Let’s face it, when navigating the world of
Etsy handmade it can be a tad overwhelming.
I have compiled a list of tips on how to shop for handmade items on Etsy. I believe there are a few things that consumers may not really be aware of and some struggles we sellers all seem to share. Our goal as Etsy shop owners is to make your experience the best it can be. A few key points to consider:
- Many Etsy sellers dream of leaving the corporate world to pursue our dreams of a successful business that can support our lifestyles and families. But alas, we may not have quite made it there yet. We keep plugging along hoping to break free. What that means to you, as a customer, is that we may not be at home during the day. It is not always convenient to call you on the phone. We rely on the Etsy convo system to communicate. The Etsy convo system is great for the buyer as well as the seller. All convos are there on Etsy, should either party ever have an issue and need Etsy to step in. It is an excellent idea to have all communication in writing. I mean we don’t really know each other. It’s a lot like an insurance policy, without the high monthly premiums.
- All of my Etsy handmade friends clearly post their current turn-around times somewhere in their shop. It can be in the listing, if it is a smaller shop. It can be on your invoice. It can be in the main shop header that is at the top of the shop’s main page, as it is in ours. If you have a dated event, please look for the current turn-around. Nothing is more disappointing for you or me than to have to cancel an order because we can’t meet the deadline. If an item is marked Ready To Ship then you are good to go. It should ship to you quickly. If not, please convo the shop owner to ask if a rush order is available. We may have room to squeeze you in. There is customarily an additional charge to rush the order.
- Please remember that you are buying a carefully-crafted handmade item. We make these items in our homes, at our dining room tables, in many cases. Often we don’t have offices or massive storage space to house pre-made the items. A lot of the time we may need to order more materials in order to perfectly make your item for you. Our turn-around times are in direct relation to the number of orders we currently have in house. Plan ahead. Allow ample time. Be patient. We promise it will be worth the wait.
- If you receive your item and wish to contact us about a return, please be nice. You are talking to someone who poured her heart and soul into your creation. Being rude or mean to us is not going to gain you any brownie points. When I buy something at Target and want to return it, I do not use foul language or yell at the clerk at the return desk. I don’t tell her how horrible the product is. It hurts our feelings. Although all you see is your computer screen, there is a human being typing back to you. Trying to make it sound awful to us is not going to help your cause. We promise we will be much more willing to help you out when you are kind. Sometimes it’s just not quite what you expected. Sometimes it’s just not right for you. We understand. Before you contact a buyer for a return, please be sure you have read and understood each shop’s return policy and shop policies. Each shop is allowed to create their policies based on their needs. They can vary shop to shop. Generally we don’t accept returns on custom creations, such as a different color or size we do not offer in our shop. Rush fees are never refundable. If we rushed the order in good faith, we help up to our end of the bargain. We also do not refund shipping charges. I don’t know too many large corporations with unlimited capital at their disposal who refund shipping fees.
- We are not there, in person, to show you around our shops. We rely heavily on notes and information we carefully compile to help you figure out what you need to know. Most of your questions can be answered in the shop announcement, shop policies, the item listings, your invoice, and the shipping section of our shops. The only way we have to communicate is in writing. Please be careful to read the information provided to you. If we are answering conversations for things that are covered in our shop, we are not making orders, adding to the length of the delivery of your items. We carefully craft our information to make it easy for you to find what you are looking for. Just take a second to read the listing. If you don’t find the answer there or in the shop announcement, please contact us at that point.
If you follow these simple guidelines we think you will be extremely pleased with your experience. We love what we do, do it with passion and love to share our creations with you. We never want you to be disappointed. We believe that a small shift in how you think about shopping for handmade items will make it a positive and enjoyable experience for everyone. We are all used to instant gratification in our shopping experience for mass produced, imported items. By shopping handmade you are making a difference in the world. You are touching many lives. You are employing someone with a dream. You are supporting your country’s economy. If you buy from me you are buying something produced in the United States using materials made in the United States. You are keeping jobs here on our soil. And that, my friend, is something to be proud of. Not many products sold in the United States today can say that.
Why be like everyone else?
Support small business.
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