13 Etsy Tips & Tricks
**Article updated 4/26/2020.
**Disclaimer: This blog post may contain affiliate links.
I stand by my research and guarantee that my tips will get your items better seen in Etsy search and possibly even Google. However, I cannot guarantee that it will get you more sales. More likes and views will come your way, but it’s your job to have amazing products that buyers are wanting!
Without further ado, here are some helpful tips, tricks, and even some mistakes to avoid…
1.) GOING IN HEAD FIRST WITHOUT RESEARCHING – This one is a mistake that I myself made when I first started on Etsy back in 2014. If you’re just starting out and wondering why your items aren’t selling, it’s more than likely reflective of the possibility that you didn’t educate yourself first. Make a point to research the ins and outs of Etsy! Read up on Etsy’s policies, how-tos, and you can even get helpful advice from Facebook groups. I say Facebook groups because I steer clear from the Etsy Forums. That will be my next tip for you.
2.) ETSY FORUMS – I’ve discovered that within the Etsy forums are other sellers who just complain and provide incorrect information. The admins rarely ever comment on forum posts or answer sellers’ questions. In my experience, most of the other sellers are very competitive and rude. Now I’m not saying they all are, but I’ve had much more luck within Facebook groups. Three that I highly recommend are Handmade Alpha Facebook Community, eRank Group, and Handmade by You (my Etsy support group).
3.) PHOTOGRAPHY – Be sure to have eye-catching photos for your products. A picture really is worth a thousand words and it can even sway someone’s choice to buy. If your photos are grainy or blurry, most buyers will scroll right past your item. Etsy changed their maximum photos from 5 per listing to 10, so the possibilities are almost endless. You can show every angle of your item and even different variations if you have them (such as color or pattern options). If you sell digital downloads, that niche is a little different. You can use different mockups so you're not using the same photo over and over.
4.) TITLES – The first 3-5 words of your titles are extremely important. They are most likely to be found in the search or HTML address for the item. For example, if you have a Chevron Patterned Maxi Dress, it would be silly to list it as ‘Awesome Cool Pattern Chevron Maxi Dress’ because buyers won’t be searching for those terms. Use the most descriptive and precise words first.
5.) DESCRIPTIONS – This one I usually get some controversy about. Etsy does not use any of the information within your descriptions in their search results. They only go by your titles, tags, and attributes. Do you still need an item description? Absolutely. This doesn’t mean to just type in a sentence or two and be done with it, but it should be as informative as possible while also being short and sweet. I can help you with that, so don’t fret! You need to have any type of information that a buyer would need to know before they purchase. Sizes, colors, materials, is it vintage, etc. Don’t write a book, but don’t skip the good stuff. Some people will also put links to other items within their shop in the descriptions. You can do this, but I would recommend using links to sections in your shop, not individual listings since listings will expire or sell out. With shop sections, they are always available unless you remove the section entirely. Another reason you need descriptions is that other search engines do use that information in their search results (such as Google and Bing).
6.) KEYWORDS/TAGS – This is extremely important! Tags are the most helpful item to get your products found. I recommend taking full advantage of them. Etsy gives you 13 tags per listing and the maximum character limit for each tag is 20 (some countries are given 30). Try to think outside the box. It’s a good idea to use some of the tags within your title as well. You don’t need to have the exact same keywords in both, but at least use some of the same words or phrases. Using long-tail keywords (3 or more words) to describe your item is best. For instance, if you’re selling a blue lava stone bracelet you could use ‘lava stone bracelet’, ‘blue lava stones’, etc. You get the idea.
7.) SHOP ANNOUNCEMENT – Use it, but use it wisely. Etsy recently moved this section from the top of your shop to about the middle and I have no idea why. But you should still keep it updated. Don’t just type something in and forget about it. Buyers can see when it was last revised. You can use it to announce new products, coupon codes, or even your shipping deadlines.
8.) ABOUT SECTION – This is basically like an item description, but it’s for your entire shop. Like a public profile. It should tell a story about you and your shop. Why did you decide to start making the items you sell? Please don’t use this space for a sob story or to explain to your customers that you started creating and selling items because you lost your job or whatever. It’s a turn off in the buyers’ eyes.
9.) SOCIAL MEDIA – If you want to expand your business and get more potential customers, social media is the way to go. It’s great for getting noticed by people who may not use Etsy or even know about it. I suggest having a Facebook page, group, or both to advertise your shop and products. Etsy has made it even easier to do this by providing a way to connect your shop to your Facebook! It’s an option with Twitter as well, but I don’t know a thing about Twitter. I personally get the most traffic to my shop from Instagram/Pinterest, then Facebook. You can even create an Instagram Business account and get additional analytics on your posts (you can also do this with Pinterest). Some of these features you have to pay extra for, such as boosting posts. For those of you who don’t know, Facebook and Instagram are now owned by the same company.
10.) ETSY’S BLOG – This is completely different from their forums and I highly suggest reading some of the articles within the blog. There are tons of great tips and information to get you started and refresh your memory if you’re a seasoned seller.
11.) PROMOTED LISTINGS – Etsy has now done away with Promoted Listings and switched everything to Etsy Ads. They have combined Promoted Listings and Google Ads into one ad platform. They haven't given us much data to go on and very few options as far as customizing our ad campaign, so I can't say much about this yet, but I will keep this updated once I know more.
12.) PRICING – This one should probably be more at the top of this list, but it’s important nonetheless. I was clueless about pricing for a while myself. There are many factors that come into play such as how much it costs to make your item, how much time you spend making it, and how much it costs to ship. However, shipping costs will be separate from the actual item cost. You want to make sure you’re paying yourself for your time, materials, and making a profit at the end of the day. It’s obviously not good if your items are priced too high, but pricing them too low can hurt your sales too. If priced too low, that says to buyers that your item is “cheap” or you don’t value your own work.
13.) SHOP POLICIES - I see so many shops that don't have their policies filled out and it really makes me question why. Why would you not use shop policies to cover your ass?! If a customer opens a case against your shop and your policies are not on point, Etsy will most likely side with the buyer (unless the buyer has violated Etsy's policies). Buyers will appreciate knowing what happens if/when they have an issue with their order. Even though most buyers don't ever read anything that's not in a photo, you can direct them to your policies if they're trying to get a refund on something you don't offer refunds on.
If you have any questions, suggestions, or would just like to chat, please feel free to leave a comment on my posts. I will do my best to reply to all of them and I will absolutely read them all. Thank you for stopping by!