Sunday, May 30, 2010

Etsy Shop Critique - NeatBeading

Critique of Neatbeading's Etsy Shop:

Well, from your avatar and even with a cursory glance of your store, I didn’t realize that your items were bracelets. Maybe your hand displays will make it more evident that that is what your shop has to offer once you get all of your item images updated.

I didn’t think it was possible, but your seed beads look elegant. I never liked seed beads, and I really can’t fathom that they would be worth the effort it takes to put something so intricate together. However, I have to say that your bracelets are quite lovely. I think that someone would need to have an eye for how they would look to really appreciate them fully because your pictures don’t really capture the way they hang and look on a wrist. Even the items you’ve updated with the model hands aren’t giving a clear representation of how your bracelets would look live. You should photograph them either on live models or on a mannequin wearing an evening gown. They need to be viewed in action to see how they would be worn.

You get one WTF point for having as your sole prop what appears to be a Chinese take-out box. While it does make for some great photos, I started to get a little curious about it after seeing it with all of your items. Take-out doesn’t really go with the theme of your bracelets so much. Perhaps some half-filled champagne glasses with a lipstick print on them?

If you really want to start making sales, you’re going to have to add a lot more products to your page. [ see my philosophy about the law of odds and averages by clicking here. I’m not saying you should be discouraged and feel like you need to set up a beading sweat-shop in your house to be successful, but don’t expect sales to happen until you have more time invested and more products to display. Your bracelets would be great holiday gifts, so start thinking of ways to promote your items as great Christmas/holiday purchases for bridal parties, wives, girlfriends, fiancés, etc. on various blogs, treasuries, shopping sites, social networking sites, and any other media you can fathom.

One thing I don’t normally comment on is item tags. You have to think of what shoppers are typing when they are searching for a bracelet. After being frustrated at the millions of shitty items on Etsy, they will undoubtedly refine their search to include adjectives which describe the items. I doubt many people will search for “blocks bracelet,” but they would be more likely to search for “formal bracelet,” or “elegant bracelet.” In that vein, I believe to optimize your search engine friendliness, you should change your tag line to be something very specific about what you sell (elegant bracelets for sophisticated women).

Your item descriptions are great. I couldn’t do them better myself.

Your profile is well-done, too. The conversational style of writing often makes people look a bit crazy (in the bad way), but you’ve pulled it off and managed to tell a “neat” little story with your profile. The main recommendation I have for your profile is that you change this line: “Wide cuffs that looked great and made me feel so cool.” << the word “cool” just is too vague and non-descript, and it conjures an image that doesn’t match your jewelry. Your designs are mature, sophisticated, and elegant. Describing the bracelets as designs which “behave like a fabric” was brilliant and created a clear picture of your items. I would suggest refining your profile or adding a few extra lines to include what makes your items so unique. I like the word “slinky” myself. ;-)

Overall, I would say that you are off to a marvelous start. Your products reflect serious creativity and patience, your descriptions are well-written, and your photos are aestetically pleasing. Just focus on photographing them in action.

Oh, and I would recommend removing the line about treating the clasps with care. It detracts a little from the integrity of your items. If any of your customers are stupid enough to submerge their items for a prolonged period of time in liquid, they deserve to have them tarnished. Maybe put a line in your shop policies about that.

And WTF is up with your shipping options? If it costs 3.50 no matter where you send it, just have one damn option instead of listing individual countries. You get another WTF point for that, ha ha.

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