization and make it easier to find items.

Sellers are not given the option of rearranging the order of items in a section the way they can rearrange the items in the shop. The custom order is not available in a section and the  sort defaults to most recent.

buttons

Destash: Buttons

 

Descriptions would be very helpful to explain some sections and to define terms and abbreviations. Not everyone knows what OOAK (One Of A Kind), ACEO (Art Cards Editions and Originals), and Destash (shorthand for selling your own supplies) means.

destash beads

Destash: assorted glass beads

I have my jewelry divided by type (necklaces, rings, etc.), but I would also like to identify groups by materials (felt, polymer clay, gemstones, etc).  I have a holidays section, but it doesn’t currently show up because it is empty.

What changes do you suggest for shop sections? Do you have any other Etsy questions?

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Expiring Listings on Etsy

Items that sell on Etsy are listed in a sold section of each shop, but some things just seem to disappear. Inactive and expired items do not show anywhere. Each product or item listing on Etsy lasts for 4 months or until the item sells. Listings can be renewed after expiring or selling. Some sellers automatically renew all listings when they expire, but not all do. Each listing costs 20 cents. That’s cheap, but it does add up if you have a lot of items. 

I’ve recently created an expiring soon section in my store (Debnests). If a section is empty, it won’t show up in the store. Mostly only items I’m considering dropping will be added to this section. Items in treasuries or with favorites (hearts) are more likely to be renewed. So if you want to save an item (without purchasing it), favorite it or add it to a treasury. Items may come back later, maybe for the holidays or when other items have sold. The ones in this picture probably won’t come back until time for Valentine’s Day next year.

Sale

Expiring Soon Section in list view

You can’t tell when an item might expire by looking at the item screen, but you can find the date it was listed from the shop page. You have to switch to list view. Gallery view is the default and it’s not obvious that there even is another option. On the same line as the search in shop box, to the right of the sort by selector is two little graphics that are supposed to depict gallery (some dots) and list (some dots and lines) views. Hovering over the graphics should reveal the titles. Click on list view. If you don’t see the item you were looking at, you can go to the shop section or search in the shop. To see the items that will expire soon, sort by Most Recent and go to the bottom of the last page. Don’t forget to add 4 months to the date listed to get the expiration date.

One of the problems on Etsy is that the help text and the forums are more for the sellers than the buyers. There doesn’t seem to be a good place for Etsy shoppers to find tips and tricks for navigating the site. If you know of any resources or blogs that covers this topic please let me know in the comments.

Do you have any questions about shopping on Etsy? What other Etsy topics would you like me to cover?

 

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Using the Etsy Feedback System

Etsy claims they are working on their feedback system, but I don’t know if they are going to completely overhaul it or just tweak it. So much of this could change by the time you read this post. 

Etsy Feedback

Please Leave Etsy Feedback

The biggest problem is that most people don’t leave feedback at all, but there are some other problems with the way the current system works. It’s frustrating when customers will tell you they love their purchase, but they still don’t leave feedback.

Sold on Debnests Etsy

Only 3 of 10 customers left feedback on Debnests Etsy

The amount of positive feedback is reported as a percentage and is rounded up. If there is a lot of feedback, it can show as 100% positive even if there are some negative and neutral feedback. You can’t sort or filter to see details. If there are 300 positive, 5 neutral, and 1 negative, you can’t read the neutrals or the negative without paging through all of the feedback to find them. Only 20 feedback details show on each page.

The number of feedbacks includes feedback as a buyer as well as a seller even though you can’t see feedback left for a buyer on the buyer’s profile page – you can see it on the seller’s page. If a seller also buys supplies on Etsy, they can end up with a higher feedback number than the number of sales in the shop because each item purchased can get a feedback left for it.

Sellers can’t respond to feedback. Sometimes a buyer didn’t read or understand the description of the item. Many times a buyer will leave negative feedback before contacting the seller and won’t change the feedback after the issue has been resolved. There are horror stories of customers demanding refunds without returning items and other acts of fraud using the threat of negative feedback to get what they want.

Do you leave feedback? Do you read feedback? Does feedback or the lack of feedback influence your purchases?

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