5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make & How to Avoid them

5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make & How to Avoid them

Are you a new seller on Etsy, waiting to get your first sale? Or is the platform something new for you and you’re wondering if it’s the right market for your business? Check out this article to see if Etsy is for you, and if you’re not making any mistakes at the start of your journey on the platform. In this post, we look at 5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make and we give you tips to avoid them!

Etsy is a large online marketplace where people can sell a variety of goods and even services. At its roots, Etsy was focusing primarily on vintage and handmade items, but in recent years it has widened its market niche to include other things as well, like personalized items.

5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make & How to Avoid Them

If you’re new to Etsy, or thinking of setting up an Etsy store, make sure you don’t make these mistakes, in order for your business to succeed.

1. Selling what is not allowed

This is probably the most common mistake people do when they decide to start selling on Etsy. The platform has some rules on what you are allowed to list for sale. And if you don’t respect them, your Etsy store will get closed and your seller privileges can get revoked for life.

So, we can’t recommend this enough, please read the Seller Policy before starting to sell on Etsy! Here you will find a lot of useful information about the type of market Etsy is and what you can and cannot sell on the platform.

2. Not using enough keywords in the product title & tags

Etsy works like a search engine. In order for your potential customers to be able to find your products on Etsy, you need to use the right keywords in your product title and tags, and also in your product description.

We have written a step-by-step guide on how to create great titles & tags on Etsy, as well as a guide on how to write a good, SEO-optimized product description. Check out these two articles if you need a boost in your traffic and sales! Well-optimized titles, tags, and descriptions are usually the key to success on Etsy.

3. Not having a clear, transparent shipping profile

Etsy is an online marketplace where people buy from independent sellers. So, in order to be a reliable, trustworthy seller, and get great reviews from your customers, you need to be transparent about your product and your shipping options.

Since many people turn to Etsy to buy gifts for certain occasions, they will check the shipping time before they decide to purchase an item. For example, let’s say I want to order a personalized mug for my dad’s birthday. I will either go shopping on Etsy one month in advance, to have enough time to receive the gift. Or I will try to find a local seller that can deliver the mug in a few days time.

Don’t lie about your shipping times. It will only disappoint customers. Although you may get more sales at first if you say you offer extra fast shipping, once the customers receive their orders 1 month late, the bad reviews might start rolling in. And this will damage your progress on Etsy in the long run.

Instead, offer your potential customers approximate shipping times that are close to reality. So they can make a well-informed purchase and know when to expect receiving the package.

If you find the 5 Common Mistakes New Etsy Sellers Make & How to Avoid Them useful, make sure to check out the 7 Things I Wish I Knew Before Opening my Etsy Store as well!

4. Not taking enough photos or mock-ups of their products

Good product photos are essential on Etsy. You are a seller in a competitive marketplace. And most of your potential customers will be visually driven to click on your product instead of others.

Try to upload as many product photos as you can for each listing. Product videos are also a big thing now on Etsy, so make sure you use that feature as well.

If you’re not sure how to begin when it comes to improving your product photography, check out our Top 5 Etsy product photography tips for beginners! And if your photography game is already getting better, make sure to check out our Top 10 Etsy Product Photography Background Ideas to mix things up and get more traffic and sales. Especially during specific holiday seasons!

5. Using trademark-protected words in product titles and tags

Intellectual property is something you should look into when you decide to start selling on Etsy. First of all, if your products are inspired by a brand, a movie or a franchise, you may need to avoid mentioning its name in the product title, tags, descriptions etc.

For example, if you have a Harry Potter-inspired product, like a handmade painting or a hand-knitted scarf, you should know that everything from the names of the books and movies, to house names, and the term ‘Muggle’ are trademarked. So, by using these terms in your product title for example (e.g. “Harry Potter Gryffindor Mug”), your listing can get flagged for trademark infringement.

And this is only scratching the surface. Intellectual property has in fact many forms.

A few trademark or copyright infringement claims can get your store closed and your seller privileges revoked on Etsy. In order to avoid this, make sure to check out this Ultimate Guide to Intellectual Property on Etsy. And whenever you add new keywords that describe your products, make sure to check the trademark protection on specific words and names.

We hope you found this article useful and that you’ll use these tips wisely!

What mistakes have you made as a new seller on Etsy? And what are your tips to fix them? Let us know in the comments!

New to Etsy? Turn your passion into a successful Etsy store

If you want to open an Etsy store but have no experience with the platform and online selling, make sure to get our Ultimate FREE Guide to a Successful Start on Etsy, a step-by-step workbook to help you set up your store effortlessly.

You’ll get the complete PDF workbook via e-mail after you confirm your subscription. You can print it and use it as a work sheet. It will also help you calculate the right prices for your products with our table method, including all the costs and desired profit margins!

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