Folksy Ltd

Photography dilemma

Hi everyone

I’ve been on Folksy a few years now but am new to the forums. I have finally got Wi-Fi and a laptop so I can spend a bit of time on here at the end of the day (or looking at the time the beginning of a new one!!)
My dilemma is that practically all my items are hand painted so never quite the same. I could do 5 toadstool clocks with fairy door but each one will have subtle differences. I know as a customer how fussy I am about choosing something and so should I continue to do what I mostly have and just list one at a time and re-photograph the next one after a sale or just state on the listing that the design will vary and say I have 5 for sale? If I did list each one individually I’m worried on first glance at my shop it would just look like repeats of the same item and the time it takes photographing every single thing is what is putting me off of listing more, But on the other hand I would hate for someone to receive something and it not be the exact item they saw and be disappointed.
I’d love to know what others with similar products do.

And please can I ask, sorry if it’s a stupid question but I can’t find the answer on here, what does ‘favourite and show an item from the shop above you’ mean?!

Thanks all
Dew Drop Crafts

Hi Julie :smile:

Your work is gorgeous! I often sell many similar things, but like you they’re all hand painted, so I list them individually. I think maybe it would help if in your title you used the words ‘original hand painted’ for those items, so that people can see they are not mass produced if there are a few similar things.

The favouriting of items - I think that’s just peoples efforts to get their items showing briefly on the front page - a selection of favourited items will show there for a few minutes as a time. I can’t see any purpose for it other than that, and I personally only favourite items if I really like them.

Hi Julie, Love your shop, such gorgeous items.

I have a similar problem with my scarves as each one is unique and even repeating a design they will not be the same. I rarely make up a second item in the same design until the first is sold so don’t tend to have the problem of multiple listings at the same time. When I make up a new replacement for one that has sold I do tend to treat it as an entirely new item and list it from scratch with new photographs. Even if I have made two at the same time I tend just to list one and keep the other in drafts until needed! The only time I use an old listing is if the item has been lucky enough to be featured in folksys gift guides/favourites in which case I use the listing to preserve its place there :smile: The only time I used one listing for a several similar items (last Christmas I was selling lots of poppy scarves and didn’t have time to keep photographing and listing :slight_smile: ) I just made it clear in the listing that the design, i.e… the placement of the poppies, would be slightly different.

If you do decide to go ahead with duplicate listing I would just be careful of a couple of things

  1. I think I would try and photograph the items slightly differently in each listing so it doesn’t look like a repeat of the same item and point out the differences in the description.

  2. I would try and use the shopkeeping feature to reorder your shop so as to scatter the duplicate items around so there is not a whole block of the same item - or make sure your first items show all your different designs and then put the duplicates at the end.

  3. If you do duplicate listings - try not to use exactly the same title/description even if they are the same as google (and other search engines) do not like duplicates and will penalise you by not showing them in search results. For example your apple clocks currently listed, although slightly different, have identical titles and descriptions (except a couple of words)

  4. The downside of using new/seperate listings is that if someone favourites/shares on FB/ pins etc an item it may not necessarily link to the item you currently have for sale.

Its quite early in the morning so I have no idea if any of this makes sense.

Good luck with the shop


As my cards are made from elephant or rhino poo - each one is different due to the textured look. I made a note of this in my description and if the customer (or you?) want to make sure they are happy with the individual piece you could send a quick photo via email showing them maybe?

Just an idea…hope ot helps :blush:

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I don’t have this problem as, if I make the same design more than once, I use different fabrics so they’re not the same. However, I’ve seen plenty of listings in other shops where the item is listed once and it states that, as the item is hand-painted, it may be slightly different from the one featured. If I was buying an item like this I’d be happy with that - after all, that’s the beauty of such a product - the subtle differences are what makes it unique!

By the way, I love your shop - Beautiful items.

