My First Christmas Rush as an Etsy Seller

I've been an Etsy seller for over a year now, and in all honesty, it is going great! Up until the end of October, I was selling within my only store, where I sold custom made prints and greetings cards. However, I found a niche in the market of having my favourite sayings, puns and quotations printed onto mugs as gifts for the Christmas season - and when I say sales took off I mean they took off! I wasn't expecting to have hundreds of sales over the period of a few days but I was definitely happy to see it.

So, once I had all my ducks in a row, I thought... why not write about my first Christmas rush? What did I learn and what will I take/leave behind for my next holiday season? So, here goes!

1. Prepare

I know this sounds beyond obvious but it would surprise you how easy it is to think, well I have a few designs and if they sell out then great. But then if it does 'take off' you wish you either had more designs showcased or wish you had worked out a better profit range.

Luckily with my first shop, I knew having as many quality designs as possible was always the best bet. So, I began with 50 designs and slowly increased to my current amount of 160. If I hadn't of ran my first shop, I would've most likely made 10 designs! Then crossed my fingers it was enough!

Another thing with prepping is to ensure you have enough stock. Additionally, if you're using a drop shipper then it is essential you check their reliability, as well as their processing/shipping dates. Furthermore, you have to also check any extra costs they may charge.

Suggested Read: Preparing Your Etsy Shop for Christmas

Prep List

  • Increase inventory
  • Ensure quality over quantity
  • Factor how much profit per item, including if introducing any seasonal coupons/sales.

2. Be Honest

Shipping dates closing in can also bring on customers who want their items with immediate effect. Where you might see it as a sale, you should also think of the after-effects. Having a sale is a bonus for now, but if the item is delivered late then it could result in a negative review - which has an effect on your store all year round.

So, when I am messaged after my shipping dates have passed Christmas I always reply that I will do my utmost to ensure they receive their item ASAP but that it is not guaranteed to be before the big day - this then puts the choice on the customer on whether they want to buy an item, instead of you later being blamed for it not arriving in time.

3. Make time to go through each order

Reading through each order twice, as well as double-checking each order address, can be time-consuming but it is worth it. At the very beginning of opening my store, I incorrectly read the chosen design for a buyer and sent them the wrong product! Thankfully, they were very understanding. However, I can appreciate how this could have been very different if it was days before Christmas! Since then, I have purposely taken the time to go through each order twice. Mistakes happen, and they will probably happen again, but I make sure to carry out the above steps to ensure I've done what I can so it doesn't happen due to carelessness again!

4. Appreciate Everyone

Not every buyer will appreciate that you are a one-person shop, in fact, some may see you as a multi-national business and expect their items the very next day. What's more, some may also assume you have items ready to go, when in fact your items may be custom made. That said, however, I've found the positive, helpful and kind buyers far outweigh the negative.

The best way to approach? Treat everyone the same.

Whether you receive a polite message or even if you receive a message that is abrupt about an item, keep it simple. If need be you could use a template that you can copy and paste into a reply. For example, I found that a few days after each order I would get two or three messages, per day, with people asking when they should expect their order.

Instead of stressing, I simply get their details and add them into my template (which I save in my notes). Simply replying 'Hello X, I've checked your order and can see it is due to be dispatched by X, I'll update your tracking number once I have shipped it through our post office, Kind Regards Nicole'. Doing this means that there is an immediate answer to the initial question. If there are any more questions then I'm able to answer them separately, without worrying that it was our first point of contact.

5. Have a BackUp Plan

It's easy to assume that whatever you sell will leave your trusted home and arrive in the other in perfect condition, but this is not always the case. You can do everything possible to prevent breakages, but sometimes they happen. So, it's a good idea to have a backup plan on what you'll do in said situation. Will you send an immediate replacement? Will you have no option but to refund? Having a plan is essential, as when a customer messages an issue you want to make sure you know exactly what you're going to do! In the worst-case scenario, you won't need the backup plan - which can only be a good thing!

Have you learned anything about your first Christmas rush? Have I missed out on anything? We'd love to hear about them in the comments!

ohlushcreative 'nicole' blog signature

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *