Sunday, October 9, 2011

Etsy BNR and BNS Guide

Item in a BNR from MyMilkMoney of TN
Have you ever seen announcements for BNR or BNS on Etsy and wondered, "What the heck is this and why is everyone talking about it?". Today, I am going to give you a simple overview of the terms and procedures relating to these treasury games. It can be fun and exciting to play, while giving your items exposure; however, you do need to know what is going on, so that you can have fun and make a profit.

1) What is BNR and BNS?
These are Etsy treasuries made up of 16 featured items; the acronym stands for "buy and replace" or "buy and stay". Basically, you purchase an item from  the treasury and one of your items gets chosen to replace it. In the BNR, your item goes in immediately and stays until someone buys it, the buyer then replaces you. In the BNS, you have to wait until the next round for your item to go up, and it stays up for a set amount of sales, even if someone buys from your shop. Usually, you can buy anything from the featured shops, not just the item in the treasury for the sale to count.

Both games typically have a set amount of sales, or a goal, that will be tallied before the game closes. Normally, it is between 10-16 sales, but sometimes it is a set time period, like 4 hours. If it is a BNR, make sure you know what happens if your item does not sell. Will there be a carryover to another round? When does that start? In BNS, your item is up for the entire duration of a single round, whether it sells or not. When the round is over, the people who bought in replace the current featured shops. You can buy in on the next round if you make a sale.

Earrings by Tresures Seven of TN
2) What is the purpose of these games?

Exposure for your items, fun, and interactive shopping are all reasons to participate in the games; however, if you are a buyer only and do NOT have an etsy shop, your purchases will not count towards the sales goals, because you are not selling any items to replace the featured sellers...but, if you like to buy and do not have an etsy shop, these games offer some great discounts and bonuses- if you see a shop you like featured in one of these games, go check out the discussion for some great coupon codes.

Now, for the sellers, you can think of these games as paid advertising, since you usually have to buy something to get a spot. What you buy and the items you sell will play into the overall strategy of when to buy in and if it is a good idea. Most BNR games have a minimum price to buy in, 3 dollars is the norm. Buyers are going to want to purchase the lowest cost item they like in order to get in on the fun, so shops with items in the five dollar range are always popular and will usually make a sale. What about those of you with expensive items, would it be worth it to buy in, even if you don't make a sale? It just might be a great opportunity to get seen and get lots of hearts on your shop and items. These treasuries normally have very high views. You need to balance the money spent to get a spot vs the value of increased exposure and the risk of not making a sale.

3) How do the games work?

Each curator who hosts a game has slightly different rules, they can be found under treasury comments on page one. For example, here are the rules from one that will be happening soon, with members of the Tennessee Etsy team:

Flower Headband Courtesy of ALittleBitofJoy TN
"-Minimum purchase of $3 after coupons and before shipping.
-Call out shop name in CAPS, wait for ok
-Purchase any item from featured shops
-Post transaction link and item you would like listed."

Ok, so, in this game, you will need to spend at least 3 dollars to get in, before shipping and call out the shop name. "Calling Out" means asking permission before buying from a certain spot to make sure that no one else is shopping at the same time. That would lead to a problematic situation where there would not be room in the treasury if different people bought from the same shop at the same time.

When you call out, normally it is in caps and would be worded like this, "May I shop ALITTLEBITOFJOY please?" After asking, wait a few minutes and check for a reply in the treasury comments saying that you are OK to shop, or sorry, someone else called it first and you need to pick another seller. Once you get the all clear to shop, you can then proceed to buy from that seller's store and choose from anything in the shop, not just the featured item.

Every curator has different rules, make sure to read them before making a purchase. Ask questions if you are confused. Most curators welcome newbies and encourage them to participate.

4) What happens after you buy an item?

When your purchase is complete, go to the details of your order and copy and paste the tranaction ID number and the name of the shop in the treasury comments. The transaction ID, proves that you did purchase an item and will get a place in the game. Again, please type the name of the shop in caps, so the hostess can easily see it.

Some curators allow you to chose the item you want featured and some will not. Many curators have a color or seasonal theme that they would like to follow. If you get to chose an item to feature, you could choose one with your best photograph or a lower priced item. Go with your best photograph if you want to show off your best, choose an inexpensive item if your goal is to make a quick sale.

Soy Candles I Made for a BNR (Mylana)
If the treasury is a BNR, your item should be featured after your post the transaction ID of your purchase, but give the hostess some time to do this- some of these games move VERY fast and get hundreds of views.

5) What are some tips and tricks to participating in the games?

-Join a team like BNRAddicts to ask questions and look for the hottest treasuries

-Watch your money, it is easy to get caught up in the fun and excitement; I advise only buying in a spot after you have made a sale yourself and for the same amount or less than you spent to get in, remember, the idea is for you to shop, have fun, and make money. Don't waste too much money buying into multiple games at once or buying multiple things before you make sales for your own shop.

-Be courteous when promoting the BNR treasuries. Most teams have a dedicated promotion thread for these. I would not recommend directly sending convos to people to promote your BNR unless they are featured in it or you are a team leader of a BNR team, this could be considered spam. You can always post the link to the BNR on facebook or twitter too.

-Always ask questions if you are confused!

-Create a coupon code for your shop to promote while you are being featured.

-Be sure to note how long the round lasts and what will happen if your item does not sell. Sometimes you will carry over to the next round, and sometimes not making a sale is a risk you take.

-Add the BNR you are in to your favorite treasuries.


  1. Excellent post! I was so confused about BNR/BNS that I didn't attempt one for a long time. I'm sending some newbies over here!

  2. Thanks so much for this article. I had seen it in my circle and been wondering. I live in Memphis area so am a Tn seller... Smile.. Doti of dotisspot