Enticing Customers to Return

I've read tons of articles on how to bring customers to your site but it seems like not a whole lot of articles cover getting those customers to return. I thought I would put together a few tips, I try to implement in my shop to encourage buyers to come back.

1.) Ensure that the first transaction goes smoothly.
- By replying to convos/emails quickly.
- Acknowledging the transaction (a thank you convo).
- Shipping quickly and letting the buyer know that you've shipped the order with a personal convo.
- The packaging doesn't need to be stunning but it should be well-packaged to ensure that the product arrives safe and in the same condition.

*These steps only take a few minutes of your time and make a world of difference.

2.) If something goes wrong, fix it.
- As a seller who accepts payments via Paypal - I am responsible for the package until it arrives in my buyer's hand, safe and sound. If the package is lost or broken, I replace it without complaint.
- Do what you say. When you don't, make it right with the buyer. My policies say I ship within 2 business days, if I can't I let the buyer know asap and if it's appropriate, I refund the shipping costs.
- Many buyers will consider coming back even if something went wrong the first time, as long as, the problem was dealt with properly.
- Don't make excuses - take responsibility for the problem and correct it.

3.) Be friendly and professional - ALL THE TIME!
- Honestly, very few things frustrate me more than pushy or angry convos. As a professional, you should be "PROFESSIONAL" at all times. If you can't be professional at the time, walk away until you can be and read whatever you've wrote at least twice.

4.) Offer Incentives
- Providing first-time buyers with coupons for %-off, free shipping, buy 2 get 1 free, etc. Can help to ensure that they come back for more.
- If you offer too many discounts, too often, some buyers won't come back until you provide them with one (I know I won't go to Michael's without a coupon anymore).
- Listing new items regularly, to a first-time buyer everything is new but to a return customer, only some will be new. Having new items for them, may help to encourage to look for something that catches their eye.

- Create a product that is well-made, well-priced, beautifully photographed, and ensure that you stand behind your work.

I hope someone will find these points useful and can implement them to ensure they're own returning customers.

I love Firefox!

I've heard for a while now that Firefox was supposed to be the better browser (compared to Internet Explorer) but I had never really taken the plunge to change it. A few weeks ago, I was playing on my brother-in-law's computer (which had Firefox) and I was really surprised how fast and easy to use it was. So, when I got home, I made the big switch on my new laptop. I was really surprised how much faster and customizable it was.

I hadn't used my desktop computer (which is about 4 years old) for a few weeks now, mostly because the internet was always a lot slower than my laptop. Anyway, after what seemed like waiting forever to list some new items, something clicked in my head. Why, hadn't I changed this computer's internet browser to Firefox? So, after a couple of minutes of downloading and installing Firefox, VOILA, new internet browser. Now, I was wondering, how of much of difference was this going to make, if any at all? Sure enough, my internet is 10 times faster than it was before. Nearly as fast as my laptop!

So, if you haven't taken the plunge to Firefox, you should at least check out it and see for yourself.

Thanks for reading,


Convoing Sellers & Treasuries

I've been in dozens of treasuries over the last few months and honestly, I could probably count the number of times I've been notified by the curator on one hand. The only reason, I know I've been included in a treasury has been through www.Craftopolis.com, which I just check every couple of days.

I just wanted others to know that most sellers like to be notified when they've been included. It's pretty rare when a seller doesn't like to know.

It's really too bad that Etsy doesn't have something in place, to automatically notify the sellers, when their work has been included in something like a treasury, or the front page, or in Etsy finds, etc. Most love the extra publicity, not to mention, something as simple as someone else appreciating their work.

Also, an important thing to note - Etsy does not consider convoing the sellers of the items that you've included in your treasury, a type of spam anymore. So convo away!

Why should I convo the sellers?

- Because it's a nice thing to do!
- Common courtesy - I'm sure you would like to be notified (especially if it makes it onto the front page).
- Extra Promoting - If included, lots of sellers will blog about it, tweet about it, add the info to their facebook page, advertise it in promotions, in turn driving traffic to your treasury.
- More traffic to your treasury can result in more traffic to your shop (which is always a good thing)!
- The sellers will be more likely to look at your shop, increasing your shop traffic.

Every is going to do what they want to do. But I just wanted to say that I would appreciate a convo and I know lots of others would to!

Thanks for listening!

What a goofball!

So, I'm working at the computer (unfortunately editing photos), when I start to here this thumping sound. I turn around and sure enough, it's my dog, Ava. She had reached up and stole the cup I use to dish out her dog food with. I had just changed her brand of dog food and apparently she really likes it!

