Thursday, December 31, 2009

Buyers' Pet Peeves

I know I was promising a post about BNRs, but I haven’t been able to get that written. In the meantime, allow me to tell you about some of the pet peeves that your buyers may have and how you can fix them.

1) Slow shipping- This is what I hear complained about the most. If you’ve ever waited for a package to arrive, I’m sure you can understand what your customers may be feeling. My advice is to have things basically ready to go so you can get your items to the post office within 48 hours of receiving payment. Fast shippers tend to impress buyers, and impressed buyers tend to come back for more!

2) Slow replies to convos or email- Reply to convos and emails as fast as possible. I recommend checking them four or five times a day so you’ll be able to answer your buyers’ questions quickly. If you wait too long to respond, your buyer may decide to find a similar item elsewhere.

3) Lack of communication- Most buyers like to be reassured that everything is going well with their order, and if something goes wrong and the order is delayed, they want to know about it right away. Don’t wait for your buyer to contact you asking where their package is. By this time, they are already irritated with you. Send a message when you ship the package and include tracking information if you have it. Also, if you make a mistake, admit it immediately, and do your best to fix it.

4) Incomplete item descriptions- A picture may be worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t mean they can tell the whole story. You don’t have to be the perfect author, but you must try to answer any questions your buyer may have so your buyer won’t have to ask. Don’t make your buyer convo you to ask if something is available in a different color or what the measurements for an item are. I’ll admit right now that I’m guilty of that one, but I also know of several people, including myself, that would rather look for a similar item elsewhere than go through the trouble of sending a convo and waiting for a reply.

5) Poor Packaging- My mom and I are both internet shoppers and we spend a lot in Etsy stores. Some sellers package things really well, but others…don’t. We’ve seen semi-fragile things wrapped in toilet paper and shoved in a standard envelope. We’ve also had packing peanuts burst out of a package while we were trying to find the item that was buried beneath a million of the little demons. Think about how it is going to be to open your package before you close it up. Also consider any allergies your customer may have before including extras like scented soaps and such.

---TIP: If you must use packing peanuts, contain them in one or more grocery bags so you have bags of peanuts to cushion items rather than a bunch of little demons that fly everywhere and static cling to everything. When using loose peanuts write on the package: “Contains packing peanuts” so your buyer knows what to expect.

I know I haven’t listed all of them so feel free to include your pet peeve in the comments section.


  1. Very good tips. Indeed, communication is key to having a great shop. I think packaging one's items well is also important as it can build one's brand.


  2. Great advice! No worries about the lack of blogging, your posts are great! (and that's what counts)

    Happy New Year!

    -Mel (

  3. Great post, Melissa! Some of these things you would think would be so obvious to sellers, but many don't have a clue! Thanks for the "peanut" advice, btw. I honestly never thought about putting them in grocery bags first. Not everything is obvious to me either!