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Hello Julie @DewDropCrafts the favouriting bit- if you go back to that thread to the bottom poster, you will see their name and shop name at the top and a picture of the work from the shop in the post above. The idea is, if you press on the shop name above the picture you will go to their shop, choose something from that shop you particularly like, copy list it. Go back to the thread and press reply. A new little box appears where you can write something about the item you have chosen, add the picture, press reply again and hey presto your name now appears at the top with a picture of the previous posters work. The next person who comes along and repeats the whole process but visits your shop and chooses something they like of yours.
Its a sort of mutual admiration thread! Helps you see what others are liking.
Hope that was what you meant by what does that mean!!
If you do it all wrong, don’t worry we have all been on that learning curve.
Suzzie x

I agree with @PocketfulCreations and @talkofthetownparties I make handmade personalised items, so my photos do not show what the customer will actually receive. In over 6 years of selling online I’ve never had an issue with this, I do think customers understand that no 2 handmade items will ever look the same.
My advice would be to list it once and state clearly that it’s hand painted, therefore each one is unique and no 2 items will ever be the same.

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I repeat some designs when they sell, if they are quite similar I take a couple of new photos, and say the one you will receive is in the first two pics. The more technical pics showing scale or reverse stay the same.

Thanks Sara. Love your work too.

Thanks a lot Roz, some really good ideas there.

Thanks Jennifer, that may be an option.

Thanks Helen, my problem is that even when I try to paint two the same the result is often more than just subtly different but not different enough to be a whole new item if that makes sense!

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Hi Suzzie, thank you, yes, that is exactly what I meant!! The shop above you where has been bugging me for a while. Think I will have to write that down. cheers.

I often make the same things out of the same fabric but the result is slightly different because the fabric placement is never exactly the same. If the fabric placement is going to be very different (ie. on a large print) then I will state that in the listing. If the print is a smaller print then I don’t bother. I’ve never had any complaints. I don’t think people expect that the item they’re getting is always going to be exactly the same as the picture unless this is explicitly stated (eg. for one of a kind items) so I don’t think people mind (or possibly even notice) subtle differences as long as the item they’re getting is essentially the same as the image.

If the differences in your toadstools are really subtle I don’t think you need to take multiple shots of each one. As you say, it might look a bit weird to list them all separately if they’re really similar.


Thanks Ali

Hi Melanie, thanks for replying. I think I have to decide how much difference is ‘subtle’. When I look at them although the door is essentially the same on each one the colouring is quite different the brush strokes on the tree can make them look completely different etc. On things with sunsets (not that I think I have any listed right now) like the IOW clocks the technique means the sky will be very different in each one and as a customer that would be the thing that stood out to me and I would want the one I’d seen. I think perhaps with the florals it is less of a problem, I wouldn’t expect someone to check the placement of each sweetpea!
Certainly on my stall I have seen someone agonise for ages over two items basically the same. Guess I’ll have to think about it some more. All the fab comments have helped.

I don’t know if you make the items in small batches or not so this might not help but… if you have several of an item made up could you do a group photo and then say in the text ‘each item is hand painted so there will be variations between them (please see group photo for examples)’? You could then put all of that batch in the same listing.
If you want a second opinion as to whether or not a difference is subtle you can always post pictures here and we will give you our considered opinion.

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I think that choosing which item to buy at a craft fair is very different to choosing what to buy online. If you display 2 similar items next to each other at a craft fair, you can instantly see the minor differences between them and this may mean that you take your time in deciding which one you prefer. I think buying online is very different, because customers can’t pick the items up and compare like for like, as long as you say in the listing that each one is hand painted, so there will be differences, you will be absolutely fine.
I think @SashaGarrett 's suggestion of doing one group photo shot, which shows what the differences could be, is a fantastic idea. With my product photo’s, each photo shows a completely different similar product. I.e. I haven’t made just one product and photographed it 5 times - I’ve made 5 products and I show 1 photo of each, to show the customer what type of differences they can expect.
Another thing to consider is that no 2 computers, mobile devices etc show colour in the same way.

Apologies if same advice already given - I put on all my product descriptions the following - ‘As all my jewellery is hand made, there may be a slight variation in the sent pieces to the pictures shown above.’. Only if when I’ve remade something I’ve sold and it really looks different will I take some new pictures. Mandie

Thanks for that. It would seem that is the way to go.