Monday, 2 January 2012

5 Listing Mistakes That Make You Look Unprofessional

It’s every Etsians dream to come across as a smooth selling professional craftsman and most of us try our best to prove that we truly are. 

But occasionally, our pristine professional image is smashed when we do things that make us look clueless.

And the worst part about these mistakes is that even if only ONE of them has managed to trip you up, just once, it’s enough to put your entire image and all of your hard work at risk.

These 5 silly listing mistakes, outlined below, point us out as unprofessional, turning away potential customers in a flash. 

Don't let them keep you away from the successful Etsy store you dream of.

Bad Spelling
One of the most common mistakes an Etsy seller can make. Bad spelling puts customers off, no question about it.

However, I’m not including differences in spelling conventions, but the general rule is that if you begin in US English don’t switch to UK English half way through.

And if English is not your first language then you must make the effort to ensure your spellings are not only correct, but correct for the context as well. 

Keyword Stuffing
Filling your title and description with random lists of words in an attempt to reach more searches will likely get your items ignored.

Most people are fully aware of this technique and shoppers get quite cross when they continue to find items that have no relevance to their search whatsoever.

It’s annoying for customers, but most importantly, it makes you look like a spammer and not the professional you were hoping to come across as. 

And there are plenty of legitimate ways of gaining more page views. So there's no excuses.

Whimsical Titles
This one has my BS detector up on high alert. A miniature vial pendant filled with pink glitter is not a “Mystical Magical Fairy Dust Pixie Powder Love Potion”.

It leaves me feeling as though the seller is trying to fool me, thinking I have the brains of a 5-year-old, which isn’t nice.

Setting a magical scene for your item in an attempt to get your potential customer emotionally hooked is a hard act to pull off.

Most of the time, it just gives people something to laugh at, where the best you can hope is for Regretsy to pick up your item and drive you some traffic that way.

This technique fails particularly well when coupled with bad photography, which is up next. 

Blurry Photography
It is generally understood that a customer needs to be able to see what they are paying for and even more so when buying online.

Blurry photos are a dead amateur giveaway. There’s nothing more off-putting than a listing full of bad photos.

If we are truly dedicated to making our stores appear as professional businesses, we will never list an item with blurry photos. Simple as that.

A quick experiment with your camera and various positions, props and lighting will show you what works best for your item.

And yes, even though a picture speaks a thousand words, we still need to write a fully detailed description.

Lack of Item Description
I know… writing separate descriptions for each of your products is boredom in the extreme, but it is essential to include everything a potential customer might need to know about the item.

Don’t leave them wondering blindly, pin them down with specifics. Detail is everything.

To help with this, do a little shopping. Think of an item you would really like to buy and go shop for it paying close attention to the descriptions you find the most appealing.

Chances are they will be the ones with the most detail.

And that’s it, 5 little mistakes that we can easily avoid to help gain a better image.

What do you think makes a seller look unprofessional?

If you found this article useful, please share it with others.


  1. Great post.. I believe I saw the pixie dust for sale this week! LOL

    While I don't have extreme descriptions, I try to cover the necessary details. Sometimes I look at a description and it doesn't even quality as a sentence.

    Happy New Year!

    Stopping by from Blogging Buddies

  2. Love this post! The one I hate the most is blurry pictures. It's hard enough to purchase something you can't touch, but if you can't see it clearly...I just skip it.

    Happy New Year.

  3. I'm actually okay with whimsical titles as long as they have "real" keywords in there too. But if they don't, then I think they're a little strange and I move on.

  4. I really have to manage my items description (sad face)

  5. Thanks for that run down! Think I do most of it, but have just got a new minature lightbox for Christmas so will be taking new pics of the toys, just to bring them in from outside for a change. Anyone know of some easy-to-follow tips on using this bit of kit properly? Grateful for any ideas or links.

    Happy New year to you, and the rest of the Blogging Buddies. Hope to get back to blogging soon: busy replacing toys that have been sold recently!

  6. Agreed and I am totally guilty of #1 - I am the worst speller. I am just sure I will end up on Re-gretsy someday because of it ;-)

    Etsy Blog Team

  7. Good post! I keep my descriptions short and to the point. I should try to write more, but time is a huge factor.

  8. Very good tips, glad I found your blog via Etsy's Bloggers and Readers team :)