I started this topic on Etsy's forum and got some wonderful ideas I want to share.
You start with a great product. I am assuming you use quality materials, so that is not an added value. Offering to customize can add value, PrettyLittlePearl offers to monogram aprons for free. Gift boxes are an added value especially for jewelry. Here is a short list of jewelry sellers that I know of who package in gift boxes: TheApple, NataliaRaya, NicholasandFelice, Lv2Cr8. If you are a blog reader and a jewelry maker who also ships in gift boxes, please leave a comment below to add your name to the list.
When I ordered hair accessories from DahliasForMe, I was pleasantly surprised to find them in a gift box. Here are a few more hair accessory sellers who gift box your purchase: CLineCreations, and MilkMoneyShop. SentimentalStones takes it a step further by offering the gift boxes for sale in her shop and letting people know they get them free with purchase of her magnets and marble coasters. I think that is brilliant! As I was browsing, I noticed that MilkMoneyShop has another added value that she could make more use of and that is she mentions in her listings that the hair accessories can double as brooches. If you have a product with more than one use, that is definately added value. Just be sure to include instructions with the item on how to use it that way.
Speaking of instructions, they can add value too. Xoelle includes instructions for how to tie her bow ties- great! Bijoutery includes care instructions and a polishing cloth with purchases from her shop. Another shop that adds value with a polishing cloth is CoolBeans717, her elecronics cases come with a cloth to keep that ipod clean. I love those ideas of a little something that can be used with your product. I recently added inserts to my luggage tags. They are moo cards with a travel related print on one side and lines for name, address, etc on the other. I am hoping the customers will keep and use the card. I did not want to sew my tag onto that item, so my branding is on the insert. Another adding value idea that is not packaging is small shower scrunchies included with large soap orders. That one comes from the super popular soap seller ABreathofFrenchAir. Jill2Day does something I want to start doing. She packages her sweaters inside reusable cloth bags. I think my bags should come in a dust bag.
Then there are the artsy types...here is an idea that I am sure keeps people coming back to Etsy for more Stokedone adds stories to the back of his artwork and related art original drawings on the packages he sends. How awesome is that? Some artists and photographers (like YannPendaries, CoriD, and ToxicGuineaPigs) include a free postcard print with every purchase. ParkersPrints got creative and added label stickers and seals to her greeting cards. Now she can go wild with the papers she chooses for the envelopes.
If the forum list of ideas grows, I will do another post here. Maybe this gave you some ideas for your own shop, if so, please post here in the comments or on the Etsy Forum link at the top of this article. I would love to hear about it.