etsy series no. 2

i came across bekuh's blog several months ago and knew she had a great knack for putting things together. her blog is well organized and that has translated well over to her etsy store. it seemed appropriate to have her share some thoughts on packaging. i'm excited for you all to meet her & pick up some great tips.
thanks bekuh!

Secondhand Sundays / Store / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram @bekuhdoo

 Hello Thompson readers, my name is Bekuh and I am a full-time Office Manager, part-time blogger, and co-owner of a vintage & handmade store on Etsy called the Button Factory. Ali asked me over here to share some of my insight and advice on packaging for Etsy sellers. I thought I'd start by sharing a little of my history on Etsy and how my methods of packaging have changed over the years.

I opened my first store on Etsy in 2009, as a way of making a couple of extra dollars while in college. I was an art major who happened into a large group of friends who all decided to get married at once. Suddenly I was making wedding decorations, planning showers, and hosting events; and I became enamored with the idea of breaking into the wedding scene as a crafting goddess. I way underestimated the amount of work and knowledge you need of the craft field before buying supplies and opening an online store front. I had never thought of organizing a standardized shipping package, buying supplies wholesale, or how to write shop policies, and I quickly became overwhelmed by the seeming maze of information on Etsy's website, and across the internet. 

To make a long story short I never created a standard branding method for that shop, but instead spent countless hours branding and rebranding on a whim trying to find my footing. In early 2011 I put that shop on the back burner as I planned my own wedding, and thought further about my next step.
Fast forward to November 2011, I finally decided to close my first shop after two years of barely breaking even on my supply costs. This was the best decision I could have made for myself. I realized that the crafts I was making were too time consuming for the perceived worth of the customers I was selling to. Luckily I wasn't away from Etsy for long, in September my friend Katie and I made the decision to open a new shop focusing on our love of vintage and handmade jewelry. You can read more about our shop on my blog Secondhand Sundays.
Taking the knowledge learned and experiences from my first shop, we decided that branding would be our top priority when meeting about the Button Factory last fall. A huge portion of branding your products is the packaging. The customer's experience does not end at purchase, it is important to think about how your products will look when they arrive at the customer's home. Think about your favorite stores, do they have pretty bags, tags, stickers, and wrapping? I bet they do! 

So why should your Etsy store operate any differently?

When deciding how to package your products for shipping I suggest considering the following:
1. Have you done your research?
I highly recommend reading the articles on Etsy's seller handbook, and buying a book or two on selling handmade. Other online resources include HandmadeologyEverything Etsy, and Design Sponge's Biz Ladies feature. All a great place to start before you open up shop.

2.What is the over all feel of the products in your shop (or hopeful shop)?
Are they country, minimalist, bohemian, vintage? Picking out packaging the reflects your products style is important for creating a "feeling" in your shop. the Button Factory is both vintage and handmade so our packaging combines both of these loves by using scrapbook paper with vintage prints and old dewey decimal system library cards, that we print and cut ourselves.

3. What can you do yourself? What needs to be sent out to others?
We do a large majority of the work on our packaging by ourselves. I'm lucky enough to have a business partner this time around that can help me paste, cut, and print anything we might need. If you're doing this on your own it might be worth having a company do a majority of the work for you.

4. How can you set your packaging apart from your competitors?
I highly recommend researching stores with similar clients, or desired clients. If they have a blog look at what they post about their shops, buy an item or two in a similar genre to yours, and poke around to see where your competitors are advertising.

5. Can you buy any of your packaging supplies in bulk?
There are so many great resources online for bulk packaging. From envelopes to stickers, to stamps, you really can find it all. We use Uline for tissue paper and large white envelopes. We'll save over $100   on our first 100 orders thanks to bulk purchasing.

6. How can you incentivize repeat customers?
Pretty wrapping is only one way to encourage customers to shop in your store again. Think about using coupon codes, small gifts with purchase, and free shipping to incentivize them to come back. We are employing a combination of these methods in our shop currently and have already seen a positive effect from these tactics since opening up shop in April.

7.  Create a shipping sample
Once you think you have your branding and packaging worked out create a sample of your shipping and double check that everything looks cohesive, well planned, and easy for you to manage on your own. Your completed package should reflect both your creativity and organized business sense.

It takes a lot of time, and energy to create a shipping style from the onset, but once created it will make shipping a much easier and pleasant experience for you and your customers. I feel like I learn something new every day on Etsy and that this learning curve will never end, but I choose to see this as a fun opportunity to use my art skills in an ever expanding way.

Have fun, keep things cheap, and get out there and sell. big kiss, bekuh (Secondhand Sundays)


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perch shop


  1. I love her store! And she gave some great tips :)

  2. What a great series! I think packaging is so important ... it's kind of like quality pictures on a blog. :)

  3. Wonderful advice! I must say, a seller that does a bang up job with packaging might win me as a customer for life. I've had a couple of favorites over the years that really wowed the socks off me!


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