The thumping noise was here trying to get all of the yummy (ugh) little bits that stuck to the cup!

I posted a couple of photos of her trying to get every little bit!

The Twitter Experiment

So after discovering twitter and this post on the Etsy Forums:

Sharing my Twitter Strategy : 11000 followers by CatherinetteRings

I was totally and utterly inspired. I figured that I had discovered one of those essential keys to success, a springboard that would launch my Etsy shop. Well....I was totally wrong, I found this approach was a total failure for me.

Now, don't get me wrong, this approach can work wonders for the right person but it didn't for me. I just want to lay out how I did it and why it failed for me.

What is this approach?
- Basically, using bulk upload programs, you receive hundreds, if not thousands of new twitter followers in a very short period of time.

What's my problem with it?
- When I started using these mass following tools, I was getting so many new followers but sometimes, quality means more than quantity, and honestly, this was one of those times. It was like 1 in every 25 wasn't a spammer (i.e. click here to get rich now, follow my strategy to make millions, look at my boobs, etc).
- I was being flooded by the number of tweets, that were irrelevant or spammy. I couldn't really connect with anyone, it got boring really, really fast.

So after 5500 followers and I'm just going to delete the account, it would take way too much time to go through each and every follower, to filter out the bad ones.

What am I going to do?
- I'm deleting my current Twitter account and I just opened up a new Twitter account. One that I will choose who I follow carefully. To ensure each contact is someone I would like to talk to and here what they're doing.

What do I think the key to Twitter is?
- I think Twitter is about connecting with people have similiar interests, and if your running a business, they should be your target market too.
- Spam Bots are not your target market!

Well, I just wanted to share that will everyone. Hopefully, after reading this post, someone else will avoid making the same mistakes I did :(

Thanks for listening!

JUST ARRIVED - Sterling Silver Chains

After a request for sterling silver chains, I ordered them from a wonderfully efficient wholesaler in the US and they finally arrived the other day. I've just setup new listings for them.

I now have available 925 Sterling Silver Snake and Venetian Box Chains in 16", 18", and 20" lengths.
Chains are available to view and purchase:

I hope to be adding ball chains, silver-plated chains, and wire chokers in the very near future!

New Halloween Jewelry

I absolutely adore Halloween, it's probably a toss up between Halloween and Christmas as my favorite holidays. Since Halloween is just about upon us, I decided it was about time that I started listing some of the pendants I made especially for Halloween. I think they would be a great way to show your Halloween spirit this month or for those who can't/don't dress up for Halloween but still want to show their Halloween spirit!

You can find all of my Halloween pieces in my shop - just search Halloween!


Really who doesn't love free stuff? Especially when it can obtained so easily! Right now, I'm running a Twitter promotion in order to giveaway this necklace:

How it works:

The 1115th RT wins, max 1 RT per hour!

Where do you enter:

Good luck to everyone! I will be posting the winner later!

If you like to create new things & love free supplies...

Someone posted this site in the Etsy forums and I figure it bares repeating.

The Site:

Totally Tutorials (http://totallytutorials.blogspot.com/)

What do I do?

The sellers available through this site choose to give certain crafters a selection of their supplies (free) and in return, the crafter will create something with the supplies and then create a tutorial (with pictures).

Why do I care?

As a supply seller:
- The supply seller will get additional blog traffic from their post explaining the exchange.
- The supply seller will have links leading to her shop in the tutorials.
- The supply seller will be allowed to use photos of the finished products in her listings and/or blog and link to the tutorials if she chooses. This will give your potential buyers inspiration on how to use your supplies.

As a crafter:
- The receiver will get something free!
- The receiver will gain blog traffic from having their tutorial posted here.
- The receiver may sell the finished product if they wish.
- The receiver will be introduced to fabulous new supplies to test out at no charge. You might just find some new favorite suppliers.

What is the next steps?

You can find out all of the rules and which sellers are available, right here:


Anyway, I thought this was great place and I wanted to pass it along! Good luck to anyone who tries it!

Featured in a treasury!

I was checking out Craftopolis early this morning and sure enough, I was featured in a beautiful treasury created Awkward (http://www.awkward.etsy.com/). The title of the treasury was 'Ghost Sisters' and it featured my 'Haunted Tree' Polymer Clay Photo Pendant (2nd row, 3rd column)!

I just wanted to thank Awkward for curating such a lovely treasury and especially for using my pendant to create it!


