Feb 12, 2010

Etsy Front Page; my thoughts and tips

My yellow SWEET heart  was in a front page treasury on Feb 11. Thank you, FiberFancy!
I'm always honored to be someone's pick for a treasury, and it's
awesome to have that item make it to the front page of Etsy.
I work very hard to get my pictures up to snuff and make them worthy of being in a front page treasury.
Having my work recognized makes me want to work that much harder.

I've been on the front page 33 times. Sounds like a lot, doesn't it?
Until you realize how much promoting, photo tweaking, and networking I do to get there. Not to mention, my work ,being somewhat unusual, is also a factor in getting chosen for a treasury. My theory is, having something unusual and different gets me a lot of views and recognition. Anyway, whether someone thinks I have reason to comment on subject or not, I thought I'd offer a few things I've learned about getting into treasuries.
What I did, and what I would do if I wanted more peer recognition at Etsy:
First, I would take an honest, hard look at my product.  Ask yourself these questions; Is it high quality? Would I pay/wear this? Does my product have something unique about it or is it something that can be bought elsewhere? Is there any market for my item, or, are there enough people who would buy this?

Then on to photos. It's often pooh-poohed when sellers try to tell others that photos are the key to getting into treasuries and onto the front page. I absolutely believe that is tue. Your odds of getting in treasuries are increased dramatically with a good photo. I suggest looking at past front pages and see what is a 'front page worthy' photo. Look at the angle, the cropping, the backgrounds. You will see lots of variety, but you notice in every picture, photos are well-lit and the item is in focus.
The current trend in product photography, not just Etsy, is to use the journalistic style. You see items in the environment you'll use them, for instance - or a bit of background. In this photo that was in a treasury, I used a book and side lighting from a window to add some nice shadowing:

I used to take photos with a white background, but abandoned this style because those kind of photos rarely make a good treasury photo. Sometimes you need to adjust to what is popular. I know this rubs some people the wrong way, but if you want to play, those are the rules of the game.

Here's another photo which was in a couple of treasuries recently. Notice the side lighting that makes the mood. I just set it on a table next to the window.

I did crop in tightly and lightened the shadows a little using the Lighten Shadows slider in Photoshop Elements. My thoughts when making this the first photo;  I want to capture the mood, not so much worry about a catalogue product shot. That is for the extra 4 photos.

Not all photos have to be journalistic. Look at this front page treasury that has lots of items on a plain background. The subtle shadows of the white backgrounds keep the photos from looking sterile and  keeps the focus on the item.
You should also notice this was an admin front page with the category of Miniatures as the subject. It's so important to tag correctly and not forget to list items in categories that might be a good fit for your item. My bird in the lower left corner, could have gone in the Ceramics and Pottery category, Art, Sculpture, or Miniatures. I chose miniatures because I wanted some visibility in that category. I've noticed I have more attention when I spread my items over more categories than just pottery.

If I get an email from a treasury curator that I'm in their treasury, I always make sure I answer the convo and thank them for choosing me. Then I visit the treasury and make sure to comment there. You also can click on the other items and visit each one. This is a lot of fun and I've found lots of new favorites that way. Clicking on treasuries also adds to its popularity and most believe this helps in deciding which treasuries get picked for the Etsy front page.

Thanks for reading this very long post. I hope it helped in some way.


  1. Very good points! Lighting is always a struggle in photography. A good sunny window (hard to come by these days) is a must I feel; however a good lightbox works in a pinch.

    As for the categories, I just (after two years) found out that I could be in more categories that Jewelry. Wow! It has made a huge difference to spread myself out there.

    btw: I am and always will be a fan of your work. I love the originality and slight quirkyness of it!

  2. Thirty-Six Ten, I really love the ease of shooting against my window. I use a southfacing window- really, the only available place in my tiny house which is bordered too closely by my neighbors to get good light - and I cover the glass with a piece of white sheeting which I just tape to the glass. This gets rid of hot spots. It works very well, but you're right, a light box works well too.

    I think lots of people don't think to list themselves in more than one category. It really does make a difference. You have to be seen in order to sell :)