13 Etsy Fails : Common Fails And How To Avoid Them

You’ve probably landed here because you feel like you’re not doing well on Etsy and feel like an Etsy fail.

Well, don’t worry because you’re in the right place! I’ll show you how to right those wrongs and turn that fail into a flying success! The fact that you’re here means you’re actually keen to do something about your situation, which is a great first step!

If you read on, I’ll share with you 13 common mistakes that most first-time Etsy sellers make, how to avoid them, and some best practices to succeed as an Etsy seller. 

You might be thinking is Etsy worth it, and if you should continue selling on Etsy even with your Etsy fails? I’m here to tell you yes, you should. But also, you need to be careful to not repeatedly commit these fails if you want to know how to make a living on Etsy. 

The common ways how to fail Etsy are: 

1. Not Having A Clear Business Plan 

2. Just Waiting 

3. Selling What Everyone Else Is Selling 

4. Not Setting Aside Enough Time

5. Having No Budget

6. Forgetting About Marketing 

7. Only Having One Or A Few Listings 

8. Not Updating Your Products 

9. Bad Photos

10. Using Poor Keywords

11. Improper Pricing 

12. Not Getting Help

13. Treating It Like A Hobby

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This article contains some affiliate links which means that I may earn a small commission when you click on them, at no additional cost to you. I do hope you find the information in this article helpful!

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If  you are super busy and you want to start making money selling digital products  on Etsy asap, you can check out this and this Etsy course, that will step up your Etsy game and start earning within 3 months! 

Alternatively, you can also check out this free Etsy Ebook that will share a list of best-selling products by month and teach you how to capitalize on seasonal trends to make sales.

13 Common Etsy Fails By Sellers & How To Avoid Them

1. Not Having A Clear Business Plan 

One of the reasons why Etsy shops fail is because they don’t have a clear business plan for their Etsy shop. You don’t need a very detailed plan, but it helps to have some sort of plan. 

You should know what you’re selling, why you’re selling it, who you’re selling it to, whether there’s a demand for it, and how much you intend to price it. If you’re jumping into things on Etsy blind, then it’s a recipe for an immediate Etsy fail. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Sit down and think through the points above. It doesn’t have to take very long. Just an hour or two mappings everything out on a page. If you need to, do some research and check for the competitiveness of your intended product. 

2. Just Waiting 

Setting up an Etsy shop is the first step, but waiting for your first seller to purchase from your shop without doing anything is a fatal Etsy mistake. You don’t want to just wait around. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Continually look at your shop stats and eventually who’s buying your products. See what keywords work best for your product and try different versions till you find a few that work best for your product niche. 

Also use the time to get the word out about your new Etsy store, by telling your friends about your shop, and marketing it on social media. 

etsy fail

3. Selling What Everyone Else Is Selling 

You might think that you have a unique product, but until you do the research and check if your product is truly special, there is a chance that you might already be selling what everyone is already selling.

How to avoid this Etsy fail: If you truly believe in your product, try to see how you can make your product idea a little more special, whether it’s investing more in your product photography, looking for a different way to market it, or selling it to a niche audience. 

4. Not Setting Aside Enough Time

Your Etsy shop might be failing because you’re not setting aside enough time for your Etsy shop, whether it’s ensuring you have good photos, the best keywords or even just the right audience. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: While an Etsy shop may be a side hustle for most of you starting out, decide to set aside enough time if you want your Etsy shop to be successful. You don’t have to spend an insane amount of time when you’re just starting out, but it’s important to be consistent. 

etsy fail

5. Having No Budget

Stocking your items on Etsy requires you to pay $0.20 for a listing, which will keep it up until it sells or for four months. Thereafter, you’ll need to pay 6.5% in transaction fees when you make a sale, and possibly also currency conversion fees.

One fail is not having a budget and thinking that you can start on Etsy without having a budget or some investment. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Have a small budget to work with when you first start on Etsy but make sure this is money that you’re prepared to plow into your Etsy business and should not be your emergency fund or money you need to pay the bills. 

6. Forgetting About Marketing 

Most people spend too much time, energy, and money on their Etsy shop, but they forget one thing – marketing their Etsy shop. 

While Etsy is great and has a ready community who may be potential buyers, unless you have a very strong product, you might receive little to no sales on Etsy if you only rely on the platform for buyers. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Set aside a marketing budget to buy ad promotions on Etsy, and also diversify your marketing to other social media platforms including Pinterest and Instagram

7. Only Having One Or A Few Listings 

While it is not a common mistake, some Etsy sellers think it is alright to have one listing or a few listings before they launch their shop. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: I’d recommend having at least 10 listings before you open your Etsy store. But do make sure that you don’t go beyond 500 listings as Etsy doesn’t favor such shops as fees might offset profits once you hit this amount of listings. 

