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'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" won't regret it...not even a little :)

Former Etsy Featured Seller, November 6-8, 2009

Shipping "Stuff"

I have a few notes regarding shipping I wanted to share!

1. FLAT RATE SHIPPING ~ I have added a Flat Rate Shipping & Handling option to your list of options when checking out from my Etsy and Artfire shops. People living in the west really get socked with shipping charges so I added this option just for them!

2. FEDEX SHIPPING COMING SOON! ~ I am working on setting up an account with FedEx. I hope to have this ready to go by December 1st. While I am not a huge fan of their service during delivery, I have noted that they are open many days that UPS is not (like today and tomorrow) and have comparable or faster delivery times. The rates also appear to be competitive.

3. UPS CLOSED TODAY AND TOMORROW ~ UPS has chosen to be closed (or at least not pickup or deliver Ground packages) on this very busy shopping and shipping weekend :( Therefore, your packages which normally would have shipped today or tomorrow will not leave my home until Monday. Both USPS and FedEx are operating today and tomorrow.

I'll be working feverishly this weekend to get caught up on the orders from the last week!


Thursday, November 26, 2009

Join the Bliss Candle Club and Save TODAY!

At Bliss Soybean Candles, it's always Black Friday or Cyber Monday if you are a Bliss Candle Club member!

Join now and SAVE 10% on online purchases and get notifications of new fragrances and news from Bliss. The only things required are your name, address, and a valid email address.

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Saturday, November 7, 2009

Etsy Artist Feature: Nature's Favors

1. What is your shop name and what do you sell?
The name of my shop is naturefavors, I sell unique eco friendly favors and gifts that are inspired by nature. I specialize in earth friendly favors of distinction for weddings, bridal showers, baby showers and garden parties.

2. What is your shop URL?

3. What is your blog URL?

4. When did you start selling on Etsy?
January, 09

5. What is your favorite thing about Etsy?
It is a close tie between convos and feedbacks. I believe my favorite would have to be the conversation link. My background is in customer service and I love the fact that I can stay in contact with customers before, during and after a sale.

6. What is your favorite thing about what you create?
Knowing that the end result of what I have created is going to put a smile on someone's face when they receive it and again when they gift it back to nature.

7. What is your favorite item in your own shop and why?
My favorite at the moment would be the Earthblooms, because they are so unique and fun to make. They are garden favors that include everything but the water and do not require planting or digging.

8. What teams do you belong to?
None at the moment, I just haven’t had the time.

9. What is the most fun thing you do to promote your shop?
Networking on facebook, twitter, and my blog.

10. What are some of your favorite finds by other sellers on Etsy?
I plan to add more as time permits.

11. What do you do in your spare time?
Spare time? Seriously, when I have spare time I spend it with my family. I also enjoy coaching softball, gardening and web designing.

12. What blogs do you follow?

13. Do you sell anywhere else (websites, stores, etc)?
Yes, there are to many to list, but here are a few:

14. Do you have anything else you would like to share?
Thank you for featuring Nature Favors on your blog. I want to welcome everyone to visit Send me your comments and suggestions, I’d love to hear from you.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Featured Etsy Seller - That's Me!!

I am so blessed to be the Etsy Featured Seller this weekend starting November 6th at 1PM EST! Check out the interview on the front page of Etsy -

I was contacted a few months ago by Etsy and asked if I would like to be a Featured Seller. At the time, I really didn't realize what a big deal it was. Don't get me wrong...I knew being featured would be awesome...I mean it's the Front Page for three days! However, I had no idea what this could mean for recognition and sales.

Since I was contacted, I have been keeping a close eye on the Etsy Featured Sellers and realizing I better get ready to be super duper busy...just in case! I have seen some sellers with 50 sales in an hour, 50 sales in a day, and even saw one with 20 pages of sales over three (3) days! That's about 500 orders!!

So wish me luck and thank you for everyone's support this last couple of years...I would not be this successful without you!

Incredibly Grateful,


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Mona Shores Holiday Craft Show this Saturday!

Join us at Mona Shores High School in Norton Shores, Michigan in the large gym - Booth 69 on Saturday, November 7th from 9AM - 3PM.

See you there!