After reading post after post about starting a Facebook fan page. I finally put one together, which was relatively simple. Right now, the link is:


Apparently, you need to have at least 100 fans before they will allow you to have a personalized URL link like facebook.com/imaginativeintention. So, I'll be attempting to successfully promote it in the near future, so that I can get my custom URL before someone else does!

Anyway, I just wanted to share what I've been doing lately.

Absolutely Brilliant Idea for....the absent minded!

I'm the type of person that can be walking down the street and BAM, 3 completely new ideas pop into my head and then by the time I've make it to the crosswalk, they're all gone!

So after lurking (which sounds kinds of creepy) in the Etsy forums, I came across 1 of the thousands of Etsy tips & tricks threads, someone posted that they keep a journal. Well, I started thinking (I was NOT the type to keep a journal or diary as a kid) BUT if I could remember to write important stuff down....drum rolll...EPHINANY...then I wouldn't lose all of my ideas all the time!
So I ran over to Michael's (with 40% off coupon in hand) and bought a small sketchbook for like $6. Now, I carry it wherever I go (it fits in my purse) and I've written down things like:

- sketched out new ideas (even though I can't draw, I get the idea)
- printed off pictures from tutorials, products I like, supplies, etc
- places I want to try advertising at
- places I want to think about networking with (Facebook, Twitter, EtsyLove, etc)
- new packaging ideas
- useful tips & tricks that I come across
- ways to expand my business (like newsletters, wholesale)
- blog topics that I might want to write about
- things that I like that other sellers are doing
- photography ideas, pictures of how other's have done things I've liked

The list goes on and on, each page has it's own theme, otherwise I would never be able to keep it at all organized.

Anyway, this notebook has been an absolute lifesaver. So I figured I would share the idea!
Let me know, if you decide to try it!

I've playing around with some things lately..

Sadly, I've sort of been neglecting my blog lately. It just seems like if its not one thing, it's another. Definitely been keeping me busy and sometimes not so sane! Over the next week, I'm hoping to add another 25 pendants to my shop, so please keep an eye for these new styles!

Soon I hope to be launching 2 different styles of pendants, one using stainless steel and sterling silver, and the other will be made from wood. I'm pretty excited about that but I'm not quite ready to put them in my shop yet!

In the meantime, I wanted to share a set of ceramic tile coasters I made. I saw something similiar on a website but the just the cost of shopping to me was almost $20. So I set my 'little' brain in motion and this is what happened! If anyone wants to know how I did it, feel free to contact me!
Anyway, I hope everyone is having a wonderful day!

I love this...

Another Etsy seller who is absolutely wonderful, was kind enough to share findings the other day. The program she found is called Animoto.

What is Animoto?
- It is a program that produces TV-quality music videos using your photos in just minutes.

How does it work?
- Choose your photos (about 20)
- Upload your photos to the program (very similiar to uploading photos to your Etsy listings).
- Choose a song.
- Click complete.

The program puts everything together and VOILA, you've just created your first absolutely fabulous 30 second video!

But what does it cost me?
- Well, if you know me, you know that I love free! So, of course this program is absolutely FREE!

What do I do with it now?
- I'm in the process of looking for places that I can advertise add my new video. So far, I've found Flickr, YouTube, Facebook fan page, and my blog but I'm still searching!

So go forth and create!

Found a fabulous new tool!

I came across this absolutely fabulous new tool that can be a total life saver for any Etsy seller. What is it you ask? What does it do? Where can I get one of my own? Well, hold on, and I'll tell you!

What is it?
- Craft Weasel

What does it do?
- Tag finder helps you choose the best set of tags for your items. Enter one or more tags and Craft Weasel will search Etsy for items with those tags, then generate graphs and suggest related tags that might be suitable for your items!

Where do I one?
- http://craftweasel.com/TagToolQuery.do

Best of luck, I hope someone else finds it as useful as I do!

A couple of new projects in the works!

Well I've been hoarding the supplies for about a month now. Basically, practicing to make sure I was happy with the final product. After quite a few hits and misses, I'm lauching 2 new lines of pendants.

First, after searching for nearly 3 months for the perfect cutters, I finally found a great circle cutter to create my round clay photo pendants, like this one:

Second, I know that glass tile pendants have been done over and over and over again and I had bought some glass tiles to experiment with last year but I just wasn't happy with how the glass was shaped, so I sort of gave up on the idea and kept working on new pieces. Well, I finally came across a wonderful Etsy seller who was offering something different and I am incredibly happy with the final product. I love the way the glass curves along the edge, instead of having harsh edges, it flows beautifully! Here's some examples of my new line of glass tile pendants:

Let me know what you think? Should I keep going with either of these?

