When you are browsing listings on Etsy, you will come across products with the phrase “OOAK” within their title or description. You probably had to search what this meant the first time you saw it.
OOAK stands for “one of a kind” and is used to describe a unique item created solely for the individual buyer.
Today we will take a deeper look into Etsy one of a kind products and everything you need to know on the topic as an Etsy seller.
What Items Are Considered OOAK?
OOAK is often used in titles and descriptions of Etsy products by sellers.
This is usually any item that is crafted by hand and made by itself instead of being mass-produced.
However, it’s important to understand Etsy one of a kind items aren’t always made by just one person or without an assembly line. This is a common misconception about OOAK items and can lead to disappointment with buyers who expect a fully hand-crafted item.
Many individuals using Etsy search “one of a kind gifts” when looking for a gift on the site, so if you are a seller, this is a keyword that may be worth adding to your listings, but only if it’s appropriate to your product.
What Items Are NOT Considered OOAK?
Unfortunately, as with any online store, sellers on Etsy often mislabel their products in the hope of achieving better search engine results on the site. OOAK is one of these areas, as is Etsy vintage. The two are often used hand-in-hand but shouldn’t necessarily be used to describe the same item. According to Etsy, vintage describes an item that’s over twenty years in age. However, that doesn’t mean it was an OOAK item at the time.
Another area in which OOAK is often misused is in regards to items that would be considered unique by the receiver. You’ll find items on Etsy labeled “unique one-of-a-kind gift” when they are just suggesting this gift would be unique to the person you give it to. When you see descriptions such as this, check out the number of products available for purchase on the listing, as this is a huge giveaway for whether the item is unique or not.
You’ll also find some jewelry and artwork described as OOAK, purely because it uses a pattern or technique which is never identical. If the item in question was made in bulk, this means it’s not technically one of a kind, even when items may have tiny variations.
Examples of Etsy OOAK Items
One-of-a-kind items on Etsy spread over almost the whole range of Etsy products. Regardless of what you are selling on the site, you’ll find OOAK items within your niche.
You’ll see products such as Framed Tile Art or a Drinks Cabinet listed as OOAK on Etsy, as it’s the only piece that the artist has created. On the other hand, handmade cards are described as Luxury One of A Kind Cards because they are personalized to the person purchasing the item. OOAK dolls and OOAK clothing are very popular on Etsy.
On Etsy, you’ll find two types of one of a kind items. Some, like the artwork mentioned here, have already been created by the artist, whereas others, like the cards, are personalized after your purchase. While the cards aren’t necessarily completely one of a kind, sellers use this description as the final personalization makes it a unique item.
Challenges of Selling OOAK Items on Etsy
OOAK is a hot keyword on both Etsy and Google and can attract visitors to your Etsy listings and increase your profits. However, it needs to be used with care to avoid false advertising.
There are certainly some challenges for sellers who have a full OOAK Etsy store, but there are ways to overcome these issues.
One of the biggest complaints from sellers regarding these items is the time it takes to list these Etsy OOAK items. If your item is truly unique, for each piece you sell, you’ll have to take photos, write descriptions, and add each item to the system.
While this may be worth it for higher-priced items, if you are working through a full shop of smaller pieces, this can be a lot of hassle.
Another issue is that once your item sells, it will no longer exist, so it can be harder for past buyers to find you and repurchase.
Tips for Selling Etsy OOAK Items
There are some ways around these issues that can still make selling OOAK items on Etsy profitable for sellers who are passionate about this type of work.
1. Start with pre-made items
One of the easiest ways for sellers to add OOAK Etsy items to their store is to create pre-made items, which add some level of personalization. This can also help you to avoid wasting materials, as creating an item of clothing in one size will minimize your audience.
2. Create a reusable template
When it comes to the listings, which you’ll know can be time-consuming if you are an Etsy seller, try to reuse the same template each time. By copying over the descriptions and adjusting what you need in the listing, you’ll just need to add new photos each time you list a one-of-a-kind item.
3. Don’t overuse the term
OOAK items can be a great addition to any Etsy store, but the term should be used with care. You don’t want to mislead customers with the OOAK meaning and then receive negative feedback due to this.
OOAK items are ideal for unique gifts and are highly sought after when people are looking for something different for a birthday or Christmas gift.
4. Create a system for managing your OOAK shop
If you are a store owner, try to set up an efficient system that will make listing OOAK items and Etsy vintage items feasible in the long run. Managing a large store with one-of-a-kind items can be a challenge, but with a little planning and organization, you’ll attract new customers to your Etsy store in no time at all.