Etsy How-to

5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make

As a new Etsy seller, there’s a lot to think about! From product research to figuring out how to put together a great listing to learning what the heck Etsy SEO is all about, there’s a ton to do. And at the end of all this, the ultimate goal is to have a great conversion rate. With sales pouring into your shop.

It can all be frustrating, especially when you’re brand new and trying to learn the ropes. What you might be hoping is that if you put a few things in your store they’ll sell. No problem! 😉I really wish this was the case! But, just like in pretty much every other business venture, there is no money tree raining down dollar bills on an Etsy seller either. Instead, it takes digging in. You’ve gotta invest time, brains, and money into your business. You’ve also got to have the courage to push through when you feel like giving up. 

At Marmalead, helping you find the path to success is what we’re all about! We’re stoked if you’re a new seller. 🙌🏼 We encourage you to get involved in our online community! There you’ll meet other sellers who have lots of time already invested in Etsy. While you’re doing all this, we want to touch on some rookie mistakes new Etsy sellers tend to make. We don’t want to see you make them too 🙅🏼‍♀️ Let’s dive in! 

1.) Kinda crappy photography that you probably thought twice about but posted anyway…

Stop. Stop right there. You know you’ve had second thoughts about the lighting or content in your product and listing photography. If that’s the case, chances are your intuition is right and you need to hit DELETE on that photo. It could be argued that photography is the top priority in the presentation of your Etsy shop. Those photos are going to either draw a buyer into clicking on your listing or make them run screaming for another listing with better photography. Cause you scared them. You did that. 

I mean, let me put it to you this way. If you walked into a brick and mortar store that was so terribly lit you felt like you were in some really bad version of The Shining, you wouldn’t stick around to browse, would you? Unless you’re into that sort of thing…in which case, there’s something for everyone on Etsy! 😉 In all seriousness, having well lit photos with natural light creates an environment where a buyer will WANT to look at more and more and more listings! 

If you’re looking for ways to take your product photography to the next level, we’ve got an ENTIRE article on photographing both small and large products that you’ll definitely want to check out!

2.) Descriptions that are as empty as an Alaskan waterpark in February

You’ve got amazing pictures (and if you don’t you’re gonna rush out and make sure you got ‘em) that have caught your buyer’s attention. Perfect! That photo enticed that buyer to click on your listing. And when they open it to read about exactly what they just might wanna purchase….well, let’s just say the crickets are singing loudly. If you don’t realize that your descriptions are pretty much the best shot you have at convincing your customer to actually purchase your item, we’re telling you now, IT IS! Use. This. Space. Don’t waste it! Make sure you’re telling your buyers everything and we do mean EVERYTHING about the product they are interested in. 

Materials you used, what size it is, what color it is, if they have options, if they don’t have options, how magical it will feel in their hands and how PERFECT it is for them, honey, put it allll in there;) Make your buyer feel like they’re literally holding it in their hands! Or smelling it…or wearing it, whatever it is, give them an experience they can’t walk away from in that description. If you don’t, you risk losing that sale, because many a buyer will read a barren description and move onto the next listing (possibly not yours) because of all their unanswered questions. 

3.) Girls (and guys) just wanna have fu-uuun…and create…and act like this isn’t really a business…

People. You DID open a business. A real live shop! Unless you’re only interested in posting listings of your on again off again hobby (this is sounding like a high school relationship) in your shop, there’s a lot to get serious about. I’m talking HBO here, not Netflix and chill. And, I’m guessing if you got this far in this article, you really do wanna make this Etsy shop thing work! Well then, you absolutely CANNOT forget that there is a very real business side to this thing you started. It’s not all rainbows and butterflies flitting around as you dreamily create your next product line in a cloud of fairy dust…I mean, if that’s your experience though, please let me know cause I definitely wanna talk to you🧚🏻‍♀️🦋 

It’s fair to remind you (being a creative myself) of the fact that for highly creative people, business is not our strong suit. It’s not what makes us feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Creating is. That’s why we’re trying to make a living out of it. Obviously. But, right now in the beginning is when you need to create habits that help you approach the business minded side of things more methodically. If you haven’t already decided on pricing, how to track expenses and if you don’t have a business plan, get on it. 

Create a method and rhythm that will allow you to take small chunks of what seems like a mountain, and do it weekly. Sitting down weekly to update things like expense records, calculate income, and figuring out an estimated quarterly income will make the entire thing seem much more manageable if done on the regular. 

4.) When your shop policies look like Swiss cheese cause, whew, look at all them holes!

If your shop policies are SO full of holes, you’re kinda scared to look at them yourself…you need to LOOK AT THEM YOURSELF! Here’s the thing, shop policies that are strong and complete are more for your protection than anyone else’s. The bonus of well thought out policies is that you can direct your customers back to them with total confidence should any issues arise. This also ensures that everyone is being treated fairly across the board, including you! Don’t be scared to make your policies super detailed either. Just like with a pair of leggings, you need to cover your butt should anything happen to occur that’s less than desirable…like leggings that are see-through. No one wants to see that either. 

Do you have zero idea what to include in your policies for the niche you’re in? The best thing to do would be to check out other successful Etsy sellers in your niche. See how they’ve worded their policies. Then, take the time to sit down and really make sure you’ve covered everything you need to for your craft and particular situation. 

5.) Tags and titles…do they really matter? 

Um, HELLO, YES! The tags and titles you put on your listings are what help shoppers find your items on Etsy. Please embrace the reality right now that your tags, titles, keywords, Etsy SEO, whatever you want to call it, is an ongoing process. Why? Because SEO is CONSTANTLY changing. This will never be a one and done kind of thing. Ever. 

You need to concentrate on finding out and learning what buyers are actually typing into search. If you wouldn’t ever think to word a search term the way you currently have it on your listing, chances are your buyers won’t either. So what does that mean? The more simple the better. Have you written something so complicated an English professor couldn’t decipher it? Then, you need to pump the breaks and make it easier😉

Marmalead can help

Jump into Marmalead and find those specific tags and long tail keywords! Cause in case you haven’t heard, long tail keywords are currently where it’s at! They don’t get the high search volume that generalized tags do. But as I’ve mentioned before, “greeting card” isn’t going to get near the sales that “unicorn rainbow fart card” will🦄🤣Seriously, this is a true story!

Just make sure they apply to your listing. If you start throwing random stuff in there that doesn’t make sense, Etsy won’t like it one bit. Etsy wants buyers to click and purchase. They DO NOT want them clicking and leaving over and over and over again. The more specific and long tail the keywords, the more likely you’ll be to have someone click on that listing and actually BUY it! Which is the goal!

And this is where I’ll leave you for now! But please know that if you’re a new Etsy seller, we’re here for you and you can always reach out to us at . Also, feel free to leave questions and comments below and let us know if this article was helpful. 

Happy selling! 


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4 replies on “5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make”

This is an excellent, and hilarious 😂, article with good advice. Yes, it is stuff we’ve heard before, but that’s okay becasue sometimes it tales a while for things to sink in🤪.

Thanks for reading, Wendy! I’m glad you found it hilarious😂Sometimes it takes hearing the same stuff in a different way😉

Great article! I know and do most of these, but I do wonder about long tail keywords.
To stay with your example: if you use “unicorn rainbow fart card”, does that mean only people who type this exact phrase will see your listing? Or also people who type “unicorn” or “rainbow”?
Also, where do you insert these long tail keywords? The Etsy tags are limited in length, so do you best put them in the title or description?

I don’t see any differents. For March and April I made 54 sales, for next 2 month ZERO sale. Same title, same tags

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