The Etsy Blog

Holiday How-To: Offering Services handmade and vintage goods

November 9, 2010 update: Please see our article on offering gift certificates for important information for the 2010 holiday shopping season.

Sellers: it’s never too early to start thinking about the holiday shopping rush! During the holiday season last year, the Etsy Support Team learned a lot about the issues that sellers face when offering services to Etsy buyers. This season, you may want to offer some promotions and additional services to your customers, and we want to help you be prepared. This article will describe how to provide some of these extras and stay within the DOs & DON’Ts of Etsy. Please follow the links for further information on each of these topics.

Gift Certificates

When selling gift certificates, be sure to create a tangible, physical item for the listing. This could be a traditional paper certificate, notecard or even a digital file that is delivered to the buyer.

More on selling gift certificates in your Etsy shop in this previous Storque article.

Shipping Upgrades

To let buyers know that you can upgrade shipping at their request, you can mention this in your shop announcement, profile or in item descriptions. A buyer can let you know if they need upgraded shipping, and you can then revise the listing or invoice to reflect the shipping changes.

Check out the full article about holiday shipping concerns for more info.

Selling Gift Wrap

All items must be available for purchase, but without requiring other purchases to be made. To offer gift wrapping, the paper needs to be listed as a supply that can be purchased with or without another item. You could write in the item description that if another item is purchased, it can be wrapped in the paper.

For further information on offering gift wrap to your customers, check out this article.

Sales and Other Add-ons in Your Shop

Rather than create a listing to let buyers know about a promotion or add-on, you can include this information in item descriptions, shop announcement, profile or even your banner. Additionally, you can adjust the price of your item in PayPal or make arrangements with the buyer to refund her after she purchases.

How to edit a PayPal invoice to accommodate a price change.

Do you have any questions on these topics or any other holiday rush bugbear and you’re concerned about what you can and cannot offer in your shop? Please feel free to contact Etsy’s Content Team at Happy holidays!

  • Thinkoutsidethebox

    Thinkoutsidethebox says:

    Very cool info peeps! I have bookmarked and will refer back to this article often.Having opened up shop after any of last year's holidays there is much I need to know to prepare. This article will help tremendously to prevent any mistakes when it's simply too thanks a bunch!

    6 years ago

  • iheartnorwegianwood

    iheartnorwegianwood says:

    Very helpful info, especially RE the gift certificate. I love getting gift certs as gifts (picky shopper) and now I'm inspired to get on the computer and design a super cute gift card. Thanks!

    6 years ago

  • LittleScotia

    LittleScotia says:

    I agree that it is a perfect time to start thinking about holiday needs and gifts! I like to be well prepared and organized, so that the gifts I give are handmade, and appropriate for the recipient. I've already started my etsy shopping, and am tucking everything away for December.

    6 years ago


    KAHOONICA says:

    Very helpful ideas! Thank you guys for this series. :)

    6 years ago

  • toybreaker

    toybreaker says:

    Thank you so much for clarifying - people ask me all the time for gift certificates, and I was never sure if it was really kosher or not. xox

    6 years ago

  • ZuliDesigns

    ZuliDesigns says:

    I need to go make some gift certificates for the holidays! Thanks for the info!

    6 years ago

  • idyllhands

    idyllhands says:

    The information about reducing the price of an item through paypal is helpful BUT does that not just allow Etsy to get their fee off of the total original price of the item? Would Etsy refund the fee based on the "sale" price? Just a question.

    6 years ago

  • Stargazer02

    Stargazer02 says:

    very helpful!

    6 years ago

  • Spiderbite

    Spiderbite says:

    Good to know. I was wondering about the whole gift wrap thing.

    6 years ago

  • kingfishercrafts

    kingfishercrafts says:

    Great article. Time to Power-Up Photoshop and design a Kingfisher Gift Cert. Appreciate the tips and tricks Etsy Guru-folk.

    6 years ago

  • replicca

    replicca says:

    Bringing forward a question from the earlier gift certificate article, is there any way around this? "DuBuhDuDesigns says: I have been asked to do one this evening and I'm curious as to how we do this without being charged Etsy and PayPal fees twice (Once when bought and then again when redeemed) Does anyone know?"

    6 years ago

  • theoleanderblack

    theoleanderblack says:

    what a coincidence! I just started adding them to my shop this morning before I saw this article. It helped me refine my listing. Thanks for the support, etsysupport!

    6 years ago

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival says:

    Great tips and great finds!!! I love the holidays!!

    6 years ago

  • mpaperarts

    mpaperarts says:

    Great ideas! How'd they miss my great holiday giftwrap?? Wah. Oh well, Happy Pre-Holidays!

    6 years ago

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign says:

    Thanks a lot for the info. Holidays is just around the corner and i want to prepare fo this festivities.

    6 years ago

  • PhospheneDream

    PhospheneDream says:

    I have recently set up shop and find the holidays *scary* so I better hurry and get my products! Great info for a newbie like me.

    6 years ago

  • glassredefined

    glassredefined says:

    Great question "replicca" I am interested in that answer!

    6 years ago

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot says:

    Magnificent! Thank you!

    6 years ago

  • MonasMane

    MonasMane says:

    Great, thanks you guys for the help! Us newbies always appreciate it.

    6 years ago

  • craftsbyposie

    craftsbyposie says:

    Being just another "newbie", all this info is very helpful! Thanks a bunch!!!

