Sunday, December 6, 2009

Forum Decorum, Or How To Get the Most from the Etsy Community by Laura of MAB Jewelry

The Etsy Forums can be found under the community tab on the main etsy menu. They offer a fantastic place to mingle and interact with other etsians, ask questions, get tips from pros, promote your shop, and just hang out and socialize. I’ve learned so much while grazing the Forums, and had a great deal of fun along the way. However, etsy does have a set of rules concerning posting in the Forums. Many of them are common sense, but a few can be a bit tricky when you’re new.

The Forums are divided into eleven sections:

  • Announcements, usually from Etsy admin on updates or problems with the site
  • Site help, a great place for advice on any questions you have about setting up shop, listing and selling
  • Business topics, discussion about running your small business, ideas, tips, etc.
  • CPSIA, discussion on the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act
  • Critiques, giving and receiving criticism and praise about yours and others’ shops
  • Techniques & Materials, talk about your art and what you use to make your art
  • Teams & Events, sections for etsy street teams and events
  • Ideas, have an idea that might improve etsy? Bring it up here!
  • Bugs, report a strange occurrence or error, and see if others are experiencing the same problem
  • Promotion, a great place to promote your shop, sales, listings or find something you’re looking for
  • Etc., the water cooler of etsy where you can socialize with a wonderful mix of people

As for the Dos and Don’ts:

  • Common sense: Etsy is basically your workplace. Don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say out loud in front of people in a work environment. There is no room for meanness, insults, harassment or general nastiness. These are real people you’re talking with. There’s no reason to intentionally say something hurtful. You have a bit more leeway in the Etc. section, and can play and debate a little more. But always remember that buyers can also access the Forums. Nothing you say is invisible. Everything you say becomes permanent record.
  • Calling out: Never reference or name a specific shop, listing or transaction. This includes sales, purchases, feedback and convos. If you have a problem with a listing or shop, flag it for etsy administration. If you have a problem with a buyer or seller, including feedback, convos or emails, contact or Imagine if someone had a problem with you or your shop and started a thread discussing it for all to see?
  • You have to be eighteen to use Etsy’s Forums.
  • You cannot ask for charitable donations or link to a commercial website off of etsy, including auctions or other online sales sites.
  • Don’t create a fake or sock puppet account just to say something in the Forums. If you don’t want the comment attached to your name, then you probably shouldn’t say it.
  • Don’t promote a listing for your shop in a Forum thread that has nothing to do with promoting. Nothing turns people off faster than uncalled for spam, and a lot of sellers in those threads are also potential buyers.
  • If you start a thread, try and put it in the right section.

Now, go forth and communicate with this great bunch of people. There’s a lot of knowledge and fun to be had!
Click here for etsy’s official site dos and don’ts.


This post was by Laura from MAB Jewelry. She really hit all the essentials when it comes to the forums! Thanks Laura for your awesome input! You can check out Laura's lovely shop here:

And please don't forget to search the forums for any topic before you post! More often that not some one has had a similar question! You might even find the answer right away without needing to post your own! :)



  1. Ooops, I forgot the search thingie, didn't I? Thanks!

  2. wow thanks for this post and the blog itself-really helpful!