August Special - Buy 2 Get 1 Free - Any Pendant!

So, I've been contemplating having an sale for a while now and now that I'm back from my trip (which was amazing) and I figured now was a good time!

Any pendant in my shop, Buy 2 Get 1 Free!
*Please note that chains are not included but can be an additional $2 per chain!
If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!

Paypal's New Rolling Reserve Requirement...

As usual I was lurking in the Etsy and Ebay forums when someone posted that Paypal was holding 10% of their funds for 60 days. After a bit of research, I came across a hundred or so others who were in the same predicament. Paypal was holding their funds for apparently no reason. On top of that, Paypal hadn't issued any changes to policy requirements, leaving a lot of people wondering what the heck happened. Well after I sent off a quick email to Paypal, basically asking if and what their changes were. This is the response I received:


Your business is important to us, and we are working hard to provide an easy, fast and secure payment service to you and your customers while keeping our prices competitive. We're also committed to clearly communicating changes to our policies and procedures. To that end, we are writing to inform you of a change to your PayPal account, which will take effect 30 days from the date of this email.

Beginning 07/26/2009, a small percentage of the total payments you receive will be held temporarily as a reserve in your account. This small reserve amount helps to ensure that funds are available to cover payment reversals or buyer chargebacks, if you do not have a sufficient PayPal account balance and do not provide the funds to do so.

A reserve is like a security deposit for your PayPal account and is standard practice in the payments industry, especially for retail segments like Cell Phones & PDAs where there is a higher-than-average risk of reversals or chargebacks. This does not mean that you have done anything wrong. We are requiring a small reserve in your account because you sell in a category that has a higher risk of reversals and chargebacks and because you are relatively new to PayPal as a seller.

Your reserve amount will be 10% of the total payments you receive, which will be held on a rolling 60-day schedule. That means 10% of the money you take in each day will be held in your account, and then made available for withdrawal 60 days later.

For example, if you receive $2,000 every 60 days into your PayPal account, then a reserve amount of about $400 would be required on a rolling 60-day period. In other words, about $6.67 would be held in reserve each day, then released 60 days later.

If you are a PayPal Money Market Fund customer, you will still earn interest on your total balance while your money is in reserve. Click here for more information or to enroll in the PayPal Money Market Fund.

We recognize this is a change in the way we do business with you. By requiring some merchants to reserve money in their accounts, we're able to lower our own costs. Keeping our costs low helps us to continue providing competitive pricing for all sellers who use PayPal.

If you have any questions about this change, please call us at 1-877-729-7252. We appreciate your business and look forward to a continued partnership.



So, in case anyone else was wandering lost in the dark about this situation too, here's the facts straight from the horse's mouth!

Having trouble with tags, tiles, and keywords?

Are you having trouble choosing those perfect tags or writing a captivating, informational titles? Well, really, who isn't!

I'm in the process of redoing my tags and titles, so that I can basically get the most bang for my buck. I've been reading through articles and websites and compiling relevant info to use. I figured there was probably others out there with my same dilema so I figured I would share the info I've found!

Etsy Storque Articles:
- http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/guidelines-tips-tagging-on-etsy-281/
- http://www.etsy.com/storque/how-to/seller-workshop-recap-tags-titles-descriptions-and-most-rele-4090/

Free Tag Suggestion Search Engine:
- http://craftweasel.com/TagToolQuery.do
- This free search tool allows you to enter a tag or 2 and it will build a list of suggestions of tags based on the tags other people are using for similiar items!

These 2 were the some of the best pieces of information I've come across so far as I find more, I'll be adding new info!

Good luck!

On Vacation!

Hi, everyone! I am off to go camping in Banff and Jasper National Parks until August 3rd. I don't think I'm going to have any internet access while I'm camping, so I won't be able answer any emails or convos.

Please feel free to contact anyway, as I will be answering all of my emails on the 3rd when I get back.

Thank you guys for understanding!


Featured in 2 Treasuries!

So this morning while I was wandering aimlessly through the world wide web, I decided to check Craftopolis (http://www.craftopolis.com/). Low and behold, I was featured in 2 fabulous treasuries! I'm so excited that I decided to share it with you!

The first one is titled Boulevard Nights and it was curated by aLittleUnraveled! They used my Black and White Damask Polymer Clay Necklace (top left hand corner).

See the full treasury here:


And the second is titled Flyin' High Above the Fair and it was curated by WhimiscalExpressions! They featured my Ferris Wheel Polymer Clay Necklace (2nd row, 2nd column).

