Disclosure: Some of the links in the post below are "affiliate links."
So, you decided to try selling on Etsy, but you’re not making any sales. Be sure you’re not guilty of any of these 7 mistakes new Etsy sellers make. (If you haven’t signed up with Etsy to be a seller yet, use this link and get 40 free listings!)
This list is aimed more toward vintage sellers because, well, I tend to think the world revolves around vintage, but most of the mistakes listed will apply to handmade as well.
- They toss up a few of their best and most expensive items then sit back and wait. But they have no feedback. No selling history. Why would anyone trust them with their $200 if they think they will be the first customer? They don’t know if the item will even be sent to them. Who wants to take that chance? So, throw in a lot of $10 and under items for people to take their chances on. Build up some trust through feedback. It will take time.
- They list 5-10 items and sit back and wait. There are a couple of things wrong with doing this.
- With only a few items in your store, you don’t look like a serious seller.
- The more items you have in your store, the more chances you have to sell something.
- Go ahead and list, list, list. List as if you’re selling like gangbusters. The sales will come. It will take a little time, but happen, it will.
- Their pictures are bad.
- If your picture is blurry, stop. Retake that picture.
- The item gets cut off in the thumbnail picture on Etsy. Unlike eBay pictures, you don’t really want the item to fill the frame. It should be centered, but not too far away. You want some border all around. Best, too is if the frame is square. 800-1000 px or so square will usually do.
- Picture is too dark. Brighten those babies in your photo editing software! Brighten more than you think it needs. Something happens once it’s uploaded and it somehow appears darker. Weird, but true.
- Not a clear vision of what’s for sale. Vignettes are pretty. I like them, but it can be hard to know what, specifically, is for sale in a vignette. Make the item be the obvious focal point if you choose to stage with vignettes.
- Similar to #4…. Busy background. No. Just. No.
- Here’s a tip for pictures: Take the time to scroll through Etsy and see which pictures grab your attention and which ones turn you off. Emulate your favorites. I’ve chosen to use a solid white background because 1.) I like it, 2.) I’m always in a hurry and too lazy to stage and 3.) I don’t particularly like the picture taking part and just want to get it over with.
Here are some examples of stores with appealing pictures:
I also have a Pinterest board dedicated to inspiring, imaginative product staging. Sometimes the photographer thought out of the box and sometimes, it’s just…. pretty. You’re welcome to follow it. In fact, I’d love for you to follow it!
- Too many rules about returns and payments and stuff. Make it simple. Don’t scare the potential buyer away with things they think they might accidentally do wrong. No one wants to buy from a seller who appears to think the buyer is out to get them.
- They don’t list and picture all the flaws in the item. I’ve seen people use the blanket statement that the item is vintage and will have flaws and signs of use. Different people have different perceptions of what is acceptable in that area. Take close up pictures and describe everything. Every Thing. Even as minor as paint being out of line in one spot or some glaze roughness that happened during the firing process of a ceramic. Everything. Oh, yes. And did I say show EVERYTHING? This will save you and the buyer some grief. (Although, there have been times when the buyer did not look at all the pictures or read the description. But you can point that out to them because you showed and talked about EVERYTHING. They don’t have a leg to stand on then.)
- They don’t understand the importance of tags. Tags are there to help get your item found. Try to think of any words or combination of words someone looking for your item might use in a search. Give it some thought. Say you have a painting of roses. “Painting of roses” is a pretty obvious tag, but what about people who didn’t really know they wanted a painting of roses? Maybe they wanted a painting with pink in it or a romantic style painting? Maybe they call it a “picture.” Think of all the terms they might possibly search. You have 13 tags you can use. Try to use them all. Yeah, I know. Sometimes we draw a complete blank, but do your best.
- No “About” page. People want to know something about you and your shop. Take the time to write something up. Keep it real. Be transparent. Be friendly.
If you’re careful not to be guilty of these things, and keep building your store up, the sales will come. I believe you’ll LOVE selling on Etsy!
You might also like 21 Places To Sell Your Antiques and Collectibles.