Frequency Vintage is up and running. I currently have 28 killer items in the shop, with about 10 more to list. I think they are all really great pieces. Unique, colorful, amazing vintage condition, priced right…should be flying off the shelves. BUT, sales have been slow, only 4 since October 31. So what’s up?
One reason is that Frequency Vintage is new to Etsy. I have read many forums that have said people only buy from shops with a lot of sales and feedback. I have also read that it doesn’t matter how many sales you have, if someone really wants something from your shop they will buy it. Not sure where that leaves me. I am an Etsy and Ebay buyer and have bought from shops with no sales, but always feel much more confident buying from shops with 100s of sales and positive ratings. And that’s it right there, my biggest problem: giving buyers confidence in what they are buying.
Ways to give online shoppers confidence in your shop
1. Lots of sales and positive feedback.
2. More descriptive listing
a. Better/eye-catching photos
b. Clear, specific description
c. Detailed sizing/measurement
3. Variety and season
I’m actually going to skip #1 for a while, since I’m guess 2 and 3 will have to happen first.
Let’s be honest, I am not a patient person. I get so excited when I get a new piece that I will try to get it in the shop before I have all the details together. Fast photo shoot with a dress form, few quick measurements, 3 sentence description, and booya! Big mistake.
2a. Better/eye-catching photos:
I know the piece, I have felt the fabric, seen the stitching, know how vibrant the colors are, but my buyer doesn’t. I need to go back over every one of my listings and take pictures that are full of life and show off more detail.
Many/most of the pieces in my shop are not my size and have ended up on a dress form. They look limp and lifeless. This is the perfect opportunity to show the buyer how to wear a vintage dress in a modern way. Make it a piece they can’t live without.
Great pictures can also show the texture and movement of fabric. If the buyer can’t feel the item in person, they need to be shown what they can expect.
Etsy has a great video that gives suggestions on how to improve photos for the beginner. Check it out.
And they have this great list on their Quick-Start-Guide:
Top 10 tips for perfect product photos:
- Shoot against a plain background that will complement your item. Large pieces of drawing or watercolor paper work well.
- Use the macro mode (flower icon) on your camera when shooting close-ups or small objects. If the photo is blurry, try adjusting the zoom, or getting closer to or farther from your subject.
- If you’re shooting small items like jewelry, simple props can help show scale.
- For larger items, look around the inside of your home for good locations. Think interesting architecture, beautiful natural settings, walls with interesting textures, or even plain white walls. Is there a location nearby — perhaps a church, library, or abandoned building — that would capture the mood of your items?
- If you sell items that can be worn, always use a live model. Adults, babies, and pets all draw in the shopper and help them imagine these items in use.
- Use soft natural lighting. Either morning or early evening light works best. Avoid direct sunlight and harsh mid-day lighting. Set up your shot inside, near a window, or outside (but not in direct sunlight).
- Never use flash.
- Go beyond the overhead or straight-on shot. Make your photos more dynamic by taking the shot from a variety of angles and distances, and then choosing the one that best complements your item.
- Edit your photos to make them brighter, crisper and the colors truer. You’ll also want to crop in interesting places to create movement in the photo. It may allow you to get closer to the item for a detail shot.
- Use all 5 spots for photos in your item listings: show the item in use, show your creative packaging, place the item near a complementary prop to show scale.
2b. Clear, specific description
Right now, I don’t think my descriptions are bad, they just aren’t good. They state the basics and leave much to be desired. If I was a buyer, I might skip right over the most awesome dress because the photos are okay and so is the description. This makes the buyer think the pieces is okay. Gotta sell the piece, make it GREAT!
Here’s Ety’s advice on how to write a GREAT! description. Check it out.
2c. Detailed sizing/measurement
This could be grouped with 2b, but I am separating it out because it is a very important step that I often sweep under the rug. Measurements are especially important in selling vintage. A size 6 from 1940 is not the same as a modern size 6.
Since the buyer does not have a chance to try the piece on, being clear on the measurements gives the buyer confidence. An example: Many people won’t know their jacket size, but they can grab a tape measure to see how long their arms are or the distance across their shoulders. This will help them visualize the fit and feel of the piece. Beyond typical bust, waist and hip measurements, letting the buyer know the size of the buttons, or distance between belt holes will help make the product more 3D in their mind.
3. Variety and season
I am a summer girl, I am drawn to dresses and bright colors. Half of the products in my shop are that exactly. Which is awesome for those lucky enough to be headed somewhere warm on vacation, or live in a tropical environment year round. But for the rest of us, some cold weather options might be nice.
Variety in a shop is a search engine bonus on Etsy. Someone searching for a clutch might be driven to your shop and end up seeing a brooch they can’t live without.
So there you have it. Great advice to improve an Etsy shop, which will boost your sales and feedback, which will boost your sales and feedback, and so on. Success! Now, I just have to take the advice myself.
Goal for 2012: All new listings must be complete: great pictures, description and measurements. Improve currently listings, at least 3 per week.
Any buyers or sellers have any recommendations for improving Etsy listings?