The Jam

6 Things To Never Do With Your Etsy Listing

If you’re new to Etsy or even if you’re a seasoned seller, sometimes it’s easy to forget and make some simple mistakes with your listings. Some aren’t a big deal and some could really hurt your views and sales. In this episode, we take a look at six mistakes you should always avoid making with your Etsy listing. This will help you even more as you strive for Etsy shop success!

Today we’re talking through 6 things you should never do with your Etsy listing! Are you new to Etsy? Have you been thinking about opening a shop? If so, these are things that will be super helpful for you to be aware of. If you’re a seasoned seller, some of these things might seem like a no-brainer to you! So if you’re NOT doing these things, give yourself a pat on the back for avoiding them. But, there might be some things on this list that you may not have thought of. We hope this can serve as a good reminder of things you can stop doing. So, let’s dive right in! 

1. Never use less than 5 photos

When Etsy first launched, they allowed sellers to use five photos. This has now been increased to ten. Etsy really wants you to be using as many photos as you possibly can. This is really important! When buyers are shopping online, they can’t pick up your product like they do in a brick and mortar store. They can’t look at it from every angle or see what the actual size of the product may be. This is up to you as the seller to help your buyers experience through great product photos.

Compare the size to give a clear idea of how big or small your item is. Show them different angles and the details that are included and may otherwise be missed in just a couple photos. Be sure to also communicate the multiple uses of your product if applicable.

This all needs to be communicated to your buyers. Etsy also suggests photo ideas on the Listing page. This can help you come up with ideas for ten photos if you’re running short on ideas. This is especially important where size is concerned. having multiple photos is key. It’s really important to have your product in multiple settings where you’re showing the physical difference in the size of your product as well. If your customers know exactly what they’re getting, this will cut down on dissatisfaction and items being returned. 

One thing to remember is that if you don’t use all ten photos, Etsy will not penalize you for this. However, again, trying to use those ten photo opportunities to communicate what you’re selling to buyers is key. Etsy may not ding you, but it’s very possible a buyer will if they feel what they receive looks different than what was shown in your photos. 

2. Never use less than 13 tags

These are thirteen opportunities that Etsy is just handing you. So PLEASE be sure that you are using all thirteen. When buyers are searching through Etsy search results (and search makes up 80% of visits to listings on Etsy), if you’re not using all thirteen tags, then you’re missing out on a large portion of possible customers! You’re basically not showing up in places you otherwise could have if you’d used all of those tags. 

If you’re swapping tags on and off your listings and swapping out keywords as markets change, it can be easy to forget that you pulled two tags off a listing and only added one new tag back. It’s always important to go back through those listings that you’re updating and be sure you’re back up to a full thirteen tags on each one!

It can often be easy to think of a tag as this forgettable thing that you slap on to the bottom of your listing. But, you need to be thinking of it more as an audience of people you’re trying to target. It’s not JUST a word you’re slapping onto the bottom of your listing. Instead, it’s a group of target shoppers. When you think about it this way, it’s now an entire group of shoppers that could be actively interested in your products that you’re just completely missing out! Why? Because you left those tags off your listing. This definitely puts more weight on the importance of tags. These are thirteen opportunities to get in front of thirteen active and interested audiences. So yes, use all thirteen tags.

3. Never under price your products

You might not think you’re underpricing your product, but that could be a huge problem you’re encountering without even knowing it. First off, stop selling yourself short. It’s so hard to ask for what you’re worth, especially as an artist/creative. However, if people are buying your product simply because it’s under priced, then they’re not a great customer. You want to target and find customers who appreciate the time and quality that you are giving them in your products. And honestly, if you’re consistently underpricing your products, you are actively participating in a race to the bottom. 

There’s an interesting psychological thing that happens when you take the exact same product, one priced lower and one priced higher, and set them in front of buyers. Very often, the higher-priced item will be chosen because it has a perceived higher value. Etsy buyers are looking for good quality. They are not coming to Etsy because they’re looking for the cheapest thing. They are usually looking on Etsy for a unique, local, handmade or vintage product and a “budget” product is usually not being sought after. Be sure that you are not missing out on making more because you simply priced your item lower when those customers would happily pay a higher price. 

Also, as artists and creatives, struggling with imposter syndrome is a real thing (we have an entire blog post about this). You might feel like just because you didn’t go to school, don’t have a degree, haven’t been making your products as long as so and so, that you should be pricing your products for less. This simply isn’t true! We understand that it can be difficult to ask for what you’re worth, but there is enough room on Etsy for everyone’s unique items and talents. Know your worth. Your time and effort have great value, so be sure to price your products accordingly. 

