Thursday, March 7, 2013

Etsy Help: Why aren't I selling? - How to sell more on Etsy!

The biggest question Etsy sellers always seem to ask is, WHY IS NOBODY BUYING MY STUFF!?

I might be able to answer that very quickly.

  1. Have you looked at your photos lately? Like REALLY looked at them? This is the window to your shop - your SEO can be perfect, your item be a hot selling item, but your photo just makes people skip right past your shop.
  2. Have you worked on your SEO - your pictures can be great - but your items aren't be found when people are searching for an item you sell.
Those are the top TWO issues sellers face.
Moving onto the other points that may drive buyers running in the other direction...

  1. Did you include the size of your item
  2. Have you filled out your Policies page and your About page?
  3. Does your Shop Title describe what you sell, don't use this spot as a place to say WELCOME TO MY SHOP - its a waste of valuable space. 
  4. Shop Announcement - Make the first line a little blurb about what you sell - THEN go into any sales your having or other website pages you want people to view (blog, FB, twitter) Google sometimes can grab from shop announcements and your title - you want to make sure all these area describe your shop.
  5. Are your shipping prices reasonable - lots of people nowadays shop online, so a lot of people are aware when they are getting ripped off. High shipping costs can push people away - is there a reason why your prices are so high (high end packaging, extra insurance, rush delivery) then make sure you TELL your customer of these things.
  6. Do you sell what people want to buy? - There have been quite a few shops I've run into and thought, who the hell is going to buy that? Harsh, I know - but why sugar coat it? Yes there's a buyer for everything, but if you sell something that only a TINY amount of people may want to buy you are limiting yourself. If you sell something that lots of people like - you'll have an easier time finding buyers. I'll go into this further at a later date.
  7. Do you have enough items in your shop? Shops with under 20 items isn't going to cut it. Think of Etsy like the lottery. Having 20 tickets versus having 100 tickets. Which person is going to have the better chance of winning....the person with 100 tickets. So keep adding more items. I strive for 100 - 150 items, I always get sales when I hit 100. 
  8. Does your shop have a theme a special look? Is it cohesive? Are your photos similar, all have a similar style? This is branding - which I can get into further at a later date. 
  9. Are you items all over the place? Do you sell soap and carved wood bowls? Some people see a mish-mosh shop as a turn off. This sort of plays along with, is your shop cohesive. Love doing multiple things, then make multiple shops focusing on that particular item. This way you can make each shop unique, focused, and set up a particular brand for those items. 
  10. What are the first 3 words of your title? Did you know that the FIRST 3 WORDS are important? Those are what people search for, and if your title begins with digital print copy - then NOBODY is going to find you.  If I was blind, what are three words you can use to perfectly describe what you are selling. Green Candlestick Holder - Perfect! I know EXACTLY what Im looking at.  
  11. Repeating Titles? Did you know that if all your titles are the same, Google ignores you? Try to make EACH title different from your other listings. Have two things similar, then try to reverse the wording (green metal candlestick & green candlestick metal)

Have you tried all these tips and are still having trouble - leave me a comment with your shop address and how you would like to contact you for further help!


  1. Great tips! I'm always checking over my shop to see if I'm making these mistakes! I think I'm doing ok- and I'm striving to hit 100 items by the 19th of this month (yes I'm THAT planned out)! :) Thanks for the article!

  2. Good tips! Thanks for taking the time to write this out. Alas, I have followed all of this advice (as much as I've been able!) and I'm still not getting any sales - if you could critique my shop, I'd definitely appreciate it! It's - and you can contact me by convo there. :) Thank you!

    1. Actually I think you would benefit from SEO tweaking. I don't think your titles are working for you. Also your tags could be changed a bit. SPRING isn't a good tag for a print. Try using all phrase keywords, you should get better hits that way.

      You aren't filling all your photo slots. Many people use vignettes to display artwork on walls or in various locations in a home so buyers can get an idea of how it will look in their home.

      Maybe its just be but it seems like your print price is on the high side, I see many 8 x 10s going for $10 - $20

    2. Yeah, I've been thinking about SEO tweaking, and have been tweaking it regularly, but wasn't sure what to try next. I mostly put spring in the ones I have spring for treasury finding. Thanks for the input. :)

      Various locations is a good idea, I'll try that.

      I'm keeping my pricing as it is for now - I've seen 8x10s going for $15-20, but I've also seen tons of 8x10s going for $30 and even higher. But I may think about lowering it in the future.

      Thank you for taking the time to look at my shop and critique it!

