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An Etsy Tale… What is a BNR?

On Etsy, ‘BNR’ stands for “buy ‘n’ replace” meaning simply that you buy an item from one of the shops featured and then one of your items replaces the shop you bought from, thus allowing a new buyer the option to buy from you.

BNRs are used throughout Etsy for various reasons, some being as follows:

– Taking part in a BNR is a great way to generate sales, especially for new shops. While you are not necessarily guaranteed a sale, your shop is exposed to a lot of sellers wanting to make a purchase.

– Buying into a BNR is essentially trading or part trading your item for someone else’s. i.e the money you earn from a sale you use to buy an item from another seller. This makes it a great way of stocking up on gifts, especially at Christmas!

– The community aspect of BNRs is the best part of them! You will meet like minded sellers, share advice and support and get a feel for which items of yours are popular and perhaps some feedback on how to improve other items. Networking on Etsy is super important.

– Lots of BNR participants offer coupon codes or special offers exclusive to BNRs so grab a bargain ;)

So a BNR starts life looking very much like a normal treasury.

A BNR treasury just looks like a normal treasury at first

The last few spots may or may not be empty, but we’ll talk about that a bit later on.
The difference here is that a BNR features all shops that when you purchase from them, you will replace their item in the treasury with one of your own.

BNRs open for periods of time, sometimes on certain days, sometimes for a specified weekend.

Perhaps a BNR opens every Tuesday afternoon for four hours. This is classed as a ’round’. If you buy in during round 1 and don’t sell, you will likely be ‘carried over’ into the next round the following Tuesday afternoon. However different BNRs have different rules. More on this later.

The ‘curator’ will likely be shown with a blue banner that says ‘curator’ on it. This is the person in charge of the BNR and your first port of call if you want to buy or need any help! Be aware that in some BNRs the curator can be very busy so be polite and patient.

All communication is done via the treasury comments located at the very bottom of the page. Make sure to keep refreshing your browser page to keep up to date on what is going on.

Look out for the title of the treasury for the first important information.


Check for the word ‘open’ in the title

Here the title is letting us know that the BNR is open and we are able to purchase from any of the shops featured. It also states that any sellers can purchase, there is no restriction on being a team member, or that you have to be UK or US only. Most BNRs will be ‘everyone welcome’ so to make as many sales as possible. The rest of the title is letting us know that there have been 8 sales so far in this round, which is a good gauge for how popular a BNR is on the day, and that overall there have been 61 sales in the entire life of the BNR, i.e. over several rounds.

Sometimes a title may look like this:


If the title reads ‘closed’ do not make a purchase because you will not be included

The word ‘closed’ indicates that no purchases may be made until the BNR reopens. Always check for the word ‘open’ in the title before you make a purchase, otherwise you may not get included in the BNR despite buying from one of the shops featured.

The second port of call for information is the rules section located directly underneath the treasury.


The rules are located in the ‘description’ are between the treasury and the comments

Or they will be pasted into the first comment of the Treasury/BNR which you will have to scroll back to find.

A while back Etsy Admin changed the features of the Treasury so the description box wasn’t long enough to house all the rules, so now most curators have to paste the rules into the first comment. As the BNR gets busier the first comment will be buried back on the first page of comments so make sure you scroll right to the bottom and click on the first page of comments to see the rules. These are VERY important and do vary from BNR to BNR.


Typical BNR rules

Every BNR will have a minimum buy in rule. Some BNRs will state ‘no minimum’ here meaning you can buy any item for any amount. Others will have a minimum spend, such as $3.00. This means you have to buy an item that costs at least $3.o0 to be eligible to replace the shop you bought from. If the item you want to buy is only $2.99 you will have to buy a second item to make up the minimum.

The rules will also state if this is before shipping – meaning that you can’t include the shipping charge to make up the minimum. Or if it’s after shipping – meaning you can use the total cost to make up your minimum.

Also be aware that if you use a coupon code, the cost of the item AFTER discounts are applied will be considered in regards to the minumum. i.e. If you buy something that is $3.00 and have a coupon for 10% off, your total is now only $2.70 and so you will have to add another item to make up the minimum.

‘Calling out’ for a shop to purchase from

You may buy ANY item from a shop that is featured in the treasury, it doesn’t have to be the item that is pictured. Once you have decided what you want to buy you must call out the name of the shop IN CAPITALS. Then you must wait for the curator to give you the OK which is usually in the form of a comment saying, “onetenzeroseven OK for INSERT SHOP NAME HERE.” This gives the curator the chance to check that no one else has already called that shop, perhaps before you arrived at the BNR. Now you can make your purchase as you would normally on Etsy.

If the shop has already been called, the curator will let you know and you must pick a different shop.

When you have bought your item you need to find the transaction link. This can be tricky.

Find your purchases in ‘Your Account’ to locate the transaction link

The easiest way to explain how to find the transaction link is to navigate to the top bar of your Etsy page and click on ‘Your Account’. This will take you directly to a list of purchases you have made on Etsy. Find the relevant item and click on the blue title of it. Then copy the link you are taken to in the title bar and paste it into a comment on the BNR. If you have bought more than one item you will need to do this for all the items.

The transaction link will look like this: http://www.etsy.com/transaction/83122476

The curator can then check that you have made the purchase and spent the minimum amount required before they ‘swap you in’ to the BNR.

Usually the curator will choose the item to feature in the treasury, but if you have a best selling item or a ‘wow’ item that you would prefer to be featured you can request a specific item is used. However bear in mind that curators are just trying their best to make the BNR look as appealing as possible to buyers by using a theme or matching colours.

Now you’re in and other sellers are free to purchase from you! Good luck and happy sales!! Don’t forget to list your coupon code in the comments if you have one!

Other things to note:

A BNR will also have a carry over rule. Some allow endless carry overs meaning you will be featured until you make a sale. Others will have a 1 or 2 etc round carry over, meaning that you will be featured in a further 1 or 2 etc rounds and unfortunately if you still don’t sell in those rounds you have been unlucky and won’t be featured until you buy in again.

At the start of a BNR round there may be empty spots up for grabs. Some are ‘given away’ with the first purchase or the first purchase over a certain amount meaning you get two slots and chances to be bought out.
In some BNRs you may be able to buy in more than once to get two slots, however with both of these you are likely only to be carried over with one slot so don’t get carried away ;) But make sure you check the rules on this!

And finally, if you’re unsure JUST ASK. BNR curators and buyers are super nice and willing to help, after all we were all the newbie once ;)

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posted by onetenzeroseven in Uncategorized and have Comments (3)
  • Madmumliz

    very well explained

  • Jade Murray

    Thanks for this Sophie, I wondered what a BNR is! I might take part in one and see how it goes! 

    I also got your comment on my blog-i’m basically living with my boyfriend at the moment and both our rooms are tiny with single beds, can’t wait to have my own flat one day and yes even better a mortgage and my own house…I can dream! :-)

    That’s amazing you share a three bedroom house, so spacious! 

    J x

  • http://onetenzeroseven.com/blog Sophie

     You should definitely take part! BNRs played such a huge part in getting my Etsy shop where it is today :)

    I remember having to share a single bed with my boyfriend, it’s so annoying, isn’t it?

    Hehe. Well one of our bedrooms literally has a bed in it. You open the door and get onto the bed. There’s not other space, haha! But it’s good for when we have guests, I suppose. Would much prefer a sofa bed in there, though.

    Ah, one day we’ll have whatever makes us happy, eh? We’re working hard enough to make it happen :))