Saturday, August 30, 2008

Before You Ask for a Shop Critique...

In the two years I've been an Etsy shop owner, I've been asked to do a number of shop critiques, and on many occasions, I've asked the requester to do a little homework before I spend my time and energy giving a thorough critique. Why? Because I'm a big meanie? Well, perhaps I am, but I also want to help get your shop in the best possible shape. These steps will help you get ready for your critique:

1. A little light reading
I ask that everyone who approaches me for a critique read all of Etsy's FAQs, Do's and Dont's, and Terms of Use first. I know that it seems like a daunting task, but it is all written in very simple, straightforward language, and it won't take as long as you think. It's well worth the time. It's probably not possible to memorize everything in there, but at least you'll have a familiarity with what is included in Etsy's policies and guidelines.

2. Fill in all of your shop sections
Make sure that you have a banner and an avatar, a shop announcement, a profile, a shop policies page, shop sections, a message to buyer, and at least a few listings. It's difficult to evaluate a shop that isn't complete.

3. A tiny bit more reading

After setting up shop, check out the EtsyWiki for advice to shop owners. There's a ton of great advice on photos, pricing, and on successful selling.

4. Make improvements to your shop based on what you've read
This step might seem obvious, but be sure to use what you've learned. You'll find that improving your shop is a constant iterative process. There's always more to learn, and there are always ways to improve.

Now that you've completed these four steps, you're ready for a detailed shop critique. Contact the Etsy Mentor of your choice, and we'll be happy to give you pointers based on our own experience.

About the Author: My name is 'Chel, and I'm the owner of Lava Jewelry and Zbella. I've been a member of Etsy for just over two years, and I'm available for mentoring in the following areas: Etsy Policies, Shop Critiques, USPS Shipping, and Gemstones.


Kits and Caboodles said...

That was a great first "real" set the bar high! Thanks

Lava Jewelry said...

Thanks, Andrea! That's very kind. :)

The House of Mouse said...

What a great post! very informative and easy to understand. Thank you for starting our blog off on the right foot :)

Monica from Urban Bead said...

This is great! I am going to follow this when I am asked for shop critiques in the future. Thanks

Glenda said...

Great advice. I've already done most of it, but will do a bit more reading. I definitely need a shop critique. Appreciate your willingness to help. Thanks!