Tag Archives: tips for Etsy shops

Grouping products with similar colors for Etsy shop pages

It was a busy holiday season for the Market Tales Vintage Shop on Etsy!

stats visits from open date to end 2015The stats definitely ticked up from opening date in June 29, 2015 to the holiday season, as you can see from the above graphic, with many more visitors to the shop in December.

I will post an article about my experience since opening my Etsy vintage shop soon…

In the meantime, I am having fun grouping the objects in the shop in a an attempt at making pages have a more united color scheme, when possible.

Despite the variety of items in the shop (now over 300) it’s amazing how the look and feel of each page is improved if you happen to have  similar colors represented when posting items.

For example, finding this vintage and collectible Vera Neumann  scarf with bold colors in orange, browns and yellows in a “Mod” style…

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You can click on the photo to see the listing on Etsy

and finding this vintage Mikasa plate from the 1970’s (in the “Indian Feast – Half Moon” pattern) with the same color themes.

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You can click on the photo to see the listing on Etsy

What a nice coincidence, and the objects matched my shop logo colors — well, at least for a week or so, until the items moved on to page 2!

It doesn’t have to be similar objects, only similar colors.

Here is how the shop looked with the Vera scarf and Mikasa plate, along with the numerous brown color items in the shop:

Color Themes Post

Sure it’s an on-line shop, but just as we humans enjoy browsing at brick and mortar stores with pleasing color themes when we walk into the shop, we can do something similar within our Etsy store’s shop pages.

With vintage shops, it is more of a challenge, especially with many random objects to sell…but perhaps photographing and listing products with similar color themes can be part of the thought process before listing the object.

Here is a page with green colors that I found pleasing…

Green Color Themes on PageYou can also consider saving an item that is up for a listing renewal when you have newer objects to post in the same color theme.

This does not mean that I don’t post an item that I’m excited about listing, since I can always group it with similar colors later with the “rearrange your shop” option within Etsy.

For example, using the “rearrange your shop” option,  I moved objects with red colors to the front, main shop page a few days ago to give the shop a little Valentines vibe.

Getting ready for Valentines Colors

After 6 months of having the shop — I am getting better at grouping  and minding the colors 🙂 …

Do you do something similar?  Comment with your shop name and link so we can see!

Or if you don’t think it is worth doing this, let me know, too…


And if you want to see my ever-changing Etsy Vintage Shop pages , click here.

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Related:

To learn more about what the COLORS  convey in E-Commerce stores, check out this interesting article from the design magazine SpeckyBoy.com.

Etsy Store Shipping for 2 lbs or less – Should you use the U.S. Postal System Priority Mail or “Regional” Priority Mail?

Shipping.  Ah shipping….

When you offer the same objects — or even one hundred objects — with similar shapes, sizes and weight to sell in your Etsy store, then shipping is EASY.

4 Elephants Tile Trivet

However,  if you have a vintage shop (like mine) where you sell all sorts of items, from a tiny Artesania Rinconada animal figurine (or the easy to ship 6″ round decorative tile trivet, pictured above) to a 3 ft. long metal wall organizer (photo below)… then shipping can be a challenge.

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Eventually, I’ll post a more detailed article on what I’ve learned about shipping since opening up my Etsy shop.

For today, I wanted to document this interesting find.


When I opened the shop, I read a blog article about the U.S. Post Office’s Priority Mail “Regional Rate Priority Box” option.

My understanding from the article was it was usually the best option if shipping by U.S. Post Office, especially for destinations within your geographical region.

But If you have an object that is less than 2 lbs, the priority mail Regional Rate Box option is not always the best (e.g., economical — CHEAP!) option.

I had 2 orders this morning, and both items were less than 2 lbs.

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The example I’ll use for this post is a maple leaf ceramic  bakeware item that is heading to the East Coast (from the West Coast, where I am based).

The item was small enough, so I could have chosen the “Regional Rate Box Box A” option, for this price:

Box A Regional rate shipping under 2 lbs HL

But I did not think there was enough room to add the cardboard and extra packing paper to protect the object for its long journey to the East Coast.

I am especially careful  since last month, I had an item that unfortunately arrived in pieces by the time it got to Missouri, despite thinking that I had packed the item very well.

So I was definitely NOT comfortable shipping this item in “Box A”.

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If I elected to use the next larger size “Regional Rate Box B”, then the price jumped by $6.31 — and would be more than what I estimated when I listed the item in the store.

Box B Regional rate shipping under 2 lbs HL

So, while there is certainly more room to protect the item in “Box B”the jump in pricing was not good.

