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Customer Care Tip: Privacy and Custom Orders

Mar 12, 2008

by Chillionaire handmade and vintage goods

Dear Sellers:

We love all of the custom items available on Etsy.  However, there are some things to keep in mind when making and listing custom and personalized items.

With such amazing artists and designers here, there’s a great opportunity for buyers to request handmade creations like custom designed invitations and promotional materials.  Typically, sellers post the images of the custom item for the buyer to see before they checkout.

This is where sellers need to take an extra step to ensure the privacy of their buyers.  If you (the seller) have created an item for a buyer that includes sensitive information such as an address, phone number, or personal email address, please make sure the images do not show the buyer’s information!

Sold listings cannot be edited, so the best thing to do is first send the images to the buyer for approval (through convo or email) instead of using them as one of the images in the listing.   Then, when you’re ready to post the listing, either upload a generic image, or take a photo that doesn’t show the private details (take the photo at a further distance so you can’t read the text or blur out the info in Photoshop).

Here’s how you attach an image to a convo:

This will protect your buyers and prevent you from having to email support to remove the image.  It’s the whole “ounce of prevention vs. a pound of cure” theory.

Have fun making your custom items!

Wedding Invitation\/Reception Poster                                                            -Bright Birds-
Wedding Invitation\/Reception Poster -Bright Birds-
Allan Pinkerton in his office
Allan Pinkerton in his office


  • Talcott

    Talcott said 8 years ago

    This is a very well-written and important article. Thank you for calling attention to this! -Talcott

  • CharmStar

    CharmStar said 8 years ago

    Good tip!

  • DesignsByBari

    DesignsByBari said 8 years ago

    I didn't even think of that! good point!

  • Whimbrella

    Whimbrella said 8 years ago

    Excellent advice! Thank you.

  • raghousenternational

    raghousenternational said 8 years ago

    Good to know. I haven't used the attatch images feature yet. I will have to try it.

  • Hettle

    Hettle said 8 years ago

    Thanks, this is very helpful!

  • CapturedInGlass

    CapturedInGlass said 8 years ago

    I thought it was well written and very helpful!

  • menalove

    menalove said 7 years ago

    This was a great article but I have another customization question as I'm fairly new myself...If I offer the service to personalize the item that's for sale, is there a way to have some sort of "add-on" to the sale without creating a separate listing just for "Personalization"? For example if a customer purchases one of my gift sets and they want to tack on the additional "Personalization" (of which I charge and additional $0.50 for) can they pay extra or more than the current listing price during the check out? -Or do I have no other option than to create a separate listing for "Personalization"? My concern is that I don't want to make the $0.50 per piece personalization charge too expensive but if I have to pay a $0.20 listing fee for each one it kind of defeats the purpose. -you know? If there's anyone that can help me out with this that would be GREAT!!!!

  • ThePaintedLadyS

    ThePaintedLadyS said 7 years ago

    Thank you for this article. Is there a way to post a listing that is for one specific buyer only? This is the 2nd time this opportunity has come up for me, the 1st Buyer ended up paying far too much shipping on multiple items shipped together and resulted in a lot of time getting it all set to right - phone calls, refund through Paypal, follow-up...whew. I have just been requested to create 2 possibly 3 more items from my buyer (which has just paid on one invoice for an item). I will ship her other items FREE and combine them with her current order, but I don't want to post FREE SHIPPING for the new items in my shop as this will only apply to my requestors order. Couldn't find an answer to thank you for your help.

  • OceanBottega

    OceanBottega said 7 years ago

    Thank you for all the fabulous articles and helpful tips. Is there a way to post photos of custom details so buyers who are cruising and/or shopping can see details right away, before a purchse or convo? I'd be grateful for any tips related to this matter

  • honeysweet

    honeysweet said 6 years ago

    great info; I am just getting ready to list a custom order -- thanks!

  • byScott

    byScott said 6 years ago

    I sure wish the attached images would accept PDF files - this would be IDEAL and very useful

  • wwwEinatPazcom

    wwwEinatPazcom said 6 years ago

    Hello there, How can I use my shop to send wholesale orders which have larger orders with cheaper prices? Thanking you in advance.

  • SimplyUniqueBowtique

    SimplyUniqueBowtique said 6 years ago

    Great information :) I think that i might have to post some custom orders now!

  • TonisBiz

    TonisBiz said 6 years ago

    I don't know how I found it, but I'm glad I did, I just hope I can find it again when I need it. Thank you!

  • somethingscozy

    somethingscozy said 5 years ago

    trying to figure out how to make an existing listing reserved for someone who intends to purchase it and i cannot seem to find any instructions on how to do that. any help would be appreciated thanks suze

  • nantuckettiechic

    nantuckettiechic said 5 years ago

    Suze, just saw your note. Make your first photo a 'reserved listing' sign or 'custom order'. Then in the description say: this listing is for....If you aren't ....please convo me and I'll make you a reserved listing too! Then convo the person you're making the listing for so they can order it quick and you can get it shipped out. The quicker you get the listing shipped, the less likely someone else will accidentally order the same item. It's actually simple once you've done it!

  • jasminedragonfly

    My Whimsical Dragonfy Dawn J Bouchea from MyWhimsicalDragonfly said 2 years ago

    I am so new at this. The listing app is very easy but I can't figure out how to list an item in different colors/sizes. For example I have 5 bracelets 3 size 8 and 2 size 9, how do I do this? And an item with a choice of different colors? Help

  • jennifermuller4

    jennifer muller from RockingchairChimes said 2 years ago

    I enabled custom orders, and am in the process of approval of the item. Does the custom order process create the private listing, or where do I go to do that? Thanks

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