See the full treasury here:


I hope you all enjoy them as much as I do!

A special thanks to the fabulous curators for doing such a wonderful job putting those treasuries together!

Gerber Onesies...Legal Issues

I was lurking in the Etsy forums the other day, when I came across someone who had had some of their listings pulled from the site for trademark infringement and was confused as to why.

*They were selling embellished 'onesies' on Etsy.

So, out of curiousity, I shot off an email to Gerber asking for specifics as to what they consider trademark infringement. I received this response from an attorney with Gerber, here is an exerpt from their email:

"You are entitled to use Gerber's trademark "Onesies" when you are referring to an actual Gerber Childrenswear-brand Onesies-brand one-piece garment.

You can identify such garments by the presence of the Gerber baby head tag in the neck area and a rectangular white tag with the word "onesies" in blue located just above the left leg opening of the garment.

There are other features that distinguish my client's garment from that of others, and if you have any question regarding whether you are selling a genuine Onesies garment, please ask.

If you use the term "Onesies" in relation to only genuine Gerber Childrenswear one-piece underwear, then you are using the trademark properly, provided your use does not suggest an affiliation with Gerber.

You cannot, however, use the terms "Onesies", "Onesie", or anything similar if you are referring to a garment that is not a genuine Gerber Childrenswear garment. "
Hopefully, this will clear up some of the issues other sellers may be having or might have had in the past.
Photograph provided by: SewItForYou

Go Daddy + Facebook = $50 free ad credit!

I've been humming and hawing about purchasing advertising on Facebook, I've been heard great success stories and horrible flops! Someone mentioned how they received a free Facebook ad credit and since then, I figured I would wait until another ad credit popped up and it finally did!

If you purchase a domain name through Go Daddy for $9.99, you can receive a $50 Facebook ad credit!

Expiry: September 30, 2009

Tip: Even if you aren't thinking about starting up a website, you can just simply redirect to your Etsy site or you can make sure you have it available for future use!

TERMS & CONDITIONS: The promotional credit must be applied to a new Facebook Advertiser account within 15 days of creating such account and is valid only for purchase of advertising through Facebook's online advertising system in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Australia. May only be redeemed by Facebook users who purchase Go Daddy qualifying products. Advertisers will be charged for advertising that exceeds the promotional credit. Advertisers will need to suspend their ads if they do not wish to receive additional charges beyond the free credit amount. Subject to ad approval, valid registration and acceptance of the generally applicable Facebook Advertising Terms and Conditions. The promotional credit is non-transferable and may not be sold or bartered. Offer may be revoked at any time for any reason by Facebook. One promotional credit per individual. Promotional credit equals $50.00 USD which can be applied to the purchase of advertising through Facebook's online advertising system. A $1.00 activation fee is charged separately. Offer valid only for sign ups using the code or URL link received upon purchase of Go Daddy shared hosting, virtual/dedicated hosting, WebSite Tonight®, Quick Shopping Cart®, Quick Blogcast - all plans qualify. Expires 90 days from date the customer sets up their account with Facebook. Should you purchase more than one Go Daddy product that qualifies for the above offer, you will receive the highest eligible credit value. Subsequent purchases do not qualify for additional Facebook credit.

New Michaels Coupon - 50% off!

I just came across a 50% off coupon for Michaels and I figured I would pass it on;


Creating a new line using vintage viewfinder photographs!

I'm not exactly sure why, but I absolutely adore "vintage" style photograph that look like they've been basically put through the ringer - with scuff marks, holes, scratches, etc. I'm especially fascinated with those that have a viewfinder border.

What is a viewfinder border?
- Basically, it's a photograph that appears to have been taken through the viewfinder of another camera.

Anyways, I'm working on a series of necklaces using vintage-style photographs. The subjects are going to be varied, birds, flowers, architecture, etc - anything that interests or amazes me!

Here's a few examples:

Let me know what you think! I'm ALWAYS looking for new subjects, please let me know if you see anything that you would like to pass along!

Backgrounds, Backgrounds, Backgrounds!

Well up in here in good ole Saskatchewan, Canada in the winter, the temperature can drop below minus 40 C, which basically means there is no well in hell, I'm going outside to take pictures. So a good indoor light setup is essential! I've been playing around with my lightbox now that it's setup properly and I got to thinking about how much I hate white backgrounds (mostly because I don't do them particularly well)!

