Wednesday, June 23, 2010

What's Hot For July?

Sometimes it seems that the themes, items and materials featured throughout Etsy somehow just happen, but it's really all part of a plan. Fortunately, it's not a secret plan!

Every month there's a Storque post from the Merchandising Desk that sets out exactly what general themes will be highlighted around activities, trends, special occasions and dates...even colours!

These are the key merchandising elements Etsy will be looking for to feature in emails, the Storque, the Front Page. So if you have the right tags, titles, and descriptions, you're more likely to be found when folks are building merchandising-aware Treasuries or searching for great items.

As you can see here, Team members and Chat regulars are already ahead of the curve with some of the color trends lined up for July:

"Combinations of metallic with neutrals; reds, whites and blues; citruses (lime, lemon, grapefruit, blood orange, tangerine); robin's egg blues, sepia tones and tea stains. Patterns in seersucker, stripes, gingham, and houndstooth will also be trending."

How do you incorporate merchandising plans into what you make or sell, and into your listings?

Images from BOWquet, Vintagefix, dkjewels, snapclicktripod and MissMooseDesign, thanks!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Photography Surprises

I read a blog post the other day by Bakerella, who writes, bakes and takes photographs with equal skill. In Cupcakes and Cameras, she talks about how she takes the pictures, and spells out exactly what cameras and photographic accessories she uses to get such luscious results. Okay, her main camera goes for about $800 US, but for someone who does this for a living, isn't it an appropriate investment when it does the job? Read the post to learn more about her cameras - and pick up a few recipes too!

Among our Chat regulars, there's another inspiring example: KanzashiHime takes those artful photos of kanzashi using a cell phone camera, plus a little help from Photoshop.

Etsy's Storque Blog offers a wealth of information about photography and how to make it work to bring out the best in shop listings. A new favourite shows how some long-time sellers' pictures have evolved and improved over time, in Before and After Photos.

Etsy seller and photographer Jenkiabaphotography contributed reviews and examples of the output from cameras selling for as little as $15, along with advice about must-have features and lighting. Read all about it in The Right Camera.

And from the non-seller in the group, here's a photo taken with my very old Canon A10, with its primitive 1.3 megapixels! If I had a shop I'd probably be looking for something more advanced, but for family snaps and amateur web posting, it still works!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

How do buyers find your shop? Ask them, easily!

The other day Etsy seller sassybellewares posted on the Forums telling fellow Etsians how to add an optional, multiple-choice question to the PayPal checkout screen. She uses her question to ask buyers how they found her shop, but it could be any customer service question!

Answering the question is completely optional - not answering won't stop the sale from being completed - so it shouldn't be viewed as spam, or an annoyance to buyers. So, what customer service questions would you want to ask?

Here's the original post from Business Topics (some other threads have appeared too), and the basic instructions are:
  1. Log in to your PayPal account
  2. Under "my account" click "profile"
  3. Under "selling preferences" click "custom payment pages," then click "options" and go to "merchant service options"
  4. Check "add a customer service survey" and fill in the blanks
  5. Make sure you click "SAVE" before you exit.

Interrobang image from curlygirlglass, thanks!