Etsy provides a large and established market where you can sell your handmade crafts. However, there is a “method to the madness,” and certain things you can do to help ensure your success. Here are the most common Etsy seller mistakes we see and how to avoid them.
Hey, y’all! We’ve made plenty of mistakes in our business – almost every entrepreneur does. But one thing we’ve done really well is learning how to sell on Etsy. Starting our Etsy shop was one of the key things we’ve done to help us reach our goal of living a Maker’s life.
That doesn’t mean it was all roses from the beginning!
Etsy can be an amazing place to sell your vintage items, craft supplies, and handmade products. It can also be a challenging place to start making sales in such a large and established market, but there are things you can do to start driving sales.
To help you succeed, we’ve put together a few of the most common Etsy seller mistakes we see every day and how you can avoid them.
If you want to start (or get better at) selling on Etsy, check out Great Product Photography Tips For Selling On Etsy, How To Sell on Etsy: Top 7 Tips for Selling on Etsy, and How to Sell on Etsy.
The Top Etsy Seller Mistakes (And How To Avoid Them!)
We’ve learned some things the hard way when it comes to selling on Etsy. But the important thing is that we’ve learned them and now our sales on Etsy enable us to live a Maker’s life!
If you want to get to that point too, check out these mistakes we commonly see and our solutions for each one.
1. Not understanding Etsy policies
Don’t let the excitement of all of the possibilities of Etsy skew your judgment. It’s essential to read and understand the Etsy policies because Etsy is STRICT when it comes to its policies and platforms.
If you’re caught breaking their terms of service you can lose your current shop and be blacklisted so that you can never open another store on Etsy! Make it a point to read the Etsy policies, how-to’s, and take advice from other successful Etsy sellers.
Go straight to the source to find out more at Selling on Etsy.
2. Using low-quality photos
Etsy shopping is based on glances at your product (and everyone else’s too). If your photo isn’t showing your product at its best, you will struggle with your Etsy sales.
Don’t post blurry, grainy, or dark photos just to pat yourself on the back and say you have an Etsy shop.
Etsy provides space for 10 images per item which allows you to show:
- Every angle of the item
- Size comparisons
- Lifestyle photos
- Staged photos
Take advantage of the photo allowances to highlight your product to its full advantage.
Note: You don’t have to be a professional photographer. Just follow these tips for great craft photos and you’ll be just fine!
3. Lack of SEO techniques
SEO (search engine optimization) is the secret gem behind every great Etsy seller because knowing how to optimize your listing so that it shows up in search results is the key to getting new customers.
Focus on putting your item name in your title, tags, and descriptions so that people can actually find your product on Etsy. In order for a customer to find your product, what they’re searching for must be relevant to the title and tags that you’ve used to describe your listing.
The biggest thing we see time and again is an Etsy seller calling their product something other than what people use to search for it. The seller’s goal may be to “stand out” from the crowd, but what happens is that they don’t get found at all because their product doesn’t pop up in search results.
Your title and tags are key to having your product pop up in a potential customer’s search. Then your pictures will draw them in, and your product description is the final essential element because it’s how potential customers will learn all of the details about your product.
You can grab Damon’s easy copy-and-paste description template at Damon’s Etsy Description Template. Do you need help figuring out the best SEO words to use? Check out Damon’s 600 SEO Keywords for Wreath Sellers!
4. Not having enough listings
Listen, it’s completely okay as an Etsy seller to just have a handful of items when you get started. However, your goal should be to build up your Etsy shop with enough listings and SEO combinations so that you show up in all relevant searches in your niche.
It’s always a good practice to list what you have when you have it, instead of waiting to get to a certain number! Your products aren’t going to sell if you aren’t listing them.
Keep in mind that Etsy is a visual game. Think about your shop from a customer’s perspective.
- How will it look to buyers when they get to your shop and only see 2 or 3 listings?
- Will they think you’re a rookie?
- A real business?
- What’s your skill level and product quality?
Combine your lack of inventory, with less-than-ideal photos (or no reviews), and you’re seriously going to struggle to make sales! People have to feel like your shop is trustworthy and that you’ll deliver your goods as promised.
Your lack of credibility is one of the hardest hurdles to get over on Etsy. This is why I tell every one of my students to make EVERY purchase (even the local ones to friends and family) go through their Etsy shop.
In order to improve first impressions, you’ll have to work hard, make some sacrifices, and push every sale you can to your Etsy store.
5. Lack of social media presence
When you’re using Etsy or any e-commerce platform, you can’t depend on that platform to be the sole source of your traffic. Well, you can’t if you want to grow quickly.
Organic traffic on Etsy is amazing. About 40% of our traffic and sales come directly from Etsy. But, the other 60% comes from our marketing plan outside of Etsy. Your items must be found if you want someone to buy them, and posting your items on social media is one easy way to get that additional traffic!
Treat your Etsy shop like a real business. Y’all the reality is that every real business markets itself. It can’t afford to rely on someone else’s success to become successful.
Tip: If you need help growing your social media presence, consider joining our business coaching group. We help people grow profitable communities online!
If you’ve never been an Etsy seller before, you probably have a few questions about it! Here are a couple of questions I see readers ask frequently.
Is it worth it to sell on Etsy?
From our personal experience: yes! Etsy is quick and easy to set up and learn (although there is a learning curve). In addition, it’s a low-risk sales platform with minimal costs that rewards sellers who sell items with high volume, low prices, and great reviews.
In other words, keep your customers happy, and Etsy will help you succeed.
Do Etsy sellers make money?
Yes! Sellers who focus on following best practices and SEO guidelines can make hundreds per month. Once you’re established and have become a trusted shop, you can even make thousands of dollars per month.
Etsy is great because its setup allows you to scale your business based on hard work and customer satisfaction.
Common Etsy Seller Mistakes: Final Thoughts
Etsy gives you a platform and a storefront to showcase your products for very little cost, overhead, and even provides customers looking for the product you’re selling. However, it is up to you to make sure that your product finds customers and you sell it.
It isn’t easy to start a successful business, but we’re to help you if you need us! Get more information on how we can help you turn your passion into profits by checking out our coaching group.
As you can see here Etsy can be a great tool – we’ve done great with it and so can you!
In the comments below, tell us what your biggest mistake was when you opened your Etsy shop!
More Etsy Seller Business Help And Inspiration
I hope it was helpful to learn the mistakes we often see Etsy sellers make and how to fix them! If you want even more help growing your business, check out these posts:
- Make Money with Affiliate Marketing
- Selling At Craft Fairs: The Nitty Gritty
- 5 Sanity-Saving Small Business Shipping Tips
- 5 Reasons You Need To Hire A Virtual Assistant
We would love to see your successes! Please share with us over at the How To Make Wreaths Facebook Group. That’s also a great place to ask questions so we know what content would be helpful for you.
Just pin these top Etsy seller mistakes and how to avoid them tips to save it for later!
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