Etsy Shop Policies! What’s It All About?

shop policy list with text

Something that many sellers overlook when setting up their Etsy shop is filling in their shop policies. This is a great way to connect to your existing and potential customers and let them know what to expect from you. Include information about your shipping policies, your returns, exchanges and payment policies to name a few. If you haven’t filled in your shop policies, this is costing you sales. Customers look at your store policies and make a judgement of what kind of customer service you offer and what to expect if they purchase from you.

To edit or complete your shop policies;

ON DESKTOP: Go to your shop and click edit shop. Scroll down to your shop policies and add or update there.

ON MOBILE: In the seller app, click on More bottom right and then settings. You can add or update in Shop Settings.

Here are some things to consider when adding or updating your shop policies.

About

This is a great place to tell the world about you and what you do. This is your time to shine, convey and share your passion for what you do and adds that personal touch to your shop.

Around The Web

Take this opportunity to add the links to your social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter.

Shipping

  • Add information about processing times.
  • Include shipping estimate times for your country of origin and different regions around the world as this varies dramatically. Etsy have made this easy as you can add individual countries with your own estimates.
  • Do you ship Internationally?
  • If you do International shipping include information on customs and import taxes which varies for different regions around the world. I simply say “Buyers are responsible for any customs and import taxes that may apply. I am not responsible for delays due to customs”.
  • Add information about how your items are packaged and if you offer gift wrapping.
  • Let your customers know what shipping company you use and the options you have made available with regards to insurance or faster shipping.

Payment Options

  • State what methods of payment you will take (PayPal, cheque etc).
  • If you offer PayPal as a method of payment, add a brief description of how to pay with PayPal. Lots of people don’t realise they can use this method to pay with their credit or debit card without having to sign up for a PayPal account. It helps to explain how they can do this.
  • State that you will not send packages until payments have cleared.
  • Encourage buyers to contact you if they are having any problems with making their payment.

Refunds and Exchanges

  • If you don’t want to do refunds and exchanges then put it politely. Something like “I’m sorry but at this time [insert shop name here] I cannot accept refunds or exchanges, please purchase carefully” comes across a lot better than “No exchanges or refunds accepted”.
  • If you are going to offer refunds and/or exchanges then put your terms and conditions here. How long after receiving an item can people ask you for an exchange or refund? Will you refund only the cost of the item or the shipping as well? If a buyer returns an item to you who is responsible for the return postal costs?
  • Etsy have set up some information you can click and turn on easily in this section and customise it to suit your terms.

Privacy Policy

As a business owner that collects personal information on name, address, email etc we are obligated to keep their information protected. If you want to find out more about a privacy policy and how to write one and include it in your shop policies then this is a good article to read How to Write On-Point Privacy Policies

Frequently Asked Questions

Etsy have provided some extra available space to add frequently asked questions that may apply specifically to your shop and the type of items you sell. If you find yourself being asked the same questions over and over again think about adding this to your FAQ section. Some things you could add are:

  • The process you take to complete custom orders.
  • An estimate of how long orders may take.
  • For custom orders when do you require payment, do you need payment up front or is a 50% deposit the green light to begin work.
  • Do you provide gift wrapping and what is included.
  • Special discounts you might have running at the moment.
  • What happens if my item is damaged in transit.

I hope this information has been helpful to you. I think it is best to have something in your shop policies then not at all so make a start on it, you can always add to it as time goes on and new ideas or issues arise that you can address in your policies.

As I am an Etsy Seller, most of my posts are geared to Etsy Success although any of my guides and tutorials will be useful for if you use other platforms to sell your products. You can visit my Etsy Store at Rhinestone Mumma

If you are interested, here are some additional guides and tutorials worth a read.

Instagram Product Tagging! What’s It All About?

Pinterest! What’s It All About?

Etsy SEO! What’s It All About?

How To Get More Etsy Sales

Etsy Hyperlinks! What’s It All About?

If you want to join our community on Facebook Extreme Etsy Sellers For Serious Buyers we would love to have you on board. We are always discussing ways to improve our Etsy experience and grow our sales.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

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Etsy SEO! What’s It All About?

online marketing

Everyone is talking about it but just exactly what is it and what do I need to know to improve it. Well, that is the question.

I am going to list some key points of simple strategies you can use to understand what Etsy SEO is all about and how you can implement them into your listings to increase views and ultimately sales.

