Should I Use Etsy Vacation Mode? (What Happens After? How To Turn It On, Message Template, Alternatives)

Last Updated:

February 25, 2024


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Everyone needs a break once in a while. Vacation mode is a way to close your Etsy shop temporarily and open it back up at a later date.

But is it the best move for your shop? Should you put your shop in vacation mode? How does vacation mode work? Is there a better way?

Unless you won't be able to answer customer messages or you will be away for more than 3 months, putting your Etsy shop in vacation mode could mean you are losing out on sales. Instead, put up a late-ship sale can capture more sales and entice return customers if done correctly.

In this guide, you can learn the step-by-step process of actually increasing sales during my break. Read on:

What Does Vacation Mode Look Like On Etsy?

When you put an Etsy shop in vacation mode, shoppers and customers will see this message when they visit your shop: "(your shop name) is taking a short break".

Other than the custom message that you write (template message later in this guide), shoppers have the option to opt in for an email reminder when your shop opens again.

Concerns About Drop In Views And Sales After Vacation Mode

"Does vacation mode hurt your Etsy shop?"

There has been a lot of controversy whether putting your shop in vacation mode would tank your Etsy's search rankings. Many Etsy sellers report horror stories. They say after putting on vacation mode, their Etsy shop views and sales are down to almost nothing, especially after a long vacation. And some even say the stats don’t recover after a year.

However, there are also other Etsy shop owners that say they are not negatively affected by it. Their views are similar before and after the holiday.

Etsy has said that your listing quality score (one of the main ranking factors on Etsy search) won’t be affected after a holiday mode.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Put Your Shop In Vacation mode

Controversies aside, you still shouldn’t put your shop in vacation mode.

Because you are losing on sales.

Everyone needs a break here and there. Your customers understand that. Given that you communicate with them properly, this is actually a great opportunity for your shop to grow!

In the next section, I’ll talk about some alternatives to vacation mode that are better for your shop in terms of views, sales and growth.

Alternatives To Vacation Mode On Etsy

Putting Up A “Late-Ship” Sale

I’ve used this method many times for my top 1% Etsy shop over the years, and it brings me income even when I’m on vacation.

Put up a “late ship” sale to compensate for the delay in shipping. A 15-25% discount works well given that you don’t put up a sale every week.

Most of the customers won’t mind waiting a few weeks more to receive the order, and will be happy to get a discount on your handmade product.

If done successfully, you will get a big list of orders when you are on vacation. You just need to work a bit harder to finish them all at once when you are back.

Hiring Someone To Help Making And Sending Current Orders

If you don’t want to put up a sale like that, you can find someone to help you out instead. It would be much easier if you already have other staff in your shop.

Hiring outside help could be tricky. The main concern is whether the quality of the product is up to par. You also need to bring them up to speed with tasks like packaging and shipping. Training could take weeks.

Deactivate Popular Listings To Temporarily Lower Demand

To help ease some of the pressure on you shop after a holiday sale, you can choose to deactivate your best-selling products temporarily so that you can catch up with orders. Deactivating a listing is to temporarily hide it from Etsy shoppers. You can deactivate listings by going to your Seller Dashboard > 'Listings' > "Deactivate" highlighted listings.

The Situations Where Vacation Mode May Be Needed

If your break is over a long period of time (6+ months), or when you have a big influx of orders that you need to catch up to, then vacation mode may be needed if you can’t find external help.

How To Turn On Vacation Mode On Etsy?

Here are the 6 simple steps if you need to turn on vacation mode for your Etsy shop:

  1. Open shop manager
  2. Click settings
  3. Click options
  4. Vacation mode tab
  5. Turn it "on"
  6. Fill in a brief shop announcement and message auto-reply message

Etsy shop vacation mode settings

The announcement will be visible at the top of your shop page. And the auto-reply message will be sent automatically when prospective customers message your Etsy shop. Etsy shoppers also have the choice of signing up to be notified by email of your return.

You will still have access to your orders, cases and messages. Also, you can still issue refunds, cancel orders and print shipping labels. Your items will stop showing up on the Etsy search engine.

During this period, it may be a good chance to improve the SEO and keywords of current listings. Also, add new products as drafts is a good idea. You will publish them once the vacation mode stops.

There is no limit of the duration of vacation mode. You can put your shop on vacation mode as long as you need.

How To Turn Off Vacation Mode On Etsy?

To turn off vacation mode, you can follow these steps:

  1. Open shop manager
  2. Click settings
  3. Click options
  4. Vacation mode tab
  5. Turn it "off"

Can I Put Etsy Shop On Vacation With Open Orders?

Yes, you can put your Etsy shop on vacation mode even with open orders. However, communication is key and it would be good to explain to those customers the estimated date you will ship their orders.

Sample Etsy Vacation Mode Message Template

Hi everyone! Thank you for visiting (shop name)!

Because of (reasons why you have to close your shop), I wouldn't be able to process orders for (a period of time). That's why (shop name) is taking a short break.

(Shop name) will return in (planned time when your shop reopens). I'll let you know when (shop name) is back if you pressed the 'Email me when they're back' button. I look forward to creating (your product) for you guys again soon!

Thank you for your support and see you soon!

What To Do If Your Shop Is Negatively Affected After Vacation Mode?

Appeal To Return Customers

This is a great time to use your email list of your previous customers. Let them know that you are back and ready to create beautiful crafts for them again. Couple this with a sale or new products to give your shop a boost when it opens again.

Announce Your Return On Social Media

Similar to the point above, you can announce your return to your social media following. This would work better if you have a dedicated fanbase.

Run Etsy Ads

This is one of the most direct and quickest ways to bring shoppers to your shop. Promote your previous bestsellers first for the best chance of success. If Etsy ads have worked for you before, then it should work for you now given that your niche has not changed drastically in a few months. I've written a complete course on profitable Etsy ads in GYC Etsy Academy 2.0.

Add New Items

Adding new items increases the 'freshness' of your shop, which helps improve your ranking in Etsy search algorithm.

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