The summary of our most recent team meeting is on the Yahoo forum, if you are on the team, be sure to check it out. Leanna did a great job of leading the meeting. Since weekend deals came up, and I have some good experience with that, Leanna invite me to share my tips.
What is Weekend Deals?
Sellers on Etsy who have sales or specials during the weekends. MaryMary, one of the Etsy admins, is in charge of weekend deals features. Every weekend, there is a different focus. A weekend deals email goes out from Etsy to thousands of subscribers every Friday, encouraging people to shop. The email also gets posted as an article in Etsy's blog, the Storque, which exposes it to thousands more. A weekend deals gift guide is also created to make shopping easier. Getting featured in the week end deals means huge exposure for your shop. Even if you don't make the Gift Guide or the email, Etsy includes a link to the forum thread so people can read all of the posted specials and shop from there.
How do I participate?
The first step is to post your deal on the forum thread that MaryMary has started for the particular weekend you want. Here is a link to all of the options. (The threads you want are started by MaryMary.)
Tips to participate effectively
1. Follow the instructions Mary gives in the forum thread. If she is looking for a percentage off, do not post a buy one get one (BOGO). Be aware that if you want to limit your special to only certain items or a certain section of your shop, she probably will not feature you. Look at what you can offer that could apply to your whole shop.
2. Try to word your special in an enticing way and mention what it is you sell in your shop. When you post on the forum thread, you are trying to get Etsy Admin to click and check out your shop. You may even want to post a link to your best item - most gift guide worthy item. Also people who shop through the forum thread may not click unless your avatar interests them or something you said about your shop gets them to click.
3. Post your week end deals in your shop announcement during the weekend. You will still get some full price sales because not everyone reads the shop announcements, but admin does instruct you to have the deal in your announcement.
4. If you are fortunate enough to get featured in the email, the storque, or the gift guide, edit the featured item to raise the quantity (if it is something you can reproduce) and edit the description to include your weekend deals announcement. That way, if a shopper clicks on the item and likes it and wants to just buy it, they do not need to try to find your shop announcement to see what the deal is.
5. Do not change all of the prices in your shop. Simply use paypal to refund the savings. Some people will ask for a revised invoice before they will pay, but for the most part, Etsy feels it is easier to give paypal refunds. If you suggest revised invoices, you may lose some buyers who don't know what that is, and Etsy will not feature you because that sounds complicated.
I think Etsy has really drummed up some great sales for people by putting out these weekend deals features. I know a couple of jewelry sellers who have been blown away by the volume they can do in a single week end. As for my experience, I did about $340 worth of sales I might not have had otherwise.
Hope this helps. Here is a look at who was at the meeting. (Randi was there in her pre-type-ed-ness)