Etsy Writing Critique #17

Don’t settle for drab product descriptions! Join me for another week of my Etsy Writing Critiques.

Duffy, of Duffy Designs, has offered herself up to big red pen this week. I love her daring metal-work and eye-catching designs. But unfortunately, I think her descriptions sell her work short. While they are cohesive and coherent, they rely on low-impact vocab and sometimes confuse with imprecise language.

Let’s have a look at a description for a bold copper cuff:


This copper cuff is etched to give it a nice pattern.The edges are hammered for an interesting edge. The center piece is bronze, also etched, with a sterling silver cold forged wire, riveted to the cuff. Since the metal is not extremely stiff, it would be easy to adjust to your wrist. A patina is added to give depth to the design. This original design is a new addition to my line and I’m really fond of it. I hope you are, too.

The smaller two pictures are other choices. One has copper wire design riveted to a bronze piece and the cuff and the other has a rectangle of hand stamped bronze riveted to the cuff. You can convo me to tell me which design you prefer. They are all the same price.


This description reads smoothly enough, but I was surprised to see bland words at key junctures. Duffy says her piece is “nice” and “interesting.” She’s quite “fond” of it. Eh.

Something seems a little out of whack when I find her designs more exciting then she appears to. I’ve already used some words to describe her work in this critique – Daring, bold and eye-catching. A number of others come to mind: Elegant, rustic, arresting, tribal, natural, earthy, graceful and fluid. I’m sure others could come up with more!

Remember to let your descriptions help reinforce the way a buyer might feel looking at your creation, or the way they might want to feel when they wear it or see it in their home. If you are the kind of person who would buy and wear Duffy’s cuff, you are probably looking to make a bold statement with your outfit – “nice” is a little too tame for you.

Duffy’s second paragraph confused me for a minute. It took some looking back and forth at her pictures to realize that she essentially selling three different cuffs in one listing – with instructions to convo her with a preference. Why? This tactic seems to “bury” two gorgeous cuff choices below the top one. And, before I read her description more carefully (something not everyone is going to do!), I thought the photos showed the back-side of the first one pictured.

I would break each cuff into it’s own listing – give them each a chance to shine! And then add a line to the description advising buyers to check out the other options.

Oh, and don’t forget details like measurements – I’ve got teeny, tiny little wrists, so those are going to matter to me a lot!

Here’s what I would write, if I was given a free rein:


Conjure up dreams of hot, tropical jungles and sensuous drum beats.

The bold, geometric shapes of this copper cuff provide the perfect backdrop to a fluid twist of silver wire.

The cuff is hand-etched and hammered, set with a bronze etched centerpiece. An elegant cold-forged sterling silver wire is riveted on top. The metals are treated with a patina to bring depth and color to the piece. The cuff is slightly flexible and would be easy to adjust to your wrist.

Please see my other listings for other original cuff designs!


The bit about the jungle is simply the image that popped into my own head when I looked at the piece – others might see something different!

Either way, I hope that gives Duffy some inspiration – don’t hesitate to be a cheerleader for your own work! Good luck!


Interested in a critique focusing on language and writing? You’ve come to the right place! You must leave a comment on THIS blog post to be considered for next week! (Even if you have volunteered on a previous week!)

Also check out the Writing Critique archives!


Published in: on August 24, 2008 at 10:42 pm  Comments (7)  

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7 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Beautiful cuff, you always feature such great work in your Blog. I would love a writing critique; I know this is an area I am really lacking in. Feel free to pick any item from my shop.


  2. I love this series — thanks again!

  3. Awesome rewrite, loved the jungle imagery! You’ll be happy to note I’ve finished all of my item descriptions- woo that took forever! I also added new photos at the same time, that might be why! 😀

  4. I’ve looked forward to this all week…you didn’t dissapoint!!! Love the cuff; love the rewrite; learned something new; once again impressed…..

    Hope I’m on your list for rewrites. (fingers and toes crossed…LOL)

  5. I LOVE this cuff! And another great re-write to go with it. Keep up the good work!


  6. OOOO, I love the imagery you used in this re-write.

  7. Thank you so much for your input!!! Being Southern, we are taught from an early age that it’s a mortal sin to toot your own horn! I really have a hard time with that. Got to get better, though. Love what you wrote! Can I use it? I would give you credit! Thanks again…Duffy Brown

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