Thursday, September 30, 2010

Virtual Lab Highlights

So it's time for our next lab review...this time of the Seller Chat that was held on Wednesday, 9/29/10, hosted by admin HeyMichelle. For those who don't know, Seller Chat is a new Virtual Lab format that has been introduced to Etsy to answer some more advanced questions than are usually addressed in the Newbie Chat. There was info shared, links posted, and lots of advice given. Now...on to the questions and answers!

1. Why is listing a new item said to be better than renewing an existing item?

Listing a new items gives you all the benefits that renewing an existing item does, but it has an additional benefit: it adds an item to your shop! Both cost the same, both put your items higher up in the search categorie
s, but only listing a new item actually adds to your shop and gives buyers another option to purchase when they come to your shop. Only listing a new item helps to improve the variety of items in your shop.

2. When is it a good idea to consider opening a 2nd shop?

In the lab it was mentioned that generally, most wouldn't recommend opening a 2nd shop. It takes alot of time, energy, and hard work to make one shop really good; having two shops means twice the work with half the time. Frequently the quality of both shops suffer because there simply isn't enough time to devote to both shops. While some are able to make having 2 shops work very well, it is often best to try and consider another option.

Most of the time the reason people consider opening a 2nd shop is to be able to keep their first shop more cohesive. Having a cohesive shop is very important, but it doesn't mean that you can't sell different types of items within the same shop. What's most important is having the different types of items be cohesive through some means: having a similar style of photography for all your items, or having a theme that runs through those different items. Some ideas that were mentioned were selling cards but then also selling supplies that were used in making those cards. Selling clothing and jewelry in the same shop can work if they're the same style, perhaps vintage. If your different crafty loves are just too opposite, you may want to focus on one for your shop and keep the other as a hobby.

These two items are from the same shop by nightowlcraftworks, but due to the similar photography the two different types of items work well in the shop.

Another big tool that is great for creating a cohesive yet diverse shop is the Rearrange Your Shop tool. Arranging your diverse items in such a way as to show their cohesive thread can make a big impact on how your shop appears to potential buyers. A great Storque article was shared on this topic.

3. What about offering gift certificates in my shop?

Gift certificates are a GREAT option for any shop. They take relatively little time to set up, and can be very popular as gifts for the upcoming holiday season. Adding a time limit that the gift certificate is valid for was discussed and the audience polled, with the majority voting in favor of a 6 month valid period. Some important things to keep in mind are highlighted in this article from the Storque.

Some general tips and advice on increasing sales and views...
  • Photos: Don't hold back with your first photograph. Since that first photo will be the thumbnail, make sure you show everything that you possibly can in that first shot to hook the buyer. If your item is a set, make sure you show all pieces in that first photo. Then make sure that you've got great additional photos...showing the item from the back, side, other up-close details that show the value of your item. Jswrites shared two great photo links: a great video link on photographing for the holidays, and an article on Before and After Photos which showed how different Etsy sellers had improved their photos.
  • The importance of tagging and titling: the importance of these two couldn't be stressed enough. Tagging and titling are how most buyers are going to find your items. If you're finding yourself stuck with trying to use all your tags or tagging creatively, check out these two articles: Tag-o-Rama, and a Storque How-To on Tagging.
That's just a tidbit of the information that was shared in the Seller Chat...I couldn't write fast enough to get much more down! Hope you all enjoyed these highlights, and we look forward to seeing you in the labs. Squeek!!


  1. In case you are wondering...this absolutely fantastic post was written by our LauriesCustomCreate. It's SO nice to have a place that will recap a lab session. Thanks so much!

  2. I am so glad someone did this, I missed the lab. Thanks LauriesCustomCreate

  3. Hey! That's cool! Thanks for including us in your post!!! It's made our sales MUCH better after we combined the shops. A world of difference! Great article!!!

  4. Great tips and I am trying to do one of them at the moment. Combining 2 shops.
    It is very true that it takes way too much energy to do two.
    Thanks for this post, LauriesCustomCreate, lovely job!