So I've been wandering around for the last month or so, collecting backgrounds for my photographs. Here are some of the items I came up with:

First and foremost, the basic staple of jewelry photography, a jewelry display bust. If you don't have a *guinea pig* to help you photograph what your jewelry will look like on a real person, these are the next best thing. They're aren't that expensive either, I bought mine for around $20.

Scrapbook Paper! This was a total fluke because I don't scrapbook at all! I just happen to wander down that particular aisle at Michaels and EPIPHANY! It comes in a huge variety of designs and colors.
- Advice: Choose a couple of papers that best reflect your work, and stick with them, it will make your work more recognizable!.

My dad found this rock while he was camping a couple of years ago, it has a gorgeous orange and black coloring to it. I found it in their garden the other day (and sort of swiped it), so that I could see how it did as a background.

I found this piece of wood in my parent's back yard in their tree line. I didn't really think much about it but when I used as a background, it adds a real nice, rustic texture to the photo.

I picked up the piece below at a dollar store for $1.25. It doesn't really look like much when I first picked it up BUT the way it's shaped, it's profile is a perfect, inexpensive mimic of a person's bust. Which will save you $25+ on buying a true jewelry display bust!

Other backgrounds ideas:

  • Ceramic tiles (not the shiny ones, they'll leave a glare in the photo
  • Small sheet of brushed steel
  • Rusty iron (think farm implements)
  • Small pile of mulch (could be messy)
  • A roof shingle
  • etc, etc, etc, etc, etc.....

There are literally thousands upon thousands of different background display ideas. You just need to keep your eyes open for anything that seems unique or different. Even if it doesn't look good at the time, it doesn't hurt to bring it home and try it!

Has Your Treasury Been Featured on the Front Page?

I recently received a question asking if there was a way to find out if the treasury you curatored (created) was posted to the Front Page. After a few minutes of double checking my theory, I notified them that in fact there was a way. How, you ask? Well, these are the steps:

1.) Go to the Etsy Front Pager's Photostream on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/28488923@N05/
- This is a Flickr group that collects and posts photographs of all of the treasuries that were featured on the Front Page!
- Tip: If you've been featured and have a blog, you can copy & paste the treasury photo from the Etsy Front Pager's group and post a write up in your blog, letting others know you've been featured on the Front Page!

2.) Go to the search bar at the top right hand corner and enter your Etsy username (i.e. ImaginativeIntention). Click search.

3.) The search will bring up any Front Page treasuries you were featured on and if your a curator of any of the front page treasuries.

Well, I hope that helps anyone else who might have been wondering about it.

If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask!

Offering a coupon or gift certificate on Etsy

A great way to encourage repeat business is through exclusive sales to current customers, event attendees, etc. Unfortunately, Etsy isn't setup to automatically to calculate a discount. So, what do you do?

Option 1:

1.) Give your customer a predetermined code or message (something that you'll remember).
2.) Let them know that they'll need to add it the "Message to Seller" section during checkout.
3.) You can either send them a revised invoice or refund the difference via Paypal.
- When refunding via Paypal, remember to use the "Refund" button at the bottom of the transaction page, otherwise the customer will be charged for accepting the refund.

Option 2:

1.) Have the customer convo you before they purchase, this allows you to adjust the price of the listing for the customer beforehand.

You can also add gift certificates to your shop for current and new customers.
- Remember to add a line in the description, that the gift certificate is accepted in your shop (and not for the entire Etsy site).

Well, I came across a few people with a few questions and I hope I cleared everything up. If anyone has any suggestions or questions, please let me know!

Finding the Fall Color Report

After some aimless wandering again last night, I came across what could be a invaluable resource especially to those who are slaves to the fashion trends!

Usually 6 to 8 months prior to the season (i.e. spring, summer, fall, winter), the wonderful people at Pantone put together a "Color Report" that previews the colors of that season that in turn will be used by the top designers! You always here that "this color" will be the "it" this season, this is how you find before the season even begins!

What does Pantone do? Who are they?
Pantone is the color people! They create colors the top designers use to create they own work. According to the Pantone website, "For more than 45 years, Pantone has been inspiring design professionals with products, services and leading technology for the colorful exploration and expression of creativity."

With the fall color report, it will enable you to choose and design your own pieces based on the "it" colors for the season before the season has even arrived! Allowing you be on top of the trends and then who knows how far you go!

Anyway, I hope this is helpful to someone! I'll be making some new necklaces based some of the new colors and see how that turns out!

And again the best thing of all....IT'S FREE!

Good Luck!

