Sep 21, 2011

Set Your Shop Above The Rest

As the Holiday buying season approaches, we need to be sure we're doing all we can to reassure our potential customers. Today we're inundated with stories of fraud, poor packaging that led to broken items, sellers that refuse to offer refunds for wrong items, and more. We can combat this and set our stores apart with a few basic words & practices. Some sellers hide behind their descriptions, leaving out information so the item will sell faster. You are building long term customer relationships-treat your clients as you wish to be treated. 

Vintage Ceramic Rooster offered by VintageInBloom

First of all, congrats! Being a member of the Etsy Vintage Team is a great seal of approval to have. The high standards set by this team mean that buyers can relax, knowing that they're dealing with a reputable seller. 

Antique Treenware Kitchen Set offered by birdie1

But it's going to take more than just a badge to get an insecure buyer to click the Add to Cart button. The first impression of your shop is vital, just as it is with people. Is it well laid out? Are colors & textures balanced-not too much of one color on a side, silver items spread evenly throughout the page, clothing balanced out with jewelry? If you're unsure, try this: back away from your computer screen a little ways and squint your eyes. You'll quickly assess what needs to go where.

Vintage Tole Metal Tray offered by tparty

Are your descriptions thorough? Be sure you're eliminating all guesswork for the potential buyer. Provide what the item is made of, what its measurements are and all elements of condition. Avoid the dreaded: "in good condition for its age"-it's far too subjective. Be specific: There is a 1/4 inch long crack along the side, the binding is tight & the pages all present, the leather is supple, there is consistent crazing, etc. 

Silver Kangaroo Ring offered by evalena

Are you providing extra information that other sellers neglect to provide? One such example is black light testing. It brings out the hidden flaws and repairs your naked eye may have missed, thus providing another level of security for your customer. Do you mention if the item smells fresh and is free from smoke? I consider this a vital piece of information when I'm buying, since I'm seriously allergic to tobacco smoke. 

1970s Maxi Dress offered by JojosRetroandVintage

Being willing to offer fast exact shipping is good idea for last minute shoppers. Providing tracking numbers and insurance is another way to give reassurance to a wary buyer. As I've mentioned before, it's always better to provide a variety of shipping rates so your buyer feels confident. 

Antique Lusterware Open Salts offered by vintageatchirp

Layaway is a popular option now; just 2 or 3 payments can make a world of difference. I've had 3 sales for over $400 lately done this way and they've all paid on time. If you do offer it, advertise it. 

Modernist Sterling Brooch Offered by darlingblu

In these uncertain times this extra level of service reassures the buyer and shows them you're sensitive to their needs. Since most of our shops are going to do the bulk of their business during the holidays, now is the time to be sure we're providing a top level of customer service. 


OhFaro said...

Great post Heidi. I had never considered lay-away before; I'll have to think about how to incorporate that into my little shop.

Susan from The T-Cozy said...

Excellent post, as always Heidi. Many thanks for featuring my tray! Love the lay-away idea.

Nora-transient*treasures said...

Great post, as always. Thanks for the reminders! :~)

Lady Lux Vintage said...

How exactly does the layaway work in your shop? I'd love to do that with mine. Thanks for the wonderful article. I am going to check into the black light detection. Great idea!

evaelena said...

Great post! Thankyou for featuring my ring.

cindy-the vintage hat shop said...

A well written article with many good points. I don't always mention the smell of my hats. Will do so from now on. Thanks for the reminder! Laurie said...

This post is so right-on, Heidi! Thanks for the reminder on descriptions. For layaways, I have the seller purchase the item with the price adjusted down for the first down payment. Then renew the reserved listing at the amount due for each payment after that. Not sure if I explained it correctly. Feel free to convo me if you have any questions. I'd also like to hear if anyone does it differently. Thanks for featuring my ladles :)

wonderdiva said...

I was going to comment when I read this yesterday, but you inspired me to immediately rephotograph a few items and revise a few listings,so the tardiness of this comment is due to the effectiveness of your post! :-)

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POP goes my Vintage said...

Very smart advice. Thank you!

cherrylippedroses said...

...thank you for sound advice...I am often amazed at the simplest things I have forgotten to do in my own shop just because I was tired or overwhelmed...thanks so much...Kathryn

Mom Walds Place said...

Thanks for the reminder to do a seasonal freshening up.

Chenillaholic said...

Thanks for the great advise. I'm going to put several to use. Since I don't smoke I never thought of putting the "smoke free" in my descriptions but I will now. Several other good tips I found and will put to use. Many thanks, Lena Chenillaholic