Etsy Vacation Mode: A Step By Step Guide [2023]

There are huge perks to running your own business and being your own boss. But that also means you’re managing A LOT on your own and taking days off is hardly ever on the cards. 

It would be great though if you could have a breather from time to time.

With Etsy vacation mode, taking a break from your Etsy shop is now a definite possibility.

If you’re a seller with Etsy, you can now go on ‘vacation’ whilst still having your listings up with Etsy’s vacation mode feature. 

In this post, I share with you how to use this exciting feature effectively for your Etsy shop. 

  • What Is Vacation Mode on Etsy
  • When To Use Etsy Vacation Mode
  •  What Happens To Your Shop On Etsy Vacation Mode 
  • How To Activate Etsy Vacation Mode On My Shop
  • How Long Should I Use Etsy Vacation Mode
  • Sample Etsy Vacation Mode Buyer Message Template
  • How Can Etsy Vacation Mode Impact Your Shop
  • Reasons To Not Use Etsy Vacation Mode
  • Alternatives To Using Etsy Vacation Mode 
  • What To Do Before Deactivating Vacation Mode
Etsy vacation mode

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What Is Vacation Mode on Etsy

Etsy Vacation Mode is basically a way to close your Etsy shop for a stipulated time period. 

Your customers will not be able to place orders as that option won’t be available to them. 

However, you need to figure out if turning on Etsy holiday mode is in your best interest. Using vacation mode would translate to no sales, so before deciding, it’s best to look at when you should use Etsy Vacation Mode. 

When To Use Etsy Vacation Mode

So when exactly is the right time to set Etsy shop to vacation mode?

As Etsy shop vacation mode does not allow you to take on new orders, you should only use it when you’re in a situation where you absolutely can’t manage your shop. 

Here are a few possible reasons why you might wish to use Etsy vacation mode

  • You have more orders than you can handle and you do not have help with it
  • You are not well and wish to focus on recovery 
  • You are about to give birth / have just given birth / are on maternity leave
  • You are going on vacation and you may not be able to manage the shop as you usually would 
  • You are faced with an emergency that will require you to be absent from your shopfront for more than a few days

In these situations, it is best to turn on Vacation Mode, it is a temporary setup that can be changed at any point which is better than shutting down your shop. 

Etsy vacation mode

What Happens To Your Shop On Etsy Vacation Mode 

A number of notable changes take place when your Etsy shop holiday mode is switched on.  

1. Firstly, your page displays a message to shoppers that visit your page. 

The message will look like this:

“(Shop Name) is taking a break.” 

2. The “Add To Cart” button will be blanked out and customers won’t be able to place orders. 

3. You’re listings and shop will not come up as auto-suggestions on the search function. 

4. You can edit existing listings and add new listings as drafts, provide refunds, cancel existing orders and print out shipping labels. 

5. You will still have access to your orders and customer messages. You will still need to deliver existing orders.  

6. You will be asked to write an announcement in the shop and an auto-reply message for customers who reach out to you whilst you’re away. (There is an etsy vacation mode message sample in this article, so keep reading!) 

7. Customers have the option to opt-in for a reminder email to be sent to them when your shop reopens. 

Etsy vacation mode

How To Activate Etsy Vacation Mode On My Shop

So “how do I put my Etsy shop on vacation”? 

Well, activating Etsy vacation mode is a pretty straightforward process. Once you’ve signed in, 

1. Go to your Shop Manager, 

2. Click on Settings 

3. Proceed to click on settings where you’ll find the “vacation mode” tab

4. Switch the setting to “On”

5. Write out your shop announcement and auto-reply message 

6. Click on “Save” 

Voila, you’re now in vacation mode!  

If you’re wondering how to turn off vacation mode on Etsy, it is super simple and just takes one step. 

When you’re ready to turn off vacation mode Etsy, you just have to switch the setting to “Off”. 

How Long Should I Use Etsy Vacation Mode

The amazing thing about Etsy vacation mode is that it can be left on for any time frame. You can turn it on for an hour or a whole year. Until the seller switches it off, the vacation mode announcement will be showcased on the shop’s home page. 

If you have to take a long break, you definitely can without having to shut down your store. It is also great if you want to use it for short periods of time like the weekends. 

It will not make much of a difference if you use it for shorter periods of time. However, longer breaks, (I’m talking weeks or months), will affect your shop’s rankings. 

Be aware that the longer the break, the longer it’ll take for your orders to return to their usual volume. It’ll take work to optimize search and build up your sales funnel again, it is not an impossible task. 

However, in certain situations, it may be necessary. It is better than risking it all to end up with bad reviews. 

Etsy vacation mode

Sample Etsy Vacation Mode Announcement & Buyer Message Template

Upon switching to vacation mode, you have to first write an announcement that’ll appear on the homepage of your shop. 

You’ll also have to write an auto-reply message to customers who get in touch with you during this period. Here I share with you templates for both. 

1. Etsy Vacation Mode Announcement Example

Thank you for paying (your shop’s name) a visit today. I am on a short break at the moment due to (reason why you’re closing the shop). 

I will resume taking orders on the (date your shop re-opens) 

OR 

I expect to resume taking orders in the (x) week of (month). 

In the meanwhile, I am still reachable via messages. I will get back to you the soonest as possible. 

Thank you and best regards, 

(Your Name) 

2. Etsy Vacation Mode Message Example

Thank you for your message. I am on a short break at the moment and will get back to you as soon as I can. 

