While Etsy can be a great place to sell vintage items, craft supplies, and handmade products, it can also be challenging to get started. To help you be successful, we’ve put together a list of the most common Etsy seller mistakes and how to avoid them.
#1 – Not Researching Etsy Policies
We know—it’s exciting to start a new business endeavor. Don’t let that excitement take over until after you’ve done some homework. Not doing so is arguably the biggest snafu on this list. It can cause a ton of headaches down the road.
Make it a point to read Etsy policies, how-to’s, and some strategic advice from other successful Etsy sellers. When you know the ins and outs of the Etsy community, you will undoubtedly have more success.
Here are a few helpful links to get started:
- Etsy: Learn How to Sell on Etsy
- 10 Real Tips for Successfully Selling on Etsy | Handmadeology
- Vintage Chalet Etsy Love: Free Help for the Etsy Seller
#2 – Posting Subpar Photos
Photo quality is critical. If you don’t have good lighting or a good camera, then wait until you do.
Don’t post blurry, grainy, or dark photos just to get your listing finished. It simply isn’t worth it. If you post bad photos, no one will want to buy your products.
Etsy provides space for five images per item, which allows you to show every angle of the item. Upload as many images as you can and be sure they are creative, detailed, and clear.
You don’t need to be a professional photographer. Here are a few easy tips for perfect product photos.
#3 – Writing Ineffective Titles and Descriptions
Focus on your titles and descriptions carefully, they can help you increase sales.
The first five words of the title are especially important. These 5 words are most likely to show up in a search or in the HTML address of the item.
For example, if you’re selling a vintage porcelain citrus juicer, you shouldn’t title it “Great Retro Vintage Antique White Porcelain Citrus Juicer” because the keywords “citrus juicer” are the 6th and 7th word. These two words wouldn’t make it into the HTML address, thus not helping your organic ranking. Put the most important words first to ensure the search engines know how to identify your product pages.
The product description is equally important. Think about what needs to be said about the item, and then say it in a short and sweet way. In other words, be specific and detailed, but don’t write a novel.
You want the customer to quickly understand what you’re selling. Be descriptive and concise.
#4 – Not Having Enough Product Listings
It’s normal to only have a handful of items listed when just getting started on Etsy.
It’s always a good idea to list what you have, when you have it, instead of waiting to have more. Those products aren’t going to sell if you don’t list them!
However, it’s important to think about how potential buyers view your Etsy shop. When you have less than one page of listings, possible buyers may think you are a rookie. Combine that with a small amount of sales and reviews, and some buyers will pass on your Etsy shop for another, more established, seller that looks trustworthy.
This lack of credibility may be one of the hardest parts of getting started as an Etsy seller. In order to improve a visitor’s first impression, work hard to increase the number of items you have available.
This doesn’t mean you should put any old thing for sale. Having a consistent product offering is important for building your brand. Take some time to create or source enough inventory so your shop doesn’t appear empty. In addition to product sourcing, here are 10 other ways to build customer trust.
#5 – Not Utilizing Social Media to Market Your Etsy Shop
When you have an Etsy shop, social media marketing is essential. Your items must be found to sell them, so you have to get people’s attention. Treat your Etsy shop like a real business – real businesses market themselves. You must connect with people and promote your shop, brand, and products.
In fact, Etsy gives sellers the ability to link a Facebook and Twitter profile to their shop. You’ll also find tools such as a pin-it button that allows users to pin your items to their personal Pinterest boards.
There are a variety of other ways to do promote your shop, including:
- Read Etsy’s blog. It has a bunch of hints, tips, and information.
- Join an Etsy team for free advice and network with others.
The Bottom Line
Etsy gives you a platform and a storefront to showcase your products, it’s up to you to make it successful. It isn’t easy starting an ecommerce business, but you have so many resources out there to help you.
Did you make any mistakes when starting your Etsy shop? Let us know how you fixed them in the comments below.