The California Crafters Club of Etsy (CCCOE) is a group of independent artists, crafters, & artisans from California who sell their wares on

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Free Shipping

You may have noticed, Etsy is pushing sellers to do the free shipping thing. Should you?

There are lots of pros and cons to this. In the end, you'll have to determine if it'll work for your shop.

Here are some things to consider:

Shipping is never free. Someone has to pay the post office or the company doing the shipping. However, you can always add in your shipping costs into the price of the item. (Make sure to set international shipping as extra, though. Free shipping doesn't necessarily have to be free international shipping.)

But, a shopper is more likely to choose an item that has "free" shipping, so you might find that you're making more sales this way.

Etsy is prioritizing items that have free shipping, highlighting those items and helping them with ranking. This may make your products more visible to shoppers. More shoppers seeing your items may translate to more sales.

However, more sales where you're losing money on the endeavor will only hurt you in the long run. You still need to be making a profit.

Consider volume. If you're selling more, a smaller profit per item won't make that much of a difference. But this only works if you can reasonably make a lot of that item. You can only sell what product you have on hand (or can make in the time allotted.)

Etsy made a video to encourage sellers to offer free shipping (their article about the same is here):

If you're not sure if you can do this, take a look at other sellers who have comparable items. What are they charging? Do they have free shipping?

Keep in mind, you don't need to have the cheapest price to remain competitive. Some buyers won't buy the cheapest of the choices due to a perception that it is lower quality. And if your shipping is free...

You might be surprised how much wiggle room you have in this. Just something to consider. In the end, do what is right for your shop. Don't be pressured into offering free shipping if you absolutely cannot do it.

Do you offer free shipping? Did you find it easier or harder to implement than you thought?

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

The Spooky Season

Halloween is just two weeks away. Are you ready?

Check out this creepy doll from Olde Tyme Notions. Wouldn't it be perfect with your spooky decor?

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20s Zombie French boudoir doll

Want to spookify your wardrobe? How about this spider necklace from Whimsicals?  

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Halloween Spiders Lair Necklace

If you're more of a do-it-yourself-er, you could start with this inspiration kit from haileys bobbins...

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Halloween---Inspiration Kit

This treat basket from such and sort altered would go perfectly on your mantle or as a centerpiece on your dining room table.

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Rusty Shabby Halloweeny Treat Basket

Maybe you need a little pick-me-up just for yourself. I bet this soap from savor doesn't smell wicked (or maybe it does 😉)...

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Whipped Soap Wicked

What's Halloween without some classic monsters? Frankenstein's monster from Indy & Cleo is sure to add a little something to your day.

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FRANKENSTEIN Handmade Scrabble Tile Pendant

And what's more Halloween than a pirate skeleton from Salty Seas Studios? Not much, I'd wager.

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Pirate Mason Jar Snowglobe

And make sure to check out the other Halloween offerings from the members of the team. There's sure to be something else to spook you. 

Much thanks to Annie from annie k designs for curating most of the items in this post.

Monday, October 1, 2018

Write It Up

Lately, here on the blog I've been discussing the tags, titles, and product photography that go into our listings on Etsy. These things are vital to getting our items in front of buyers. But there are other things that go into listings.

Like, the product description.

Product descriptions don't tend to get a lot of attention, generally. That's because, sadly, many people don't bother to read them. If you've run your shop for any amount of time, you've probably gotten a convo from a buyer with a question that was clearly answered in your product description. Probably more than one.

But that doesn't mean you should skimp on them. There are plenty of people who do read the descriptions, and you'll probably never hear from them. Or you might just get a sale that you would have missed otherwise. So, it's generally a good idea to take some time to write and edit your product descriptions so that they don't cost you a sale.

From a search engine optimization viewpoint, product descriptions may or may not be helpful. Etsy does not use them in their internal search (they focus on tags and titles), but other search engines (*cough* Google *cough*) may look at the first 160-500 characters of your description. So, it's a good idea to spend that first sentence or two saying what the item is and targeting your good long tail keywords.

Product descriptions need not be very long. They should answer the 20 important questions, though. And they should sound natural, like a human wrote it.

Much like newspaper journalism, the important stuff should go in the beginning, and extra details can be added towards the end. Assume that anyone who is still reading to the end of the description is pretty much sold, so that's where you include fun tidbits and really let your personality shine.

Etsy also encourages adding links. If your item happens to also come in other colors, include a link to the shop section where those other colors reside. You can include a link to your about page, your shop policies, or another item that might pair well with that listing. If the item is a pattern and you also sell the finished item (or vice versa), include the link.

Try to keep the links internal to Etsy (it'll help with ranking).

One last thing: If you have many items that are the same, do find a way to change up your product descriptions a bit. Etsy's algorithms won't care, but outside search engines do "read" the words, and copies (a description that is exactly the same) won't "register" as a new page. But different listings have something different about them (size, color, etc.), so changing that up in the description will help.

How much time do you spend on your product descriptions? Do you get many questions that you did answer that just got missed?