Have you started selling on Etsy and are stuck wondering why your Etsy shop gets no sales?
Today I’m going share my experiences on why Etsy shops fail and tips on how to fix it.
Once you realize these Etsy mistakes that you are probably making and take the steps to fix them, you will start to see a major improvement.
Reasons Why Your Etsy Shop Gets No Sales
Etsy is an online marketplace where creators can sell their products to a large community of shoppers. However, creating passive income with Etsy is not as easy as just opening up shop and waiting for sales to happen.
Here’s an example: a stay at home mom, we’ll call Ella, recently started a new hobby she enjoys. Ella sees others selling similar items on Etsy.
She thinks, “If they can sell these on Etsy, I should, too!” She opens a shop without much thought to the name or branding of her new business.
Ella makes 12 different items of craft she’s been doing: some jewelry, some home decor, some hairbows. She doesn’t try to use keywords or tags in her description. Nor does she calculate costs carefully to price the products.
Last, she buys some graphics for her shop because they looked cute and she liked the colors. Then Ella waits for orders and none come.
30 days later she gets discouraged and closes her shop.
Let’s explore why Ella’s all too common failed Etsy experience happened.
#1 Jump in too Quickly
When you jump in quickly, your business lacks planning. Take time to plan it out. Research the products you want to make.
Keep practicing on your product ideas and get feedback from friends. The more you create the better you get at making them. (You wouldn’t want to buy something that looks half done or sloppy, nor do other people.)
Another consideration is don’t overdo the types of products you sell. Stick to one kind. Buyers will more easily recognize your shop’s brand and style. Plus, it cuts down on supplies you have to buy to make the products. And don’t forget to consider costs vs. retail (and wholesale) pricing.
One woman’s Etsy mistakes learned:
“I once bought supplies to start a line of jewelry. Soon it was obvious to me there were all these obstacles: supply costs, competition, copyright hassles. In the end, I sold the supplies in a Facebook group at a loss. It would have saved me time, money, and stress if I had not jumped in too fast.”
Jump In With A Plan
Put your Etsy plan on paper. Pick a name that has meaning (and not already taken or trademarked). Choose branding that fits the mood of your store: colors, fonts, a mascot or logo.
Then decide your goals: what do you want out this shop? Is it a hobby business or do you want it to be your full-time income someday?
Decide what your goal net income is and what your prices and sales need to be to get to that goal.
Example: Let’s say you are selling your products for a super low price. Sure you will make sales, but after all the costs are subtracted, the income will be pitiful.
You shouldn’t price yourself low for many reasons though, not just because you’ll make less money. One of the reasons why you shouldn’t sell your products (or services) for cheap is because it degrades the value of what you are offering.
People will think there is something wrong with it, that it’s less valuable than your competition’s. And they will go buy from your competitor.
I talk more about the psychology of how to price your products and services strategically in this book.
Each season, add 10 new styles to your Etsy shop, keeping the 2 bestsellers long term. This allows you to slowly increase your base products and always have new products to promote.
If you run into obstacles, figure out rather they are fixable or not. Brainstorm in a notebook, make goals, create a plan with steps you will take to launch your business.
#2 Your Shop Lacks Any Attraction
Remember how Ella did her shop? Her photos were not stellar, she skipped including any keywords and didn’t add any tag words. All these are key elements of a good Etsy listing.
Your photo is the first time others will see your product. Ask yourself, would you buy that if you saw that photo for the first time? Learn to take great product photos: clear, well-lit photos.
Use keywords in your product name, description, and tag words. You can find ideas for top keywords using Etsy search, Google search, and Google’s Keyword Tool.
Use strong keywords. Ones that people are actually using to search for the products you sell.
- And another about how to do keyword research and SEO: Beginners Guide To SEO.
- If you want to go more in-depth, enroll in my free SEO course.
Furthermore, you should learn about SEO backlinks and what you can do to increase them for your shop pages and blog.
These things take time to learn, so be open to continually learning and refining your shop’s appearance and listings.
#3 Make It And They Will Come Syndrome
If only it were that simple, but it’s not. A business takes work. Even if your listings look fabulous and you used the best keywords in the world, you still need a marketing plan.
I’ve seen this done by others, just like our example, Ella. I’ve done it myself sometimes, too. You put a lot of effort into setting up, but your Etsy shop gets no sales.
It seems like a waste of all that hard work you put into it so far. Instead, come up with a plan on how you will market your business.
Here’s a list of key methods you can put together into a marketing plan:
- A website with a proper blog (it can be a shop, too. Etsy doesn’t have to be your only place to sell.)
- A mailing list where visitors sign up and get news on your latest products or sales.
- Social media (choose 1 or 2 and grow from there. Use scheduling apps like this one to save time.)
- Local Events – shows where people can see your products in person. Take business cards to give out. Offer a coupon code to buyers to shop again from your Etsy shop.
- Network with other handmade business owners through Facebook Groups, Etsy Teams, etc.
Note: Be careful how much time you spend on marketing tasks that you don’t end up spending on your entire day chatting in groups! 🙂
Just like any business big or small they need marketing of some kind on a regular basis.
If you are serious about getting sales, then treat it like a real business and market it. Find what kind works for you. If it isn’t, evaluate why, and either improve on it or move to another method.[adsense]
#4 Giving Up too Soon
After a month Ella had stopped. She’s an example, sure, but I base her on real people I’ve seen do this. I think starting your own business and making it work requires a level of perseverance and endurance.
This is not a sprint; it’s a marathon. Even though it’s open, it doesn’t mean people are going to just show up. You have to put work into it continually.
It needs improving and updating. One tweet on Twitter, or a share on Facebook isn’t enough either. The internet is a busy, busy place. Posts, Pins, and Tweets get pushed out of sight of followers quickly.
That’s why it’s important to use a social media automation tool that will post and repost your content for your automatically.
Keep a checklist of steps you need to take when you launch your Etsy shop or add new products.
- Quality Product
- Great Photos (one of the product, a detail closeup, one of it being used, etc)
- Keywords in Title and Description
- Good use of tag words
- Competitive pricing that reflects the value of your products
- Consistent marketing: blog posts, shared on social media in a schedule (don’t just share one time, create different posts about the same product/s to pin/tweet/or share on Facebook)
You can do this!
Don’t burn yourself out trying to get sales, don’t price yourself too low prices and don’t forget the importance of marketing.
Know that if you sell too cheaply, you will have to work twice as hard to make enough money. Most Etsy sellers get to this point and are ready to give it up; but stick with it.
Look at what you are doing and compare it to what you could be doing and you will realize how your business could be made great.
By making your products better you could raise prices. And better use of photos, keywords, and descriptions could further increase your product’s worth. Then more consistent marketing could draw fresh new customers to your shop.
Don’t give up before you’ve really tried.
4 Reasons Why Your Etsy Shop Gets No Sales – Conclusion
New businesses take time to grow. If you need to make money quickly, you could have a trunk show at your home or sign up for some local shows.
Whenever you feel something isn’t working, evaluate the problem and look for solutions. Your Etsy shop gets no sales right now, but with the right focus, effort and time, it will.
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