January 16, 2014

Printers, Ink and Paper for Printing Wall Art and Greeting Cards

An informal study of forums on Etsy leads me to believe that Epson printers are the best printers for printing everything from fine wall art to invitations and greeting cards. For me, I wanted to know what the print quality of different Epson printers was and what different types of paper looked and felt like.

Most office stores do not carry the high quality Epson printers. So I went to the Epson website to do some research on printers, ink and paper. Epson provides the entire printing ecosystem from printers to paper. The nice thing about this is that Epson has already tested different combinations of printers, ink and paper to figure out which combinations work the best. This makes me happy since that is a lot of work in and of itself. My goal is to create - not to run endless print samples trying to get the perfect combination of printer, ink and paper.

If you want to get a free sample from Epson then go to the Epson website and request a sample kit for each printer that you are interested in. It looks like they only offer sample kits for their mid to high end printers. This makes sense because these are the printers that (a) artists and graphic artists are interested in and (b) cannot be found in local office stores. The sample kits include a photo printed on fine art paper (which is super nice) and a "Thank You" note printed on a wedding invite type of card stock.

So, spend some time on the Epson website exploring their vast product line and order a couple of printer sample kits for that tactile portion of your printer research.

January 4, 2014

Overcoming Section Limitations on Etsy

Let's get this said upfront. Etsy is an awesome platform. However, I do not understand why the sections appear to be so limited. Sub-sections would be a cool feature and help to better organize products. As a seller, what do you do when you sell two very different types of products? A long list of sections makes it hard for a customer to find what they are looking for. Sub-sections would be really helpful in refining the categorizations of products in a shop.

What I have found is that, rather than mixing totally different types of products in a single shop, it makes more sense to create multiple shops. Etsy has a requirement that a person who manages multiple shops be completely transparent and provide information about both shops in the About area. Heck, this is actually good and you have the opportunity to cross-sell between shops.

We provide two types of products - digital and physical. After playing around with defining sections to separate the digital from the physical we found that other Etsy sellers have established two shops - one shop for digital products and instant downloads and another shop for physical products. This allows the seller to make it easy for customers to find the exact product that they are looking for.

If a customer is looking for a print (or wall art) and they find your digital store then they can easily find the physical version of the product by clicking a link in the digital product's description (manually placed link when writing the product description) that takes them to your physical product shop. And the reverse is also true.

Our belief is that anything that makes things easier for the customer is the right thing to do.

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