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Welcome to Part 5 of my Selling On Etsy series! How to write a description that rocks! You may be here because you’re already a reader of my blog or maybe this is your first time here. If the former is true, you may want to skip the next few paragraphs (yawn, old news…). If the latter is true, let me introduce myself.
My name is Shannon and I have been an Etsy seller for almost 10 years. Currently we have 5 shops on Etsy, however all but 2 of those are on hold right now. Hubby was selling with me but his own carpentry business has picked up and he hasn’t had time to devote to online selling at all.
We sell mostly vintage on Etsy and some supplies. We don’t currently sell handmade…but a lot of the principles I cover in this series I *think* should be good for both.
If you’re here and new to Etsy or thinking about selling on Etsy you may want to check out Part One.
Selling on Etsy ~ Part One ~ Why Sell on Etsy ~ My Top 5 Reasons
If you have an Etsy shop and are struggling with it or just want to work it a bit harder, you may want to check out Part Two ~ Getting Your Items Found ~ Photography . And then be sure to follow my blog as I plan on continuing this series!
In the Part Three to this series, we shared with you my Number One Top Tip for Getting Your Items Found I also shared with you some hard numbers about our Etsy sales so you can see what kind of experience we have.
Part Four covered How to Write Titles that Sell and we said we would use some of that information to help us with our descriptions. Which brings us to this post!
Write a Killer Description
Whenever I talk to a new Etsy seller and they mention they are having a hard time making sales, the first thing I check with them (after finding out how many items they have listed and how often they list) is how they handle their descriptions. Let’s look at a fictional example. Here’s a teacup Newbie Seller has listed for sale.
Often, their title looks like this: “Haviland Limoges Teacup and Saucer”
And then the description looks like this:
“pretty tea cup and saucer. Marked Haviland & Co. Limoges”
Often people feel that their pictures and title cover everything and they have nothing left to put in their description. Honestly, it can be hard. Sometimes we get writer’s (seller’s?) block and it’s difficult to add anything else to a description. Sometimes we’re just lazy. (*raises hand*)
Let’s try working on that description. It really helps to think like a buyer. What would you like to know about this teacup if you were thinking of buying it? Size maybe? Condition? Any marks? Let’s see one example of fleshing out this description.
“Lovely example of a Haviland & Co tea cup and saucer!
This teacup set is marked Haviland France in green and Haviland & Co Limoges in red.
Both the cup and saucer are marked.
Dating from the early 1900s, this teacup set is in great shape!
There are no cracks or chips.
The saucer has a lightly scalloped rim and measures 5-3/8″ across.
Both pieces are rimmed in gold. The teacup handle is also gold.
Minimal wear to the gold. The teacup is 3-5/8″ across the mouth and 2″ high.
The design on the teacup and saucer is green, with a dark red chevron type accent.”
This is just one option as an example. While it may be a bit more “wordy”, it still has short paragraphs with only the basic information. I’ve also seen how successful sellers use more of a bullet point format. They restate their title as the first line of the description, including those keywords and keyword phrases we worked so hard on in Titles that Sell. Then after that introductory line or paragraph, they use bullet points.
Brand: Haviland Limoges
Item: Tea cup and saucer set
Color: Green and Red
Saucer Dimensions: 5-3/8″
Cup Dimensions: 3-5/8″ x 2″
Condition: No cracks or chips. Minimal wear to the gold rim.
There is no one single correct format. The point is to have content. You want the most important information first (sound familiar? Yes, just like titles). Think of those mobile buyers who may only see the beginning of your title or skim through the details of your description.
If you are really stuck, please feel free to click on the image up above or CLICK HERE for a free download-able brainstorming worksheet to get you past that writer’s block!
- Start the item description with a strong statement of what the item is. Use your best keywords and keyword phrases.
- In either bullet points or short paragraphs add extra details.
- Include information like condition, size, capacity, color, pattern names, maker, brand, artist, etc…
- What are some other possible uses for the item? For example, a small dish could be a paperclip holder on a desk or a jewelry holder on a nightstand.
A long time ago, I heard the advice to take pictures like there’s no description and describe the item like there’s no pictures. For the most part, I agree with that. I do think you need balance. You can’t spend half an hour on each description or you’ll never get anything listed. Like with most things, the more practice you get, the faster you’ll get. Choose a format and stick with it. It’ll get easier, I promise.
One more PRO TIP:
Did you know that if you include Etsy links in your description area they will be clickable? Use this feature to direct people to other places in your shop. At the end of flatware listings I say “More vintage flatware here” and then I put a link to the Vintage Flatware section of my shop. See an example here.
Other sellers put links to their About Me page or to their Shop storefront.
Anything to keep your potential buyer bopping around in your shop is a good thing!
I hope this helps with your description writing! Do you have any other suggestions? Feel free to comment below.
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