Saturday, 21 January 2012

7 Warning Signs That Your Etsy Store (Probably) Sucks

We’ve all had that feeling. That doubt. That niggling idea that, perhaps, our store is not as great as we first thought it would be.

We dread the thought of folk asking questions. Questions like, “Do you get many sales?” when the answer is an unfortunate “no”.

We endeavour to hide the fact that our Etsy store sucks by offering up some pitiful excuse, such as, “Well, I just started out so…” etc etc.

Failure is difficult to come to terms with. No one, not you, I, or anyone on this Earth likes to fail at anything.

But we are only human after all. And trial and error is the road to success. I promise.

I started out on Etsy selling handmade tote bags, which failed miserably. I moved on to bookbinding. That failed too.

Luckily, I’m the type of crafter who can turn my hand to most crafts. I am not bound to any one skill in particular.

Years of curiosity and a voracious need to know how things are made, means I have accumulated many skills. Making the ‘trial and error’ a little more fun.

If your Etsy store is a failure then that is nothing to fear, simply look at it as part of the learning curve and start afresh.

But the first problem you need to solve is realising (or admitting) that the life of your store is probably not worth salvaging.

So I have put together 7 of the most prominent features of a failing or failed Etsy store, which you may or may not identify with.

You have gone 24+hrs without signing in

If you are not moved enough by your own store to so much as log in at least once a day, then buyers are probably not interested either. 

Crafters are normally very 'into' their own creations, more so than any customer.

A successful Etsy store requires effort, love, attention to every detail, and most of all, it requires a determination to succeed.

If you haven't got the desire to carry on then your heart is obviously somewhere else. 

You only have 3 items for sale
Ok. Maybe not literally, but if your store has less than 10 items in it, or even less than 50 in some highly saturated categories, such as jewellery, then you will not be found by buyers.

And if you’re items are not found by buyers then you won’t sell a single thing, no matter how low you set your prices.

This is a huge Etsy failure, as the purpose of selling is to sell, of course.

The other thing with having very few items is that it puts customers off. Imagine going into any real store to find only a few items on their shelves. It’s the same with online stores too. The more items you have, the more trustworthy you appear.

You’ve been open for 8+ months and no sales
My first Etsy store was open for months without a sale. I had personally come across sellers who had just joined Etsy and were already making sales, daily, within the first month.

This got me particularly riled. I constantly felt like there was some magic trick I was missing. And there was, but more about that at the end.

The bottom line here is that if you have still not made sales after a few months, and particularly over the Christmas period, then you have a major fault with your business.

In my own case, I simply closed up shop and retreated to the drawing room to come up with a new plan that would get me selling well.

No one favourites your items or store
This is something that tends to get to sellers, as (apart from sales) we seem to equate favourites to success. And while it may indicate success to a small degree, low numbers of favourites really means only one thing, you are not getting any views.

And no views, means no favourites and it definitely means no sales.

You’re in very few circles
Similarly, if you are rarely added to anyone’s circle then it’s because you are not visible enough to other people. You and your store are not being found, not being noticed by other sellers, let alone buyers.

This is again due to a lack of views. In order to attain more circles, you need to become very active within the forums or go on a circling spree in the hopes that others will circle you in return.

But if even after participating in the forums regularly, you still aren’t being circled then it could be something to do with the way your store is presented.

Your views are low to non-existent
Etsy sellers are always going on about their views. It really depends on what you sell and how long your items have been for sale.

More views do not necessarily equal more sales, particularly if your keywords are targeting the wrong searches (among other things).

However, if your views are so low that they couldn’t possibly generate any sales whatsoever, then you have a problem.

Getting people into your store is half the battle and if you can then succeed in keeping them in long enough to be hooked on an item, you will begin to see sales rolling in.

You’re not on facebook or twitter
Social media is the magic trick. 

It's not a tough as you might think. Wrapped by Design has a facebook page and a twitter account and just these two things alone do much of the hard work for me. 

I set up two stores selling similar items, one store I promoted on social networks and the other I didn’t.

The one that I didn’t promote is getting hardly any views/favourites/circles and very few sales.

If you aren’t promoting your work on social networking sites then your store probably does suck, but not for the reasons you might fear.

It’s simply a matter of getting the word out about your work. Your Etsy store can never be successful if you don’t spend time promoting it. 

So does your store suck? Did it suck previously? Let me know in the comments what you plan on doing about it or what you did to kick start your success. 


  1. Hello! Found you from Facebook FANatics. Reflecting on your post... I haven't sold anything yet but have only had things listed about a month and a half. I sign in too much maybe, close to 40 items for sale, good number of favorites, average 60 views a day (sometimes more), and in a good number of circles. Guess I'm not a complete failure ;-)

    Just followed your blog, feel free to follow my art blog too!

  2. Thanks for the advice! I did well the first couple of months and now - nothing. I'm going to use your advice as a checklist and go critic my shop today!

  3. okay, I did better on this than I thought I would :)

  4. Well, thank goodness I don't fit into those categories!

    Stopping by from Etsy Blog Team

  5. I follow your blog and appreciate everything you share - that's why I included you in the "Versatile Blogger award" (see: