Friday, September 21, 2012

here is a great link I found that provides all kinds of links for decoding sterling silver hallmarks:

Monday, September 3, 2012

Direct Check the New Way Etsy Accepts Credit Cards

Here is some info on Direct Check (DC) now being used on Etsy...

I have just started using it but have noticed an surge in sales because of it...

These are my thoughts:
1) I got the direct shipping label print option that is only being given to a few shops...I love it but wish you could print out First Class International USPS labels.
2) Don't like the fact that giving a partial refund (ie if someone buys 10 items from shop you can't refund for one item of that group...just the whole group)
3) Don't like the 3 day hold on the $.
4) May find more problems as I go along because its new and I'm new to it.

Here is a helpful video produced by etsy the discusses DC:

and here is a great article with DC details:
Watch live streaming video from etsy at



Etsy CEO Talks to Users in Forum Chat
By Ina Steiner
September 03, 2012


Etsy CEO Chad Dickerson ventured into Etsy's discussion boards last week as a follow-up to his blog post on Tuesday in which he said Etsy saw better growth rate in July 2012 than in July 2011 when he took over from founder Rob Kalin.
As with other marketplaces, most notably eBay, the CEO had to field questions from sellers who were not afraid to ask the tough questions or be critical of the site - and the CEO. He spent over an hour on the boards answering users' questions.
The thread, now closed, begins on this page - Dickerson's posts can be found at the beginning of the thread (Etsy generally pulls admin notes to the beginning of threads to make it easier for users to find and read them).
Unlike Kalin, who was working on social features and policies right before his ouster, Dickerson has been focusing on changes to search and browse on Etsy, which may reflect his background - he initially joined Etsy as its Chief Technology Officer from Yahoo.
Dickerson said he wanted to communicate with users better in the coming months as the holiday season approaches.
Some questions from users centered around site testing. He said he had not made any final decisions about category changes, which Etsy is testing. "As was referenced in the weddings update, we've been looking at our category experience and it doesn't have as much impact as other areas of the site, so our goal is to improve the experience for buyers." However, he added, "We're not going to change anything that doesn't improve the overall experience and we measure it like crazy (something we weren't able to do a couple of years ago because we didn't have the ability)."
What is "category experience"? He said, "I really mean the experience of browsing on Etsy (as opposed to search)," he said.
Dickerson said one change that has been controversial was taking "vintage" out of the search drop-down menu (see Etsy Reassures Vintage Sellers after Major Changes to Search). He said Etsy had tested it before rolling out to everyone, and wrote, "We rolled that out site-wide because after extensive testing, it caused vintage sales to go up. I know this is surprising to some members of the community, but that change actually made the category stronger overall. That's the way we think about testing and site features."
Other questions from users about the impact of testing included the following:

  • "Chad, I am a vintage seller and have seen my views drop dramatically when some of the testing has been done. What can be done to eliminate this lost revenue as I depend on this income."

  • "I'm in the same boat as Sue, and depend on this income. Would love to know what can be done to eliminate our lost revenue while all these tests and changes are taking place."

  • "Ditto - could testing be done in a way - mirror site??? - that would stop losses from our incomes?"
Dickerson said he was sorry to hear from some users that their sales weren't going as expected. "We're definitely not running any tests with the intention of lowering anyone's income - actually quite the opposite. It hurts everyone if sellers aren't doing well."
He also reassured users that Etsy halts major changes before the holiday season kicks into high gear "to make sure you don't have to deal with any disruption for the big season."
Etsy is actively looking into providing more support options, such as phone support, and he said he knew it had been promised "a number of times before I was CEO, and I know that is frustrating." But, he said, "Just over a year ago, it could take days to get responses from email support, and we've turned that around (usually within a day now)."
Many users' questions centered around marketplace integrity, an area Dickerson said Etsy is always working on. "Our efforts to keep the marketplace clean are a little like police work. There will always be a certain amount of "crime" in any community (real or virtual) but our job is to keep it as low as possible. Last I checked, a small fraction of 1 percent of Etsy listings are flagged."
He also said enforcement is improving. "It used to take weeks to review flags, and now we review them in about 24 hours (or less). It took adding a lot of people and smart software (we call it SCRAM, as you might know) to the mix. We have a team that works on that constantly as their only job. Like crime, the problem will never completely go away, but we will always minimize it."
Dickerson responded to a user who asked why Etsy was eliminating Art as a category on the front page. She asked, "For many of us who are buyers, Fine Art is what defined Etsy as a cool place to shop."
He responded, "Right now, we're testing various category structures, so nothing is being eliminated at this point. Overall, the category (or browse) experience isn't as successful as other areas of the sites, so any changes are intended to make things work better. I'm going to take a closer look at how the testing may affect the Art category based on your feedback."

Monday, August 29, 2011

Easy (I promise) Twitter in 3 steps (including 1,300 peeps to follow)

1) set up your twitter account if you haven't already done so..this tutorial is written by Terri and Den of the EcoChic Team 

2) Use Free Tweepi to add followers... learn how to use tweepi by watching video

Written instructions:
go to tweepi

sign up for free account and log in.
click on good old free tweepi
click on follow tweeps
click on @users friends
put   @decoratingetsy   in the box
click on start following
click on every tweeter you want
click on follow at bottom of page
repeat until you have all that you want

3) Everytime you list a new item on etsy remember to click on the tweet button at the top right after you have listed the item.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Relevancy Decoded

Currently Etsy has switched to a relevancy based rank for searching items. As a seller you want to be coming to the closest to the top as possible...this forum posting really summarizes who you can do this for your shop...

WinchesterLambourne says
RELEVANCY tips and tricks: a compilation

There are so many questions about relevancy, so it is worth having all the answers and information compiled in one place. I have also added some observations of mine which I believe may be possible, after running some tests for the past few days.

1. The title is the most crucial and significant part of your listing.

2. The first few words of your title are the most significant part of this.

3. The top keyword needs to be first.

In other words, what you first type in the title makes the world of a difference in how relevant you are. The top keyword needs to be at the front of your listing title. If you're selling a nice pair of earrings with an amethyst gem, putting "Purple wonder" as the first words will ensure you won't be found in the first pages. Hardly anyone thinks of that word combination. If I (the buyer) am searching for amethyst earrings, I will search 'amethyst earrings' or 'amethyst earrings wire wrapped'. If I'm particularly choosy about what I put in my ears, I may search "amethyst earrings sterling silver". So your first keywords would be "amethyst earrings wire wrapped sterling silver". What kind of silver? I may like 'oxidized silver' and search for that. So, if they're oxidized, then 'amethyst earrings wire wrapped oxidized sterling silver'.

In the above example, the top keyword is 'amethyst earrings'. In my case, the top keyword is 'custom banner'. This is the most intuitive phrase or word(s) that the buyers use when searching.

4. Don't limit yourself to one type of intuitive top keyword or phrase.
Think about buyers who are different and search differently. For example, in my case the top keyword can be "custom banner". However, for what I do not all buyers use this particular one. Another top phrase is "shop banner" or "etsy banner". Having these variations in listings ensure that at least one will be seen for each type of search for the same or similar items.

5. Sometimes way you think is not how the buyer thinks.
This is something I struggled with for a while, when I started changing my listings. My first reaction was to either to stuff the title full of accurate keywords in a catch-all manner, disregarding order, or to use logical sounding sentences that were too long. Both can be mistakes. The first can be a mistake because order matters in relevancy - you don't only need to use accurate keywords, and as many of them as you can, but you need to place them in a certain order. I first had "custom personalized etsy banner and avatar package set'. They are good, relevant tags but the order is wrong. I was thinking from the seller's point of view there. Then I thought 'what will the buyer search?' They won't look for 'custom personalized etsy banner', because if they're like me when I search, they want to type in just the essential. I can be lazy when searching - I type in the absolute crucial because that's what gives the best results and well...because it's easy. I don't have a lot of patience. So I thought...'what would I type in if I were the buyer?' The crucial quick phrases 'banner avatar', 'basic set etsy' (not necessarily long grammatically correct sentences), and simple direct keywords 'etsy banner', 'banner and avatar', 'custom banner'. So to paraphrase in one tip&trick:

6. The gramatically incorrect word arrangements that we search with are just as important as the more logical sounding phrases we use in titles. When I started including these, I saw better results.

