Top 10 reasons why you’re not getting sales on Etsy

sell on etsy

Face it, the reason you opened your Etsy shop in the first place was to sell right? Of course it was! So what do you do when you aren’t making the sales you initially hoped for? Take a hard look at your shop, items and marketing techniques and figure out what’s working, and more importantly, what’s not.

Here are a list of 10 reason why you’re not selling as much as you’d like:

Number 10: Your product descriptions aren’t doing your items any justice. In my opinion, good photos are the most important aspect to selling online, but after that come writing informative descriptions that tells the potential buyer exactly what they will be receiving. For more detailed information on writing product descriptions that sell, check out this article.

Number 9: You’re trying to do too much. I know how hard it can be to narrow down what you want to create and sell, but there’s nothing stopping you from opening various shops. Having graphic design, crocheted items, clothing, art prints and home decor all in one shop is just overwhelming for the buyers. What you want to do is find your niche. (Read more about finding your niche here) You should be an expert in your craft. And if you have multiple things you’re great at, thats wonderful. But it’ll do you a world of good to separate them. Have one shop for your art prints, and have another for crocheted items. Not only will it help you analyze how well each individual craft is selling, but people are more likely to buy from you if you have a specialty shop.

Number 8: Your pictures need work. You don’t have to be a professional photographer by any means in order to take good pictures. A decent camera, natural lighting and a clean background is all you really need. This is SO important. Even if your product is the most amazing thing since sliced bread, you’re going to lose tons of buyers if your pictures aren’t up to par. They are a crucial part of selling online. People can’t see your item in person, or touch it, all they have to go buy is what it looks like in the photo. Step up your game when it comes to product photography and I guarantee you’re sales will increase. Read more about product photography here.

Number 7: Nobody knows about you.  There are millions of items listed on Etsy. You need to make yourself known. Get your product and voice out there. Be seen and be heard. Start up social media accounts for your business and promote promote promote. But there is more to business promotion than shoving your products in your followers face… or screen. Tweet relevant articles pertaining to your craft, ask questions, respond to your followers post. There’s a lot that goes into successful promotion, but the first step it to start getting your name out there.

Number 6: You’re over promoting. This drives me INSANE. When I see a twitter feed or a Facebook page that has absolutely nothing but self promotional posts. Bombarding your followers with your items or services will annoy the crap out of them. By no means am I saying to never post anything about yourself, that would be a wasted opportunity. But just put some thought into it beforehand. For example, instead of simply posting a picture of a scarf and writing “SALE TODAY ONLY Buy now!!” try saying something like, “Stumped on what to buy for mothers day? Take a look at this beautiful scarf.” By starting with a question like that, people will read it and think, “hey, I do need to buy a mothers day gift.” This will increase your click through rate much more than just saying SALE.

Number 5: You’re trying to be someone you’re not. It’s not easy to find your niche. But even if it takes a long time to find it, taking someone else’s won’t do you any good. If you see someone successful I know it can be tempting to just copy exactly what they’re doing. I mean, if they can do it you can too right? Not exactly. You need to be different. Think about what you can offer that’s unique. Coming up with your own creative ideas will make you much more successful than trying to mimic someone else’s.

Number 4: Your product sucks. I really wanted to think of a way to say that more delicately, but sometimes it’s the truth. If you’re doing everything right from a marketing standpoint it might just be that your items aren’t great quality, or they’re not appealing to customers. This doesn’t mean give up though! It just means you need to take a hard look in the mirror and figure out what’s going on. Maybe you’ve gotten busy and don’t have time to create the quality products you’d like so you’re not listing your best work. That’s okay, you don’t need to have 100 listings immediately. Take your time to evaluate your business and find out whats going wrong. It might be hard initially, but if you’re serious about building your business and selling on Etsy, it’ll be worth it.

Number 3: You’re your own worst enemy. Give yourself some credit! Maybe you’re not selling 15 items per day, but you are consistently selling an item a week. That’s totally okay. If you’re making sales and have happy customers then you’re doing great. Consistency is just as important. Also remember that things happen in cycles. Obviously people will buy more around the holidays so if you see a huge jump in sales in December and then they decline around January, don’t freak out. You clearly were doing something right to see that huge jump in the first place, just make sure to keep that up and you’ll see your numbers steadily increase.

Number 2: (See number 1)

Number 1: Okay, so I only had eight reasons I wanted to write about. But hopefully some of these tips will help you evaluate whats going right and wrong in your Etsy shop so you can improve and watch your business grow.

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  1. When you start, it’s not always easy to evaluate your own shop. It maybe beneficial to join one of the teams that offer critiques. These 2 teams have been very helpful:

  2. Great tips. However, it’s getting really hard to sell on Etsy these days no matter how hard you tried.

  3. Excellent tips! One more tip I would add (so now you can be at a total of 10) would be, make sure that you’re having FUN. If you’re not enjoying the creating and selling, then it will probably show in your efforts.

    • That’s a really good point! I totally should’ve added that one. If you really enjoy what you’re doing it’ll definitely show in your work.

  4. Tiffany Barry says:

    Kelly, I so agree with your points. Unfortunately, especially with Number 4. I think that being open minded about your product is step one. You need to love what you make, of course, but from a business standpoint, there needs to be a market for it… and you need to be open when your fellow creatives are trying to tell you this without being cruel. I see so many posts on the forum with everyone dancing around it, and the seller only gets more and more defensive. You have to be open to change, to improvement, and to growth. Otherwise, the business side of things will drag you under and you’re just going to be another failed business statistic. Sad but true.

    I also really, really, really agree with Number 3! Your success will vary from someone else, and you should take your successes as they come. Revel in your businesses growth and take it one day at a time!

    Great tips! :)

    • You’re so right, you really have to be open to change and improvement. Very rarely will people hit the nail on the head on the first try, it takes time to figure out whats working.

      Thank you :)

      Love the look of your new site by the way, it’s gorgeous!!

  5. Great tips! It’s good to have this list of reminders, no matter how long you’re shop has been open. One thing that newbies need to know is that it simply takes time for most people to get noticed, to have consistent sales and that it takes constant work.

    Happy sales!

  6. Very well written, Kelly! #4 made me burst out laughing. Well, yeah, there is That…
    Thanks for an entertaining and informative Blog!

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