Valentine's Day on Etsy
December 18, 2016 12:39 PM   Subscribe

I know it's not even Christmas, but I'm thinking like a corporate thug. This will be my first V Day as an Etsy seller (link in my profile), and I don't even know how big V Day is on Etsy. I'm also trying to figure out if I should offer anything different that's still in keeping with my shop's vibe. I will, of course, tag for the holiday. Finally, is it still a thing to have a lot of red/pink?

If you don't have time to visit the shop, here's a rundown of what I offer: abstract art (alcohol ink, watercolor, some acrylic); hand-painted candles and candleholders; some jewelry (new to this but have been adding pieces, mostly memory wire bracelets); notecards made from my photos; watercolor postcards; and the occasional decorative skull. I plan to offer hand-painted silk scarves soon.
posted by mermaidcafe to Work & Money (3 answers total)
The most I would suggest is valentine's day cards and don't go overboard. It isn't a huge holiday.
posted by magnetsphere at 2:02 PM on December 18, 2016 [1 favorite]

Most people aren't really into Valentine's Day-themed things, even the people shopping for gifts. Since you already sell notecards, maybe add a few Valentiney cards, but that's kinda it. Don't stray too far from your shop's theme/aesthetic.

You could try running a coupon code before the holiday, and make a shop announcement about shipping deadlines so people can order stuff and get it in time for Valentine's Day. But there's no real need to have any themed products.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:31 PM on December 18, 2016

Unless you sell a thing with HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY on it, please do not tag it as Valentine's Day whatever -- Etsy's search is broken enough, and people are not looking for random giftable items if they type that in -- they are looking for HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY items.

But mostly it's a non-issue. I have been a casual seller since 2006 and never noticed an Xmas-style spike in sales. I think people who want cheesy "teddy holding a heart reading 'i wuv you'" not-very-thoughtful themed gifts are definitely not the sort of people who will be combing Etsy for the perfect and most thoughtful Valentine's gift, which could be anything from a rare book to a vintage barrette to a handmade silk nightie to an iPad case.

I have been doing beadwork since I was a kid and selling it since 1989 and I had to Google "cultured sea glass." That is a silly marketing term and risks people thinking it is actually somehow sea glass, which risks low reviews once they go show it off and say "It's cultured sea glass!" and somebody has a laugh at that because it makes little sense. A relatively new and relatively shoddy marketing term. Matte glass, etched glass, but not "cultured sea glass." I see whoever came up with the term has hoodwinked a good number of other sellers, too, but it's kind of...a "soft Corinthian leather" of the bead world and best avoided, I'd say. Also, with the jewellery, it's really important to show how it's finished -- photograph the end bits!

It's a thing for Walmart et al to have a lot of red and pink offerings, but I've never seen an Etsy shop do anything for Valentine's Day that they don't do all year. Don't think "I'm Walmart, stocking up with teddies holding satin hearts..." Just concentrate on quality products that people would want to give as a gift anytime, 14 Feb included. I put a Vistaprinted card in with my eBay/Etsy stuff and often scribble on holiday best wishes if something's going out in time for X holiday, but that's the end of it.

The only other thing I can think of is to check out ballpark prices for express shipping rates, because if you are lucky (har) you will get somebody in West Lothian e-mailing you on 10 Feb asking how much to FedEx it there by the 14th. If you already know it's going to cost over $100, you can say "I'm happy to investigate further if you like, but do be aware that it will be over $100," which usually shuts the whole thing down and prevents you from calling around to various shippers etc only to find out that the buyer was hoping it would mean an extra $5.
posted by kmennie at 3:56 PM on December 18, 2016

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