Thursday, January 9, 2014

Thursday Etsy Tips: Shop Policies

Why are Shop Policies Important?

Filling out your Shop Policies sections is a wonderful way to protect both you and your customer. Here you will be able to answer most of your customers' questions before they even ask, set clear guidelines on important stuff like shipping and refunds, and make your shop, well, more like a "real" shop. Your shop is a real shop: treating it like one will make both yours and your customers' experiences much better.

Not having this section filled will cost you sales. If a customer has a choice between your store and a very similar one with clearly laid policies, guess which one will get the sale? A customer will often rather click the "add to cart" button on someone else's shop, than "contact seller" in yours.

Shop Policies offer protection to you as a seller. You will also reduce the amount of customers contacting you about when their item should arrive, if you do refunds, etc. and give yourself a solid foundation in a case of a dispute.

Let's get started!

As always, make sure that your policies are in line with Etsy's Seller Guidelines and Terms of Use.

Your Shop Policies are located in the Info & Appearance, which you can find by hovering over Your Shop: found in the top right corner of any Etsy page.

On this page you will find tabs to different sections. We already took a look at the Info & Appearance, and the About Page. Click the Policies tab.

Now it's down to a matter of filling out the sections.

Your Welcome Message is just that, a short little welcome note. It doesn't need to be a reiteration of your About Page, and it doesn't appear in the items listings.

The Payment Policy is where you can indicate which methods of payment you take. Is it just PayPal or do you have Direct Checkout as well? Don't assume that your customers knows what cards are included in Direct Checkout, list them too.

The Shipping section may need to have the most information.
- Do you ship Internationally?
-What method do you use to ship with? Air? Surface? Are the packages tracked?
-What are the estimated shipping times? (Remember this is to protect you, and have happy customers.)
- Do you offer shipping upgrades?
- Who is responsible to cover extra customs fees, tax, or brokerage fees?

A Refund Policy is also very important. If you do not accept refunds, then state this. Just leaving this section blank does not clarify the issue. Depending on what you sell, you may not wish to accept refunds. If you do accept refunds clarify who is responsible for the shipping and any time restrictions.

There is even a spot for any Additional Information. This is a place to answers some Frequently Asked Questions, information about custom orders, or generally anything not covered in the above sections.

The final section, Seller Information, is related more specifically to parts of the European Union as some countries require certain information such as your name, physical address, tax number, etc. If this information is not legally required (by your country) you may leave this blank.

Don't forget to click "Save" or your hard work will be lost!

A good habit to get into is to check up on your policies from time to time. As you gain more experience in selling, or even as a customer, you will be able to update your policies accordingly.

For more Etsy tips see;

Getting Started (Opening a shop)
Setting up Shop (About Page)
Info and Appearance Section
List an Item

Andrea Davis resides in Winnipeg. A proud member of WEST for 2 years and the owner of "We Are Bound Together", a shop where 100% of the proceeds go to charities. Check out her shop, or blog.

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