Monday Challenge: Week 3 of Holiday 2012 Boot Camp

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Cookies from BakeAllTheThings

Etsy Browse

Before we get started with this week’s Boot Camp, I want to say it has been a challenging week on Etsy with the roll out of the new Browse feature. We have been scrambling around trying to figure out where Etsy put our listings in their game of fruit-basket-turnover, and are left wondering if our shops will ever be found again.

This is especially frustrating for those with OOAK items and items with no clear cut categories in the Browse section. But let’s keep in mind that for most shops, the majority of views come from Search. And after much experimentation, and from reading other’s experiences, Admin’s advice to keep tagging and titling for relevancy seems the best way to move forward. Don’t waste any more time trying to get found in Browse, and don’t waste money on renewing. Although it does seem recency plays into it, items in Browse come and go randomly – there one minute, gone the next. So let’s continue to focus on relevancy and forget about Browse!

Let’s also step back a minute. We know Etsy is no longer about “handmade.” Resellers continue to grow and thrive  – and they are not going away. Etsy is now catering to small “businesses” as opposed to individual artists. Administration handpicks which Sellers get promoted. And to further this, a “suggested shops” feature is now being tested. Copyright infringement remains rampant, and the site is more and more taking on the feel of a giant flea market. The kind that caters to new junk.  Unfortunately, for most of us there is no better alternative at this time.

As Etsy continues to move further and further away from its original vision, we must now more than ever cling tightly to our own. Let’s get back to where we started. We started with doing something we love. Creating. Art. Craft. That’s where our hours were spent pre-Etsy and that’s where our hours belong. Not trying to clamor to the top of a site that promises one thing and delivers another. Let’s get back to our love of handmade and away from the distaste of mass produced junk (which browsing on this site has now made more prominent than ever.) Let’s go back to our studios. Back to our craft rooms. Back to our art.

Etsy is going to do what Etsy is going to do, and to remain there means we have to adapt to their site changes, any and all. But we do not have to waste our time and energy on all the “Etsyness” of it. Let’s put our focus where it belongs – on our creations, our individual shops, our team, and on valuing true handmade. Those are our strengths, and those are the things that will help us survive.

Holiday Boot Camp – Week Three

Most of you have indicated that Etsy’s Boot Camp labs have been disappointing and directed more at newbies. I would add that other than the Holiday Merchandising Guide, there isn’t a lot to be had from the written boot camp either. This week we are directed to get found – in Search and yes, ironically enough, in Browse.

So let’s see what holiday marketing tips and ideas our team mates have come up with:

Create:

  • Traditional holiday items: ornaments, cards, tags, gift bags
  • Holiday travel and guest items: luggage tags, travel kits, guest towels and soaps
  • Holiday festivity items: hostess gifts, table decor, party items, co-worker gifts
  • Holiday Wear: clothing, accessories

Holiday Marketing:

  • Market what you have in a different way. Use holiday packaging or ribbons in your photos.
  • Suggest the use of your item and the price point in your description and tags: teacher gift, under fifty; holiday travel kit; holiday guest towels
  • Use the price points recommended by Etsy:

Under $25
Under $50
Under $75
Under $100
Noteworthy & Luxury Gifts

  • Change your shop avatar and/or banner to a holiday theme.
  • And last but not least, eat cookies.

Let’s keep up the discussion as we move toward the holidays!

UPCOMING: Our Tuesday Topic will be on Product Photography. Make sure to check back tomorrow for some great photography tips that will prove helpful when photographing items for the holidays and throughout the year!

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4 thoughts on “Monday Challenge: Week 3 of Holiday 2012 Boot Camp

  1. I love cookies. I’ll eat cookies. I’ll even make some!! 😉
    Great post, Kathijane. It always comes back to focusing on your own business. Just keep swimming. Just keep swimming.

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