This article is a part of Back to Basics month in April 2012. Look for more articles on these topics in the Seller Handbook, watch the workshops in the Online Labs, and subscribe to the Etsy Success newsletter to stay in the loop!
As a new seller you’re probably wondering, where’s the best place to outline and communicate how you do business? Enter your Shop Policies. Located under Info & Appearance in Your Shop, your shop policies will help buyers make an informed purchase from you. When you sit down to write them, remember the following:
- Be informative. Your policies are a great place to detail your processes. What do buyers absolutely need to know when they buy from your shop? Provide important information about how you do business, like your shipping turnaround time, whether or not you offer refunds or exchanges, how you handle customs and duty fees, and what types of payments you accept.
- Stay positive. Use your policies to emphasize the over-the-fence, World-Series kind of customer service you provide. Stay upbeat by avoiding negative or accusatory phrases, like “I don’t take any responsibility.” Create policies that you would appreciate and trust as a buyer.
- Research. Take a look at other sellers whom you admire. What about their policies are compelling? Do they make you want to purchase from their shop?
- Be fair. Policies are designed to protect both you as a seller and your buyers. Offer assurance and instill confidence in wary buyers with policies that are safe, fair and respectful.
- Keep it simple. Policies that are overly wordy can sometimes be confusing and may turn a customer away. Craft your policies in clear, concise sentences.
- Listen up. What are common questions shoppers ask you? If you receive similar questions from multiple buyers, consider reworking your policies to provide more info up front, so buyers don’t have to convo you.
- Special sauce. What is it about your business that is special? Maybe it’s the handmade packaging you include with every order or your super speedy custom work. Make sure your policies communicate what distinguishes you and your items.
- Be flexible. Shop policies are as unique as the items in your shop, so take time to develop policies that will help you and your growing business. It’s a continuing process that goes hand in hand with learning what works and what doesn’t for your shop.
Want more suggestions? Watch our Online Lab: “Writing Profiles for New Sellers” for some helpful tips on writing strong and engaging profiles.
For more tips, advice and resources to help you write shop policies that rock, read on below:
- Double check that your your shop policies and business practices are in line with Etsy’s DOs and DON’Ts and local laws.
- If you’re selling abroad, be sure to read up on what your shop policies need to include per country regulations. More info about this here.
- And finally, when you’ve got your shiny new policies in place, swing by this policy critique thread in the Etsy Success team to have them reviewed by fellow sellers.
What advice would you give to someone writing their shop policies for the first time? Share with us in the comments below!