Wednesday, December 1, 2010

New Etsy Features: Renew VS Copy

Recently Etsy replaced the old "Relist" option for sold items with two new options, "Renew" and "Copy". These new options both have their own pros and cons and you need to choose wisely which to use for each of your items.

Copy
The new Copy option works just like Relist did, it makes a copy of your listing which you can then edit. This is a brand new listing with a new URL, no hearts, and no views.
Pros
  •  No views, it's a fresh start
  • Save time listing a similar item (example: different color but price, shipping, description, most tags are the same)
  • Create multiples of the same item type
Cons
  • Different URL so links won't lead to the new item
  • No hearts, someone who has marked the item as a favorite will see it as sold in their list.
  • Search engine results may lead to the sold item not the active item.
Thoughts
I think copy is a great feature to save time listing similar items where you only need to edit the item a little bit rather than having to do everything over. Also great if you want to list multiple items of the same style in your shop.

Renew
This new feature is something completely different than what Etsy has offered before. This essentially lets you reuse a sold listing, the URL is the same (so any links to it will bring you to the item for sale not the sold item listing), and all hearts and views will remain.
Pros
  • Keep the same URL so links to the items on other websites will still work instead of going to the sold item listing.
  • Keep hearts so they remain in favorites lists and aren't marked as sold
  • Search engines will be link to your active item not the sold item in search results
Cons
  • Not as useful for one of a kind items.
  • Views don't reset
Thoughts
I think Renew is fantastic, keeping the same URL and hearts is going to be great for sellers. If an item gets featured on a blog now the link will lead to an active item if it's been renewed. Frequently Google and other search engines will return sold items in search results which it likely to result in teh searcher hitting the back button out of your shop.

So what if you sell one of a kind items? If they are truly one of a kind, like the only painting you've ever done of a location, then renew isn't going to be useful for you. If on the other hand you make the same item frequently but your process means they are all one of a kind, in that case I think it's perfectly okay to use renew and replace the photos with the new item. If it's still a blue teacup that uses the same clay and glaze but because you hand throw them on a wheel they're all a little bit different, I think that's close enough to use this feature. Just always replace the photo so buyers will see the exact item they'll be receiving.


The Views Issue
I know some people are concerned about the views not going back to zero when you renew, I think any possible downside to this is overshadowed by the benefit of keeping hearts and the same URL. I think the concern that people will think the item is unloved or unwanted if it has a high view count is probably unwarranted, I don't think many buyers look at that and if they do they may perceive it as a sign of popularity. Only time will tell but I'm not worried.

If your concern about the view counts is that you can't easily see how many new views a recently renewed item receives go to Craftcult immediately after renewing and under Item Hearts you can click the button that says "Reset Views" and that will reset the New Views count to 0.

Now I'm not privy to how Etsy codes their site but for those wondering why the views don't reset here's my theory: Etsy is pulling the views from their visitor logs, since the URL is the same they are pulling all views the page has ever had. To reset the views they would probably have to note the time of renewal and only show views since that time which would be a lot of work for a pretty minor issue. Personally I'd prefer Etsy to only show the shop owner view counts since I don't think it's that useful for buyers and may have some small impact on buying habits.
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