TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 14 Sales and Coupon Codes

Welcome to our Etsy Newbie Bootcamp! If you want to take part in Bootcamp and get one-on-one mentoring, or answers to any of your questions, please drop us a line at TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com.  

If you want to open an Etsy shop, just follow this link!


Then, be sure to check out:
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 1 How to Open an Etsy Shop
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 2 Branding & Shop Banners
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 3 Shop Profiles Bios and Photos
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 4 Make Listings Tempting
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 5 About Pages

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 6 Shop Policies
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 7 Communication
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 8 Shipping and Packaging
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 9 Social Media
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 11 Shop Stats
TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 12 Holiday Prep in Bite-Sized Pieces

TEST Etsy Newbie Bootcamp: Class 13 Getting Press

Dress up your shop for the holidays with a sale! Dress up yourself with the

OLEAJE -ocean- strings necklace by micheleguevara
So far, we've covered opening your shop, making it look its best, making it easy to find, easy to interact with and practical skills like pricing your items appropriately, how to get them to customers, how to monitor who visits your shop, preparing for the holidays and getting press. Today, we want to tell you about Etsy's built-in tools to let you host a sale in your shop: coupons.

As we mentioned in Class 12 Holiday Prep in Bite-Sized Pieces, the end of October, November and December are Etsy sellers' busiest months, so it can be especially useful to focus your promotional efforts on the pre-holiday rush. If you are planning to have a sale, this is a good time of year. Remember, it makes sense to time any planned sales and promotions to go with events like Black Friday, Cyber Monday and Boxing Day and to tag listings accordingly.  Also, don't forget to review Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing  and make sure you are charging enough before you consider offering discounts! If you've built your profits into your prices, you will have the wiggle room within your prices to be able to offer your buyers some enticements to buy that listing.

Using Coupon Codes: nuts & bolts  

So, once you've decided to have a sale, you'll want to know about Etsy's three types of coupon codes
  1. Percent Discount: A flat percentage off each listing in a shopper's entire order (not applied to shipping costs or tax rates). 
  2. Free Shipping: Removes shipping costs on the shopper's order; this can be limited to orders shipped within your country.
  3. Fixed Amount Discount: Subtracts a set amount, such as $5, from an order. (Note this obviously works in whatever currency you employ in your shop and requires you to set a minimum, for instance "Spend $50 or more and save $10").
To allow your buyers access to any of these three sorts of coupons, you create a 5-20 character alphanumeric code and select how you would like your coupon to work; then, you share the code with buyers.

In your open shop, navigate to Your Shop (top right corner of any page on Etsy, once you've logged in).  At the bottom of the pull-down menu you'll see Coupon Codes; alternatively, you can find Coupon Codes under Promote on the sidebar.

Even if you delete a coupon, you cannot reuse its unique alphanumeric code.
Like AndyPrints' illustration of the Wattled Crane,
each of your Coupon Codes must be unique!
Choose a 5 to 20 character alphanumeric code. Remember, each code you use must be unique and you cannot reuse a name - though you can reuse the exact same coupon. So, if you have say, a specific type of sale in mind, which you might want to hold more than once, you can give your coupon a generic name (for instance FREESHIPPING). If you have a special promotion in mind be specific (for instance, include the year within the code, like HOLIDAYSALE13). Once you've set up your alphanumeric code, you cannot change its name or percentage of a rebate, so be careful to set it up as you indented. (Though, if you make a typo, you can always delete the coupon and start from scratch).

Choose which of the three types of coupon you wish to create: percentage discount (which applies to the value of any and all listings themselves, not shipping or taxes), free shipping or a specific rebate (which requires you to enter a minimum order value, which, of course, must be larger than your discount so you don't pay people to shop in your Etsy store).  Note: there can be small variations in a fixed rebate because of the way Etsy calculates rebates and the multiple currencies available to buyers and sellers.

Set the status of the coupon to Active or Inactive. 'Active' means the coupon code is live immediate; 'Inactive' means you are setting up a code which you wish to use in the future, when you set it 'Active'. Click on Add Coupon Code and you're set!

If the buyer purchases more than one item from your shop, the coupon code, which they enter at checkout, will be applied to the value of listings in whole order. When a buyer selects their payment method, they will see a link to 'Apply shop coupon code'. At this point they can enter your alphanumeric code and see their total revised.

By navigating to Your Shop > Coupon Codes you can change a coupon's status at any time: you can activate, deactivate or delete codes as you wish. 

You can track how any give code is used.

Any code can be used until you either deactivate it or we reach its expiration date. 

You can also set up a 'Thank You Coupon' which will be automatically emailed to any customer (who opts in) to encourage repeat business. Simply tick the 'Thank You Coupon' box on the form.

