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Free Vintage Easter Postcards


Vintage Easter cards featuring chicks and rabbits and roosters. Scanned from vintage postcards these old ephemera cards will have slight imperfection due to age and wear, just part of their vintage charm.



Happy Crafting




Should You Respond to Negative Reviews on Etsy?


Responding publicly to reviews on Etsy is sometimes contentiously debated in the Etsy forums. But which is right, to respond or ignore it?

Some sellers quite rightly argue that it is professional to respond publicly to a negative review. This response is meant for future customers and shows how you handle different situations, what your customer service is like and what new customers can expect from you.

The argument against responding to reviews usually doesn't come with a robust argument as to why it's not a good idea but sellers opposed to doing this often cite the tendency of some sellers to respond very emotionally and not in a more professional way. 

I think it should go without saying that responses need to be kept professional and emotionally detached. But in case you need to hear that, it's super important to remember that you are talking to your next customer and your response should reflect well on you and your shop. Stick to the facts and leave the emotional drama out of it.

Other sellers simply feel afraid to respond. There's a fear of seeming imperfect, or to admitting there was a problem, or just simply preferring not to acknowledge reviews that are unfair in their context.

Getting an opinion on these types of important business decisions is often not best served by opinions from your peer group. Opinions aren't facts and it's usually a lot more helpful to have concrete data to inform your actions either way.

Looking outside Etsy for answers for this question opens up the discussion to more robust argument, which happens to skew very heavily in favor of yes - you should definitely respond to your negative reviews.

Let me provide some good statistical data that puts this into a whole new light (this data has been taken from a variety of studies and surveys):

1. 89% of customers say they read replies to reviews

2. 53% of customers expect a business to reply to their online reviews within 7 days

3. 82% of customers actually look for negative reviews for a business

4. 95% of customers get suspicious if there are no negative reviews

5. Businesses that respond to reviews on average earn 4% more revenue than those that don't

6. 41% of customers feel review responses show a business cares about their customers

If you google the topic you can find so many more stats around the benefits of responding to negative reviews but I wasn't able to find anything in favor of (or detrimental to) not responding (provided the response is professional).

So the consensus is clear, the benefits of responding to negative reviews far outweighs any perceived opinion on it not being necessary or it having any kind of negative effect.

If you struggle to write responses without your emotions getting in the way consider asking your peers to help you out. It's always easier to write a response for someone else! Some sellers are even utilizing ChatGPT with success to formulate a response, so if you're inclined in that direction and want to harness the power of AI for your business this is also a good option (just be sure to proof edit everything).


happy crafting

Free Vintage Easter Cross Postcards


Vintage Christian Easter cards featuring the holy cross with spring flowers. Scanned from vintage postcards these old ephemera cards will have slight imperfection due to age and wear, just part of their vintage charm.



Happy Crafting





Are Negative Reviews Increasing on Etsy?


Over the past decade there has definitely been been a measurable increase in negative reviews for many Etsy sellers, although Etsy themselves have not published any such stats for the platform as a whole.

I recently chose to measure 12 years of review history in my own Etsy clipart store in order to know definitively if what I felt was happening really was. Because feelings aren't facts and the numbers don't lie!

I measured my own reviews in 3 year increments splitting the reviews into positive (4 and 5 star reviews) and negative (3 stars or less) and converting that to a percentage from the total of reviews left.

From 2011 - 2013 I had 1106 reviews and only 1 was negative - so 0.09% of my reviews were negative. The negative review impact started to increase slowly over time so that the next three year period it was up to 0.58% and the following three year period it had increased to 0.89%

For the years 2020 - 2022 my negative review percentage was up again to 1.31%. This isn't a trend I'm happy about, obviously, and while it may still seem like a small number it's not something I want to continue growing upwards.

Both my products and customer service have improved over time, so these weren't reviews that were left because I had slipped in my offerings or was providing worse service/goods. In fact, most of the reviews left were from customers who had never spoken to me and simply didn't understand what they were buying or how to use the product.

In talking to my peers about this and what they were seeing in their own shops I heard very much the same feedback, although without solid numbers to back it up. But anyone who had been selling on Etsy for 6 or more years said they felt a definite increase in customers leaving negative feedback.

I have a few thoughts on why that is. First, Etsy is attracting a much different customer today than they were 10 years ago. As the marketplace has become more mainstream we're seeing a much broader customer base and so consumer behavior is more likely to follow the patterns of e-commerce in general rather than that of a small specialty boutique shop.

We're also seeing a lot more customers shopping on Etsy who are not very familiar with the platform or how it works. First time buyers often struggle to find their way around and that can be frustrating. Etsy doesn't make the site particularly easy to navigate and buyers have complained for years about the quality of search results.

Buyers are also increasingly using their phones to shop from, which due to the smaller screen size means it's much easier to make mistakes when making a purchase. You simply don't get the full amount of info that you would on a larger screen. But Etsy hasn't been doing much to address the buyer experience on the platform, instead focusing purely on getting customers to spend.

In more recent years, negative reviews in my shop at least, started to take an odd turn where it has felt more like buyers were reviewing themselves, leaving comments on things that I could never have any influence over. Etsy started pressuring buyers to leave reviews, often pestering them to do so and the quality of reviews suggests that buyers are simply not always in the right mindset when leaving a review.

So what can Etsy sellers do to minimize negative reviews in a climate where buyers are behaving with such increasing patterns of self-centered critique?

Over the years I have had to continually work at adapting my product information, from the listing images and descriptions to product enclosures and support material such as tutorials. I always try to keep improving or tweaking things over time as trouble areas pop up. This can be very nuanced so you have think creatively at how to solve buyer interactions in your shop.

Be open and proactive with communication. Make sure your buyers find you approachable and that you are open and transparent with them from the outset. I have several nudges in my shop that encourage buyers to reach out to and I put these everywhere I can, including my responses to negative reviews.

Don't sweat the occasional negative review. It's actually to your benefit to receive these once in a while because it makes your shop look more trustworthy. A perfect review record looks fake to many buyers so striving for perfection is not necessarily a good thing.

Keep the big picture in mind. The stats I offered were solely based on reviews left, but didn't take into account how many sales I had made that went smoothly without any review at all. When you do the math that way, negative reviews against total products sold... the picture should look a whole lot better.  

And lastly, always respond to your negative reviews so that future buyers have a sense of how you handle issues when they crop up. Nothing will go perfect all the time so how you handle problems is important.


Free Vintage Black and White Rabbits


Just in time for Easter designs! This collection of bunnies range in size from 6-8" at print resolution in PNG format black on a transparent background.



Happy Crafting



How Long Does it Take to Get Your First Sale on Etsy?

This question gets posted in various forums so often by new Etsy sellers looking for their very first sale and the answers are never even remotely helpful.

Sometimes the answer is very definitive: "it takes six months". Usually it's a range months such as 6-12 months or 10-18 months. Because the sellers replying to this are giving their own experience. 

Which ultimately means nothing at all to someone else's situation and it isn't even the kind of info that's actionable. What do you even do with info like that? Is it reassuring? Not reassuring? I don't know.

What if I told you that I've launched three digital stores on Etsy in the past 12 years and for each one I had my first sale in week one.

Would that be helpful? Probably not. Not on it's own anyway. It's probably disheartening if you've been waiting for six months for your first sale and it hasn't happened yet.

But that's because sellers are asking the wrong question. Asking, how long did it take to get your first sale, is not a useful or helpful question.

Instead, try asking, how does one go about getting sales quickly after launching their Etsy shop?

That question is bound to give you some really good actionable steps you can take. It also means that the people likely to answer it are not other sellers struggling to make sales, but experienced sellers who know how to get sales.

See the difference?

Here are my top tips answering the question: 

How do I Get Sales Quickly After Launching My Etsy Shop?

1. Do your homework first! Don't skip this very important step, there are loads of things you need o know BEFORE launching an Etsy shop. Prep yourself to know what those are.

2. When you do launch your shop, fill it out completely. I can't over state this. There are parts of your shop info that Etsy uses for your shop quality score that affect ranking in search.

3. Look and act trustworthy. There are so many scammers and crooks operating on Etsy. If your shop is legit, make it look legit. Be open and transparent, offer as much info as you can - fill out your shop info!

4. Offer quality products that people actually want to buy. This takes research. Do the research. KNow your product industry and your target customers.

