How many times have you been ignored by sales people when you need help in a store? How about standing in a checkout line and your smiling "hi, how are you?" is ignored by a scowling clerk with an attitude who slams your items into a bag and generally treats you like you're the enemy? Or have you been on the other side of the counter, and treated like a non-person by a buyer with a superiority complex who either ignores you or orders you around like a dog? I've been on both sides of the counter, and there's just no excuse for these behaviors. It's totally counterproductive.
I live in the Southern part of the US, and it's customary here to exchange pleasantries, a few friendly words, when doing business. I imagine it's like that in a lot of places. It's amazing how those few words from both buyer and seller can instantly build good will.
It seems like common sense to apply the friendliness standard to doing business on Etsy. As a buyer, when you've had a friendly transaction with a seller who communicates with you, doesn't that make you want to come back and give them your business again or recommend them to a friend? When you're a seller and a customer writes a friendly little note in "message to the seller" or convo, doesn't that make you want to do a little more for them, if possible?
A big part of the handmade experience is the personal connection between buyer and seller with a common interest: the work. When both parties take a few moments of time to build a little rapport, the experience can be much more rewarding for each. When the personal connection isn't there, the transaction becomes merely that, and is no different from an impersonal order from a large mail order company selling thousands of the same thing to faceless people.
So, what can you do to make that personal connection and build good will and a good reputation as a seller or buyer ?
Sellers: Respond promptly to any inquiries before, during and after purchase.
Acknowledge a purchase and any message from the buyer as soon as possible, give shipping information, answer any questions or offer future help. You might include a few words about your work or product or their enjoyment of it. Say "thank you" and sign your name. A little warmth goes a long way.
Leave positive feedback unique to the positive experience. If a convo or email is received after the sale, follow up.
Buyers: Even if you don't have questions or instructions, write a little note in the "message to seller" or convo the seller if you want to say more. If you're excited about the work in general or the item, share that with the seller. They will love you for it.
Leave positive feedback specific to the service and the item. Sellers love to know if you or your recipient were happy.
Good communications are a two way street, it builds loyalty and good will, and costs nothing but a few moments of time.
About the author: ETTEAM Founder, Lynn Hoyt of Midnightcoiler creates bowls and baskets, birdhouses, and decorative items from gourds and naturals. She also supplies organically grown raw gourds and creates rustic stoneware pottery medallions and wall pockets. Lynn, her husband and two dogs live on 75 acres of natural beauty in the country. *The pictures included in this blog article are from Midnightcoiler's Etsy Shop!