Thursday, January 29, 2009

Simple Browser Tweaks for Sellers

By now I'm sure you know that there are tons of ways to make the internet work for you. I want to share some simple tools to make running your Etsy shop a bit easier. These will be super easy to use, some will just work without your help, and some you wont even know how you lived without.

First you will need to download Firefox if you don't have it already. Firefox is an internet browser like Internet Explorer or Safari. Its free and comes with some useful features that could be saving you time in your shop. Since time equals money then pay attention.

Once you have Firefox installed and open we are going to install some add-ons. There are tons of fun add ons so try not to get distracted. All you will need to do to install each suggestion is click the green add to Firefox button and follow the directions. It literally only takes seconds. After all off our add ons have been installed you will just need to close your browser window and reopen it to restart. All of your changes will then take affect.

8 Add ons you should use.
The highlighted link will bring you directly to the download page for each one.
  • My first suggestion is to install a password manager. This will save you from having to type in your password each time you want to log in to Etsy or anywhere else.
  • I also use the Morning Coffee add on. It lets me open all of the web pages I use everyday (email, Etsy, my blog, etc.) with one click.
  • Plain Text Links is a useful one on Etsy since links to outside webpages arent clickable. This allows you to right click on any plain text link to open the URL.
  • I have seen literally dozens of forum threads asking how to save a whole web page. You will want to do this when you get on the front page or in a treasury. There is a print screen function on most keyboards, but it will only save the portion of the screen you can see. There are also a few programs that allow you to save the whole page but the ScreenGrab add on makes it super simple. You can save the entire screen as an image file in one click.
  • ReminderFox allows you to set simple reminders for anything you need to remember. Its simpler than an online calendar and easy to use.
  • This one doesnt sound fancy, but I swear I use it constantly. QuickNote is like a little post it pad for your desktop. It saves automatically and you wont need to search for a file to find that little something you wanted to jot down.
  • This add on is my absolute favorite. It has saved me so much time with convos and email. Paste Email Plus lets you save text that you use often and makes it available with just a right click of your mouse. If you have text files saved that you use to copy and paste from (for convos thanking your customers or letting them know their order has shipped, etc.) this will replace those and make your life 100 times easier. Absolutely try this add on. You will love it.
  • Last but certainly not least is GreaseMonkey. Now I'm not exactly sure how this one works but somehow it allows you to run scripts that integrate seamlessly with web pages. That sounds very technical, but trust me, this is the easiest add on there is. You dont even know its there. You will need this to install the next set of tweaks from EtsyHacks.

We're not done yet! Now that we have pimped out our browser its time to head on over to to add a few bells and whistles to our shop itself. Ian is the other half to a very lucky Etsy Seller. I would kill for my husband to be so handy. He has created some pretty amazing solutions for shop owner. I would go ahead and download everything on this page. The changes will show up as part of your the page when you are viewing Etsy and your shop. I cannot stress how useful some of these scripts are.

Now you are ready to restart Firefox and enjoy your new tools. Running your shop will be a new experience once you are used to the changes. You might also notice a little red underline when you are typing. Thats because Firefox has a built in spell check. No more misspellings in listings! Just right click on the word that is underlined and select the correct word. You can also set Firefox as your default browser so it will open each time you go online. Click here for instructions on how to do that.

Let me know if this information was helpful to you or if you had any difficulties with any of the add ons or instructions. I'm making a little video tutorial that I will post soon.

A little bit about me: I'm Andrea from I have been part of the Etsy community for over a year and just recently reached 1000 sales! I'm thrilled to be able to share what I have learned with others. You can find me often in the forums or one of my monthly critiques in the Virtual Labs. Or you can visit my personal blog.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Etsy Sellers Tips - Avatars

Your avatar is like a little advertisement of your shop. If you post in the Etsy forums it is a great way to show off your creations, which is why so many people have one of their listings as their avatar. You can use the same avatar in any of the many social networks where you can advertise your store; Twitter, MySpace, DeviantArt, Flickr, facebook, your blog etc. Every time you update your avatar every one of your posts will change to the new image, imagine all those places a little photo of your work will be showing to the world, and it's free too!

Things to consider when making an avatar
  • Chose a photo that is clear and bright, make sure that it is still easy to make out even at the small avatar size.
  • Crop it so that no space is wasted in the background.
  • Always make sure the photo is something you have available to sell, there is nothing more frustrating that seeing an item you like in an avatar only to find it sold months ago. If the listing sells, replace it with a new one to keep your avatar fresh. I know I have sold more than one listing because someone fell in love with my avatar.
  • the avatar doesn't have to be the entire object, you can focus on an attractive detail of you like, or create some curiosity by cropping it in an artistic way so buyers click to find out more.
Some people choose to use their logo as their avatar, which is a great way to brand a store, others put a photo of themselves in there. Both of these ways are equally good, but they don't spark the kind of targeted interest in what store lies beyond the avatars link. If you can get a photo of yourself with one of your items into an avatar then this makes for a very clickable combination!

Things to avoid putting into an avatar
  • Dark or badly lit images. Get those photos looking bright and colorful first. Check out this Etsy tutorial for more info on how to do this.
  • Political images - unless you sell political themed products you should separate your political views from your store advertising, they don't belong here.
  • Your pets - yes, they are cute but it is to personal for a professional looking store. Of course if you sell pet accessories or products then making your pet your avatar would be a good idea.
  • Random photos that have nothing to do with you, your store or your product. Why waste this free advertising space?

About the Author: Anna Greaves is the founder of the Sellers Assisting Sellers team and runs her shop The House of Mouse full time from her home in The Netherlands.