Website to help with SEO for your shop

Well, I was wandering around the World Wide Web this morning when I came across a very interesting website. Said website provided me with oodles and oodles of information that left me wandering if they could help me in optimizing my Etsy shop for search engines.

What was the website, you say, well it was http://www.websitegrader.com/. What does it do, you say, well let's see;

- you type in your Etsy shop URL and it analyzes your site and lets you know what's good and bad about your site in terms of SEO (search engine optimization).
- it points out the things you can improve upon including how long to make your shop announcement, how long to make your site title, how to improve your keywords, etc.
- it also lets you know your Google page rank, how many inbound links are coming to your site, if your included in directories, the last time Google crawled your site, your traffic rank, etc
- it also issues you a website grade (yeah just like in school) and if you make some of the improvements it suggests you can see your grade improve!
- and you can set it up to compare your site with another (a competitor for instance), allowing you to see what they're doing that your not and vice versa!


Anyway, I hope this might be helpful to someone, I know it was to me!

Good luck!

Creating a Twitter Background out of your Etsy Mini

I created this tutorial to walk you through creating an Etsy mini that can be added to your Twitter background!

If you have any problems, or have any questions, please feel free to ask!

1.) Click on “Your Etsy” at the top of the screen.

2.) Scroll down to the bottom of the page, and click on “Etsy Mini”.


- Under “Items to Show” – select “Items from my shop”.
- Under “Choose Image Size” – select “Thumbnail (75px square)”
- Under “Choose Layout” – select “1” and “5”

4.) Scroll down, your Etsy mini should appear underneath the option selection section. Make sure you can see your entire Etsy mini on screen. Using your keyboard, select Ctrl + Print Screen. You have just copied the entire screen.

5.) Open your image editing software program. Hit Paste. Your Etsy mini should appear on screen. Crop the image. Save the image.

6.) Open Twitter. Select “Settings” at the top of the page.

7.) Select “Design”.

8.) Choose “Change Background Image”.

9.) Select “Browse”. Choose your Etsy mini image that you just saved. Select open.

10.) Select “Save Changes”.

11.) VIOLA! You should have a new Twitter background of your Etsy images.

New pictures with the new light box!

So, after some tinkering with the new light box setup, I thought I would post some of my new pictures. I finally bought a mannequin bust to take pictures, it seems to really help with visualization. It really helps you to see the size and how it should hang on a real person.

There is still room for improvement but its definitely a start! Fortunately, they are way better than the first photos I ever took!

Any tips or suggestions would be really appreciated!

Finally finished my new lightbox!

So after a bit of searching, I finally found a light box tutorial that I liked and FINALLY put it together. I can be such a procrastinator! In case anyone was curious this is the tutorial I used:


It is made out of PVC pipes with a white cloth draped over it. I'm using 100 watt daylight bulbs on tripods, that I picked up at Princess Auto for $40 each.
I've included some pictures of my new setup!

Let me know what you think!

Before going to Critiques...

Lately, I’ve been hanging around the Critiques forum on Etsy and I’ve noticed a lot of sellers are going straight to Critiques without really making sure that they could have done everything they should have before asking for a critique.

Why is it important to make your done your part?

When someone is taking just a glance at your shop, all they’re going to see is the big stuff, if you’re missing a banner and your location; they’re going to come back and say you’re missing a banner and your location and move on.

If you’ve got your basics covered, it forces them to look deeper. Do you have a good description, what are your photos really like, are you using all the right tags, could your announcement be shorter/longer/better, etc.

So I put together a list of some of the major things you should make sure you have in place first;

1.) Do you have a banner? Is it well done?
- Your banner is the first thing a potential buyer sees, it should draw them in.

2.) Do you have your location noted?
- You should include your city and state or country – they are a number of cities with the same name in different states and different countries.

3.) Is your avatar relevant?
- You should consider using a photo of your work or a picture of you – to capture people’s attention especially in the forums.

4.) Are your descriptions complete?
- This thread is an invaluable resource concerning all of the things that could/should be included in your description:
- http://www.etsy.com/forums_thread.php?thread_id=6093673&page=1

5.) Do you photos capture your wares as good as they possibly could?
- Check out the hundreds of tutorials on taking photographs, building light boxes, which light bulbs to use, understand the settings on your camera, understand basic photo editing, etc.
- Ask yourself, if you would buy the item just based on the photo?

6.) Are you using all 5 slots for your photographs?
- Capturing the item from every angle, showing it in use, displaying on someone, etc.

7.) Are you using the feature slots for your 3 favorite pieces?

8.) Are you using all of your tags? Are they all relevant? Are you spamming with any of your tags?

