5 Common Mistakes ETSY Sellers Make

We all make mistakes when it comes to writing our first blog, adding that first listing and opening your shop, but there is lots of advice out there – so let’s jump into our 5 common mistakes Etsy sellers make article and read how you can stop it happening to you!

Let’s go!

1. Sellers Not Seeing Themselves as a Buyer.

Sure, you’re selling the items not buying them, but you need to see through the eyes of a buyer to see their view. One of the best pieces of advice I was given was to upload a listing, save it as a draft and read through the preview. Why? Because it allows you to see every detail before you publish it, and you can see exactly what you’re missing as the seller (in comparison to just reading the listing template). Some of the things that you may notice by doing this include:

  • poor image resolution
  • not having enough images to showcase the actual product
  • spelling or grammatical errors
  • excessive repetition of certain words
  • unclear shipping selections

It’s not something you need to necessarily do every single time you upload a new digital product, however, it is worth making a note to go through each section each time. Think: Would you want to buy something from an online shop that had blurred pixelated images and unclear shipping options? Noooo, thank you.

2. Not Using the Correct Tags and Keywords Mistakes

In ETSY’s 101 Handbook they state that keywords you use in your tags work together with the other attributes in your listing to help match your products with shoppers’ searches. This is worth taking note of. There have been a number of recommendations on using random keywords to have your items viewed. For example, if you currently sell glass vases but the most popular keyword in a generator is ‘wall art for hallway’ then you can add that as a key phrase. This is completely wrong. Why, do you ask? Well, yes, your items will most likely get views, and furthermore, your shop visits may actually increase, however… you’re not directing your products to the customers that actually have any interest in purchasing them.

How many times do you find your unblocked browser showing you adverts for products that you have never searched for in your life? Rarely, is the correct answer! This is because those selling the items use the correct tags and keywords with each product and, in turn, it means you, the buyer, will see items relating to those you’ve previously searched. This occurring with prospective buyers means there is more chance of them purchasing it – because they’re not looking for something completely different. So, always use keywords that are fitting to your product and not just because they are popular!

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    3. Not Having a Niche

    ‘Niche’ is a word often thrown around when it comes to selling products online. Believe it or not, there is more to finding your own niche than just sourcing a product you like, sticking with it and hoping it sells because you’ve included a high-quality photo and an attractive price tag. Finding your niche comes down to two things:

    • Are you interested in the product? Having an interest in the items you make and sell is essential to ensure you don’t get bored with your ETSY shop journey. If you find yourself flooding with ideas or you look forward to making the items as a hobby then you’re on the right track. But if you feel dread the moment you open your ETSY browser, then you need to stand back and have a think about what the right niche is for you. We all have something.
    • Is there a market for it? You might thoroughly enjoy making dolls made from expensive wool, but is there enough people out there that like the idea and can drum up interest in you successfully selling it? Maybe. The best way to find out if your chosen products have a market is simply by searching for it online. Sure, you don’t necessarily have to look up ‘dolls made from expensive wool’ but you could look up ‘wool dolls, wool toys, wool based home décor, unique handmade wool items’ etc. Doing so will give you an idea of the market available to you.
    man pictured from behind looking at sketches and plans that have been tacked to a wall.
    Plan out your niche.

    4. Being too expensive/under-priced

    Everyone loves a bargain. How could you not? But when it comes to buying on marketplaces you can find that items being under-priced can also serve as a warning.

    A prime example would be how I recently purchased a set of photo mock-ups, which was on sale for $2. I thought I’d try them out, considering they were unbelievably cheap in comparison to the higher-ranked items. The folder contained 50 mock-ups, of which none were PSD (which was what I required) and instead, they were all jpg images – which resulted in me having to cut around the frames myself  - and in doing so had little option but to cut over some of the props in the photo – I gave up using them in the end.

    One of the best ways you can find out how to price your products is to look at similar listings. It’s important not to base your prices fully on others, as it is essential that not only do you make some profit (otherwise, what is the point?) but that you don’t lose any money in the process either. So, before you even begin working on your shop stock, you should work out exactly what your expenses may be. These can include:

    • Stationery (Card, Paper Cutter)
      • Printer/Printing Services
      • Photo Editing Software
      • Packaging (Envelopes, Bubble Wrap, Tape)
      • Shipping (you should only include this in your expenses plan if you plan on offering free shipping to your customers, otherwise their separate charge is covered)
      • ETSY fees (this can include, but is not limited to):
        • Listing Fees (& Vat)
        • Renewal Fees (& Vat)
        • Ads (& Vat)
    woman making notes and using a calculator whilst wearing a white top.
    Be sure to make your calculations.

    5. Not Being Punctual

    One of the biggest mistakes a seller who has sold their first lot of items on ETSY can do is have the item arrive late. So here are our top tips for being punctual on ETSY!

    • If you receive a message from a user, reply to them as soon as you are able to.                 
    • Ensure you’re able to meet your dispatching dates and if you’re unable to meet them then change them!
    • If an item becomes lost and the buyer does not receive it then use your postage tracking to try to locate the item. In the process of doing this be sure to let the customer know what you’re doing to try to solve the problem.

    So that’s it! Our list of 5 Common Mistakes ETSY Sellers Make! What do you think? Have you made any mistakes when opening your shop? Let us know via our socials!

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    Enjoyed this article? Why not read our 5 STEPS TO A SUCCESSFUL ETSY SHOP.


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