10 Star Tips for Non-Native English speaking Etsy Sellers
English is hard! Trying to write English descriptions that sell well on Etsy is even harder. We wanted to share some tips and advice that you can start using immediately to improve the English in your Etsy listings.
First, and most importantly, do not rely on the auto-translate service of websites. These auto-translations and translation apps are not your friend. They seem cool and they seem really easy to use, but be warned, they can create terrible English translations. Often they do not translate your descriptions accurately. They are unnatural sounding and often completely wrong.
Keep it simple and clear
Write clear easy to read descriptions that are not too long. The shorter the sentence, the less room for errors and miscommunication. Think about the buyer and what they need to know. Then keep the description short and to the point. A common mistake of second language English writers is to write too much.
British English or American English?!
Don’t worry too much about the difference between British English and American English. Most people can understand both without a problem. If you want a more detailed outline of the main differences CHECK HERE
Be careful with titles
Create a good title for your product using a clear, accurate title that describes the item well. This helps buyers find what they are looking for easier. Describe the item without too many adjectives. Excellent, Super, Amazing, Fun – are all words that will not show up in a search. Don’t waste your title with these words.
Read, Read and Re-read
Even native English speakers need to check their writing again and again. Grammar mistakes are easy to make. If it does not sound natural, check it with a native speaker or change the sentence around.
Find keywords for your item by searching for similar items and learning the keywords that are most common. Use these keywords in your title and the first few sentences of your description. Then use these keywords again in your tags. This will help your item show in searches more. Try to use common English names for the item. Use only common colors. Describe the use of the item. When would your buyer use it? Is it for a special event? Check the common English names for events.
Be careful of these common mistakes:
Sell or Sale?
Sell is a verb. A sale is a noun.
20% off sale
We sell unique items.
Affect or Effect?
Affect is a verb, Effect is a noun
The size affects the price
It has a glowing effect
i.e. or e.g?
I.e. means that is or in other words
E.g. means for example
The box is large, i.e it can hold many items
Shipping costs differ for countries; e.g shipping to the USA is an extra $30
Lose or Loose?
Lose is a verb meaning to have lost something
Loose is an adjective, meaning not tight
I want to lose weight
Her belt is very loose around her waist.
Accept or Except?
Accept is a verb meaning to take or receive
Except is a preposition meaning to exclude.
We accept payment by bank transfer.
We can ship to all countries except France.
Keep writing. Product descriptions get faster and easier the more you do! Tags also get quicker as you get used to the key words for your items.
Keep looking at other listings of similar items and get an idea of how others are writing descriptions and the words they use. Do not copy other listings.
Want more help? Contact us today for a free listing review. We love to help!