My experience as Etsy's Featured Seller

Mar 21, 2011

The ultimate goal for any Etsy shop owner is to be featured on the front page of Etsy.  So, in early February, when I was contacted by Etsy admin about being a Featured Seller, I was ecstatic.  The admin team gave me some helpful resources and information about how to prepare for the feature, and being the big planner that I am, I started filling out a long to-do list for the next month.

First on my list was to find a photographer.  It is the responsibility of the Featured Seller to submit photos of themselves and studio, and, even though I have a decent camera, I wasn't about to have my husband snap some pictures.  Sorry, honey.  One of my favorite photographers in town is Anthony Georgis, and he was kind enough to take some photos of me with little lead time.  The photo above was one of several pictures Anthony took that I submitted.

Two weeks before the interview reveal, I started amping up my production pace.  Etsy encourages Featured Sellers to have a "well-stocked" shop.  Of course, well-stocked is quite objective.  Seeing that I primarily create original art, I could only create a handful of works a week.  A couple of days before the interview went live, I sold three original works in my Etsy shop.  A good problem to have, I know, but then I spent the rest of the weekend creating a few more pieces, including these two shown below.

On the morning of the interview,  I was uploading new works into my shop when I started getting the first of many pings- the sound my iphone makes when I get an email.  Within the course of the next several days, I received over 60 convos (Etsy emails) and sold 85 items. 

20,000 visitors landed in my shop while I was on the front page of Etsy, a number I probably won't see again unless Charlie Sheen tweets about me.  It just goes to show how much traffic there needs to be for a peak in online sales, which is why increased exposure (i.e. marketing) is key for an online business.

The first of several trips to the Post Office.

There were many late nights this past week, but I managed to send all my orders out on time.  I was pleasantly surprised to see that a quarter of the orders were international, mostly from Australia. Although half of the followers on my blog are international,  I wasn't expecting to see such a high number of sales overseas.  It makes me happy to know that people are willing to pay international shipping rates even for an art print of mine. 

As mentioned in the prior post, I was extremely touched by the flood of encouraging comments I received.  I was also flattered to be invited to be part of art events, artist collaborations, and blog features.  My art may even be part of a TV show set- exciting stuff! 

Being the Featured Seller on Etsy has been an amazing experience.  If you have recently been asked to be the Featured Seller, congratulations! And here are some tips I have for you:
  1. Accept the offer!
  2. Have exceptional pictures for the interview and your shop.  This is not the time to experiment with the latest Photoshop filters. 
  3. Try to at least triple your production the weeks before the reveal.
  4. If you sell one-of-a-kind pieces, wait to upload new products until a day or two before the interview.
  5. Make sure your product descriptions and store policies are very descriptive.   Also, do you have a policy about trades, layaways, custom work, and holds?
  6. Be prepared for an untimely incident with your internet connection.  Our modem died two days before the interview, and we had to drive out of Portland to buy a replacement.
  7. Re-list!  When a reproducible item (like an art print) sells, you'll need to re-list it.  So plan on being attached to a computer device while your interview is on the front page.
  8. Keep your orders organized.  I printed out all my orders as customer receipts and kept them on a clipboard.  
  9. If things go better than expected (i.e lots of orders), you will be sleep deprived for several days.
Feel free to contact me with other questions you may have.  I know that it's supposed to be a secret, but I promise I won't tell.


resolute twig said...

congrats on being featured and all the etsy success it brought! You so so deserved it!

Jennifer Allison said...

awesome and helpful info, thanks! one thing i'm having trouble wrapping my brain around... "#7: when an item sells you'll need to re-list it" - this is confusing me for some reason. unless you had an identical one waiting in the wings. explain? :)

85 sales...and 20,000 visitors...oof!

you're right about having a full shop...makes a world of difference (or i imagine that it does as i've not filled mine up yet).

be well!

~ jennifer

Melanie Grace Designs said...

Thank you so much for sharing your experience. It's so helpful to hear actual numbers!

Cathy said...


Ah, I can see how that can be confusing. Fixed it, so hopefully it makes more sense.


Cassidy said...

Congratulations on all of those sales! It must feel great to have your hard work recognized. :)

Jennifer Allison said...

ah yes....get it now. :)

Charissa - The Gifted Blog said...

Good advice. And 85 sales!? Whoo hoo! Sounds like a great (if exhausting) experience. How nice that this feature came around now, instead of the holidays or right before your Ireland trip. God is good.

gretchenmist . . . {belinda} said...

it's so cool!
congrats on all the opportunities that have opened up :)

Anonymous said...

It was nice to see someone featured that I was rooting for anyway. Great job and congratulations!

Squirrel and Starling said...

Congrats on being featured seller on Etsy & for the wonderful spike in sales! Yay! -Colleen

tiffany said...

Congratulations! I can only hope that one day I might be featured too. Love your work!

Bird on Wire Studio said...

Thank you so much for this peek into the Featured Seller process! It's one of my greatest dreams to be the featured seller. I think I share that sentiment with a lot of Etsy sellers. I was so happy to see your feature! Hooray!

littlebirdbigcity said...

I received your print in the mail yesterday, I love it! Your art is so gorgeous. I only hope to be a featured seller someday. The exposure sounds amazing. You definitely deserve it.

rachael said...

congratulations! I found your shop thanks to the etsy feature and I'm glad I did. thanks for the advice, hopefully someday I'll make it there too.

Frank Zweegers said...

Gratz on achieving your ultimate goal ;)

Evee said...

good job with the sales and the feature! also, i just wanted to say that i really like the contrast between the red and blue in those two smaller pieces :)

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