Etsy Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts

on Jun 10th, 2011 | in Etsy Tips | 8 Comments

Emily Post was the queen of etiquette, but she may have had a hard time learning how to conduct herself on Etsy. When I opened my Etsy shop, I made sure to take things seriously. I fastidiously read the Etsy Seller’s Handbook. I researched shipping rates and taxes. I created a policy section for my shop. I browsed and read through pages of forums. I’d like to think I went above and beyond, yet I was still in for a few surprises when I started trying to market and promote my shop. Learn from my embarrassing snafus with these Etsy dos and don’ts.


Comment on a treasury that someone has featured one of your items in. Not only do treasuries take time and effort to create, someone chose YOUR item out of all the millions of items for sale on Etsy to showcase in a collection. Take a second to let them know you appreciate the interest in your item.


Contact people to let them know that you have included their item in a treasury – they are already notified in their activity feed. If you are featuring the item on a website or Facebook where they do not get notified, a short convo may be appropriate.


Beware of the date on your treasury when posting it. If a treasury is saved privately and published later, it shows the original creation date when made public. This can make your treasury ‘old’ the second you share it! Publish the treasury quickly or copy and paste the items into a ‘new’ treasury when you’re ready to go. I learned my lesson when I got a nasty email about my ‘old’ treasury I’d been working on and promoting.


Feature your own items in a treasury. It’s bad form and the Etsy admins won’t feature self-promoting treasuries on the front page. Instead, feature your favorite creations from other Etsy artists and you’ll find they’re more likely to feature you in a treasury in return.


Participate in the Etsy community – forums, teams and Etsy chat.  I always get a bump in traffic to my shop when I spend some time interacting in the community. I’ve learned a ton and received a lot of great advice. I’d be lost without the Etsians who took me under their wing.


Get your feelings hurt by feedback in the forums. The Etsy sellers you contact and find in the community are largely helpful people who want to see you succeed. Many times what seems hurtful is an honest critique. Then again, there are a few bad apples that just want to tear others down; don’t let them get under your skin.

Etsy members also get up in arms about spam or unsolicited promotion in community spaces. The Etsy Seller’s Handbook says “Etsy does not allow spam in the community space; for this reason, unsolicited promotion or advertisement from representatives or affiliates of outside services, websites or other products is not allowed.” If you are unclear whether you’re about to post something “spammy”, err on the side of caution and don’t post it.


Add items and shops to your favorites that you really, truly like.


Send a convo to someone who has favorited your item or your shop. It’s tempting to thank the person for the Etsy love, offer them a coupon code on the item or invite them to view more things in your shop. It’s not quite a Viagra ad, but many Etsy members consider it spamming to get contacted after favoriting an item.


Market and promote your shop by relisting, offering coupon codes, and connecting with people in and outside of Etsy.


Use conversations to send unsolicited advertising, promotions or requests for donations. This is undeniably considered “spam.” You may get away with it once claiming newbie stupidity, but it’s a quick way to turn off fellow Etsians and potential buyers.

Cover image by Steven Depolo on Flickr.
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8 Responses

  1. Jeff says:

    Thank you. Being new to Etsy I was hoping to find exactly this kind of information. Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions before I even asked them.

  2. Caro says:

    This was so helpful…I feel like I have been living under a rock until now! Thanks so much!

  3. Sarah says:

    Thanks for this! I have heard conflicting things on contacting people to let them know they’re in a treasury. Personally, if I’m mobile, I don’t get my activity feed so I don’t know. I think it does help those who use mobile a lot. But, I can see how it would be irritating to those that don’t. It drives me nuts though when people don’t bother to say thank you, or comment and don’t heart a treasury they’re in. That way, no-one sees the products, even their own, so they miss out on a free opportunity for promotion.

  4. Tamsyn says:

    Thank you! I’m just getting started on etsy and this was so helpful xx

  5. Andrea says:

    Thanks for the great post. I’m just getting my feet wet with my Etsy store and this article is very helpful!

  6. Sarah Smith says:

    I found your information very helpful. Although I have been on Etsy a while, I work full-time so I am unable to put the time into it that I would like to . Also, I am not that familiar with the social networking trend unfortunately. Two things you mentioned that I can do — make treasuries and get in the forums. I would love to get your blog. Thanks for the info.

  7. kerri says:

    Thanks for writing this – I found it very helpful. I listed my first etsy item in May, and, even with all the etsy-related reading and googling I do, I still feel a little overwhelmed. Keep it coming!

  8. eva says:

    Thanks …this information is extremely useful. I would love to continue receiving your blog. I have only been on Etsy and find myself confused by the lack of attention or interest. I know that it is highly competitive but more so than I thought

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