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Dos and don’ts of online selling. Tips and tricks for online sellers

Dos and don’ts of online selling is a highly debated topic. Online selling has its benefits, but in order to be successful there are certain basic rules that sellers should be aware of. Well maybe “rules” is a little harsh, so i guess guidelines should be more acceptable. We shall call them “the dos and don’ts of online selling”.

When we opened our packaging and paper supplies etsy shop i did do some research beforehand and even tried approaching a few experienced sellers in order to get some tips. Now, more than two years and several hundred sales later (those intermediated through etsy), i can say i’ve dealt with plenty different situations and plenty different clients. Also, maybe the most interesting thing of all, i’ve gotten to see and hear plenty sellers’ opinions.

dos and don't of online selling

Probably the most important DON’T for online sellers is: DON’T be rude to your clients! No matter what, you can’t be rude to your clients. Of course, there will be times when clients are unreasonable, that’s a given (you can’t satisfy them all!), but the way you handle these situations is very important.

DON’T reply right away! It’s very frustrating dealing with difficult customers; you are very well aware of the time and effort you put into creating your items, so it’s only natural to feel hurt, but being rude to those clients would actually do more damage to your shop than help in any way. Think it over and only reply once you’ve calmed down. “Sorry” and “thank you” are a huge part of dealing with such situations, so DO use them! Yes, even if the client is obviously unreasonable, they don’t say “the client is always right” for no reason. You might feel inclined to disagree thinking: how could i possibly apologize and be thankful to a client who is rude from the get go? Yes, DO start your message by thanking the client for the feedback (even though negative) and apologize for the fact that your item is not exactly what was needed. Grit your teeth and DO that. It will be a lot better on the long run. It might actually change the client’s opinion in fact. On the other hand, if you’re rude back, the whole situation would just escalate.

– if you’re an etsy seller dealing with a public negative review, it is even more important to use diplomacy. I did talk about etsy reviews a while back so you can find more information about this over there. It is safe to say that difficult customers are not that many, so for the majority of normal, regular customers it will be important to see how you manage a not so favorable situation. These potential buyers will read your reviews and if there are unreasonable comments, they will also realize that. But they will also see your replies and if they are rude, the fact that the initial comment was unreasonable will not matter as much. If, on the other hand, you did use those “thank you” and “sorry” words, the potential buyers will know that they’ll be dealing with professional people

DO communicate! No matter what the situation is, DO reply to your clients / potential buyers. DON’T leave issues unsolved and try to find solutions that work for both parties.

DON’T lie! If you’re having difficulties with the deadlines, try to explain it to your clients the best way you can. DON’T tell your clients their items have shipped if they actually haven’t. Provide accurate information and accurate photos of the items you’re selling.

Well i’m pretty sure we’ll be having other similar posts as there are many DOs and DON’Ts in online selling, but the ones above are, in my opinion, the most important ones. Please feel free to add your own DOs and DON’Ts based on your own experiences!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!


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etsy reviews
etsy, tips and tricks

Etsy shop reviews tips and tricks. How much do they really matter?

The Etsy shop reviews was a subject i talked about on the old blog sometime last year. Since I decided to use only this site for blogging now, i thought it would be a waste to lose information i had on the other one, so i’ll bring them back over here, revise where necessary and update where i have anything to add. So the very first upgraded topic is “Etsy shop reviews”.

etsy reviewsThere are lots of talks among Etsy sellers about shop reviews: how to get happy customers leave a positive feedback, how to avoid being rated with fewer stars, how much do customers rely on the shop’s reviews?

I will be honest with you, i never paid special attention to my shop’s reviews, nor have i ever asked a customer to leave a feedback. That doesn’t mean i wasn’t excited every time i got a positive review or that i don’t appreciate them! It’s just that there are other things i believe to have a greater importance than this.

What are shop reviews?

After buying an item, the customer can leave feedback – whether it’s positive or negative – and can rate the shop, services and products with stars from 1 to 5. The customer can leave detailed explanations about why they gave the number of stars they chose to give. Usually they take into consideration: communication, items’ quality and shipping.

How do you get customers to leave feedback?

I’ve seen this question many times on teams’ forums. While i do enjoy hearing back from my clients, i do not want to push them to come back and leave a review. I’d much rather encourage them to come back for another happy sale! However, this is just me. The most efficient way to have a client return for a review is by making a little note on a thank you card you send along with the item he bought. That way he won’t feel pressured, but he would have appreciated your work and would feel more inclined to share this aspect. You can also write this note when announcing the item has shipped. However, try not to insist on it. You’d risk getting a fewer stars rating.

How do shop reviews affect an Etsy shop?

Whether they’re good or bad, the shop reviews can play a decisive role in making the decision to buy. If, on the overall shop look, the rating stars are not all yellow, there would be an instant alarm signal for the customer. After carefully reading customer’s opinions, one can change his / her initial opinion. Other potential customers that are indecisive at first, after reading a whole bunch of positive feedback, actually decide to buy.

How much do shop reviews really matter?

The shop reviews are simply subjective opinions of customers. Reading lots of shop reviews myself, i found that many times the customers that rate the shop with fewer stars have one general problem: item never arrived. As an etsy buyer, i try to solve the problem directly with the seller. That would pretty much be the best and easiest way to get everything sorted out. We all know about postal services problems. I used to think it was only something that happened with my country’s postal services, but i actually found that people all over the world are dissatisfied with their post offices. So that’s the main reason etsy sellers get in trouble: something that is out of their reach and that they can do nothing about. However, it is their job to promptly answer their client’s messages and let them know what they can and can’t do about it. Avoiding and not answering the messages would certainly earn you a negative review. On the other hand, trying to explain to your client what’s going on and giving deadlines and ultimately giving a solution would certainly mean a lot. Basically it’s a time when both sellers and buyers must be reasonable. However, this is by far the most common explanation for negative reviews, so you as possible future clients should ask yourselves: is this something that was the seller’s fault? Does this negative review actually count for that much?

What is more important than the golden 5 stars?

I was saying at the beginning of this article that in my opinion, there are other things that are more important than reviews. If i check out an etsy shop and the overall image doesn’t appeal to me at all (basically it’s all photos’ fault), i won’t even look at the ratings, much less reading explanations for them. It might not be a good thing, but in online shopping photos are all you’ve got. A client doesn’t get to actually see the item he’s buying until after he’s already bought it, so photos should be at least appealing. Then we have the item’s basic description. Words should cover what photos couldn’t, so these descriptions must be accurate and precise. Otherwise, if i don’t know what i’m buying, how am i supposed to order anything?

Then, if i like an item, but the shop doesn’t have a 100% 5 golden stars ratings, i check the explanations on both sides. It would be a lot better if negative reviews had explanations from sellers even if it wasn’t their fault. That way possible future clients can see that you did try your best to solve the issue until the very end.

There still remain a lot of aspects to talk about when it comes to reviews. As we move forward and come across other related issues, we’ll create a Chapter 2. Feel free to express your own opinions on the matter in the mean time!

The Funky Studio team wishes you, as always, a colorful day!


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