7. Tag order does not matter. This was stated by admin in a livestream meeting about relevancy back at the beginning of the month....however:

8. What IS crucial is for the master keyword of the title to match your first tag. It doesn't have to be your first tag, but putting it first ensures you won't forget this particular one because it is a very important tag. Example: If my listing is for a 'custom banner' and it begins with the master keyword 'custom banner' in the title, it makes considerable difference to have 'custom banner' in the keywords. Not just 'custom' and 'banner' but the exact phrase. It causes a significant push in relevancy.

9. Relevant, accurate tag phrases are now allowed. This is a recent move that came after relevancy. Examples from admin: 'knit hat', 'sterling silver'.

10. Recency matters. Listing an item pushes it up towards the beginning of the relevant search, however briefly. Which brings me to this hypothesis:

11. I could be completely wrong, but I believe that one factor which affects how high you rank is search clicks or your search rank. I've heard etsy admin mention it occasionally. There seems to be a limited 'grace period' immediately after relisting or renewing an item, when the item flickers around on page 1 or two, going back to the beginning of search, even if it is not the first item there. It's like it's trying to find it's place. Most often, I have found that the items I relisted were temporarily on page 1. Here it can go two ways. While it's at the forefront for those fleeting minutes or hours:

a) either it gets a lot of clicks while being fresh and in people's faces, because the photo is eyecatching and many decide to click it. Or:
b) it gets few or no clicks because there is no traffic, or traffic does not select your item to view and click on

If the item is towards the second third or more pages, route (a) seems to push the items gradually to the top and the first page, with the more clicks it gets. If it gets a lot of clicks, the item seems to be on the front page(s) a lot longer. It gets a more temporary and less fleeting exposure there (days possibly instead of minutes). If it's on page one, it moves up a little or lodges itself more strongly on page 1.

If the item is on the first page but gets little interest, it gradually sinks into 2, 3, 4 and so forth, with those items that get clicks staying on longer. Hence the constant shuffle between items that sink, items that come up, items that stay.

This tactic makes sense to me because it's similar to what other search engines use when they select relevant results, on the basis that people will want to see what people before clamored to see. I'm not sure if I'm right but this is one of my hypotheses.

12. This is why it remains important to renew occasionally (or better yet, relist) while constantly improving your photos.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Self Critique for Your Etsy Shop

Orginial version from  This article has been updated and edited.

Self-Service Critique
Shop Banner and Avatar
Your shop banner is important for providing buyers with a strong first impression and creating an overall ‘brand’. The most common problems I notice with banners:
  • pixelated text/pictures that don’t look very professional
  • they don’t reflect the products/image of the shop
  • blurry image
Take a critical look at your banner- does it suffer from any of these problems?

Your avatar is also important, especially in the etsy forums (as well as storque comments and convos). It can be a good idea to make your avatar something that people are very likely to click on- perhaps your most popular item. The main thing here is to ensure that your avatar is crisp rather than blurry, and that it is clear what the picture is.
Check out on this blog:

Shop Title and Shop Announcement
These areas are important for being found in google searches- try to include important keywords in both (your shop title is the bold title underneath your banner). Shop announcement length is something that people have different opinions about. Personally, I like to have a short announcement so that people don’t have to scroll down all the time to see my pictures, and so that I get the most important information (including a feel for the concept behind my designs) across without overwhelming buyers.

