How to Offer Custom Items and Reserved Listings

You can offer custom listings in your shop by enabling custom order requests. If a shopper requests a custom item, you can convert their request to a custom listing. If a buyer would like to set aside a listing, you can reserve the listing for them.

How to enable custom order requests

You can use private, custom listings in your Etsy shop to allow your buyers to purchase made-to-order items. You'll be able to add this feature once your shop is open to the public.

To enable custom order requests:

  1. On, go to the Shop Manager icon.
  2. Go to Settings.
  3. Go to Options.
  4. Select Enabled under Custom order requests.
  5. Select Save at the bottom of the page.

A Request Custom Order link will appear on your shop homepage. 

The maximum processing time you can place on a custom order is 6-8 weeks.

What your buyer will see

When a buyer clicks Request Custom Order, they'll see a window where they can describe what they're looking for and the date they need it by (if there is a deadline).

If you need more information, send your buyer a message to work out the details.

How you and your buyer complete a custom order

When the buyer initially requests an item, you'll receive a message. Look for it in your Custom Requests folder.

Once you work out the details of exactly what the buyer wants and how much it will cost, create a custom, private listing directly from the original Custom Request Message thread.

It's not possible to choose a calculated delivery profile for custom orders at this time.

Additional information about custom listings

  • The listing won't appear in your public shop or in search, which means that other buyers won't be able to purchase it. Once your listing is sold, though, it will appear on your public Sold Items page with your other sold listings.  
  • Once you publish this listing, we'll send your buyer an email with a button to purchase the listing. 
  • Private listings can not be created for digital items. If you want to offer a custom digital item, consider setting up made-to-order digital listings in your shop.
  • To view your private listings, click the You icon, then click Shop Manager and choose Listings. They'll be labelled Private
  • If your buyer sent the request through a regular message, you can still create a private custom listing. In the message, click Make this a custom order. Then click Start building the custom order

How this differs from listing variations

Enabling custom order requests shows buyers that you can work with them to create custom, one-of-a-kind items.

Listings created from a custom request are private between you and the buyer. Creating a private listing from a custom request begins a flow of communication between you and your buyer.

If you want to offer specific options that don't require further customisation or communication between you and your buyer, you can use Variations to offer different sizes, colours, styles, or other options.

For more information on using and managing custom orders, check out this Seller Handbook post.

How to reserve an existing listing

You can reserve or set aside items in your shop at any time.  

  1. Put “RESERVED for (buyer’s name)” at the beginning of the listing title and in the description.
  • Remember to be clear with your listing title. It's still possible for other buyers to purchase the item. 
  • For privacy, some buyers don't like to have their name in the title of the listing. Ask your buyer what name they'd prefer you use.
  • Upload a photo that clearly states the item is reserved. This can help designate it from your other listings.
  • Send the listing page's link to the buyer.
  • If you’d like to create a private, custom listing for your buyer, you can enable the custom request tool in your shop’s settings.

    This will allow you to create a private, custom listing directly from their request, which means other buyers won’t be able to purchase the item. 

    Learn how to create custom listings.


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