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Etsy guide 3: Writing a listing

Updated: Apr 22, 2023

Writing a description for an item can be done in many ways, and I have trialled different approaches and have found this way is the easiest. Here I shall discuss the ins and outs of the main points to writing a listing. However, remember to fill in or amend all the bits and bobs too, such as attributes and the who and when it was made. These are all self explanatory so we don't need to detail them here. Also if you sell different purpose items the listing form may vary slightly for each item

I tend to write my title and description directly after researching the tag words, see my Etsy Guide to SEO and tag words. I find that having spent a few hours on E-Rank your mind is focused on words you have analysed and so writing the description seems much easier. I have used my knitted hares as examples here as with the guide for SEO's (tag words).


When I research tag words on E-Rank I keep a record of them in my journal, but they can be directly input into the tag section on the listing. Below you can see my tags, each made up of two or three words covering a wide range of genres. I haven't just focused on lavender or rabbits, but spread out my reach to include Pagan and mental health tags..

Section is an aid so customers can view similar things in your shop. For example my hares are under a section I created called 'Lavender Stuff' which also includes my lavender wands. I have lavender filled birdies but as there are so many of them they have a section on their own

Materials is self explanatory and I include sizes whenever there is room



After having chosen my tag words I immediately write my title. There are so many ways to do this, some people use really long titles but I prefer 6-7 words which is also recommended by E-Rank. The first three words of the title are the most important as they are the ones visible underneath the thumbnail photos during searches. For my hare I have used 'Moon Gazing Hare' but if that hadn't been very successful I would have changed it to 'Dried Lavender Decoration' as the photo shows the item is a hare, but it isn't obvious it is filled with lavender!


It is really important to get this choice correct so you attract the right customers. If ever an item isn't doing well it is here that I make the first changes.



I have laid out how I write a description below, short paragraphs and bullet points to reduce the amount of words used and to make it easy on the eye and mind. People do not have time to read pages of description, they usually scan the description picking out sizes and colours, maybe an explanation if the item is a curio. Read what I have written in this description.



Under this heading you can list variations of the featured item, whether it is sizes, colours or quantities. For my hares it is colours. There is an orange visibility button on the right so you can make some of your variations unavailable without deleting them. Click on 'Edit variations' to change the wording but the amounts can be changed on this screen

Below shows you the drop down screen when editing variations. On the left under the title I have called 'Primary colour' there are tick boxes you can choose and as you can see the hares are listed as different quantities of each colour.

You can then link photos to your variations using just the photos of the listing. Simply click the grey button on the previous screen 'Link photos' and attach your photos.


Photographs and videos

Etsy suggests a white or plain background, but I have created a little photo set of a hare wallpaper backdrop and the weathered wood of an old crate. I NEVER use photo props as there is nothing worse than a cluttered photo where you cannot tell what is the item and what is prop. I believe if you have a good item you don't need to fancy it up. If ever I have a photo of every angle with some empty slots to spare I fill them with pictures of related things such as a packed parcel, my wool room or as is with these hares I included my website, logo and rabbit rescue pledge.

It is vital to have a video too as it really helps to show off your item. If you're selling something mundane where a video is pointless perhaps have a video of you making the item. Videos are only 15 seconds long max and have no sound. For my lavender wands I made a video showing how our lavender is hand picked as this is a vital aspect of the lavenders quality.


Delivery settings

Delivery settings can be daunting but they really aren't. Having said that, the predetermined settings do not allow enough time for Royal Mail. Therefore I chose 'Other' and entered my own delivery times. 4-5 days have been set as it's the week before Christmas but my 2nd class is usually 2-4 days. Because the hares are light there is no additional charge for extra ones as the UK 2nd class post is up to 2 kg.

Upgraded deliveries can be set for both domestic and international postage. Enter the amount that the upgrade is, which is added to the normal postage and not the total cost of upgraded postage, eg. extra £2.20 postage for the upgrade plus the original £3.35 for normal post. To activate the upgrades you need to switch them on, as per the red marks on the image below. Click on settings, choose 'Delivery settings'. and then the arrowed 'upgrade' I will do a full guide on mastering delivery times as there are quite a few tips to discuss.


Shop policies

It is really important not to forget all the shop policies that you need to set. It's not as bad as it sounds and depending on what you sell, your policies may vary. Using 'settings' as in the image above click on Policy settings. You need to go through all the different options, there's not many, concerning returns, cancellations and refunds.



The final thing to discuss comes up at the bottom of the listing page and that is the personalisation form. I use this for my cards as people can send me the words they want printing within the card. Personally I would avoid personalisation because it seems to be the biggest issue with problems discussed on social media. Be very, very specific as to what you want the customer to supply. During the postal strikes some Etsy sellers set up personalisation so buyers had to confirm they knew there were huge delays, however, if you simply extend your delivery times you shouldn't need to do this. Read what I have written in the personalisation box

There you have it. Fill out everything, be exact with sizes, colours and descriptions and keep it simple and concise. Good luck, you'll breeze through!

Other blogs in the Etsy Guide series (I'll be doing one a fortnight, ish):

Etsy Guide 1: Christmas Chaos

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