Monday, January 7, 2013

Beware of the Etsy Seller Bubble

Recently there was a thread in Etsy Business Topics asking people if they print an receipt and invoice along with their order, and the first big batch of people said YES which amazed me! Because as a buyer, when I get extra paperwork with an order, it goes straight to the recycle bin. I don't need it. It's online if I need it. I don't need clutter and don't care to see any confirmation of my order.

Sellers in the forum said they thought it made them look more professional. So I ran a poll over at my livejournal where most of my friends are not etsy sellers, just plain old regular people. Results?

- 30% of the people were ANNOYED when they get a printed receipt, because it's bad for the environment

- 60% of the people didn't care either way

- 5% said they thought it was nice

- 5% said it was important to get that receipt

So basically if you get 20 orders and print receipts out for all of them, you'll end up pissing off six people and in order to make friends with one. Maybe two.

That sucks.

Which is my main complaint about the etsy forums in general... everything discussed there is within the bubble of seller-dom. It's sellers staring at each other, all thinking about things that *might* make customers happy, but no one's actually talking to customers.

Remember how I've written before that the #1 way to promote your etsy shop is just to list something new? That's because etsy customers may or may not click on it... you get statistics, you can see how it's doing compared to something else! That's paying attention to your target audience. Not promoting to other etsy sellers. Not talking to other etsy sellers.

Sometimes other sellers can help you with shop critiques or photos or other things that customers just don't think about as often. But never forget who you're talking to, and every so often, get out and ask a normal person how they feel!


  1. Thanks for this very interesting and helpful information! Gasp! I write a personal thank you on the receipt. I wonder if I win points on that...?

    1. Personally, I think a little thank you is nice, just something to really make the etsy experience unique. It's mostly the "exact paper copy of something I already have in email" idea that I think people find pointless!

  2. That was valuable content, Spacefem! Thank you for that.