  3. I'm actually not on Etsy anymore, but the main issue I'm tackling in my own shop is being scattered. Since I have my own store front now, it's an all-in-one deal, but that means it's also a little... messy sometimes. So at the moment I'm paring down, cutting out, and working to sell off the things that I don't think "fit" the image I want. I suspect that will take most of the rest of the year. Oi. As part of that push, there shall be great tweaking of keywords, descriptions, and then more re-photographing than I care to think about.

  4. Great tips. The tweaking never stops.

  5. Thank you for your kind offer!

    I get found, I get views, I don't sell much! =)

    I sell these Petite Journals at shows, at my brick & mortar store and wholesale. But Etsy is a struggle.

    Again, thank you for your article and offer to help us! =)

    1. I took a quick look at your shop.

      Duplicating titles hurts your views from Google.
      Try making sure each title is different.
      Come up with some creative names for those journals...

      "blank journal notebook, blank journal diary, bound diary, bound journal, bound notebook, scrapbook album, scrapbook journal, blank scrapbook...etc"

      Include the color - Blue Blank Journal.

      You aren't using shop categories.
      Fill those out and sort your journals - possibly by color. (that would probably be the easiest)

      Your shop title isnt working for you.

      I kind of like these photos better - they help show me its an actual bound book - the new photos are just a photograph.. people could be skipping over your items because of this.

  6. Thank you for taking the time to look and making the generous comments!

    I am particularly drawn to your comments about the photographs. When I decided to offer 100's of journals based on the Fruit Crate Art, I was daunted by the shear magnitude of the photographs I would have to take. I opted out for the cover photo art and a generic look at the book construction in the auxillary photographs. I have wondered if the "short cut" I took was too good to be true. I will take your comments to heart and run an experiment by rephotographing the journals in my inventory per the example that you referenced.

    While I am at it , I might as well embrace any other suggestions that you may have. I now have a light box, etc. My inclination is to photo as the example you sent but with the white background. Or would a "hint" of a fruit crate motif as the background be more fun or.....

    1. Or maybe try branching out a bit and offering more types of products similar to the journals you already make. Offer various price points (but I think improving your SEO (tags/titles) will help bring your items higher in the searches thus bringing in more customers)
      Do you advertise outside of etsy?

    2. thanks very much for the tips! I still need some assistance. Could you please contact me through my shop
      Thanks! Getting a little desperate!

    3. You haven't used the tips I already gave you in this post.
      Try changing the things I mentioned above, then ask me if you still need help.

  7. Hello Lilly Queen....

    I promise not to continue to take up your time. But I hope you will allow me just more critique to make sure I am on the right track per your photography suggestions.

    I reshot the Sea Cured Lemons Journal so that there is no confusion about the product being a journal. I have not optimized the lighting but the photos aren't too shabby. =)

    The item is on the top row of the shop in the 3rd column. The other photos are also different but I did keep the poster shot for those that want details as well as the gift box shot.

    I do get lookers but I suspect that you are correct that they may skip over the "buy" step as the photos of the "poster" put them off.

    I wont keep coming back but do need to know if you think I am on the correct path.

    thank you,

    dan mckinney

    1. I really like those photos. Its easier to see what you are selling.

      But remember you are getting totally ignored by Google. Which could be hurting your business. Your titles are not good. You really want to work on those as well.

  8. Thank you for the great blog! I am new to Etsy and just trying to get it going. It has been a big learning curve for me as I was only a B&M storefront before. I know I probably sound stupid but how can you tell what someone else used for tags to see if your own tags are okay or need changed. And what is SEO? I'm sorry to be so uneducated about Etsy in advance.

    1. I wouldn't suggest copying someones tags just because you see them higher up in the search. You need to spend you own time and do research on this. All of us who took the time to learn about SEO don't want to just give someone the easy way out. Its a lot to learn, and if you want SEO to work for you, you need to put in some effort in learning how it works.

      Here's a great page that talks about tags/keywords and seo -

  9. Love this post! You hit the nail in the head in so many ways of the trials and tribulations of beginners in Etsy. Many think that just having a shop in Etsy is enough to generate sales. Or they get easily discouraged for having so little in exchange for all the hard work they put in. They need to realize that maintaining a store requires continuous effort to do so, especially in promoting it.

    Reach for Freedom Pty Ltd

  10. We need some help. Lots of items on site. Plan to have over 100 soon. We have a craft show coming up and want to make sure site is up to par. Can you check our site to see if you seen any big things that would send people to our site? TIA

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