5. Make sure your listings are filled out fully, accurately and in detail. 

6. Understand and implement good SEO. This is how you get found in search. If you do a poor job you won't get found and you won't make sales.

7. Have a plan to drive your own traffic. Etsy isn't going to do all the work for you. There are so many products on the platform that you simply can't/shouldn't be relying on Etsy exclusively for traffic.


Bottom line, you have to do the work. If you half-ass the job you aren't very likely to get great results. Set yourself up for success by putting everything you have into it. It may seem hard at first but it gets easier in time once you've learned the ropes and understand the dynamics of the site.


Free Retro Spring Animal Clipart


These tiny clip art images are perfect for spring projects where you needed an added touch. Sized from just 2-4" at print resolution these little animals are adorable!


Happy Crafting




How Many Listings Should You Have on Etsy?


When I started selling on Etsy way back in 2011, my digital seller peers were convinced that a certain magic happened with sales once you had 50 items in your shop and then again at 100 items.

They weren't wrong. Once I hit those inventory numbers (or thereabouts) I did notice an uptick in sales. So did many of my peers. 

But here's where people get this myth about listing numbers completely wrong. There is no magic number. It just depends on what you sell, how competitive your niche is and the quality of your listings.

Let's be honest. Of course the number of products you have in your shop matters. But the ideal number of products suitable for one business isn't the same for another.

Let me give you an example from brick and mortar retail. If you walked into a really high end designer boutique hand bag shop you might find 20 different hand bag designs each in a variety of colors. And let's say each bag might cost thousands of dollars. This store wouldn't need a really high volume of daily sales to make a profit and be successful.

Contrast that to the Dollar Store where you probably have something like 1000 different products. But each is sold at a dollar each. (actually 1.25 these days). This store requires significant daily traffic to earn a profitable income.

Two completely different stores, serving completely different needs and requiring completely different inventory strategies based primarily on the price of their product

Would the dollar be successful if it only had 20 products? No. Would people continue to shop there if the choices available were reduced to only 20 products? Probably not. People shop there because it has an amazing array of choices for really cheap.

So there is some aspect of quantity needed to sell successfully anywhere, in addition to having products that people actually want to buy. The way that Etsy SEO works, and the people shop on Etsy is where the beginning of this myth comes from.  

When competing for sales against hundreds or thousands of other products, it is much easier to get found with 100 listings than it is with 10. At the very least you should have a broader range of keywords to get found in search for with more listings than with less. But there is no one specific number of listings that creates a magic formula for getting found or getting sales. 

Getting found in Etsy search results depends on quite a few factors; including, your particular niche, how much competition you have, your photo quality, your SEO, how much traffic you yourself are sending, your sales history, your shop quality score etc.

When I first started selling on Etsy, and hearing about the so called magic of the number 50 or 100 for item listings I cam across a shop that had less than 10 listings that was doing really really well. Totally blowing up the myth of 50. The shop owner was a lawyer offering e-books on topics relevant to Etsy sellers.

This kind of shop doesn't need a high volume of listings because they have a very unique skill backed by accreditation that can't be easily replicated. At that time I believe they were they only shop of its kind on Etsy. So they had no competition with a high quality product that was targeted directly at customers who needed the info in those e-books. Talk about a recipe for success! 

No matter what kind of shop you have, determining how many listings you need in your shop should be based around the income you're hoping to earn and the price point you are selling at, factoring in how much competition you have or how easy/difficult your product is to make.

Generally speaking, the greater skill o complexity of a product + a higher price point the less amount of listings you'll likely need. Versus the opposite, the less skill or complexity + lower price point the more likely you'll need a higher number of listings. Even within this very generalized rule there will be exceptions. And much of that has to do with popularity. If you have an amazing product that you can't keep in stock inventory doesn't much matter :)

Bottom line, be consistent with your listings. Don't rush to create mass amounts of products that aren't good quality or are not what people are looking to buy. Just keep working away at it and have some longer term goals in mind to aim for and you'll get there in time!

happy crafting!!

Free Vintage Easter Cross Spring Flowers Cards


Vintage Christian Easter cards featuring the holy cross with spring flowers. Scanned from vintage postcards these old ephemera cards will have slight imperfection due to age and wear, just part of their vintage charm.



Happy Crafting


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