11 Reasons Why Your Etsy Shop Is Not Making Sales & How To Fix Them

Last Updated:

February 7, 2024


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Is your Etsy shop not making as many sales as you'd like?

It can be frustrating to put time and effort into your listings, marketing and product photography, only to see little to no sales.

But don't worry, I've compiled a list of 11 biggest reasons why your Etsy shop is not making sales, and I've include some actionable steps of how to fix them:

01 - Your Products Are Not Ranking On Etsy Search

One of the main reasons why your Etsy shop is not getting sales is that your products are not ranking high enough on Etsy search. This could be because your listings are not properly optimised.

Search traffic is the main source of traffic for most Etsy shops. And it’s important to learn Etsy SEO to improve your chance of showing up on Etsy search.

How To Fix It

Start by learning Etsy SEO, which you can do so with this free guide.

Avoid using keywords that are too broad and competitive like “jewelry” and “gift idea”. Instead, use long-tail keywords that accurate describe your products. For example, “sterling silver faceted amethyst necklace” would be an example of a long-tail keyword.

Also, make sure you use all 13 listings tags to maximise the chance of showing up in Etsy search results.

02 - Your Product Prices Are Too Low

Although it’s possible to price your items too high, from my experience, too many Etsy sellers price their handmade products too low.

When you price your handmade products too low, you are competing directly with resellers and mass-produced products. And you can never win when you compete with them on price because they can always sell the products cheaper than you.

How To Fix It

Handmade products should cost more than factory-made products.

Considering charging a higher price by showcasing the ‘handmade quality’ of your products. A few ways to justify your higher price is by:

ArtByBossa is able to charge a higher price for their handmade mug by showing the behind-the-scene look for their process

03 - Your Listing Description Is Not Optimised

Your listing description is an opportunity to convince shoppers that they need your product. If you don’t optimise it, you’ll miss out on potential sales.

How To Fix It

Your product description should focus on how your products can benefit your customers. Support your product benefits with relevant product features.

For example, if you sell polymer clay earrings, one benefit could be it can withstand everyday wear, and not lose its colour and shape. To support this claim, you can mention that the earrings are made with a specific type of clay with a certain technique to ensure durability.

Also, considering using bullet points and sections to make your product description easier to read.

04 - Your Listing Photos Are Not Attractive Enough

Etsy is a highly visual marketplace. High quality product photos are essential for your success because they can help you convince your potential customers that your products are worth buying.

Mistakes like poor lighting, distracting background and blurry photos will cause you to lose out on clicks and sales.

How To Fix It

The simplest way is to set up a corner of your house for product photography. Take your photos in strong, indirect natural sunlight with a neutral background.

Experiment with different angles to showcase all the important details of your products. You can read this product photography guide for some inspirations.

Also, learning some basic editing using softwares like Lightroom can further enhance your photos.

KatieKimStudio uses simple but effective product photos to sell their popular keychains

05 - You Don’t Have Enough Listings To Reach Etsy Shoppers

As mentioned above, the main way for you to reach new customers on Etsy is through Etsy search. If you don’t have a lot of product listings, it means you have fewer chances to reach customers through keywords and Etsy search.

How To Fix It

I would recommend having at least 30 listings to start your Etsy shop. The number should be even higher for shops selling digital products or print-on-demand products.

If you can’t think of enough products, try thinking about different colours, materials, finishings, etc. You can also combine some relevant products to make product bundles. Offering custom or personalised option is a great idea if you have the capacity to do so.

Each of those product will give you an opportunity to use different long-tail, targeted keywords to reach new potential customers.

06 - You Are Selling Too Many Different Types Of Products

Have you walked into a shop and thought, “what are they even selling here? There’re candles, clothes, books, and even kitchen appliances!”

Selling too many different types of products can make your shop look disorganised and incohesive. It can be confusing to shoppers who visit your shop.

More importantly, not having consistency in your products make it feel like you’re not an expert in anything. This makes it hard to gain trust from shoppers, and therefore makes it hard to sell to them.

How To Fix It

Be an expert in your niche. Once you’ve chosen a niche, you should have a strong focus in the product range you offer. For example, if you sell handmade candles, don’t considering selling paintings in the same shop.

Having a strong brand image also help your shop to appear more cohesive. One way to achieve this is to use consistent colours and similar style of product photography.

MissPlantyPants created a consistent Etsy shop with their design, colours and photography

07 - You Don’t Provide Enough Information For Customers

Customers need to feel confident before they consider buying from you.

Not having shop policy, shipping information, or enough product details can cause shoppers to lose confidence from your shop. And that would make it difficult for them to choose you instead of your competition.

How To Fix It

You should provide all the information shoppers need in order to make a purchase:

LinenCollections includes a size chart, alongside other relevant information, in their linen dress listing

08 - You Are Selling A Product With Little To No Demand

Selling a product with good demand is already challenging, but selling a product with little demand is almost impossible. No matter how hard to you try to promote it, if there’s very little demand, you’d struggle to make sales.

How To Fix It

You should do market research to verify your product idea. See what sells well on Etsy. You can do that manually or by using one of my recommended Etsy market research tools.

You may need to come up with some new products or adjust your product slightly to fit market demand. By identifying gaps in the market and adapting to customer needs, you can increase the demand for your product and boost your sales.

09 - Your Products Don’t Stand Out In Your Niche

Etsy is a competitive marketplace. If you don’t offer anything unique and different from your competitors, shoppers would have little reasons to buy from you.

How To Fix It

Think carefully of your product’s unique selling point (USP). It can involve a different product design, using a unique skill to make the product, offering more customisation options, etc.

One way to get inspiration is to do market research and see what shoppers are looking for. By checking your competitors’ reviews that are 2-4 stars, you’ll get an idea of what you areas that your competitors are missing, which gives you an opportunity to provide them and stand out in your niche.

WeAreLunarium stands out in the wall decor niche with their unique geometric designs

10 - You Haven’t Experimented With Different Marketing Options

If you don’t explore other traffic sources other than Etsy search, you may be missing out on potential sales.

How To Fix It

There are a few main ways to get additional traffic and sales: Etsy ads, running sales, social media marketing, email marketing, collaboration with influencers, etc. I encourage you to try out different marketing options, track the results, and double down on options with a high ROI (return on investment).

11 - You Don’t Add New Items Regularly

Customers who have followed your shop would like to see new products regularly. Not adding new products for a long time means that you are missing out on chances of promoting to your followers and customers. Etsy also doesn’t like shops that are not active.

How To Fix It

You should plan to add new products regularly, whether it’s a new product type or variation of your original products. Also consider adding seasonal products like Christmas-themed or Spring collection items. This keeps your shop fresh and interesting, and can encourage customers to come back and buy more items.

When an Etsy shop you follow upload new listings, you'll see them in the 'Updates' area

What’s Next

There are many reasons why your Etsy shop may not be making sales. To improve your chance of success on Etsy, it’s important to improve different areas of your Etsy shop. I’d recommend starting with these free guides:

Etsy SEO Guide

Product Photography Tips (with example)

How To Price Your Handmade Items

How To Create A Strong Brand

DIY Packaging Items For Etsy Sellers

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