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A third option was to use a similarly sized box as the “Box B” (using my own recycled box packaging and not the USPS provided box)…

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The box dimension was essentially the same as the Post Office “Box B” option, but because I was using my own recycled box packaging, the shipping price dropped down as if I was using the “Box A” option.

Under 2 lbs using my own box

This turned out to be the most economical way to ship the item — provided of course, you keep extra boxes around to re-use.

How interesting to learn this!

I’m happy with the much better pricing, which was well within my shipping charge for the item.

Plus, I feel much better shipping a ceramic piece in a bigger box with added protection for the item.

Do you use the Regional Rate option when shipping by U.S. Post Office through Etsy?  Is it a good option for you, or did you have the same experience as I did?


Note:  Shipping costs for this post was through Etsy, within the Etsy website’s store order / sold items process.  Etsy has their own discounted pricing agreements with the U.S. Post Office.


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Related Market Tales Blog Posts (Shipping Series):  Should you ship UPS Ground or U.S. Postal Service for a cube box under 8 lbs?

My first listings — and describing / pricing my Franciscan Pottery and Heath Ceramics

One of the most challenging thing to do once you’ve set up shop in Etsy is to figure out

  1. How to price your vintage objects
  2. The language and description to add to your item listing

Until I set up my Etsy store, I didn’t know that Heath Ceramics, based in Sausalito, California were highly collectible.  I bought the plates years ago because I liked the simple design, the look of the glaze and colors.

I also had many pieces from the Franciscan Pottery Company in the “Jamoca” line, as well as various plates and creamers from other Franciscan lines.  Initially, I did not know that they were Franciscan.  I just liked the colors and the shapes and picked up pieces here and there, over the years.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

If writing is not your thing (I’m so-so at it) or you find it difficult to be creative with your words (as I do), then searching within Etsy to see how others describe similar items should get you inspired to write up descriptions for your first listing.

I’ve visited stores with very minimal words in their listings and some with long, super detailed descriptions.

I like information, so I tend to want to add more, rather than less.

I also think it is best to give your potential customer as much information to accompany the photos —- and leave it to them if they want to read the nitty gritty.

Along with looking within Etsy for similar products, you can do a Google search or search within EBay for product listing descriptions.  If the company who made your product is still operating, then it is easy enough to get information  simply by visiting their website.

P1230458Based on the information I gathered, I listed my Heath Ceramics Sea and Sand plates with the following description:

Classic and durable Heath ceramic dinner plates in beautiful Sea and Sand glaze, coupe shape.

The Heath company was founded in 1948 in Sausalito, California. They are known for their simple yet thoughtfully designed table ware.

The design and durability stands the test of time — thus becoming family heirlooms.

Many of founder Edith Heath’s original pieces are housed in permanent collections of modern art museums (MOMA and LACMA).

I thought it was a good start!

Getting a bit of history on the company made writing a description more fun, and for me, was an interesting process.

Franciscan Jamoca Gravy Pitcher
Franciscan Pottery “Jamoca” line Gravy Pitcher

Next up were my Franciscan dinnerware items, and I posted this description:

love the Franciscan line of ceramic dinnerware in the “Jamoca” pattern.

The neutral, dark brown color can easily pair with your other tableware collection, and the golden yellow scrolls, filigree designs are very pretty.

Franciscan Ceramics started under California-based Gladding, Mcbean & Co., and was later purchased by Wedgwood, then the Waterford Glass Group.

Jamoca is a discontinued pattern.

Franciscan Dinner Plates Jamoca edges

The Etsy item listing manager allows you to “copy” an existing listing.

In the case of the Franciscan tableware, this was a great feature as I was able to just copy most of the listing for the dinner / salad plates / footed cups & saucers, with all the information and product tags I already created.

Very nice, and time-saving, especially if you have many pieces that you want to sell separately.

PRICING

For collectible and known / popular dining and table top items, the website that sells replacement pieces is a good resource to get an idea of market price (and their availability) for pieces you are listing to sell. It is a terrific starting point for pricing.

I then checked EBay to see how many other sellers have the same or similar item for sale… what is their price?

And within Etsy, how many sellers already have the same item?  What condition is it in?  Is mine in better condition or less so?

Once I have done my research, I then price the items based on

  • what is available on line to replace these items
  • how many other listings there are, both on EBay and Etsy

And based on the condition and availability (is it rare?) I establish a price that I think is reasonable and fair.

Your thoughts? If you have tips to add on how to price your items, or additional ideas, please do comment.


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