To clarify…

A note about Swarovski crystals: I took some flak today, especially on the Etsy forums, for calling Swarovski crystals a “technical term.”

What materials you use, and your creation process, is a GREAT thing to include in your description, and I definitely wouldn’t remove it. I am only suggesting that, for people who may be totally unfamiliar with your craft, you put in one or two words of clarification.

So I am suggesting that you might help some buyers by saying something like “This necklace is made with Swarovski crystals, a superior lead crystal.”  It doesn’t take much, but this lets me, as a potential buyer with no previous experience in jewelry, know why your piece is more desirable than another.

Some people I spoke to seemed to expect that if a buyer doesn’t understand a term, they should be responsible for hunting out the information online. Well, okay, that’s a possibility. But why make a buyer navigate away from your page (where you are hoping, I presume, that they will stay and spend money) when just a couple well-placed words on your part will answer their questions?

I am also suggesting that the nitty-gritty of crafting go towards the end of the paragraph or description. You can appeal to everyone by putting the most attractive stuff out front, and then save the details for the more interested, discerning buyers. There’s no need to condescend or over-simplify.

By the way, these are not my ideas. This is a matter of practice in journalism, where it’s a necessity to communicate very complex concepts to a broad audience in as tight a space as possible. 

How much information we give about our materials and process is something we all must decide as individuals. But with a little clever wording, I think it’s possible to appeal to buyers “in the know,” while also demystifying terms for new visitors!

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Published in: on June 21, 2008 at 11:48 pm  Comments (4)  

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4 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. It’s so true. It can be a bit tricky to accomplish at times, but that doesn’t remove the necessity. (I used to work in the newspaper industry but I escaped recently.)

  2. Honestly I thought you were absolutely right. In thinking back I had worded for a several jewelry stores over the years and still had no idea what “Swarovski Crystals” where until I started using them in my own work. So thanks again for the posting – very educational.

  3. Boy, I thought your message was crystal clear. Guess others didn’t get what you were trying to teach. Forgetting that others don’t know is a problem for all specialized interests. Ever hear of the British Crystal mark campaign?

  4. totally agree with you.


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