7 Reasons Your Products Aren’t Selling (And What To Do About It)

Are you struggling with making sales with your Etsy shop? Make sure your shop is free of  these seven mistakes that will prevent you from reaching your sales goals.

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Mistake 1: Your photos suck

If you are not putting enough effort towards your photos your sales will lag. Photos are one of (if not the) most important aspects of your product listing. Without a good photo your product will sit on Etsy forever without selling.

Make sure you are not committing any of these photo sins:

  1. Your photos are blurry
  2. Your photos are dark
  3. Your photos have cluttered backdrops

If your photos are free from any of these three errors you are already one step closer to more sales!

Do not think that following those rules means you need a $2,000 camera. You can make sure your photos follow all of those rules with a basic phone camera (granted your phone was built in the last 3-4 years or so).

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that to take good photos you need tons of expensive equipment. I had a photography teacher, who is a 30 plus year veteran in the field, whom always preached that it is the person behind the camera who can make or break the photo, not the equipment they are holding.

If you are truly lost in the photography department, take a few hours to immerse yourself in the infinite knowledge that lies within YouTube videos.

Here are a few of my favorite videos to help you get started:

How to take better pictures with your iPhone 

How to Take Great Product Photos

Mistake 2: Your titles and tags are not SEO optimized

Tags and titles are the secret sauce that you need in order to get sales rolling in, they are what help your items rank high on the Etsy search engine. If you are not showing up in the Etsy or Google search engines, well, you are basically nonexistent.

Title

Etsy lets you use up to 140 characters on the title for your listing, and you must use all of these characters!

I know you won’t do it, because most people don’t, and that is why most people don’t succeed on Etsy. If you want to be that special snowflake who has a profitable store on Etsy, do yourself and the World a favor, use all your freaking characters!

Also note that the first 30 characters are the most important, therefore the most important keywords relating to your item should go there.

A few tips to keep in mind:

  1. Include multiple keyword phrases
  2. Include a couple choice adjectives like: embossedminimal
  3. Make sure tags match what is in the title, keeping the exact word order when possible.

Tags

Tags often get neglected and not used properly in listings. This is such a huge mistake! If your tags are poorly composed, I can tell you right now that you are not reaching your sales potential.

When writing tags, always use as many characters as possible, and make sure that you use keywords that are very relevant to your item.

Avoid using empty keywords like: classic, cute, pretty. These will get you nowhere on the Etsy search rankings.

If you are having a hard time coming up with keywords, literally ask yourself: What am I selling?

Then ask follow up questions like: What size is it? What color is it? What scent is it? Is it vintage or handmade?

I created a detailed step-by-step video walking you through researching the best tags for your listing. Watch the video HERE.

Mistake 3: Your item descriptions are lackluster

No one wants to read a novel when they are trying to buy a vintage mug or a vintage tee, but people still want to read an interesting and detailed description of the item they may be buying.

The two main mistakes you can make with your listing are going to either extreme of it’s written length.

One being that your description is too sparse and bare bones, you may not list any measurements or ingredients/materials. Not giving enough product details makes the listing seem unprofessional and rushed (things you do not want).

If you are not amazing at writing witty commentary for each product, just make sure you cover your basis, and you can always improve your listings as you get more comfortable writing them.

Make sure you always list:

  1. Measurements
  2. Color, scent
  3. Ingredients, materials
  4. Who and what is the item for

The other end of the bad description spectrum is to write a listing that is too long and tedious to read. Remember that shopping is suppose to be fun, nothing will kill that fun more than confronting your customer with a wall of text for them to read.

If you are a bit wordy or have a lot to say, always space out your text properly and put the most critical information at the top. This will ensure that your customers get the gist of things as soon as they land on your listing page, they then can decide whether to read on if they are intrigued.

Mistake 4: You are charging too much for shipping

Overpriced shipping is one of the main reasons for sad, abandoned shopping carts, all over the internet. How many times were you psyched to buy something only to find out that the shipping cost almost as much as the product?

Don’t let your customers have this experience! Specially if they are so close to giving you their hard earned money!

The first step towards charging proper shipping it to own a Postal Scale. They are available on Amazon for as little as $18. 

Once you have a postal scale, the easiest thing to do, is to have all of your listings use Etsy’s new calculated shipping service.

To use the service you must enter in the weight and measurements for each item in each listing’s Shipping section. This way Etsy will calculate the shipping for you, based on yours and your customers locations, ensuring you charge the proper shipping cost for each item. Using this method, you also give your customers the ability to select if they want to expedite their shipping, this is a super valuable service (especially during the holidays).

If you prefer to set your own shipping prices, use this tool to help you calculate domestic and international shipping costs.

Mistake 5: Your handling time is too long

After receiving over 300 pieces of feedback for items sold through my Etsy shop, I noticed that the most popular feedback is “Item arrived fast”.

Customers love getting their packages quickly, that is why I stick to a shipping and handling time of 1-3 business days. If you are hand-making each product to order, try not to take longer than a week, or so, to ship it out to the customer.

If your hand-made products require a lot of work, try to prepare as much as possible in advance of orders. If possible, pre-make a few of your top sellers.

Fast order turn-around time is specially important if you have a fairly new shop. If you don’t have a lot of feedback yet, your customers will have a hard time trusting that they will ever receive what they buy.

Mistake 6: You don’t reply to customer questions in a timely manner

If you have sold on Etsy for a even a little bit, you will notice that customers love to send conversations asking all kinds of questions about your items.

The best way to answer questions fast is to have the Etsy Seller App installed on your phone, so whenever a new message comes in, you will be able to reply to it immediately. It is important to engage with your customers quickly, so you can catch them as they are still on the Etsy site browsing, before they leave the website.

Mistake 7: You are not posting often enough

There is no official word from Etsy on this matter, but it has been widely discussed amongst sellers on the Etsy Forums and the Etsy Reddit page, how posting often somehow triggers the Etsy search algorithms and helps you get more shop and item views.

Posting a few times a week will ensure that your shop stays high on the search rankings.

One of the best things to do, if you have limited time to work on your shop, is to keep some listings saved on draft and publish them throughout the week.