Your unique and creative item is far better than others and it will sell because of the great craftsmanship.
But how do you make it stand out from the rest? Why would your crocheted coaster or a silver wire wrapped pendant stand out from the rest? Anyone can shoot a camera or water paint a beach scene. But what sets your art apart from the others?
At Etsy Success Symposium in March, Michael Margolis of “Get Storied” said,
“People do not buy the product, brand, or object. They buy the story that’s attached to it”
So don’t turn off your creative juice yet. If you want your beautiful creation to stand out amongst other beautiful creations, you’ll have to tell a story why
you think the buyer should buy needs it.
Like the exercise you did for the tagging, try to answer these questions and use the answers as part of your description.
What to include in the description
1. What is it? Explain in plain layman’s English – nothing technical and not for the trade. Just in plain English for an average buyer.
2. What is the history/origin of the item? Is there any interesting story behind the item? - the story defines who you are and what your brand is. This is establishing your integrity and reputation. It could be dramatic or whimsical. For reference, see The J. Peterman Company’s item descriptions. I particularly love this description of Marie Antoinette Nightshirt.
3. What is it made from? There is a field for “Materials” when listing your item but include what ingredients and technique you use briefly in the description. Patagonia takes pride in including what their clothing is made out of because their specially designed eco-friendly material sets them apart from other clothing companies. It also shows buyers their passion for the environment.
4. How big is it? Use a common household item as a reference if it’s not a standard size like clothing. Make sure to add measurements in metric system also.
5. How do I care for it? Caring instructions in the description will prevent an irate email from a buyer who ruined her item for incorrect washing. Be specific about how to clean it or what to avoid when using the item. Can a buyer wear the jewelry in the shower? Or when she’s swimming? Can you wash an item in warm water? How do you polish your wooden bowl?
6. What does it feel like? Paint an experience that the buyer will have when she touches the item. Describe how it feels to the touch. What is the texture like?
7. How does it work? How does the buyer use it? How does the buyer wear it? What kind of closure does it have? How do you turn it on?
8. Do I get everything in the picture? Do you use props for your images? Mention what’s included in the listing. Is the listing for just one or a set of two? If you use different images for the 5 photo slots, which photo is the item the buyer buying?
9. Return Policy. What if the buyer is not happy with the item? What is your return policy? If you have a return policy in your policy page, include the link within your description. Many buyers neglect to notice the policy page. If the buyer is not happy for whatever reason, will you exchange it or will your refund the money? And who pays for the return shipping? Be very specific about the return procedure.
10. Is it ready to use? Is the painting ready to hang? Does it come framed?
1. How does it arrive? Do you gift wrap when you send the item? Do you offer gift wrap if you don’t? Does it cost extra? Is it ready to ship or is it made to order?
2. Do you send the exact item that’s photographed? Or is the image a sample? Are you selling the original artwork or the print of the original?
3. Why does anyone NEED your item? Describe why a buyer NEEDS your item. Why is owning the item desirable? Is your item the perfect gift for hard-to-buy-for people? Does your item evoke certain emotions? What is so great about your item?
Latest Policy Change on Bath and Beauty Sellers
Many bath and beauty product sellers describe how their items help people’s lives. A calendula herbal soap is good for Eczema. A moisturizing cream is great for wrinkles. An cleansing toner is a God sent for Acne. While the ingredients and properties may help with these conditions, you are no longer allowed to state them as such in your description.
Etsy announced a new policy change on August 8th that outlined the prohibited items as well as how to describe your bath and beauty products. From reading discussions and forums, many sellers are confused as to what they can say about their items dues to this new policy change.
According to one of admins on Etsy, the new policy “prohibits medical drug claims about an item.” And ”you may NOT use words to imply that using the item will cure or help relieve a health condition or illness”. In addition, “… avoid using disease or illness terms to imply your product is useful for curing or treating those afflictions. This includes use in title and tags, as well as description.”
Using language like “this product MAY have an effect to cure or treat a health condition or illness” is still considered a medical drug claim under this policy.
Also, you can’t use a disclaimer to workaround a medical drug claim either.
However, “It’s OK to describe a product as having cosmetic properties or benefits, like saying it is moisturizing, conditioning, softens skin, deodorizes, beautifies, de-tangles hair, etc. Those are not medical drug claims; those cosmetic descriptions do not correlate the product to the cure or treatment of a health condition.”
According to sellers who was contacted by Etsy, you can’t mention feedbacks from previous customers how your soap or salve help their medical condition in your description. One way to get around that is to leave a link to your feedback page in your description, and simply put, “Here are some testimonials from my previous customers…(link to your feedback page)” or something like that so a new potential buyer can read for themselves what they are. But you are prohibited to quote any past historical references to the medical cure or help in your descriptions.
If you are not sure if your shop is affected by this new change, hang tight. The Marketplace Integrity team is working to contact individual shops to help them change the description as fast as they can. Meanwhile, if you think you need to change your description, you may. But if you are not sure, and have any questions about your shop, you can contact the Marketplace Integrity Team directly by emailing [email protected] directly.
So go on and tell a story about your painting, clothing, jewelry, and herbal soap. Tell your buyer why she needs it.
[Image by faeryspellcreations used with permission.]