Team SASsy here - bringing you some tips on Etsy etiquette! Some of these tips are unspoken, but well known to long-time Etsy sellers, and we want to make sure you are up to date. Want more tips from our Etsy Team? Check out our blog, or come on by the Virtual Labs for live shop critiques. And now for your etiquette lesson . . .
As a buyer, I like to be treated as a very important person with timely responses and up-front communication. That is why, as a seller, I always answer emails and convos in 24 hours. Here are some tips on how to make your customer feel special: 1) Put a "RESERVED FOR XY" sign on a listing (if someone is deeply interested in an item). It feels great to have a dedicated listing in a shop. 2) Send a "Thank You" email or convo to your buyer. You can include shipping information here to verify their shipping address, just to be safe. 3) After mailing the item, send a short note to the buyer and include estimated shipping times. 4) If the buyer has not paid yet, be patient. After a few days, send a polite email reminding them the item is ready to ship, as soon as you receive payment.
Custom orders often allow an artist to expand their horizons and create a unique, one-of-a-kind piece for a customer. Here are a few tips: 1) Make sure that you get all of the details: specific measurements, materials to be used, colors, and the expected completion date. 2) Draw a sketch. A picture is worth a thousand words, especially in the case of a custom item. 3) Agree on a price and payment plan early in the discussion. Will a deposit be required before the work is started? Will the deposit be non-refundable? This often will be a "commitment point" for the customer. 4) Put up an official listing through the Etsy Alchemy system or via a reserved listing in your shop. Your first photo can be a "reserved" graphic, but the description should contain all of the details you've discussed. 5) Continue to communicate with the customer while the piece is being created. Give the customer a progress report, with photos if you can.
Read more about creating a reserved listing in this Storque post.
As a shop owner, it can be very exciting to make sales or be hearted, and to want to share new products or sale opportunities with your customers. But there's a fine line between advertising your shop and spamming your fellow Etsian. 1) Do offer information about your mailing list for your customers to subscribe to in your shop announcements, message to buyers when making a sale, shop profile, or shop policies. 2) Do include a business card and/or a coupon for future purchases with your shipments. 3) Don't send messages to people who heart your shop offering discounts or promoting your shop or products. 4) Don't send mail or emails to those who have purchased from you informing them of new items, sales, or other offers.
Most of us have had a misunderstanding via email, on the forums or in chat. It's a horrible feeling, especially when your meaning was misinterpreted. The virtual world has no facial expressions or tone of voice, and this can make communication tricky. As an Etsy seller, it helps to be cheerful and polite in all your online interactions, including the forums. The words you type represent your product and your brand, so it's best to choose them carefully and err on the side of the positive. We all get frustrated, but do your venting in private. That way you won't risk alienating current and potential customers. Before you respond consider this quote: "I have invented my life by assuming that whatever I did not like would have an opposite which I would like." -Coco Chanel
There are times when saying "No" is necessary, and learning how to do so could be a great help for your shop! Three common requests that may call for a tactful decline, include: a custom order, a request for a trade and a specific how-to request. 1) As a habit, when you receive one of these requests, take a step back and do not answer immediately. First, weigh the pros (more money, exposure, pleasure of sharing, etc.) and cons (stress, extra time, trade secret, etc.). If you decide to say "No," then do it politely. 2) Each time you send a "No" reply, save it as a word document. Next time you need to deny a request, use one of your old replies as a starting point and customize as needed. In no time your collection of denials will be versatile and fitting for (almost) any occasion! 3) If you are an international seller or dealing with an international buyer, sometimes you cannot simply translate into the other language without losing politeness. If you run into this problem, contact one of the language experts of the SASsy Team to help you navigate the translation with tact.