11 Biggest Mistakes Etsy Sellers Make & How To Fix Them

Last Updated:

June 27, 2022


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Over the years selling on Etsy, there are some common mistakes that I see beginner Etsy sellers make.

Making those mistakes mean leaving money on the table. It can seriously affect their shops’ profitability and longevity.

I’ve compiled 11 of the biggest mistakes from Etsy sellers and how to fix each of them to increase your sales.

Mistake #1 - Not Having a Clear Brand Identity

It is very important for Etsy shops to have a clear brand identity. It helps you stand out from competition on Etsy and be more memorable to potential customers.

Every shop needs a logo, color scheme, and brand positioning that are unique to them. But it is also crucial that these elements work together as one cohesive brand.

Your logo should be recognisable when it is seen on its own or in the context of the other branding elements. It should also be scalable so that it can be used on different platforms and in different sizes without losing its integrity or meaning. Avoid logos that are too complex.

A brand colour palette is a set of colours that are used together to enhance the branding. Often colour palette itself help Etsy shop stand out from competition. For example, if all your competitors use green as the main colour, try using a different colour like orange in your product photos and Etsy banner to stand out.

Even a small Etsy business would benefit from having unique brand positioning. It helps your products to be memorable to customers and build long-term relationships with them. Think about what you and your brand stands for, and how is that important to your target customers.

To learn more about branding, read this guide for 12 easy tips to create a strong Etsy handmade brand.

Mistake #2 - Not Focusing On Product Photography

Product photography is one of the most important aspects for your Etsy shop. It can make your break your business as it affects the click-through rate and conversion rate of your product listings.

Some common mistakes that can hurt your product views and conversion rate:

Click here to read our Etsy product photography tips with real example

Clean product photos allowing the product to shine is one of the reasons why HabitationBoheme is successful

Mistake #3 - Not Having An About Section In Their Etsy Shop

Many customers on Etsy look for something extra that they can’t get in other shopping sites like Amazon and eBay. They want to see the product handmade by a real person, but not produced in a factory.

One of the mistakes Etsy sellers make is not having an about section in your Etsy shop. About section is great to showcase your creative process, who you are and what you do. This can help your shop connect with customers and show them who you are as a handmade seller.

It's a good idea to include behind the scenes videos or pictures of your work process in the about section of your Etsy shop. This way customers can get a better sense of what goes into making your products and the unique handmade process.

ModNorthandCo showcases their creative process in the about section

Mistake #4 - Not Optimizing Your Listing Titles

Listing titles are an important part of Etsy SEO. Not optimizing it means reducing your chance of showing up on Etsy search, therefore lowering your views and sales potentially. There are a few things to keep in mind when you write listing titles:

Mistake #5 - Not Optimizing Your Listing Tags

Another important part of Etsy SEO is your product tags. Some Etsy sellers don’t make use of all 13 tags when listing products, which reduce the search terms that the products can show up in.

Another thing to avoid is using one-word keywords for tags. You should aim for 2-3 word long keywords for tags as they are more targeted, and you will likely face less competition when you use them.

Mistake #6 - Not Optimizing Your Listing Description

Etsy listing description is important to converting shoppers to paying customers. It can be the difference between a shopper clicking and buying your product, or moving on to your competitors’ listings.

To make sure you are maximizing your conversion rates, here are some best practices for writing listing descriptions:

Mistake #7 - Not Using Social Media to Promote Their Business

Social media is a powerful tool for small businesses to reach more potential customers. It can be used to promote your products, share behind-the-scene content, and interact with your target customers.

There are many different social media platforms out there and it can be difficult to know which one is best for your business. Pinterest and Instagram are two of the most popular platforms for Etsy sellers.

Keep in mind about the common mistakes Etsy sellers make on Instagram. One of them is posting only product photos, same as what most other Etsy sellers are already doing. Unfortunately, that’s not what Instagram users are looking for and it can seriously hurt your engagement. Promoting your product should only be a small portion of your content.

Instead, the majority of your posts should be informative, helpful or entertaining. For example, a crystal shop can post metaphysical properties of different crystals to help customers choose the perfect one.

jakethomasparker makes Instagram reels of his handmade process and behind-the-scene photos, which connects to his audience

Mistake #8 - Not Tracking Progress Of Etsy Shop

It is important to know how your Etsy shop is doing and what you need to do to reach your goals. To track progress, you can use Etsy Stats and search analytics to know which listings are working and which aren’t.

In Etsy stats, you can see the views, favourite, orders and revenue of each product. For example, you can see products that are not converting as well (listings with high views but not a lot of orders). It’s a good idea to investigate those listings and see how you can improve them in terms of your offering, photos, price, etc.

Search analytics works a bit differently. It shows the performance of different search terms/keywords. You can see the impression (how many times it shows up in search), visits (how many times someone clicks on that keyword), conversion rate (how well that keyword convert from visit to order) and more. You can find search analytics under ‘Marketing’ in your seller dashboard.

Mistake #9 - Not Experimenting With Etsy's Marketing Tools

Experimenting with Etsy's marketing tools can take your shop to the next level. Etsy offers you a few different ways to promote your items. The main one being Etsy ads.

Etsy ads is a great way to increase your views and sales. I would recommend optimizing your listings before experimenting with Etsy ads to have the best results. You can find the strategies to maximize your chance of running profitable Etsy ads in this guide.

Mistake #10 - Not Doing Market Research Before Creating New Products

Doing market research before creating new products is an important step in the process of launching a successful business. Not doing research beforehand can lead to wasted time, money and effort.

Two of the main areas you should look at during market research include the demand of the product and its competition level.

The easiest way to gauge demand is using the Etsy search bar. Use its auto-suggest function to see if the keywords related to your product idea shows up. Because those suggestions are based on real searches of Etsy shoppers, if your product keywords show up, it means there is decent demand.

Another aspect of market research is competitive analysis. It can be done by looking at the number of competing listings. One of the ways to find lower competition on Etsy is by using long-tail keywords.

Mistake #11 - Not Preparing Holiday Sale Early Enough

It is important to prepare for the holiday season in advance. Not preparing early could means missed sales or opportunities.

Holiday sales like Black Friday and Christmas are amazing opportunities for Etsy sellers to boost their profits.

Here are some of the things you can prepare holiday promotion in advance:

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