Saturday, August 30, 2014

How Can Treasuries help you improve your Tags and Listings?

When you spend too much time with your own work, writing an rewriting your own item descriptions, you might get what we call "tunnel vision": it gets harder and harder to think outside the box we have created around ourselves and our creations.

One of the secrets for choosing effective titles and tags for your listings on Etsy is to think like a buyer. But what does it mean, exactly? How can I put myself in my customers' shoes?

It is a very good question. I have been asking myself for quite some time now.

How do others see us?

As you know, SPSTeam has many threads and games in its Team forum on Etsy, including a game called the "Inspiration Challenge". To make a long story short, the participants must create an Etsy treasury using a specific item as their inspiration. The winner of the game gets the chance to choose an item for his or her own shop for the following challenge, and so forth.

I had the privilege to win the Challenge a few months ago, and I chose a pair of my Hanji barrettes as the Inspiration item. I was quickly amazed by the creativity of the other members, but most importantly I was stunned to see how the players perceived my item!

The themes they chose, the color combinations and, more importantly, the words they selected to describe my item simply amazed me!

After the Challenge, I started to pay more attention to the contents of the Treasuries I was featured in. What was the main theme of the collection? How does my item fit in there? How does the Treasury describe or place my item in a certain context? Those questions led me to some very interesting discoveries!

Hippie → Bohemian → Boho-Chic

One of the first things I noticed is the appellation "hippie" that a few Treasury creators used to describe my Hanji earrings and barrettes. I never considered my jewelry to be hippie, but now that I think about it, it makes perfect sense!

I then started to do a little research on the word hippie, and the concept and history led me to bohemian, and then to bo-ho chic!... As you can see, a single word, used by another Etsy user in the context of a treasury, has lead me to add three new adjectives I can now use in my tags to increase my chances of being found by potential buyers!

I am learning everyday about trends and styles (Etsy is an excellent place to learn, especially for someone like me who isn't naturally fashion-inclined), but I wouldn't have known where to begin to describe my own creations. Just one treasury ended up opening at least three new doors for me!

Another treasury, titled "Romantic Mix", was featuring one of my Hanji French barrette, along with other soft tones items. The idea of romance led me to softer adjective and qualifiers, such as "girly", "feminine" and "pastel".

The impression that an item can give is almost as important as the item actually is; the idea is to find as many paths as possible to lead your potential customers to your shop.

Colors, Textures, Materials

Another important element to qualify our items on Etsy is its physical properties: its color, texture, dimensions, and material. If someone is looking for something specific that corresponds to one of your items (for example, someone looking for "brown and beige earrings") you have to make sure that they can find you!

Colors are an essential element, and it can be a surprisingly vast topic! The color "blue" can be described and categorized in so many ways : navy, teal, cobalt, turquoise, iron blue, indigo, aqua, aquamarine, royal... Doing some research on the different color appellations can be a very useful and interesting venture! And once again it opens more doors through which your buyers can find you.

You can also select tag and key words that are more general, such as "earthy tones", "bold colors", "pastels" or "metallic".

Cultural Inspiration

Another interesting way to choose and write your tags and descriptions is to look at the "cultural" aspect of things. In my case, I work and create using traditional Korean paper; therefore, the asian influence is an important element for me.

I have to put myself in my customers' shoes and think about the way the perceive Asian culture... Concepts such as zen, feng shui, buddhism, Japanese design, kawaii, samourais and ninjas, kung fu, chopsticks and black lacquer dishes, minimalism, Chinese characters, dragons or even sushi can all lead to my shop!

Boost your descriptions with meaningful key words

When it's time to write your item descriptions, keep in mind that the text you use is also analyzed and taken into account by search engines, like Google. Making sure to include meaningful key words in your descriptions might increase your chances of being found outside of the Etsy! Do not hesitate to make your descriptions more colorful and complete by using different adjectives that describe your items well, and inspire your visitors!

A few interesting links

Here are a few useful links, to inspire you and help you choose new tags and key words for your listings :

List of colors :

List of chics :

Understanding Fashion Types :

Clothing Types and Styles :

Do you have any ideas to help our Team members improve their business? Do you know of any great online resources that can save us time, effort or money? Share your tips with us! Leave a comment below!

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My name is Natalie. I am a French-Canadian gal, but I live in South Korea. My passion is called "Hanji" : sumptuous Korean paper made of mulberry pulp. Hanji has been used for a thousand years in Korea to create decorative or ceremonial objects. For me, it is essential to offer useful and practical objects, that can enjoyed on a daily basis. Tissue cases, pen holders, jewelry, fridge magnets, hair accessories: let the beauty and unique character of Hanji paper make our everyday life objects irresistible!

Follow Natalie's Blog For The Latest Updates To Her Shop:


  1. This is so interesting, Natalie! I sure will look at treasuries with a different perspective from now on. Thank you so much for these helpful hints.

  2. Very thoughtful and insightful, Natalie. Thank you for sharing. I'll be re-reading it for sure.

  3. Great insight to treasuries! I know I will be definitely taking a little time this week and reviewing a few treasuries I have been featured in in the past..never hurts to take a fresh look at things!

  4. Thanks for the tips. I always have trouble trying to come up with a new theme for a treasury & tags to use. Will keep this in mind for next time

  5. Great article- and the links were fascinating- I never knew there was a color called baby powder.