Other shops like to include a lot of information, and that can work too. My advice would be to make sure you keep it relevant and perhaps include some of the less important information in your profile and policies rather than in your announcement. Regardless of which option you decide on, it can help to take a careful look at your announcement and see whether it reflects the kind of image/brand you’re trying to present, and whether it contains important keywords that will help people find your shop in search.
More on Title and Announcements:
This is the number one problem area I come across when helping sellers out with critiques. Great photos are absolutely critical in terms of converting visits to sales, as well as in terms of being featured on blogs, in the press, and in treasuries or etsy’s front page. If your photos aren’t very good, putting a lot of time into promotion probably isn’t going to be very effective.
Take a critical look at your photos and ask yourself these questions:
  • Are your photos crisp or blurry/unclear? Are they bright enough without being overexposed?
  • When appearing in treasuries and on the front page, items appear in gallery mode. Are your items cut off/do they look good in gallery mode? Items being cut off in pictures is a very common issue.
  • Are your backgrounds too busy? Is the focus on the item, or does the background interfere? Do all your backgrounds follow a consistent theme throughout your shop, creating a coherent look, or do they seem like a random collection of different things (earrings on glasses, tissue paper, wrapping paper etc)? If using a white background, is it bright and white enough? Plain backgrounds can sometimes help make your items look more professional (depending on the nature of your items). When choosing a background, also think about whether it would be easy to match your picture with other items in treasuries/front page collections.
  • Think about the angles of your items. Does it look as though your items have been cleverly and professionally arranged, or are there earrings at weird angles that are not very appealing?
  • Do your photos show enough detail of your item? If you have an artistic photo of part of your item for the first picture, you may want to add additional pictures to give the buyer information about the piece to encourage purchase.
More Information about photography:
Item Descriptions
It’s good to write descriptions that provide the buyer with all the information they need (size, materials etc), but that also give a bit of personality to the listing in terms of the concept behind the piece/the making process etc. This is often an important part of buying handmade/independent design. While looking at your current descriptions, keep these questions in mind:
  • Have you provided measurements? Both inches and cm can be helpful for international buyers. If selling clothing etc, make sure you provide all of the necessary measurements.
  • Have you given information about the materials used?
  • Have you conveyed information about the story or concept behind the piece, perhaps suggested uses/occasions for the item, and/or mentioned anything about the creation process?
  • Try not to include too much unnecessary information in your descriptions. For example, if you want to share all of your facebook, twitter links etc, these could perhaps go in your profile instead.
Here is detailed information in this blog:

Effective tagging is absolutely critical- if you don’t use your tags it will be very hard for people to find you. Every additional tag gives you another chance to be found in search! The google keywords tool can be very helpful for thinking of search terms related to your item, and provides an idea of search frequency for different terms. The best advice I’ve read on tagging is on TheHouseOfMouse's blog
More on tagging:

Profile, policies and shipping
Your bio provides you with an opportunity to tell buyers a bit about the person behind the shop, which adds personality to your work. You can also explain the concepts behind your designs, and give information about the making process. It’s a bit discouraging for buyers if they visit your profile and find it blank. I would avoid adding too much information here (eg a list of every blog you’ve ever been featured on)- you don’t want to overwhelm anyone. Raven from molecularmuse has done a great job.
Info on shipping an insurance:

Policies are very important in giving the buyer a sense of security- if there is no information given in the policies section it can put people off purchasing. Try to write in a positive tone, and think carefully about any comments suggesting that you will not be responsible for packages that are lost. Firstly, this may discourage people from buying. Secondly, PayPal does actually hold the seller responsible for making sure that packages are delivered to the buyer. Perhaps look around at the policies of some successful sellers if you are unsure.
A note about shipping- it can be a very good idea to include international shipping as an option, as quite a number of buyers are not based in the US. If buyers have to convo you to get a price because you don’t have that option listed, they will often move on and purchase somewhere else (I know because I’m an international buyer and I do that all the time).

Feedback and number of listings
Finally, two other common problems that I often see relate to lack of feedback and a low number of listings. If you have no feedback, it’s often a good idea to purchase a few things in order to get some feedback so that buyers have a bit more confidence when purchasing.
When starting out and before getting many sales, some people are reluctant to list many items. However, having a lot of items can make it a lot more likely that you will be found in searches, and can provide the buyer with more choice. Also, having only a few items can sometimes give the impression that you’re not really a very active shop. Listing 50 items only costs $10, so it’s worth giving it a proper shot.

