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Holiday How-To: Offering Services

Sep 8, 2008

by Dillinger 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!

give often tag
give often tag
Gift Certificate 50USD
Gift Certificate 50USD
Hand Painted Love Boxes Red Snowflake Box Wood
Hand Painted Love Boxes Red Snowflake Box Wood
wrapping cloth - reusable vintage fabric wrap - small size
wrapping cloth - reusable vintage fabric wrap - small size
Pretty and Bright Christmas Tree Tags
Pretty and Bright Christmas Tree Tags
Christmas Starburst Temari
Christmas Starburst Temari


  • Thinkoutsidethebox

    Thinkoutsidethebox said 12 years ago

    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!

  • iheartnorwegianwood

    iheartnorwegianwood said 12 years ago

    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!

  • LittleScotia

    LittleScotia said 12 years ago

    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.


    KAHOONICA said 12 years ago

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

  • toybreaker

    toybreaker said 12 years ago

    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

  • ZuliDesigns

    ZuliDesigns said 12 years ago

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

  • idyllhands

    idyllhands said 12 years ago

    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.

  • Stargazer02

    Stargazer02 said 12 years ago

    very helpful!

  • Spiderbite

    Spiderbite said 12 years ago

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

  • kingfishercrafts

    kingfishercrafts said 12 years ago

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

  • replicca

    replicca said 12 years ago

    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?"

  • theoleanderblack

    theoleanderblack said 12 years ago

    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!

  • autumnsarrival

    autumnsarrival said 12 years ago

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

  • mpaperarts

    mpaperarts said 12 years ago

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

  • ArleenDesign

    ArleenDesign said 12 years ago

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

  • PhospheneDream

    PhospheneDream said 12 years ago

    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.

  • glassredefined

    glassredefined said 12 years ago

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

  • undertheroot

    undertheroot said 12 years ago

    Magnificent! Thank you!

  • MonasMane

    MonasMane said 11 years ago

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

  • craftsbyposie

    craftsbyposie said 11 years ago

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

  • sandraduke

    sandraduke said 11 years ago

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

  • julieandco

    julieandco said 11 years ago

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

  • LJNixonartist

    LJNixonartist said 11 years ago

    This article was very helpful. Thank you.

  • gramsheart

    gramsheart said 11 years ago

    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.

  • gramsheart

    gramsheart said 11 years ago

    I understand now.

  • funtoprint

    funtoprint said 11 years ago

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

  • Tina669

    Tina669 said 11 years ago

    very helpful!

  • originalfindings

    originalfindings said 11 years ago

    Thank you for the great info

  • Petette

    Petette said 10 years ago

    Very good information, perfect for the coming season.

  • rainadelmagick

    rainadelmagick said 10 years ago

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

  • MingoGirlDesigns

    MingoGirlDesigns said 10 years ago

    really helpful information...thank you

  • TwistedBags

    TwistedBags said 10 years ago

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

  • talyagallery

    talyagallery said 10 years ago

    thank you!

  • bloomessentialsspa

    bloomessentialsspa said 10 years ago

    Good info...Thanks

  • quiltsbySEW

    quiltsbySEW said 10 years ago

    Good simple info.

  • AndrewGableArtist

    AndrewGableArtist said 9 years ago

    More good Info

  • JacquelineJewelry

    JacquelineJewelry said 9 years ago

    Good clear information

  • RameOttone

    RameOttone said 9 years ago

    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.

  • treeandsap

    treeandsap said 9 years ago

    marking, looks like great info

  • OhDearWatson

    OhDearWatson said 9 years ago

    i love gift wrap

  • sofisticata

    sofisticata said 9 years ago

    Thank you for the advice ;)

  • hoosiermamma1

    hoosiermamma1 said 9 years ago

    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!

  • TimeWas

    TimeWas said 9 years ago

    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

  • RedVelvetFox

    RedVelvetFox said 8 years ago

    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.

  • CronkandSchaefer

    CronkandSchaefer said 8 years ago

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

  • GibsonGirlDesigns

    GibsonGirlDesigns said 8 years ago

    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 ;)

  • annsgallery

    annsgallery said 8 years ago

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

  • twinheartsvintage

    twinheartsvintage said 8 years ago

    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 :)

  • EclecticWendyDesigns

    EclecticWendyDesigns said 8 years ago

    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.

  • EmiLooRose

    EmiLooRose said 8 years ago

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

  • Dsgnpro

    Dsgnpro said 8 years ago

    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

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