Etsy fees will be charged on the value of the purchase after any coupon code is applied.

Now: share your codes! You can promote a Coupon Code in your Shop Announcement, Public Profile, and item descriptions as well as on any of your social media or promotional materials like business cards or post cards.

Using Coupon Codes: things to consider

Consider how these codes might work. You have a listing valued, according to Class 10 The Dark Art of Pricing at  
2 x (Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit)
If you set up a percentage discount, for instance 10% off, each and every listing (excluding shipping and any taxes you collect) will be purchased at:
0.9 x 2 x (Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit) = 1.8 x
(Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit)
or more generally for a n% discount, your listings will cost 
(1 - (n/100)) x 2 x (Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit) = (2 - (n/50))  x
(Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit)
so, you can offer anything up to 50% off and still be receiving a fair wholesale price, covering your materials, labour, expenses and profit. If you increase your discount beyond 50% you'll start to cut into your profit and you'll want to make sure you at least cover your materials, labour and expenses. These are generally easy to set-up and for customers to understand.

If, alternatively, you wish to set up a flat value discount, of say, $m (for purchases > $M), your customers' total sum of listings purchased will cost
2 x Sum(Materials + Labour + Expenses + Profit) - $m
So, you'll want to make sure that $m is no more than 2 x Profit (to sell items at retail price, without the padding of profit) for any sufficiently valuable listing. If you are willing to sell to buyers at your wholesale rate, you can offer a bigger rebate, but be sure to cover your materials, labour and expenses. These types of coupons do encourage buyers to purchase at least your minimum $M worth of goods. They have the advantage of costing the sellers no more money for very large orders than they do for the minimal size order.

Setting up free shipping is pretty straightforward for buyer and seller to understand. It is likely easiest to do if your shipping rates are fairly uniform. If you have listings which are very expensive to shipping, you'll want to make sure that the cost of shipping is no more than 2 x Profit (to sell items at retail price, without the padding of profit). If you are willing to sell to buyers at your wholesale rate, it is possible to offer free shipping which costs more (but that would be an unusually large price relative to the value of any listing).

Promoting Your Coupon Codes

Attract possible buyers to your shop with your sales and coupons -
win them over with your one of a kind listings like
this encaustic painting by Sari Zon
You can let buyers know about your coupon codes in different ways to have different types of sales. These include (but are not limited to):
  • Thank You codes can be automatically emailed to any customer (who opts in to receive email messages from Etsy). You can also send these codes within any shipping notice or follow-up email you send directly to your customers. You can also include this with your packaging: for instance, on a hand-written note or any included promotional material like a business card or post card. This is a sale to encourage repeat business. 

    Tip: It's less time, effort and hence cost to sellers to retain buyers than to find brand new ones so it's worth your effort to do what you can to keep them coming back!

  • Targeted campaigns can help you measure the engagement of fans and potential customers. For instance, a specific coupon code can be something you share only with fans of your shop's Facebook fanpage. A second code can be used on your blog. A third code can be used on twitter - and so forth. You might consider handing out coupon codes to visitors at your table at a craft show... if they are undecided in person, you're giving them an opportunity to come back and buy that item later (or even find more items they like in your shop).
  • A widely shared, but time limited coupon code can be tied to an event, like Cyber Monday or Boxing Day. This can be a good way to gain new customers, move stock and take advantage of more general promotions going on. Sometimes teams of sellers organize a sale together and all involved can use their own networks to alert people to the sale in general. You can promote just about anywhere: in tags, in your shop announcement, in your listing descriptions, on your social media, promotional material and even in person.
  • Host an event or contest! Reward the winner with a special Coupon Code. You can for instance ask your blog or other social media readers to choose their favorite item from your shop and then use a random number generator to select a participant to reward.
  • If you receive some press, you can include a special discount Coupon Code - for instance an exclusive offer to readers of a blog which features you.
  • Tip: Coupon codes might be working even if no one ever applies the codes to their purchases! The reason that coupons have been so popular with vendors for decades is that their mere existence can encourage buyers to select one brand of item over another. So a buyer might be encouraged to shop in your shop just because they understand that you offer coupons.... but still neglect to bother to apply the code.

    So, do you offer Coupon Codes in your shop? Do they get much use? To you have Thank You Coupons for buyers? What has your experience been? Do you have any questions or suggestions? Leave us a comment below or drop us a line TorontoEtsyST@gmail.com!

    Remember: If you already have a shop, or you open one today, please let us know how to find it! We will be featuring some of our favorite newbie items right here. 

     The Toronto Etsy Street Team loves Newbie shops! You can find some of our favorite listings from talented Newbie sellers, including those featured in this class in our new TEST ♥ Newbies section. Be sure to stop by often to see what's new in this evolving, curated treasury of amazing Newbie finds!

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