Friday, November 27, 2009

So Etsy Wants to Make You a Featured Seller?....

The day you got the convo from Etsy, you were in shock and didn't really know what it meant to be a Featured Seller on Etsy. If youwere like me, you were skeptical...perhaps it was a hoax...but it said "Etsy Admin" by the person's photo so it had to be legit.

Immediately you said, "where do I sign up?" and bit your fingernails all day from anxiety because they told you not to tell anyone. Oh sure, you let "hints" slip to your Etsy teammates and you told your family because hey...they don't know what "Etssttyiie" is anyway! For months, you stalked the Featured Sellers, tracking their sales and asking anyone who would listen what to expect. You told your friends you could have anywhere from 5 to 50 sales and so you ordered some packaging supplies and a few other supplies to "get ready" for the big event.

This article is to help those who have been contacted and have no idea what to expect. Because believe me, you will not believe the attention this will get you.

My experience was a little special. After all, I was already very busy...it's candle season after all! I had craft shows scheduled and just happened to be just about completely out of vacation. I figured I am a smart cookie and I could figure out the scheduling. Plus, I had plenty of people say they would help...right?

Count on a few things:
  • You WILL (or at least the odds are VERY good) need time off of work if you work full-time. Plan ahead and don't accept the feature if you can't do it. Really...I was in tears many days because I didn't know how I would get the candles made and shipped. I never expected the volume of orders I received.
  • Your sales estimate won't even come close. I had well over 230 sales from the feature (on Etsy and my regular website) and they keep coming because there is still a link on the page that stays on for a few weeks. Granted, other people get 50 sales but those sales are way more than what they are accustomed to.
  • They say they will help but they may not. Don't count on friends and family to help. Things come up, their phones stop working, they forget, the dog ate it...well something, etc. Yes, I had a handful of people who did help and it was very much needed and appreciated. I was still up until 2AM and getting up at 5:30AM every day because I needed more help.
Here are some suggestions from a former Featured Seller:
  • Do order some supplies ahead of time. I mean some. You may end up shocked by what people order so don't even try to guess. Order a safe amount of packaging supplies so you are ready to go in that aspect.
  • Take advantage of the attention. Promote that Facebook Fan Page, Twitter, etc. You will gain all kinds of followers!
  • Make sure your Etsy page tells them that their orders may be delayed due to higher than normal volume. Give specifics if you can (i.e. two weeks).
  • Make sure your Sellers Notes reflect the delay as well. That way they see it again in the order confirmation they get from Etsy.
  • Send an email with information to your customers which also reiterates the longer wait and tells your customers about your Facebook and Twitter. Many said they were happy to wait and congratulations!
  • Schedule the creation of your product. I know that it is easiest for me to make huge batches of one fragrance at a time. Therefore, I waited until all was said and done before I started making candles. It cut my time by more than a half!
  • Keep up with the order entry. If you enter your orders into Peachtree or another software like I do, get those sales orders in the computer as they come in. It will help you feel like you have a handle on things!
  • If it is in stock, ship it out now! Ship what you can as fast as you can to get the order completed. This will help your sanity and will make many of your customers extremely happy!
  • Do what you can with the convos. I am all about customer service which you can see by my feedback but I simply had too many convos to keep up with while working full-time. Reply to those that are most important and go back to the others when you can. The trick for me was to read them in my email and NOT open them in Etsy if I could not reply right away. That way, they appeared unread in Etsy and I could respond when I had a chance. I did miss one convo because I did not leave it unread.
  • Pump yourself up! You are going to need stamina and energy. Promote your feature on Facebook, Twitter, your blog, and wherever else you do promo. Tell your teams and live off of the enthusiasm you get in return. After all, on Etsy, you are a "celebrity" during the feature so eat it up and use that energy to give you energy!
  • Delay the unnecessary in your life. If it isn't necessary (i.e. blogging), don't worry about it until you are caught up.
  • Remind yourself it is only a short time. You may very well ask yourself, "what have I done?," as you wake up from the 10th night of 3 hours of sleep and can't remember the last time you saw Grey's Anatomy or your friends/family. Just remember, it will only last a little while. Enjoy it because the attention is mind boggling! I had so many "shout outs" and team support and congratulations convos, it was crazy.
I am still running ragged from "regular" business right now. Etsy has done incredible things for my business (and of course the quality of my candles has something to do with it :)). However, I do not regret doing the feature and I am already seeing repeat business and NEW business because my feedback is awesome! I managed to rest nearly the entire day yesterday and had a very productive candle making day today.

Being the Etsy Featured Seller can be intimidating and outright frightening but once the dust settles, it is a very worthwhile adventure to take part in. Congratulations to future "celebrities"....you won't regret it...not even a little :)

-Suzanne
Former Etsy Featured Seller, November 6-8, 2009

27 comments:

tim said...

Awesome notes Suzanne!! Congrats

Lauren said...

Congrats on the feature, and thanks for sharing your experience!

MetalSmitten said...

wow, that's amazing! congratulations!

i only hope that one day these tips might be useful to me haha

~jess
http://metalsmitten.etsy.com

Beyond the RockZ said...

Congratulations Suzanne!

Dale said...

Thanks you are a doll to take the time to put this together...Much continued success!

Scrivener's Retreat said...

I was so happy when I saw you there. Congratulations on your success.

http://scrivenersretreat.com

bkdsignature said...

Thanks for sharing this with us! Congrats!

http://www.beegrl88.etsy.com
http://artist.to/bkdsignature

molecula said...

Thank you so much for taking the time to share your experiences! I'm sure you will help many (lucky!) people!

Anandi said...

congratulations, and thanks for the article - I hope to need it someday :)

Fantastic Toys said...

Congrats on all the sales. Being a featured seller doesn't always mean you'll receive a ton of sales though. It was exciting when I was chosen way back when but I barely had twenty items sold.

Flight Fancy said...

Congrats on being in the spotlight!Thanks for sharing the afters with us :)

Ebrown2503 said...

A great blog article. I keep 3 days of personal time cushion, after that, it sounds like I could use sick time legitimately! :o)

Penrose Designs said...

Congrats on the feature and thank you so much for sharing! I hope to be able to put your advice to use some day! Blessings!

dori said...

This was so awesome to read that I read it twice!! Thanks!!

AMIdesigns said...

Congratulations on being featured and thanks for such an informative article

Gifted Designs said...

I remember your feature and I'm glad it was so successful for you...:D

At this point, I have NO clue how I could even get that kind of volume out...*lol*

Rose's Designs said...

Congratulations! I hope to someday have your problem.. It is my goal!

PrudenceOctavia said...

that is awesome - I dream of being a featured seller. And LOL LOL at your comment of "stalking previously featured sellers" - I am guilty of that! One can only dream...

domoshar said...

Congratulations on being featured! And for writing such a good hints and experience packed notes. Well, it is actually tutorial I think!

Wishing you fantastic holiday season!
Beautiful, warm and loving Christmas following great sales :)

Ralitza
http://domoshar.etsy.com

Rebecca said...

Fantastic post! I was so excited when I saw you as a featured seller... this was shortly after you'd featured me on your blog, so I knew who you were already! Wow... congrats on the business this brought you! And thanks for all the great tips for those of us who always hope to get featured at some point! Happy Holidays, honey!

Adina said...

Ugh: stress.
Yay: success!

Dyche Designs said...

Wow, sounds like it was quite the roller coaster right. Congrats and have fun with all those additional customers. :0)

Connie said...

congratulations!

Andreanna said...

congrats on being a featured seller and thanks for sharing.

Lana of Honeysuckle Lane said...

Lots of great advice ~ thank you!

shopPOPKO said...

SO exciting! i love reading the behind the scenes stuff like this, thank you for sharing, im all pumped up to get that convo now! how long did you have to prepare?

Amanda (Wit and Whistle) said...

I just wanted to thank you for this post. I was the featured seller a few weeks ago, and this helped prepare me for the madness (as much as was possible). :) I really appreciate it!