9.) Are you adding new items on a regular basis?

10.) Are you promoting yourself on/off of Etsy?
- The forums, Flickr, Twitter, Facebook, My Space, A blog, etc.
- Check out any of the threads on self promotion.

11.) Go in with an open mind!
- Every person has their own point of view, with a critique you'll be able to see through someone's eyes.

12.) Don't use Critiques as just another promotion venue!
- i.e. Look at this ware, what do you think?

This is just a short list of some of the things that need to be analyzed but it’s still a starting point. I wish everyone the best of luck in their Etsy endeavours!

Where Do I Find The Top Sellers Of Etsy?

Whether you’re just starting out or a seasoned Etsian there is always room for improvement BUT where do you start? The wonderful people at Etsy Wiki put together a list of the top sellers on Etsy. Ok, great, now what?

1.) Find your category:
Top Sellers - Art
Top Sellers - Bags And Purses
Top Sellers - Clothing
Top Sellers - Dolls and Toys
Top Sellers - Glass
Top Sellers - Jewelry
Top Sellers - Pets
Top Sellers - Supplies
Top Sellers - Vintage

2.) Analyze them.

- Take a look at what they do and how they do it.
- Try to figure what they do right, what they do wrong.
- Pay attention to how they photograph, write their policies, descriptions, and shop announcements.
- You can convo them for tips (but don’t be surprised if they don’t respond)
- Type they’re user id’s in your favourite search engine, see where they’ve been featured, advertised, sales they’ve had, events they’ve attended, etc.
- See if they write a blog, find out what they’re doing with theirs.
- You can sign up for Google Alerts using various top sellers names.

3.) Don’t just copy them!

- Learn from them, use them as inspiration, they are the success stories of Etsy.
- Etsy isn’t about going with the flow, it’s about standing out.

4.) Implement Plan

- Don’t try to do it all at once, choose something new to try BUT try to do 1 thing at a time. Otherwise, yeah your views shot up but WHY? Is it a combo of all 5 new things you’ve tried or is just 1 of them and they rest are a waste of time!

All in all, I don’t really think there are any magical secrets of guaranteed success. Some doors open for the right people at the right time.

The best advice I can give is, when you say you’re going to do something, do it!

In the long run, your momentum will build and people will come back to your shop because they already know and trust you. The longer you are on Etsy, the bigger your shop becomes, the more often you list, the more often you are featured in treasuries, the more you land on the FP, etc - it all follows itself!

Need Craft Show Display Ideas?

Ok, so I've been mulling over the idea of getting involved in local craft shows BUT honestly the idea of creating a great display scares me! I'm terrified that all I'm going to be to come up with is a flat white table with my jewelry strewn everywhere :(

So, I was searching on google for ideas when I came across the absolute best source for ideas with pictures (pictures being essential)! You know what it was - FLICKR! - if you type in

- craft show
- craft display
- craft fair
- art show
- art fair
- jewelry display
- etc

It brings up hundreds of pictures of craft shows and specific display ideas! It's fabulous!

Anyway, just thought I would share!

Flickr = A Promotional Tool?

As I posted earlier, one of the big keys to success on Etsy is to promote yourself outside of Etsy. That means outside advertising, it doesn’t need to be expensive but you should have at least a basic plan and it should be well thought out.

A lot of people mention Flickr as a promo tool, and yes, it can be an effective one at that! HOWEVER, right in Flickr rules and regulations, it states that Flickr is not meant for commercial use! Meaning, if you’re a business and you want to use them, you have to follow their rules! What are their rules, you ask? Here they are right here and if you don’t play by their rules, your account will be deleted:

The rule of thumb is that you can have one link on your profile page to a commercial webpage.

You cannot have tags, descriptions, titles, or comments that indicate that an item is for sale or where to buy it.Having a watermark across the image that is a commercial URL will also cause accounts to get in trouble.In addition, if your account is predominantly commercially-oriented images, and gives the impression of being an online catalog, you may find the account deleted.Something else to keep in mind:

Joining Flickr groups is another great promotional tool BUT be careful and make sure to read group descriptions fully and only post in appropriate groups with relevant photos.
- Posting against the group rules can get your account in hot water.

Flickr is about passive marketing, meaning you can put up pictures of you, your work, your studio, any craft shows you attend, how you create, your personal photos, etc. It’s all about sharing yourself through your photos. It’s not about, ‘look at this, it’s for sale’!

All in all, follow the rules and you’ll have a fun, free way to promote your shop!

For the all the official rules and regulations, click here:



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