Sunday, March 7, 2010

Buyers Are From Mars

They're not really Martians of course, but when it comes to speaking the same language, it really can seem as though buyers and sellers are from different planets.

In just about every area of arts, crafts, vintage, and supplies, sellers have their own language, and it's a language that might be totally alien to their potential buyers!

In a bricks-and-mortar store, at a craft show, or when browsing a thrift shop or swap meet, buyers are usually looking for a thing - a journal, or a piece of pottery, some cool jewellery or soap, maybe a print or card. The words that describe it don't matter much because buyers can see it, feel it, smell it for themselves.

But translate the buying experience to Etsy, and would-be customers have to count on sellers' photos and text to close the sale. If the titles, descriptions and tags rely on jargon and technical terms, the casual observer may be stranded on Planet Etsy without a Universal Translator.

The red sidebar shows just some of the common-on-Etsy terms that I'd never heard until I came into EtsyOrbit.

Short message: if a Martian, your aunt, grandfather, or a random person on the street might not know what a term means, define it for them, and tell them why the technique or material you're using is better than your competition!

Images from TheAngryRobot and blueberrydays, thanks!


  1. love the crocheted piece!
    Found you through Craftomania toolbar!

  2. Thank you for the reminder! Its so important to remember that our audiences could possibly be everyone from young hipsters to great aunties. Not many of my patrons are artists in my field who speak my lingo.

  3. I try to remember this everytime I list an item. Someone said this to me a little while after I first opended my shop. Thanx for the heads up!

  4. I have one to add. It's been brought up in the VLabs more than once but nobody seems to understand...ACEO

    How about an acronym for using craft terms buyers don't know? UCTBDK Yeah that's it!

  5. So I should keep the description and tags simple so the whole world can understand :)

    Aunt Karen's creations:
    Its true! I get that question a lot, I just reply "Its like Collectible Art cards" and then I add "Its A Fun and inexpensive way to collect Art from Artists all over the World!"

  6. For ACEO I put both the term and it's meaning. I mean ACEO sounds more fascinating than 'a drawing I did on something the size of a trading card.'


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