I spend some time browsing on Etsy – looking at all the beautiful hand-made items. It is a great source for birthday presents and such.

I also have been buying from eBay for many years, and so thought I would share some of the big ‘turn-offs’ that stop me buying something -how many are also yours?

1 Terrible pictures. I know it is cool that one can now list to Ebay and Etsy direct from phones – but a listing with a blurry blob of a picture is as good as useless. If you really want my money, please show me the respect of taking an in-focus picture. Modern cameras make it easier than ever, and with digital snaps you can take lots of pictures and chose the best one.
2 Not showing the size. I once saw a painting for sale with the description ‘Small picture of a greyhound’. OK, so what exactly does ‘small’ mean?? Add dimensions! Even better, include a picture with a visual scale reference. Many people use a coin (though this is not so good for international sales). A ruler is great. Or even having your hand in the picture will help a lot.

3 Some information is ESSENTIAL. You can’t expect to sell a car without putting the mileage. You can’t sell a computer game without saying whether you have tested it or not. You can’t sell model furniture without telling us the scale. If you fail to give basic information then people will assume the worst (the car must have high mileage, the game doesn’t work and the furniture is a different size to whatever the viewer might want!)

4 CAPITALS LETTERS and lots of colours and fonts. Why would you want to make it hard for visitors to read your listing? Keep it simple, please. Use a spell checker if you are not confident with your English and you could even ask someone to glance over your listing to ensure it is tip-top. A listing that is all ‘If u want 2 ask qstns txt me’ are really off-putting. Split chunks of writing up. You want people to read what you write, or else you are just wasting your time writing at all.

5 Be careful with your ‘Do nots’. I appreciate that we all have to have policies. It is fine to say that you want people with zero ratings to contact you before bidding, for example. Or to say that you can’t ship abroad right now. But please say this in a calm, friendly manner. There are few things more off-putting than an eBay listing that is mainly a list of instructions and rules. Do be careful if you say ‘I do not accept returns’. If you are a business seller on eBay – or any seller on Etsy (as all Etsy sellers are by definition business ones) then you must follow the laws of your country. And in Britain (and some other EU countries) you must follow the Distance Selling Regulations which means you have to accept some sorts of returns.

How To Stop Me From Buying Your Things – Hints for Online Craft Sellers

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