Monday, April 5, 2010

New to Selling?

Are you new to selling? Have you been wanting to sell for a while but were afraid to try? Do you find the idea of writing item descriptions daunting? Do you already sell but constantly look for ways to improve your descriptions? Maybe this can help!

First of all, the best advice I can ever give to a seller: Describe your item like there are NO pictures at all, and take pictures like there is NO description at all. Then, when you put them together, you've got magic.

In this blog post, I'm going to cover most of the things you will need to include in your description, whether you sell on Etsy, eBay, Zibbet, ArtFire, or your own website. And don't worry; they're easier than you think!

1. The item itself. This seems obvious to most of us, right? But it goes beyond just the basic shirt, jewelry, card. What kind of shirt is it? What kind of jewelry? Is it a silk tie-dyed tunic? Turquoise wire-wrapped earrings? What else is included with the purchase? Does your photo show the item on a table with a few other things? You should crop the photo, but that's a blog post for another day. In the meantime, make sure your buyer knows exactly what is being offered for sale and what is not included.

2. Color. Keep in mind that all monitors are different and that everyone can have different settings which can change how color is viewed. I find it's easiest to be as specific as possible when describing color. Not very color savvy? Grab a big box of crayons and match it up!

3. Size. How big or how small is your item? Be specific here. You can't list a bracelet and say it's smaller than a breadbox. Get a cheap tape measure at the dollar store and include measurements. If you're selling jewelry, make sure you let your buyers know how long the item is. Pictures can't always convey length properly. If you're selling clothing, make sure you include bust, waist, shoulders, and hip measurements along with the length. Remember, buyers can't hold your item or try it on! Let them know if it will fit them by being as specific as possible.

4. Material. What is your item made from? What kind of cloth/stone/metal/paper is it? How is it made? Is it serged/quilted/wire-wrapped/etc?

5. Care instructions. Let your buyers know how they can keep your item clean, if necessary. If this is a clothing item or a purse, they will want to know. Can it be tossed in the washer or is it a dry-clean only item?

6. Weight. This can be helpful, and sometimes necessary. Are you selling gorgeous vintage earrings that weigh a ton and can only be worn by people with strong ears? Are you selling a heavy wool sweater? Let your buyer know.

7. Usage. How will the buyer use this item? If it's a bracelet, how does it stay closed and how can you put it on? The same goes for anything, really. Describe the buttons, the clasps, the zippers, ear wires, etc.

8. Feel. This is kind of subjective but I like to include this information when I can. Is something faceted or smooth? Is it soft, rough, textured, or silky? Lightweight, thick, comfortable?

9. Allergens. Make sure you include this information somewhere, whether it's in your profile, your bio, your policies, or the listing itself. Does someone in your house smoke? If yes, this needs to be disclosed. Do you have pets? Lots of potential buyers are allergic and would need to know this. You never know when a stray hair can end up in a package. Do you include dryer sheets when shipping? You probably shouldn't, but lots of sellers do, and this should be disclosed.

10. Packaging and shipping. How is the item going to be shipped? Do you use First Class, Priority, USPS? Or do you use UPS or Fed-Ex or another option? Buyers love to know this. How do you package the item? Do you lovingly wrap it in a gift-box, tie it with a coordinating ribbon, toss it in a baggie? Do you recycle packaging materials? I do, and lots of buyers love that. Lots more sellers are doing this, but make sure you disclose it somewhere so no one gets annoyed or offended. Are your packaging materials eco-friendly? Mention it!


Tanya Gibson-Little Village Naturals said...

Thank you for writing this helpful post! A lot of great tips here!

Jamie Creason said...

Awesome information~it's the little things that mean the most! I hadn't thought of most of these!

Thank you~

marykerran said...

Thanks very much for the tips. Really appreciated.

Alli (One Pearl Button) said...

Fantastic tips - thank you for sharing!

Patricia Wood said...

What a great post! Thanks for sharing:)

Glowbug Design said...

As a fellow Etsy seller, these are fantastic tips. I wish I had known all this when I started selling.

Sometimes if I'm struggling with an item description, I think back to what inspired the item in the first place. Including your inspiration makes the description personal and engaging.

Sarah Knight said...

sounds very helpful : )

Bubbles said...

Not brave enough to sell yet, but when I do this post will be invaluable.Thank you, brilliant.

pamannie said...

Excellent tips! Thanks!