So, why does it matter?

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is basically how potential buyers find you in Etsy searches and off Etsy searches like Google. It is really important to have top notch Etsy SEO. Etsy will reward shops and listings with a boost in searches with good SEO optimisation and unfortunately will leave you behind if you don’t.

The keywords and phrases in your tags, title, categories and attributes all play a part in getting your items in front of potential buyers. Simply, Etsy will look at all of these things in determining whether your item is listed in searches for a particular buyers query.

So let’s start at the very beginning.

Keywords

You can have the best product ever created on Etsy but without good keywords in your titles and tags, nobody is going to find you and guess what, no cha-chings. So what do they mean when they say keywords? Keywords are a one to three word phrases that describe your product.

You firstly need to metaphorically stand back from your product and start thinking like a buyer. What would buyers search for when looking for my item? As a strategy, I right down a list of keywords and short two to three word phrases that best describes my item. This gives me a basis to start using some tools to test if they would be good keywords and what words might be useful.

So here we go….

  • Etsy Rank – my personal favourite. It not only gives you brilliant tools to discover keywords and phrases in real time of what is being searched for on Etsy, it can check for spelling mistakes and give you detailed analysis on your listings and spot issues and opportunities that can improve your SEO.
  • Marmalead – gives you the tools to help you find the keywords real shoppers on Etsy are using to find listings like yours. It is also super easy to use and understand.
  • Google Keyword Planner – gives you the tools to research the current industry standard for keywords not just for Etsy but for off Etsy searches like Google and Bing.
  • Pinterest – this is probably not one you would associate with when looking for keywords. It’s a bit like using the Etsy search bar method by typing in keywords and phrases that you think a buyer might use to find products like yours and the words and phrases that drop down ARE the words and phrases people are searching for to find items. Why is Pinterest important? In my opinion, the good utilisation of Pinterest to promote your Etsy products is a game changer. I literally generate 1000’s and 1000′ of views through my pins.
  • Etsy – This is another good way of finding keywords and phrases that potential buyers are using right now to find products like yours. I can’t stress this enough the right now bit, Etsy and algorithms are a funny thing. They are constantly changing and evolving. If you use this method it is always a good idea to give your listings a check up and see if there is anything you can change on a regular basis.

Titles

So you have done your research and have great keywords and phrases ready to go, so what now? There are 140 characters available to you in your title, but that doesn’t mean you need to use them all. Contrary to popular belief, and as reported in the Etsy KEYWORDS 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, when writing titles, use your most descriptive keywords and keep a buyer in mind, not a computer. The first 40 characters are the most important for your SEO optimisation for Etsy search anyway, so focus on getting your message across using the best keywords in this space but at the same time constructing a sentence that makes sense. I can hear you ask why.

  • Buyers only get a sneak peak of what you have to offer when they search for products so it’s a good idea to get your message out on what you are selling at this crucial should I click or scroll on by stage.
  • But really, the most important reason is Etsy ranks the first 40 characters as more relevant as they are at the beginning of your title. So basically if you want to get found in searches for a particular keyword phrase, put this is the first 40 characters.

You should also try to use general keyword phrases and targeted keyword phrases in the first 40 characters. Not sure what that means. Here is an example of a general keyword  phrase crochet pattern and a targeted keyword phrase could be crochet beach bag pattern.  Include spaces/separators (/ , | – ~) if you like between your keywords and phrases but as mentioned before, try to make a sentence that makes sense the flows without too much punctuation. Let me state right up front, punctuation does not affect your Etsy SEO in a negative way, in fact it makes no difference.  What is does do is break down your title into to easy to read phrases that actually makes sense.  Just for the record I prefer the vertical bar | as my separator.

Tags

That leads me to keyword rich tags. Let me just say your tags are very important in getting your items found. We have all seen the items listed that show up on the first page of searches that only have a basic three or four word title. Well guess what, they have awesome tags.

I used to be of the belief that your title keywords and phrases have to match your tags, well yes and no. If you are using the best keywords and phrases in your more simplified title than yes, use these in your tags.

