Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Keep Them Coming Back!

You work your butt off churning out new items for your shop. You take great photos, spend hours listing and perfecting your item descriptions, tag just right. You Facebook, Tweet, blog and more (ok, so maybe you dont’t do ALL of that, but at least some). And lo and behold, you sell some items! Now, how do you get your customer to come back for more?

I am blessed to have some wonderful repeat customers and am very proud of the feedback I have received. In that feedback, there are comments on how lovely the packaging was. I’ve even received convos after shipment with buyers expressing their happiness upon receiving a package so nicely presented. And once, I even received a hand-written note thanking me for such a great Etsy experience. These are accomplishments that mean the most to me. And to have them coming back for more is the best compliment anyone can pay to my shop.

Being an Etsy buyer as well, I have noticed all different types of cute packaging – all very different from each other. So there is no one way to present your item. But you should find your way. There are many variables that set Etsy apart from other huge, person-less companies out there. Packaging is a key part of the Etsy buying experience. Every detail in each transaction is crucial for customer happiness.

So I will lay out what I do after each sale. But it is up to you to find your own unique process. And our team invites you to share yours with the rest of us!

1. Once I have received confirmation in my e-mail that I have just made a sale, the first thing I do is contact the buyer, thank them for their purchase and give a time frame of when I will be shipping out their package. This is the only communication I do at this point unless there is a problem. I want them to know I have seen their order but I do not want to bombard them with e-mails.

2. I print out their mailing slip (through Paypal…it’s so much easier and it saves me from having to go to the post office. It’s also a tad bit cheaper than the post office) and adhere it to a bubble wrap envelope (this would obviously be different for each seller depending on what they sell).

3. In this photo, you can see all of the supplies I use for the presentation of my item. I take everything out at once so I’m not going back and forth getting things.This cuts the time down and if you have a busy week, time is important.

4. Every seller is different. Some jewelry designers prefer boxes . I prefer plastic baggies for two reasons : it is cost effective and they help to keep air away from the metals which reduces oxidation.

5. I then wrap the baggie in tissue paper. You can go to the dollar store and buy a stack of tissue paper for a minimal cost. Instead of using one sheet on one item, I cut it up in 4 squares so it will last me longer.

6. I then tie the package up with twine. Also inexpensive and it seems to last for several seasons.

7. In this photo, I have a piece of cardstock paper I bought at a craft store for creating gift tags. It came in a booklet of seasonal patterns. But I also use cards given at holidays, old calendars and anything I can find that has an interesting design. I did make a $15 investment in a circle punch to make the process quick and painless. I use this punch and cut out dozens of tags at a time and keep them in a tin.

8. I make sure to write a "thank you for your purchase" on the tag with a signature. Sometimes I write more if the situation calls for it. I then punch a hole at the top, thread the twine through the hole and then tie it off. My package is now ready to be put into the padded envelope.

9. I always add a business card in the packaging as well. On the back side of my business card, I offer a 10% discount on future purchases. This, in combination with the packaging, makes the buyer very happy. And it works! Not all of the time of course, but in many cases.

10. I follow up with positive feedback. I admit I may not get to this in the most timely of manners, but I always get to it eventually!

Please send us photos of your unique packaging! And any additional tips would be great. And if you have items that can’t be packaged this way because of size, shape, etc. we’d love to know what you do.


Deb said...

The way I package is very similar to yours, and I often receive compliments about how 'beautifully packaged' my items are. I have wondered about offering a discount on future purchases, so it is interesting to read that this has worked for you. I may start to do that soon. Thanks for this great post.

Deb x

waterwaif said...

I hang my item on a business card and wrap that in bubble wrap. I've received too many things that were broken because they were loose in a baggie. :-(

Chana said...

Thank you for the great information! I'm in the process of launching my Etsy shop and this is so very helpful! I'm your newest follower from WOW...hope you can find a min to swing over and return the favor:)

April Starr said...

Very cool! I make handmade origami boxes with my logo on it to put my jewelry in, tie a ribbon around it, include a thank you note and business card, and if I need padding, I recycle out old pages from the yellow pages and crumple them up to keep everything from sliding around. Because some of customers are very interested in the eco-friendly side of paper bead jewelry, I try to keep it as green as possible! :) If you want to see a picture of my origami boxes, you can see them in the fifth photo down, here:

soulsongcreations said...

Thanks so much for the great article! I take great care in my packaging also; I had one customer tell me that it was like receiving a gift from a friend! I love the business card idea (with having a VIP discount on the back). I'll have to think about redesigning my cards in the future. Thanks again for all of the helpful tips!

popwhiz said...

Thanks so much for the awesome tips! I'm really happy with my packaging, but have been looking for a way to include a discount coupon for buyers. The "VIP Card" is SUCH a great idea.

Jenn said...

I'm curious how others package artwork. My work isn't framed, but I want it to both be protected and to seem special/be treated as something valuable. Theoretically, it should be able to ship very cheaply, but I worry about bent corners and dinged edges in envelopes.

Reluctant Writer said...


I love the tips. Im thinking about up a esty store. Thanks for the info. Im your newest follower. Have a great day.

Anonymous said...

At the moment I do something very similar - I put each sold item onto a hangtag with my shop name on it, then wrap it with white tissue paper, twine, and a colorful paper tag stamped with the words "thank you". And my business card, of course!

That being said, I'm almost out of tissue paper and twine, so I'm wondering if a nice muslin bag with my shop name hand stamped on it would save me any time...

Moral of the story - don't be afraid to experiment!

zime said...

Thank you so much Kathleen for take the time to right about!!
The discount card is very interesting, I think I'll do it for the next sales.
Take care!!!

Lola's Jewels said...

Thanks for the tips!! Very helpful!!

Cilicia said...

Thanks for sharing how you package! I love the discount card idea and think I will try that on my next order of biz cards!

I wrap all my items in cellophane. Some I can put in a nice resealable bag and the purses and larger things I have to use a roll and tap. I put a business card inside, and on the larger orders I usually send along some little extra. I also add a cute sticker that I bought from, she also has some free print offs at her blog. If anyone is interested in the link let me know, she does great work! I get compliments on the thoughtfullness of putting the items in a "plastic" type container. I like it just in case it rains or something and the package were to get wet!

KippysSoMature said...

Excellent tips! Thank yoU!