As well as making sure your shop presents the best image possible, it’s also really important to promote off-etsy in order to bring buyers in. It’s hard to be seen as a new shop on etsy (unless you’re really lucky), and I’ve found promotion absolutely critical to making my shop successful.
If you’re just getting started, I’d recommend setting up a facebook fan page, twitter account and perhaps a blog.
More promo ideas:
Further help with critiques:
  • Live critiques are often run in the etsy labs (by admin or the Sellers Assisting Sellers team)
  • You can contact someone from the Sellers Assisting Sellers mentor list
  • It can be helpful to post in the critique section of the etsy forums
  • Your etsy team may have a critique section, or you could perhaps starts a thread asking for help

. . .

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Search Titles and Tags that Work!

Taken from the Etsy Forums...

HeyMichelle says Edited on Aug 13, 2011
Since Etsy’s default search has changed to Most Relevant from Recently Listed, many sellers are wondering- how do I make my listings more relevant? Well, fear not! We have compiled our top tips for boosting the relevancy of your items.

Just getting started? Be sure to read this Seller Handbook post first:


The best way to begin revising or evaluating your tags and titles is to start thinking like a shopper! Etsy’s most relevant search is built to connect shoppers with exactly what they want; so showing up at the front of the search results requires that your item (as defined by your tags and title) matches what a shopper types into the search box.

1. Put the most important keywords and phrases at the front of your titles. What are the most likely words and phrases that a customer would search for? Please see tips below for finding important keywords. Eg:
BEFORE: Lotus Blossom Pink and Yellow Children’s Dress.....
AFTER: Girls Dress - flowers....etc etc

2. Use a variety of strong keywords and phrases in your titles and tags, and vary what is at the front of the title (be sure to always use the most important keywords and phrases, though). Don’t name everything the same thing! Each listing is a chance for a buyer to find you, if you diversify your keywords you’ll be found by lots of different searches. For example, you might start off a few listing titles with each of your strong keywords or phrases, then use other great terms on other similar items in your shop. Eg:
Girls Dress - etc etc
Children’s Dress - etc etc
Toddler Dress - etc etc
Cufflinks....etc etc
Cuff links...etc etc
Steampunk Cufflinks...etc etc
Wedding Cufflinks...etc etc
Silver Cufflinks...etc etc

3. Use your most important, major search terms in your titles and tags. The top keywords found in your Shop Stats can help you find these. But they should always be evolving, so experiment with new keywords. More help with deciphering your Shop Stats here:

4. Add more items to your shop on a regular basis! Remember, recency does play a role in search results sorted by relevancy to keep things fresh when shoppers use broad search terms that return thousands of results.


1. Think about what a shopper would be searching for! What elements of your item would be most important to a shopper? What the item is, such as a necklace or hat, is often a great place to start. Try highlighting different aspects of the item...for example, if I’m looking for a painting for a specific space my living room, I may search by the size, colors or theme of the painting that I want. Try different types of terms and then check your Shop Stats to see what works.

2. Start typing what you sell in the search bar, with Handmade, Vintage or Supplies selected to find relevant search terms. Think of synonyms and try those as well!

3. Look in your descriptions to find keywords. Often you have some great ideas in there!

4. Brainstorm with others! They can often come up with terms you wouldn’t have though of. Ask people you know who would be in your target market, and ask other sellers on your Teams for ideas.

5. Use these resources to help think of keywords:
Google’s Keyword Tool:


Showing up in a search result is great, but ultimately you want the right buyer to click on your item listing.

1. All views are not created equal! Remember you want to connect your items with the right buyers, not hundreds of uninterested buyers. So keep it relevant. Comb through your item listings. Get rid of the tags that buyers probably aren’t using to find this particular item.

2. Take great photos, since they will get more clicks in search. See the photography articles in the Seller Handbook for tips:

3. Don’t sound like a robot. Remember, showing up in search results isn’t everything. You’ll also need to connect with your buyer when they find your items, so don’t just fill your titles up with a string of keywords. Find the right balance that works for you.

Our biggest tip? Go slowly with making changes, and use your Shop Stats to see what is working before making more changes in your shop.

Here is a great relevancy tutorial for Vintage from Etsy Admin: