Etsy Horror! Mistakes You’re Making & You May Not Know It
**Article updated 09/28/2020.
If you’re on Etsy then you should know all about the Seller’s Handbook. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, you absolutely need to read it. It has tons of tips, tricks, dos, and don’ts, straight from the horse’s mouth. Click here to check it out. You can thank me later.
Now, on to the reason for this blog post. There are so many different ways to screw up your Etsy shop and some of you may not even realize you’re doing it (or that it’s actually a huge no-no).
1.) Playing Forum Games: This one is going to strike up a lot of controversies, but I’m talking about it anyway because playing those ‘favorite for favorite’ or ‘heart for heart’ type of games can be detrimental to your shop. Here’s why: If your items and/or shop are getting a lot of views/favorites, but the sales aren’t balancing that out, Etsy sees that and says “Woah! There’s something wrong here”. It makes the algorithm think that your items aren’t relevant to whatever people are searching for and it will cause your shop and items to be pushed down in search results.
2.) Not Utilizing All 13 Listing Tags: Etsy gives you space for 13 tags and 20 characters per tag (30 in certain countries) on each listing. If you aren’t using all that retail space, what are you even trying to do? Having the most keywords and the most relevant keywords is what’s ultimately going to get you into those search results. It all comes down to SEO (search engine optimization). Which brings me to the next mistake…
3.) Relying Solely On Etsy SEO: In case you don’t know, Etsy recently went public. “But, their site has always been public. What do you mean?” I mean Etsy brought on shareholders, the public can now buy stock in Etsy and they also started airing national commercials in the US. This is the main reason why shops are starting to crumble. Are you getting fewer and fewer views, favorites, and most importantly sales?! Well, you can thank Etsy going public for that one. By now you should be realizing that you aren’t running your business… Etsy is. Boom. I said it. I recommend utilizing at least 4 different platforms that can drive traffic to your shop. For example, I use Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram, and my blog/website.
4.) Using Every Single Social Media Platform: You don’t need to use all of them. Trust me. Some of them were not created for you to drive traffic to your e-commerce shop or to drive traffic to other sites at all (take Snapchat, for instance). Let’s face it, if you’re trying to use every Social Media site or app that’s out there, chances are you aren’t very good at using any of them. *Harsh Truth* The ones I recommend the most are going to be Pinterest (if you know how to create infographics/marketing ads), Instagram (if you know how to research hashtags and your photography is spot-on), and Facebook (if you can do all of the previously mentioned things and don’t mind joining buy/sell groups). I do not recommend using Snapchat, Twitter, TikTok, Google+, or any other Social Media site.
5.) Not Reading Etsy's Policies: Not doing your research should probably be the number one tip on this list, honestly. You should never jump into something new without first looking into it. Etsy has literally given you all the information you need to be successful on their platform and they even tell you what you can't do. Read their policies, prohibited items list, and anything else they've posted about. Trust me, it will be well worth it for your business.
6.) Selling Copyrighted or Trademarked Items: Another huge mistake that hundreds of thousands of sellers are doing on Etsy. This one thing can actually get your shop permanently shut down or even sued! If you're selling anything Disney, Marvel, Cartoon Network, or anything that features characters that you did not create yourself, you are violating those copyrights and/or trademarks. And I know you're saying "well, everyone else is doing it". Okay, and? They just haven't been caught or reported yet.
7.) Not Trying Hard Enough / Giving Up Too Soon: In order to be ranked within the top 1% of Etsy shops (based on how many sales you've had), you only need to have about 2,000 orders. With millions of shops on Etsy, that sounds crazy, right? It's totally a fact. The reason for this is that most sellers give up too easily. They don't realize that Etsy is a marathon and not a sprint. I see all the time in the Facebook groups where sellers will say "I started my shop a week ago and I haven't made any sales! What gives?!" Well, you're not being patient enough for one thing. I usually visit those shops and I notice that their photos suck, they aren't using all 13 tags or no tags at all and I immediately know that they just blindly created a shop without doing any research. I can't help you if you don't want to help yourself!
8.) Missing Information: This one probably should have been at the top of the list because it's very important. If you don't have your Etsy shop completely filled out, it might be turning customers away. It gives off a vibe that your shop is unfinished or you gave up. When a visit a shop and I see that they still have the default icon instead of a business logo or there's no shop banner, it leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Those two things are so simple to create and add to your shop it should be a no brainer. Those two spots are solid Etsy real estate so you can establish a brand and customers know you're legit. You should also be filling out your shop policies, About section, your personal profile, and FAQ section! Your shop will look more put together and customers can easily find answers to questions they might have.
I’m sure I’ll be adding to this list as I think of more mistakes that people make. And don’t get me wrong, I’ve absolutely made one, if not all of these mistakes myself. Trial and error, my friends. Trial and error. Thank you for stopping by and I hope to see you again soon!