Friday, August 27, 2010

Etsy Shop Critique - Fresh Urban Vintage

Review Foreplay: I have to admit, I was almost salivating with excitement when Vicky of FreshUrbanVintage gave me full license to be brutal with this review. After taking a very, very thorough look, I was shocked at what I found. There isn't anything to gripe about.
From the first time I saw this shop until the time came for me to do a review, it looks like a different shop altogether.

First impression: the overall visual theme is gorgeous. It's tasteful and bright without being too busy. The banner is one of the best I've seen. It's not easy to incorporate a photo into a banner with text, but you've pulled it off flawlessly. The font is clean, the image reflects what is in your shop, and the font is clean, crisp, and easy to read.

Avatar & Photography: The avatar epitomizes what an Etsy seller should be: fun, quirky, confident. The photography is phenomenal. The contrasting colors, the salient detail, the vibrant angles, the fresh backgrounds, the sharpness of the lines... your photography has exactly the artistic flair that distinguishes vintage and upcycled wares from looking thrift-store/yard-sale to boutique.

Live Models: I have to comment on the photo below (left) with the vintage frames. I want other Etsy sellers to see what I mean when I am telling people to have confidence when they appear in their photos. These are adorable. Fun, quirky, and unabashed. The three-frame image is extra cool, a perfect trio for your avatar. I wish that I had this picture as a reference to use for many of the other reviews I've done in the past to show as the epitome of how to take great live-model pics. The background, the hairstyle, the expressions... they suit the glasses frames perfectly. It makes me want to buy them! I could so pull off the sexy English teacher look in those...

Matters of the Pocket: Generally, your prices are great-- not so high that they are unreasonable or inaccessible to the masses, but not so low that they devalue your products. There are a few items that are a little puzzling in regards to the price, though. For instance, the Charlotte's Web book. Maybe because I'm an English teacher in an old middle school, but I have seen so many copies of that book and other books lying around and in used book stores (I am always there), that I don't understand how $38 is a reasonable price for it. After taking a look at the listing, though, I read this:

Please Note:*******************************************************
If you are looking for a reading copy for your children or grandchildren this isn't the best copy for you- there are many nice reading copies available on the internet for much less money. This is a copy for a collector, a book lover, an avid fan, or to give as a gift for someone like that.
And even though I still think $38 is high, seeing that it came from your personal collection and that you qualified the price by saying it's good for a collector, I at least understood that you are offering something that is valuable to you, and it's hard to put a number on a special item. With vintage, it's hard to put a monetary value because the appeal and the sentiment and the history attached to it is worth more than a new version would be.

Descriptions: Your descriptions are exemplary: thoughtful, witty, informative. The clarity and organization are brilliant. The details of the process involved, the materials, dimensions, and history are fabulous. I really want the box of maps. I mostly just want the box, not the maps, lol. It's awesome, and seeing the description made me want more of your items. You offered something of yourself without oversharing by talking about the history of those maps and why you find them important. The quote in the bottom made that item seem even more special. Seeing in your shop the little quotes, the pieces of poetry, the quirky post scripts... sold me even more on how a buy from your shop would be worthy of my very limited funds. It's hard for me to even write this review for want of your box [ that's what she said ].

Shop Announcement: Your shop announcement is also perfect. It's minimalistic, not extending beyond Etsy's new layout, and not a wall of text which could detract attention from your items. It says what you have, it makes your name associated with your shop name, and it invites customers to be "spoiled" by you. And the ever-important connection: the blog link. Adding a Blogger, Facebook, or Twitter [ myspace is so 2008 ] profile to your page gives customers an occasional reminder to take a look at your shop without the annoying over-advertising of something like an email mailing list.
Announcement: Recycled, upcycled, art, accessories, & vintage.
Created & curated by Vicky Bell for Fresh Urban Vintage on Etsy.
I am customer friendly- let me spoil you.
You can also find me at
Wrapping up: I really wanted to have that review that I could just let loose the full extent of my acidic, bombastic wit and unload on this, but the only WTF!? moment I experienced is when I saw how much better it is since I first started doing the reviews way back in the day.

Abstract: Well done, FreshUrbanVintage. Well done.


  1. Great review, great shop!!! Hey Terra, let's do a deal...I want the maps, and not the box! We soooo need to talk...

  2. Wow Terra! I admit I have been working hard to improve my shop since opening last spring, and reading reading reading both your excellent reviews and other helpful advice on the forums for what to do and how to do it. I have definitely moved beyond my comfort zone in some areas (such as using myself as a model) but the leaps have paid off. Learning how to touch up photos (and remove wrinkles) in picassa has helped, lol. Thank you for affirming that hard work and paying attention is worth the effort! Btw, the charlotte book is an early edition, in excellent condition, and I stand by my price. (or maybe I just don't really want it to sell). Hmmm.
    I so appreciate the time and effort you put into these reviews- as you can see- those of us who are paying mind have benefited greatly. You are truly a teacher.

  3. Wow, great review for a great shop! I am not to much into vintage, but the beautiful pictures and descriptions are so well that I even thing about buying something :o))

  4. Hey Terra, if you are still here- my blogs gone viral, check it out!
    Over 100,000 views in a week!

  5. Vicky, it is way beyond Viral just today!! I got it from a friend (who got it from a friend) and I have seen it literally on my FB wall another half dozen times from different people. You sure did strike a chord with that one - with men and women, young and old alike. My kids are only 8 and 11 and I'm bummed they're just a little too young yet to appreciate the sentiment. Thank you!