    6 years ago

  • sandraduke

    sandraduke says:

    thanks, that's really helpful!!!!!!!!

    6 years ago

  • julieandco

    julieandco says:

    Great article! Thank you, too, for featuring my Christmas Temari in your "related" section! What an honor!!

    6 years ago

  • LJNixonartist

    LJNixonartist says:

    This article was very helpful. Thank you.

    6 years ago

  • gramsheart

    gramsheart says:

    Thanks for letting me know, I wasn't thinking, sorry. Is this why I can't pay my account? I fixed the items, that was wrong, now what, I'm I out. Please let me know.

    6 years ago

  • gramsheart

    gramsheart says:

    I understand now.

    6 years ago

  • funtoprint

    funtoprint says:

    Thank you for this article---it was very helpful.

    5 years ago

  • Tina669

    Tina669 says:

    very helpful!

    5 years ago

  • originalfindings

    originalfindings says:

    Thank you for the great info

    5 years ago

  • Petette

    Petette says:

    Very good information, perfect for the coming season.

    5 years ago

  • rainadelmagick

    rainadelmagick says:

    This gives me additional ideas to work with. Thanks to the etsy team for continuing to assist sellers in their shop's success.

    5 years ago

  • MingoGirlDesigns

    MingoGirlDesigns says:

    really helpful information...thank you

    5 years ago

  • TwistedBags

    TwistedBags says:

    Thank you for the do's and dont's, don't want to miss a sale or loose a friend!

    5 years ago

  • talyagallery

    talyagallery says:

    thank you!

    5 years ago

  • bloomessentialsspa

    bloomessentialsspa says:

    Good info...Thanks

    5 years ago

  • quiltsbySEW

    quiltsbySEW says:

    Good simple info.

    5 years ago

  • AndrewGableArtist

    AndrewGableArtist says:

    More good Info

    4 years ago

  • JacquelineJewelry

    JacquelineJewelry says:

    Good clear information

    4 years ago

  • RameOttone

    RameOttone says:

    I hadn't realized the rule about things like gift wrap needing to be able to be purchased alone. It seems a little silly and perhaps should be somehow incorporated into Etsy so that a buyer literally cannot purchase a gift wrap listing from a shop without purchasing some item.... but alas, I'm sure there are more important things to focus your efforts on. I will work around this problem by offering all my items beautifully wrapped anyway.

    4 years ago

  • treeandsap

    treeandsap says:

    marking, looks like great info

    4 years ago

  • OhDearWatson

    OhDearWatson says:

    i love gift wrap

    4 years ago

  • sofisticata

    sofisticata says:

    Thank you for the advice ;)

    4 years ago

  • hoosiermamma1

    hoosiermamma1 says:

    Mamma's head's just-a-spinnin'! If I ever make a sale and it's around the holidays, I hope I don't screw it up!

    4 years ago

  • TimeWas

    TimeWas says:

    Hi. Were new sellers on Etsy ,if anyone can look at our shop and let us know if the 20% off for the month of july banner is cool and follows all the rules.We think we are ,but we sold more before the sale than after,so I don't really know if all is in order,if it is not ,SOME ONE PLZ LET US KNOW. John Sinnigen and Michelle lalumia

    3 years ago

  • RedVelvetFox

    RedVelvetFox says:

    Please offer a shipping upgrade or allow us to offer one! The fact that we have to change our invoice or change our listing prolongs the entire shopping process and effects sales. How can I offer a shipping upgrade properly without having to edit my listing or request more money and then have to wait..... (cricket sound cricket sound) this nullifies the whole idea of FAST shipping.

    3 years ago

  • CronkandSchaefer

    CronkandSchaefer says:

    Awesome advice! I am excited since this is my first Etsy Christmas!

    3 years ago

  • GibsonGirlDesigns

    GibsonGirlDesigns says:

    I have to agree with RedVelvetFox...a lot of us don't have to time or luxury to go through 400 listings to upgrade shipping for the Holidays, it would be nice to have a button somewhere that can make these inidividual listing changes easier. But thanks for the article! This year, since I hired myself as my own Boss, I know that I will be more involved for Etsy Holidays this year than I was last year ;)

    3 years ago

  • annsgallery

    annsgallery says:

    Appreciate any help I can receive, as I am looking forward to my first Etsy Christmas.

    3 years ago

  • twinheartsvintage

    twinheartsvintage says:

    I agree with GibsonGirlDesigns. A gift wrap option and shipping upgrade at checkout would be a nice feature all year round. This season we'll have the upgrade shipping rates on our announcement page :)

    3 years ago

  • EclecticWendyDesigns

    EclecticWendyDesigns says:

    Article is great clarification but these Etsy guidelines are unnecessarily restrictive and make upgrading shipping or adding a longer chain to a necklace a hassle for both my customers and myself. I would like to understand the logic behind WHY these listings are not just does not make any sense when all I am trying to do as a seller is make the process easier for my customers.

    3 years ago

  • EmiLooRose

    EmiLooRose says:

    Such a GREAT reference!! Thank you SO much for sharing!

    3 years ago

  • Dsgnpro

    Dsgnpro says:

    Thank you so much for this info. I have bookmarked this page, I'll need all the help I can get since this is my first year as a seller on Etsy:) Happy Holidays! Sincerely, Georgina from NightOwlBabyBoutique

    3 years ago

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    108 days ago