Thursday August 22, 2013
Etsy Featured Sellers
By Jolly Edition
If you’ve ever wondered what being an Etsy featured seller means, we’d like to share our experience.
We were contacted in early July by an Etsy employee with the offer to be listed as a featured seller. Despite not knowing much about what this entailed, other than the obvious, we (of course) jumped at the chance. Etsy can sometimes have a cheap association that comes with it’s predominantly handmade products. Lots of vendors we talk to aren’t full–time sellers, they’re hard–working people who have passions they want to spend their spare time fulfilling and selling, often with the ambition of selling their wares as their day job. They undervalue their work, resulting in the strange expectation of cheap, high–quality products. Etsy sees itself as a professional platform and takes itself pretty seriously. We weren’t confirmed as featured sellers until we’d closed our other personal Etsy accounts (we were given the option to cite our personal accounts but preferred the alternative).
Etsy’s attention to detail was impressive and their obvious attempts to help their vendors was clear throughout dealing with them. If they get in touch with you, we recommend working with them.
More attention isn’t always better
On August 6, 2013 we had 7,532 shop views and 20,200 listing views. About 40 times the normal traffic we receive in a day. In the two and a half weeks since appearing as featured sellers we’ve received 30 serious enquiries from prospective clients and signed around half of them as paying clients. The important thing to learn from this is that more enquiries means an increase in both serious and not so serious messages — for the ten days that followed our appearance we were spending 12 hours every day responding to both. Replying to emails, messages on Etsy, tweets, Facebook mentions. It’s expensive time–wise.
If you sell handmade products that require a heavy investment of time, like we do, make sure you have the capacity to deal with the influx of enquiries you’re bound to receive. If you aren’t prepared then well–wishers and serious enquirers might go ignored. Avoid this at all costs or good people will think less of your brand. We made the effort to respond to everyone because it’s both the polite thing to do but also because we want to be known as an approachable, transparent company.
For Etsy vendors, being featured sellers is like being ‘made’:
It’s like a license to steal. It’s a license to do anything. As far as Jimmy was concerned with Tommy being made, it was like we were all being made—Henry Hill, Goodfellas, 1990
Almost everyone who commented on our featured seller post have their own Etsy stores. Nearly all of them said ‘congratulations on being featured sellers, we love your office and your work.’ 99% of all the comments we received were ineffably, needlessly kind and we were flattered beyond expression. (We’ll be writing another post about the 1% of comments which brought up some valid points that we both responded to in the comments but wanted to officially talk about on our blog.)
Worn out keyboards
A year after Tom quit his day job and we both went full-time we’re booked solid four months into the future, in a beautiful office and best of all, we get to spend all day together. Being featured sellers is a nice attaboy. It completely derailed our schedule but there were plenty of great opportunities that we received because of it (along with the not–so–great ones).
If you were one of the readers or commenters or new enthusiasts of our work then thank you. We’re two people working hard to make custom products for special occasions. Your enthusiasm for our work keeps us smiling.