If you’re considering opening an online vendor, follow this advice from Lidy Baars, an online retailer at French Garden House, and Jeanne Connolly, indie redesigner of Vintage Renewal . Their tips will keep your buyers safe, happy and returning.
Lindy Baars’ Advice:
Offer your best: I started French Garden House with the very best of my antique and vintage pieces, and I only sell what I personally love and would have in my own home. Take quality photographs and describe each piece completely, flaws and all. Don’t let your customer be surprised to find the item was not what they intended to purchase.
Be clear and kind: State your policies up front so that your customers know what they can expect. Then lavish your customers with the best customer service you can offer. Ship on time and provide a pretty presentation. When things go wrong, how you handle the situation really matters as well.
Keep your customers safe: Use a secure payment method. Never share your customers’ information with anyone. Pack extremely well and have every package you send out insured.
Jeanne Connolly’s Advice:
Utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization): The stronger descriptive words you use for product searches while either buying and/or selling, the more targeted results you will receive.
Promote your shop: As a seller on Etsy, you can purchase a higher ranking for SEO by accessing the “promote your shop” category for your shop. Etsy also has a wonderful seller’s handbook with tips and tricks for optimizing your results. Some of those include: shop set-up, photographing products, writing product descriptions and marketing.
Invest in a domain name: While I love Etsy and wouldn’t trade that built-in readership for anything, it is wise to also have your very own domain name. I purchased mine (vintagerenewal.com) through Go Daddy (godaddy.com) and created my site through IndieMade (indiemade.com). I found the IndieMade staff helpful and the end results was polished and clean, complete with a calendar, blog, photo galleries and my store. If I learned about these tools sooner, I could have avoided the painful process of learning WordPress or worse, hiring an expensive Web site designer that doesn’t update the site.
By Jacqueline deMontravel