Here is a little run down on good and bad tag choices;

  • Use all 13 tag spaces.
  • Check your spelling. Incorrect spelling will not get your items in front if anyone.
  • Do not use 1 word tags, try to use phrases. You have 20 character spaces for each tag so use them wisely.
  • Think out of the box and try to find other unique ways people may be searching for your item.
  • Don’t repeat words in tags. Not only is this a wasted opportunity but another unique tag might place your items in front of a whole new audience.
  • Have a look at your shop stats and change the search phrases that are not getting a lot of traffic.

Here is an example of one of my listings, crochet bag pattern, where I have chosen some more interesting tags. Obviously I am going to list the obvious, crochet bag pattern as a tag, but I could add other tags like easy crochet pattern, digital download, diy crafts, bag making, handbag pattern pdf, just to name a few.

A great resource to give you an overview of your tags and where you need to make some improvements is in Etsy Rank. Their listing grade section will give an insight into not only your tags but other ways you can make improvements.

Listing Consistency

So there is truth in the theory list more items and the sales will come but, I don’t think there is a magic number of listings that turns on a switch to more sales. What is true, when you list a new item or an item is sold and renews Etsy rewards you with a boost in your search ranking.

You can trick Etsy into ranking you higher by renewing your listings manually before the 4 months is up which will give it a boost but of course this will cost you 20 cents. If you do plan to try this method make sure you are renewing at peak traffic times, times your target audience is online and shopping which can be hard to pinpoint if you sell your products all around the world. I am in Australia and I get most of my Etsy sales in the early morning, when it is evening in the United States. You just have to work out what’s best for you.

The Etsy algorithm rewards listings that get sales and will show these listings to more buyers in search. As a general rule, if your listing has been renewed on more than 2 occasions without a sale, it’s time to look at why you are not getting any sales and either fix the problems or remove it.

Set and Forget?

I think as a general rule it always good to check in with your listings every 4-6 months to see how they are going. Things are constantly changing and it’s a good idea to keep up with those changes. I would also keep an eye on under performing listings and listings that have had an unexpected drop in views and sales and see what might be the issue.

Let’s Get Social

OK. So you have put in the hard yards and optimised your listings for SEO so now what? This is not a time to sit back and wait for the sales. You need to be spreading your wings and promoting your listings all over social media platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter using all those keywords and hashtags. In a future blog I will tackle strategies and tips to use on different social media platforms so watch this space.

Here are some more in depth resources you can use to improve your social media visibility;

Pinterest – What’s It All About

Be Patient

All of the strategies listed above are not a quick fix although you may see a rise in search ranking in a few minutes, chances are that you’re going to have to wait for a couple of days for a more established shop with high views and lots of sales or a few weeks for newer shops with less views and sales. In off Etsy searches it can take anywhere up to 30 days.

Have a great day and any feedback, comments or questions are welcomed 🙂

As I am an Etsy Seller, most of my posts are geared to Etsy Success although any of my guides and tutorials will be useful for if you use other platforms to sell your products. You can visit my Etsy Store at Rhinestone Mumma

Here are some of my recent blog posts you might be interested in;

How To Get More Etsy Sales

Pinterest! What’s It All About?

Instagram Product Tagging! What’s It All About?

Etsy Hyperlinks! What’s It All About?

Etsy Shop Policies! What’s It All About?

If you want to join our community on Facebook Extreme Etsy Sellers For Serious Buyers we would love to have you on board. We are always discussing ways to improve our Etsy experience and grow our sales.

 

Have a great day 🙂

My Passion

I have been wanting to do this for years, to start a blog about my crazy journey as an online retailer and mum (this is my passion too) but where to start and what to talk about. Is anybody going to read this?

I have been doing this for years with lots of success and some failures. One thing I have learnt is that this crazy online retail world is constantly changing and morphing into something else and you need to be constantly researching and looking for better ways to do business.

I am a hard and fast eBay TRS (Top Rated Seller) and have recently branched out to selling on Etsy. I am in the process of setting up a stand alone website which is giving me a head ache with so many choices and options. At least with platforms like eBay and Etsy they have done all the hard work for you and with the right titles, keywords, images, products and price anyone can take on the world. But, over the years even eBay have made massive changes and what worked years ago just doesn’t cut it now. For one, the Auction is dead. I remember watching an item I purchased for $6.00 a piece go to auction and reach $95.00. This just doesn’t happen anymore. With the infiltration of China sites and massive competition from major retailers around the world those days are sadly over.