Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Featured Seller: Roanne from Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear

This week's featured team member is Roanne from Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear.

I learned most of my basic sewing from Grandmother. She was quite the homemaker/craftsperson. Then all the other sewing and knitting skills (good, bad, and otherwise) I just kind of learned on my own by trial and error--mostly error!

A good friend of mine started on Etsy about 3 years ago and I had no idea what Esty was all about. When she explained it to me and said that it may be a great way to get my teddy bear wear in front of a new audience, I got interested. I had virtually no e-commerce experience, but Etsy makes it so easy. And you can't beat the fees! I have decided that Etsy stands for "Easy To Sell Your (stuff)." I wouldn't conduct my business through Etsy if I had anything other than good experiences from it. Sure, it can be a bit time consuming to keep up with the marketing, but I get to stay home--in my pjs if I want.

The gospel keeps me on track with my everyday dealings with customers, suppliers, and the Etsy community in general. I can immediately detect if someone is misrepresenting what they're selling or if they're dealing with someone in an unethical way. But I'm glad to say that I've seen very little of that on Etsy. In my own business I strive to provide good value, positive and beneficial service to the customer, and an honest days work for an honest days pay ("By the sweat of thy brow")!

Check out Grandma Grizzly's Teddy Bear Wear for more cute patterns for your (grand)children's teddy bears or for personalizing a teddy bear for a gift!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Etsy Talk: Coupon Codes

Now is the perfect time to offer coupon codes as you try to get last-minute Christmas sales. Some tips to remember when creating coupon codes:
  1. You cannot use the same coupon code twice, so be wise choosing coupon names. Keep them short, simple, and easy to remember.
  2. Make multiple codes of the same discount but each named after a different source so you can track where people are finding and using your codes the most. For example: Facebook10 (Facebook page), shop10 (shop home page), thankyou10 (thank you/business card), etc. And don't worry about people trying to take advantage of them all; they can only use one coupon code at a time.
  3. Be generous! I cannot stress that enough. I was thoroughly disappointed in the low discounts offered on Black Friday and Cyber Monday of all days. The point of coupons is to encourage people to buy something they otherwise would not buy. And honestly, most people don't even use them, so you won't be losing money but gaining some return customers. If your coupon codes are used often, take that into account when you price your items.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Featured Seller: Tera from Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique

This week's featured seller is Tera from Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique. Her unique story:

My dad taught me the basics of crochet when I was about 15. I made one scarf with that knowledge and then didn't touch it again until about 8 years later when I first found out about Etsy. I would see all the super cute crochet baby hats and wish I could make all the cute stuff I saw. Back then I was addicted to browsing Etsy and I’d use it as inspiration for craft projects. Then I wondered if I could take what my dad taught me and learn how to make a hat on my own. So I did some Google searching and YouTube searching and eventually I figured out how to make a hat. I was so excited! And from there I have just tried different things until I found a look I liked enough to stick with.

I hadn’t really thought about selling on Etsy until I saw what I could do with crochet. When I would finish a hat, I couldn’t believe that I was the one who made it. They were just too darn cute! Then I thought, “I bet I could sell these!” So I decided to give it a shot and opened up shop on May 26, 2011. It has been a fun experience for me and so exciting every time I sell one of my hats.

I really feel like Heavenly Father has blessed me with this gift. Not really to make money with it, even though that is a nice plus, but as a way for me to express myself. I feel like if I couldn’t make things pretty, I would just go crazy. Not just with crochet, but in my life. I love to organize, and make my home look pretty, I love to dress up my son really cute, and I love to crochet really cute things for my family and friends, and of course, for all of the lovely people on Etsy who also like what I do!

Check out Tera Cheri's Baby Boutique for more adorable hats!

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Etsy Talk: Feedback

Reviewing Feedback
When you want to buy from a seller, it is important to review their feedback first. One or two negative comments out of a hundred good ones is usually not cause for worry. It's usually a customer who always finds fault (even if the order was fine or the seller fixed any problems) or a one-time, bad-luck deal where everything went wrong for the seller. If the comments are really old, the seller has most likely improved since then. Problems to look out for are bad communication and refusal to refund incorrect, late, damaged, or lost orders.

To look up feedback left for a buyer you are wary of, enter their username on the Tools 4 Etsy site.

Leaving Feedback
Because it usually cannot be changed, be careful leaving feedback. As a seller, wait to leave feedback for buyers until they leave you feedback. If they don't, then wait until you know for sure they have received the item. You can then assume that no news is good news.

As a buyer, try to work out any problems with the seller before leaving negative feedback. Give the seller a chance to explain or correct the problem. If everything works out, you can then include in your positive feedback that although you had a problem, the seller fixed it. Other buyers like to know that if anything goes wrong, the seller is able and willing to make it right.

If you had a positive experience but have suggestions for improvement for the seller, send them a private message instead of including it in your feedback. If your experience was okay but nothing to rave about, not leaving any feedback is a kinder option than giving a neutral. The feedback option for the item/buyer will disappear after 120 days.

Asking for Feedback
If people are not leaving you feedback, include a message in the note to buyer, your policies, and/or your business card included in their package that says something like, "Thank you for your purchase! If you've enjoyed our interaction, I would really appreciate you leaving me feedback. If there were any problems, please let my try to fix them before you leave a negative comment. Thanks!"

Remember that some people don't leave feedback because they will only return to Etsy when they plan on buying something again, they might have had a neutral experience but don't want to ruin your perfect feedback score, or they are simply unaware that they can leave feedback or don't know how to do so.