Being an Etsy Seller has had a significant impact on my life, almost as big an impact as that time I lost my favorite cowboy boots in 3rd grade.
I never did find out what happened to them.
But unfortunately for most Etsy sellers, they never experience the joy and freedom that comes with earning a living on Etsy. All too often I see Etsy sellers closing their shop or putting it into permanent “vacation mode” because they aren’t making any money.
These are the 7 most common mistakes I see Etsy sellers make that are killing their sales. Read this list to ensure that you’re not making any of these mistakes, if you are then take some time to work on your business and fix them.
Etsy Mistake #1: Bad Pictures
Nothing sells your item more than your photos. Not your keywords, price, or description.
Your photos need to be clear, look good, and be eye catching.
A few ways to get amazing product photos.
- Use a face – Our eyes naturally gravitate towards faces, so if there’s any way you can incorporate a person into your product photos then do it. You can have a model hold your item and smile at the camera, or model the item itself.
- Use natural lighting – Take your photos outside or next to a window. Sunset has some of the best lighting if it’s a clear day. If the light is too bright or harsh, use a white piece of paper or cloth to soften the light.
- Stage your items – If you’re selling clothes, have someone wear them. If you’re selling a bowl, put some salad in it. If you’re selling a wall decal, put it on the wall. Staging your item goes a long way, it paints a clear picture in your buyers head and makes them want to buy it.
Etsy Mistake #2: Bad Titles
Etsy has millions of listings to organize, it’s your job to make it clear to them what your product is so that they show it to the right people.
The keywords in your listing title have the strongest effect on Etsy’s search algorithm. If you’re Etsy views are really low, it’s most likely because you have bad keywords.
A listing title should have:
- 3-5 keyword phrases in it
- Keywords that accurately describe your listing
- Keywords that get a reasonable volume of searches each month, preferably 100+ searches per month
- Capitalize the first letter of each word
- Separate each keyword phrase with a , or –
If you’re anything like me, you might get excited when you see a sign that says “Tacos” pointing at a restaurant. But if you walk inside and find hamburgers you’ll be disappointed. You might even like hamburgers, but if you’re expecting tacos it doesn’t matter.
But every day Etsy sellers make this same mistake, listing items on Etsy with the wrong keywords. Make sure your keywords are accurate and specific, if you use inaccurate keywords you won’t get any clicks on the Etsy search and Etsy will stop showing your product.
Here’s a title for one of my best listings.
Etsy Mistake #3: Ineffective description
A powerful description creates a strong emotional desire for your product. It paints a picture in your customers mind that gets them excited to trade their money for your item.
Here’s the description for one of my most popular items an underwater sea decal.
“Make your kids room a space to remember with these adorable shark and turtle decals. Your kids are going to love their new friends and will remember their special wall for a lifetime.”
Isn’t that so much better than, Cute shark and turtle decal?
Now that you’ve sold your product, you need to make sure you answer any question your buyer might have.
– What material is it made from?
– How much does it weigh?
– How do I wash it?
– How big is it?
Put yourself in your customers shoes or ask a friend what kind of questions that come to their mind when they think of purchasing your product.
An outside opinion can be very helpful in these situations to generate new insight.
Etsy Mistake #4: No Logo
You must have a professional logo for your shop. If you don’t have the time or resources to get a logo made, how are you going to have the resources to produce and ship a customers order?
A logoless shop makes me think it’s someone’s hobby.
A crummy logo makes me feel that the seller has low attention to detail or doesn’t care very much about their business.
Most buyers aren’t interested in giving their money to sellers that aren’t going to take their business seriously. They want to know their order item is going to be packaged and delivered on time.
You can get a logo designed at Fiverr.com.
Etsy Mistake #5: No About Section
This is Etsy, not Amazon.
Buyers come to Etsy to buy from real people.
Last Sunday I went out to brunch with some friends and afterwards we walked around adorable town square of Franklin Tennessee. We got ice cream and browsed a few trinket shops and boutique clothing stores.
That’s when I realized that’s what Etsy shops are. Etsy shops are the cute little boutique shops of the online world. Customers feel good that they’re supporting a family owned business and find joy in the shopping experience.
When your shop has an “About You” section that tells your story and shows that your a real human, customers connect with you and enjoy being part of your story.
They are buying something unique that you can’t just get anywhere, and that makes their buying experience special.
A good about section should have a picture of you, your real name and a short story about why you sell what you sell.
It doesn’t need to be clever or unique, it just needs to let people know a little bit about you.
Etsy Mistake #6: Unclear Policies
“What happens if the sticker falls off my wall?”
This is one of the most common questions we about our decals on Etsy. We sell large nursery wall decals, and this is a common concern for our customers.
They want to make sure our decal is going to stick, but if it doesn’t can they get it replaced? No one wants to spend $75 on a decal and then throw it in the trash.
So we added this to our shop policies.
“If our decals falls off your wall, we’ll replace it for free.”
That gives our customers peace of mind that they won’t lose their money.
Review your customers most common questions, ask your friends if they were buying your item what would they be worried about? Then draft up your shop policies to answer each of these possible concerns.
This will make it easy for your customers to buy your products instead of having questions hold them back.
Etsy Mistake #7: Bad Pricing
Don’t be scared of your price.
When your listing is properly setup and presents your item well, it’s easy to get the price you want and deserve.
All too often I see Etsy sellers dropping their prices to the point where they’re not making any money. If you can’t sell your item for a reasonable price that earns you a profit, then you’re probably still making one of the mistakes above.
Either your not getting enough traffic or your not converting visitors into buyers. You must make sure to do all the other steps properly before worrying too much about your price.
Once everything else is in place here’s how I would suggest you calculate your prices.
The cost of materials + The cost of labor X 3
Example for one of my nursery decals.
$12: Vinyl + Ink costs
$15: 1 Hour of product time
$27: Total Cost
Multiply by 3
$81: Your Price