What’s the Deal With Treasuries, Anyways?

On the Maine Team forum today, someone asked a very good question about what ‘the secret’ of Etsy treasuries are.  I got to thinkin’ (and typin’) and thought it might be nice to have this information here for anyone who might want to read it.

As a disclaimer, I’ll admit I’ve only been on the front page (or ‘FP’) once before.  And it was at 4am.  So my ‘expertise’ in this area only comes from making treasury after treasury for a spell of about two months in hopes that I would reach the holy grail of Etsydom:  front page for an hour.  OK!  So maybe only people in Europe who were up early got to see it!  But I didn’t make a little headway, no?

Without further ado, here’s everything you need to know (or everything I can offer!) about treasuries on Etsy:

1.  Hits-o-mundo. Have you ever clicked on someone’s treasury only to find that there is an INSANE # of views and clicks and comments?  It’s my theory that there are a network of sellers who really get off on the networking aspect of Etsy.  That’s cool for them, but I have a hunch that their super views are due to a high-level-operation of Facebook statuses, Twitter feeds and ‘Treasury Teams’ which is a group of Etsians who make treasuries regularly (daily!) and religiously click through each others collections.  This is nice and all, but belonging to Etsy wasn’t in efforts to become a treasury factory, in my case.  Plus I only have about an hour a day to waste looking at awesome stuff – while presumably these people have more.

If you want to up your treasury views then be sure to leave thoughtful comments in ‘treasury threads’ (where people only list treasuries) about at least the person before you before posting your own.  Share on Facebook.  Maybe even on Twitter.  But don’t lose your life in search of the elusive FP!

2.  What the heck is a BNR?

A BNR is an acronym for “Buy ‘n Replace” which is a treasury that’s curated by a ‘moderator’ (anyone can be a moderator) in efforts to generate sales for those in the treasury.  These often have high numbers of views, clicks and comments because the treasury acts like a chat forum as different viewers announce who they want to buy (per the rules of the BNR).  Once a viewer buys from a shop in the treasury they have an item from their own shop (they can choose or the moderator can choose) listed in the spot where they had bought their purchase from.

If you want to see what it’s all about click on the ‘Treasury’ link on Etsy and search for “open BNR” for any active BNRs.  Some will come up as ‘closed’ which means the moderator has gone back to the real world after hours of chatting on Etsy.  Fun!

3.  How to get on the front page (FP). So weird — there really is no ‘how.’  I have a lot to say on this subject and let’s see if I can keep it concise.  🙂  The front page on Etsy refreshes every hour with a new treasury selected by an Etsy Admin.  The Etsy Admin will generally choose treasuries based on selections of quality items with good photography that fit the ‘merchandising plan’ for that particular month.  Etsy lists their “From the Etsy Merchandising Desk” newsletter every month a month in advance so you can plan accordingly.  By creating treasuries that fit the themes for the season the Etsy Admin is more likely to search for treasuries fitting the description yours follows.

TAGS!  The Etsy Admin can’t find your hard work if you don’t label it properly.  Use all 18 tags when creating a treasury and be sure to message its participants for maximum sharing possibilities.  Make sure your tags match the key words outlined in the merchandising newsletter!

You can also view what other tags are trending if you click on the ‘Treasury’ link on the front page and look on the right-hand column.  It will list the most popular tags of the day and you can design a treasury based on that if you are concerned with views.

There is also this ‘club’ of sellers that, due to their hard work AND having been on the FP before, are on it all the time.  This makes sense:  they get more exposure, more people want to use them in their treasuries, therefore there is a higher likelihood of them getting on the FP again.  So it’s up to you if you want to include those people in your treasury – do you want to find new talent and hope for the best or use existing superstars and network with them in hopes of getting a little exposure that way?  Choice is yours — all I know is that daily there are many ‘repeats’ and less opportunity for all the other excellent sellers to have their 15 minutes of fame.  Of course, all the ‘repeats’ are freaking excellent artists with great product so it’s fun in the sun either way.

4.  Where do I start when making a treasury? Your treasury needs to be cohesive if you’re planning on making your FP debut any time soon.  Pick two colors or, better yet, pick an ‘inspiration’ item that you can base all your other selections off of.  You want the grouping to look unified, not herky-jerky.  Don’t get impatient if you can’t find the perfect shade of pink to go with what you already have – instead try and find complimentary colors if you really can’t find the one shade you need.  Or find something mostly white!

Treasuries are great for networking – do a treasury featuring mainly members of an Etsy team you belong to (even if it’s not a ‘treasury team’) or a theme of all artists from a particular state or city.  Include a little personal note and copy and paste it in hopes of getting more than just a ‘thank you’ in response.  I once networked with the Vermont Street Team this way – and ended up winning a giveaway on their site later as a result of our connection!

Include a wide variety of items in your treasury.  Don’t do all jewelry, all clothing, or all photography unless that’s the point.  Mixing it up will ensure that you’ve got the variety the Admin is looking for when selecting that next superstar treasury!

~~

I think that’s all for now – I totally forgot I’m super tired and have to get up early.  Happy curating, everyone!

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