4. Never duplicate your listing

Basically what this means is, never make a one-for-one exact copy of your listing. You do not want to have two listings on Etsy that are 100% exactly the same. One thing to keep in mind with any kind of duplications of listings or copying things over is this: Etsy allows you to do this and won’t stop you, but they DO require you to have inventory to support the number of listings that you’re creating. So you can’t create ten listings from one vintage thing that you have, if you literally only have one of them. 

Etsy allows you to copy a listing and create a new Etsy listing from that. This is handy if you want to change a few things in your description or change your tags and title, maybe your photos and pricing, without having to redo all the other stuff on that listing. This can be a great time saver! Let’s say, for example, that you want to test a cover photo to see which photo is actually working better to draw more customers in from search. You can totally create two separate listings that have the same title, tags, and description and just swap out your cover photo. But remember, ONLY do this if you have the inventory to support both listings. 

While this is something that can be helpful for you as a seller, you don’t want to have a bunch of copies of the exact same thing just hanging out in your shop just to make your shop look bigger than it is. This won’t help you in the long run, because if you’re putting the same titles and tags on a bunch of listings, you’ll end up competing against yourself for keywords. You’re also not going to show the same ten listings on the first page of search, Etsy likes to spread things out. 

5. Never ignore the keywords you’re using on your listing

Basically, you don’t want to put keywords on your listing and then forget that they’re there. The “set it and forget it” mentality is not going to work in this case. This can be super easy to forget, especially as we’re trying to mark things off our lists. You have to keep coming back and checking on your SEO to make sure the keywords you have on your listings are still working for you. The keywords that you’re using are what’s getting you found in search. Your photos are what will get you clicks into your listings. So staying on top of them is important!

Search makes up over 80% of Etsy traffic to listings which is a HUGE component! Even if you’re taking out promoted listings and things like that to make sure that you have a better chance of being found in search, it still relies on the tags and titles that you’ve got on your listings. It still relies on your keywords. If you’ve picked bad keywords, ones that don’t generate a lot of search and engagement or ones that don’t describe your listing very well, you might show up for those things because you have promoted listings turned on. But if that’s not what the person has in mind when they searched that particular phrase and they see your listing show up, it’s not going to help you at all. You want to be sure that the keywords you’re using are applicable to your listing.

6. Do NOT publish a listing unless it’s DONE

This should be fairly obvious, but Etsy’s first impression is going to be their lasting impression. So when you put an Etsy listing out there and publish it, Etsy immediately starts collecting data about your listing. They are expecting it’s ready. Not that it’s halfway done. 

This goes for customers as well. You don’t want a listing published that has one photo, a couple keywords, and some placeholder text in the description! This will absolutely hurt you and not help you. There’s a reason why brick and mortar shops don’t open before their shelves are built. You want to make sure that you’ve got the finished product ready to go and this includes finishing the listing so that customers and Etsy both, aren’t coming into your shop wondering what’s going on. 

This is confusing and disconcerting for customers and can hurt your brand. You’re telling a story and communicating who you are through your brand (we’ve got an entire blog post about communicating a story with your brand). So if you have half done listings or a shop that isn’t complete, this is all communicating who you are and the quality of what you’re selling. You want your customers to feel taken care of and instill confidence in who you are as a seller and what your shop is all about. Make sure your shop and listings are complete and ready to go when your customers come calling! 

Final thoughts

We hope that whether you’re a new or seasoned seller, these tips were helpful for you and your shop! Are there any tips that you will be changing in your own shop? Are there any tips we didn’t cover that you’d like to hear us tackle in the future? Drop us a comment below and let us know!

Happy selling, everyone!

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6 replies on “6 Things To Never Do With Your Etsy Listing”

It was really helpful, thank you!!. I have a question. I am preparing my Etsy shop and by mistake 3 listings are on and my shop is not ready yet. All my shop is in a draft mode as I want to be totally ready to go before I upload it. What do you think Is the best do with these 3 listings?

Good information. However, I have one query, I am selling downloadable art for transfer to any medium the buyer wants. How can I have multiple images for the same piece of art?

Hey Brian — great question! Is your product’s end-use online only, or do customers typically print your art on their own items? Stickers? Cups? Canvas? Think about the many ways your customers end up using your art downloads, then incorporate some of those ideal use cases in your listing photos. For digital art used as a desktop background, you could have a listing photo of a trendy desk setup with your art displayed on the monitor. For art meant to be printed on a canvas, create some listing photos showing your art hung on the wall. If you’ve already identified your target audience, try to incorporate additional elements into your photos that align with your buyer’s greater interests.

We hope this helps! Good luck!

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