One of my favorite parts about selling on Etsy is taking custom orders! They’re always new and exciting and can be a fun challenge. After agreeing on a custom inquiry, how should you manage this type of order? Use these helpful tips for reserved listing success!
Make a Custom Order Template
Save yourself a lot of time down the road by whipping up a custom reserved order template picture on your photo editing software (like Photoshop). You just need a simple background with the words “Reserved Order” or “Custom Listing” (or else whatever you want to write), but make it generic enough that you can re-use it for multiple custom orders. It’s also a good idea to create a slightly different version (vary a color or background) in case you need to have multiple custom listings up in your shop at the same time.
Get Paid Up Front
Remember you’re running a business, so don’t put a ton of time into a custom order before securing a payment. Get either a full or a partial down payment before purchasing supplies and creating the product. To take payments in installments just set up separate listings for the first down payment and remaining balance(s). If giving a customer a price quote requires you to make a mock up or sample, charge a fee if it will take a really long time. If it’s simple and won’t be a hassle, it’s usually worth it to do it for free and send them a quick photo. You can factor the additional work into your price for the handmade custom order.
It’s Okay to Say No
When you have a custom request that makes you uncomfortable or uneasy, involves copyright issues, mature content, etc., don’t hesitate to say no. That’s one of the coolest things about selling on Etsy- you can refuse to take an order, or cancel and refund if you feel weird. There is a fine balance between making money and compromising your work, so it’s up to you!
Convo When You Ship
Try to let your customer know when their reserved purchase is complete and going into the mail. This way they can keep an eye out for it. If it’s a particularly fragile, expensive, or large order, you may want to consider insurance and sending via UPS or another package carrier.
Leave the Listing Up
If you have a customer who hasn’t responded to messages or is taking a long time to check out, just leave the listing up on Etsy and usually they will purchase it within a few months before it expires. You’ve already spent the $.20 for Etsy’s listing fee, so be patient. Not everyone is in a big hurry to place their order!
What other tips have you learned about offering custom orders via Etsy?
By Rebecca George (Purple and Lime)
Learn more about Rebecca and read more of her articles on Creative Income in her bio!