8. Not Updating Your Products 

Etsy favors sellers who update their shop regularly and shoppers would also like to patronize a shop that is up-to-date and active. While it is not impossible to have a single listing and be a one-hit wonder, chances are you’ll need to have several products in order to do well on Etsy. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: You don’t need a gazillion items in your Etsy shop, but it’s important to have a number of products. If you’re selling digital planners, then think about having different types of planners in different designs. Think also about seasonal planners – the sky’s the limit, really! 

9. Bad Photos

You might think you can get away with having bad photos if you have a good product. Well, you thought wrong. 

If you want to increase your Etsy success rate then it’s important that you pay attention to the photos you’re using on Etsy because photos are everything, considering the photo is the biggest part of a listing when someone first searches for a keyword. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Invest some time and resources into shooting or editing quality photos for your products. If you’re selling actual products, then get proper lighting. If you’re selling digital products, make sure you’re using high-resolution stock images and editing your photos well. 

You can consider using an image editing tool like Canva to make your shop listing images look more professional. 

etsy fail

10. Using Poor Keywords

There is no point in having an amazing product if your potential buyers are not finding you on Etsy. One of the key reasons how many Etsy shops fail is when they think having nice photos and a good product is the end-all. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Having a good keyword strategy but doing adequate keyword research is important to do well on Etsy, with a robust keyword tool. You’ll also want to make sure you’re well-acquainted with Etsy SEO and apply good SEO practices on Etsy

11. Improper Pricing 

You might think Etsy is bad because you’re failing on Etsy and not making any money. But one mistake might be that you’re not pricing your product right.

While it’s not good to price your items too high, pricing your items too low also means that your cost of making the product might supersede your actual profits. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Search for products similar to yours, especially the top sellers and see how much they’re pricing their items. The aim here is to price your item competitively but also ensure you’re profiting. 

12. Not Getting Help

If you’re starting to reconsider why sell on Etsy because you feel like you’re failing on Etsy and just letting your shop be, then that’s also a bad mistake. 

How to avoid this Etsy fail: You need to get help, and troubleshoot what’s wrong with your Etsy shop – is it your keywords, is it your Etsy tags, or is it your photos? 

13. Treating It Like A Hobby


While Etsy might have started off as a hobby for most sellers, if you want to succeed on Etsy and do well, then you should start to treat it as more than just a hobby.

How to avoid this Etsy fail: Invest more time, effort, and resources into your Etsy shop. If you feel stuck, you can also attend some good Etsy courses to help you scale your Etsy shop up and get out of your fail rut. 

etsy fail

How To Succeed As A Seller On Etsy

Selling on Etsy may be easy but it’s certainly not foolproof and there are a number of good practices that you should adhere to should you wish to succeed as a seller on Etsy. These good practices are:

1. Having A Memorable And Catchy Brand And Product

2. Using High-Quality Images On Your Etsy Listings

3. Price Your Products Such That You Make A Profit

4. Market Your Products And Etsy Store Well

5. Always Be Ready To Adapt, Evolve And Keep Your Shop Updated 

Who Shouldn’t Sell On Etsy 

Not everyone is cut out for selling on Etsy and there are a good number of people who shouldn’t sell on Etsy. You probably shouldn’t sell on Etsy if: 

1. You Don’t Know Much About Etsy SEO But Don’t Want To Put In The Work

2. You Don’t Want To Put In An Initial Investment 

3. The Product Category You’re Selling In Is Highly Competitive

4. You Want To Sell To A Wider Audience

5. You Want To Scale Beyond Etsy Eventually

FAQs On Etsy Fails

Is It Worth Selling On Etsy?

Yes, it is worth selling on Etsy. Selling on Etsy is worth it because it’s extremely straightforward, affordable, and simple to sell products you make physically or physically.

It also allows you to have access to a shop front, and cart and is a low-cost, low-risk platform to start selling. 

Can You Actually Make Money On Etsy?

So, can you actually make money on Etsy? Yes, you can! It is absolutely possible to actually make money on Etsy, but how much you make depends on what your product is, the time and effort you put into your Etsy shop, and how popular your products are. It could range from $4,000 to $80,000 a year. 

How Much Does The Average Person Make On Etsy?

Curious about how much does the average person make on Etsy? The average Etsy sales in first year could well hit almost $45,000, which isn’t a small sum but it may be a bit of a stretch to consider it a decent income. It is not impossible to earn more, with some sellers raking in $80,000 a year. 

etsy fail

Conclusion

Failing on Etsy can be daunting, especially if you’ve put in a good amount of time, effort, and resources into your Etsy shop, but the good news is that your Etsy fail just means that you can only go up from here.

It would be terrible if you continued to just let your Etsy mistake be and did nothing about it, but I’m glad to see you here reading this article and keen to make a change on your Etsy shop. 

You’ll get better at selling at Etsy, but first, you’ll need to troubleshoot where your issue is using the list above, and then fix the root of the problem.

Once you’ve employed the right Etsy sales strategies, your orders will come in and your sales will go up

Trust me, I’ve been there, done that. Any questions, shoot away in the comment box or tell me what your biggest Etsy problem has been! 

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