After your photographs and title, the next part of the Etsy listing is the Who? What? When? section. This section is important because buyers want details about a product they plan to purchase. This is especially important if you sell vintage products because the details of a product can be the difference between someone buying your item and not buying your item.
Who is where you explain who made the product. The choices are I did, a member of my shop, or another company or person. I will explain each one below.
- -If you are selling handmade items and you made the item yourself, this would be your response.
A member of my shop:
- If you designed an item, but another member of your shop made it, then this would be your response. For example, if you hire someone to make your product and they work with you in your shop or you have a partner who works with you and you both make items, then this is a “Member of my Shop”.
Another company or person:
- If you designed an item, but used a Production Partner to make it, this would be your response. What is a Production Partner? Here is how Etsy defines a Production Partner. “A production partner is a company or individual (who's not part of your Etsy shop) that helps physically produce items based on your own, original designs.”
- If the item is vintage, it was made by “another company”, so this would be your response.
What (What is it?)
What is this product? There are 2 choices – “A finished product” or “A tool or supply to make things”. The following outlines when you will use each of these choices.
When to use “A finished product”:
- Basically (unless this is a supply or a tool,) this would be your response. Whether it's handmade or vintage, this response is the same.
When to use “A tool or supply to make things”:
- A tool or supply to make things is just that – a tool or supply (examples – a pattern, glue gun, scissors, fabric, etc.).
What is the difference? If you are selling a handmade necklace, it is a finished product. If you are selling a kit that the buyer can use to make a necklace, that would be a tool to make things. If you are selling patterns, that would be a tool or supply to make things. Most vintage items are finished products (unless it's a vintage pattern, vintage tool, etc.)
When (When was it made?)
This section is used to date the age of an item. If you are selling a handmade product that you made and/or designed, check out Dating Handmade Items. If you are selling a vintage product, check out Dating Vintage Items.
Dating Handmade Items:
Not yet made – Made to Order: This is for items that you make per the customer's request. This could be a personalized item or an item that has specific requirements for color, fabric, size, etc.
Recently – 2020-2021: This is a handmade item that you recently made or designed.
Recently – 2010-2019: This is a handmade item that you recently made or designed from 2010-2019. This cannot be a vintage item as vintage items must have been made before 2002.
Recently – 2002 – 2009: This is a handmade item that you made or designed from 2002-2009. This cannot be a vintage item as vintage items must have been made before 2002.
Dating Vintage Items:
Etsy defines the term Vintage as something that is 19 years old or older. That means if you are selling a vintage item in 2021, it would have been made before 2002. After that, it goes by year or decade. If it was made in the 1700s or 1800s, it will be by century. If it was made prior to the 1700s, it is just that “Before 1700”. See the chart below for a clear definition of each vintage period.
If you are selling a vintage item and having difficulty dating it, do research using the internet, books on the item you are selling, and even contacting antique dealers to get more information. Some resources to help with dating vintage items are:
- Replacements.com – china, glassware, silver and silverplate items
- Sterling Silver Flatware – silver and silverplate flatware pattern identification and dating
Books that we recommend:
- Haviland: A Pattern Identification Guide
- Silverware of the 20th Century: The Top 250 Patterns by Harry L. Rinker
- Crystal stemware pattern identification – one of my favorite stemware identification guides for new and vintage stemware
- Matchbox cars:
- The Yesteryear book 1956 – 2000 Millennium Edition – hard to find
- Matchbox Models of Yesteryear by Alexandr Picha & Pavel Lagner (make sure to get the English version) – great for different variations
- Matchbox Toys by Charlie Mack – A Schiffer Book for Collectors
- Ramsay's British Diecast – Model Toys Catalogue
Other blog posts for your Etsy listing:
- The Ultimate Guide on Writing an Etsy Listing Description that Sells
- Top 5 Strategies to Optimizing your Etsy Listing to sell (and not sit on the proverbial shelf)
I hope this helps you fill out the Who? What? When? section of the Etsy listing so that your product sells. If you have questions, let me know – I'm here for you!