Due to (reason why you are closing your shop temporarily), I am unable to process orders for (specified period of time). 

And for this reason, I am on a short break. (Shop name) will resume operations on the (date the shop reopens) 

OR 

And for this reason, I am on a short break. (Shop name) will resume operations on the (week the shop reopens). 

Please fill out the form for the reminder e-mail and you will receive a notification email when the shop re-opens. 

Thank you and best regards,

(Your Name)  

Here are some pointers for when you write the announcement and the auto-reply message for Etsy vacation mode: 

  • Thank them for visiting or getting in touch with you
  • Be clear on the reasons why you are temporarily closing 
  • Ensure that you provide them with a time frame that they can expect to revisit 
  • Ensure that your reopening date is realistic and you won’t end up postponing
Etsy vacation mode

How Can Etsy Vacation Mode Impact Your Shop

  • How Etsy Vacation Mode Impacts Your Listings 

When Etsy vacation mode is switched on, it does not affect your listing expiry period of 4 months. 

Your product listings will still expire accordingly and the listings that are set to auto-renew will renew as well. And you will be charged the listing renewal fee of $0.20. 

To prevent that from happening you will have to change your settings to manual renewal. This works the same when you deactivate your listings, you will still be charged the renewal fee. 

  • How Etsy Vacation Mode Impacts Sales 

When you turn off vacation mode, you can expect sales to be quieter than usual once you turn it on. This is because your product listings do not appear in searches and that directly affects your sales. 

Etsy does not show your product listings to customers, thus data on how customers interact with your product is not being registered. 

If it’s only been a short period of time, your sales will not really be affected. If it is for a longer period, you may have to restart the process of driving traffic to your shop. 

For example, if you’ve reached your order quota for the day and you don’t want to take on orders the next day, it’s fine to turn it off for a 24-hour cycle. 

As it is a brief period of time, it would not affect your recency score. Your products were not on search only in the last 24 hours, it would not affect the search ranking that much. 

However, if you were away for 2 weeks, your product has not appeared on search placements for 2 weeks, so your listings will drop in rank as other similar active listings increase in rank. 

This is mostly because of the lack of activity taking place in the shop. It will take time and initiative on the seller’s part to improve the shop’s search ranking and sales. We discuss that in more detail below. 

  • How Etsy Vacation Mode Impacts Search 

Since there will not be any sales activities taking place in your shop when you’re on vacation mode, your shop and product listing ranking may be impacted. 

As your product listings won’t be available on search when this mode is turned on, the platform will not be able to track the search recency of your listings.  

How badly your search ranking will be affected is highly dependent on how long your shop will be on vacation mode. If you’re away for just a day, this won’t have much of an effect.  

If you’re planning to take a few weeks or longer off, you should be ready with an action plan on how you’d like to improve your shop’s activity after turning off vacation mode. 

A few methods that have worked for me after coming back from Etsy vacation mode are: 

1. Organizing a storewide sale or promotion

2. Renewing expired listings and adding new product listings to boost search 

3. Optimizing my shop’s and listings SEO 

4. Sending out a notification email to my mailing list 

5. Utilizing Etsy Ads

Your goal should be to increase the search ranks of your product listings with SEO. Etsy SEO is how you can improve your search results significantly by getting your products in front of potential buyers with the right keywords

It is probably a good idea to invest in an SEO tool to improve your search rankings after a long hiatus, I use Sale Samurai, a highly commended Etsy SEO tool. 

If you’re using Etsy vacation mode for more than a few days, have a strategy for once you reopen. 

If you know what you have to do once you turn off Etsy vacation mode, you will be able to increase your sales in time and it will not impact your shop badly. 

Another key factor to consider is how long your shop has been operating. If you’ve been around for a while and have already built a customer base, it might not be as hard for you to bounce back. 

If you’re a new business, it might feel like you’re starting from scratch again. 

Reasons To Not Use Etsy Vacation Mode

Pause, before you make a decision, know that Etsy vacation mode isn’t for every shop. To put Etsy shop on vacation mode for an extended period of time could potentially erase all the effort you’ve put into establishing your presence on the platform.

Especially if you’re new to the platform and when you’re just gaining momentum, it could set you back quite a bit. 

Here are a few reasons why you should consider not using Etsy vacation mode for extended periods of time. 

1. You have a huge repeat customer base. Closing your shop for a few months or longer will break the trust customers have in your brand. 

2. You are losing out on growing your business 

3. Your shop might not do as well as it did before your temporary closure 

4. You may have to put in a lot more hours and spend more on marketing resources to bring your sales up after a long break 

With that being said, if you do not have much of an option, you’ll figure it out once you’re ready to reopen your shop again. All things are possible if you put your mind to it. 

Etsy vacation mode

Alternatives To Using Etsy Vacation Mode 

But hold on, before you turn on vacation mode, you may be interested in exploring other alternatives to vacation mode. 

1. Hiring External Help 

If you’re running your Etsy shop by yourself with no external help, you may need to take a break from time to time to fulfill orders. 

It may be in your best interest to hire external help to create or package orders. This will allow you to take on more orders and you won’t have to temporarily close every time an emergency takes place or you’re going on holiday. 

You could also only hire help seasonally when you know your shop is going to be busy. 

When you decide that hiring is the best option for you, be sure to make the hire well ahead of the time you need to take a break. It will take a few weeks to ensure that your new employee knows how to run the shop without you. 

2. Deactivate Best-selling Product Listings

If hiring someone new is not an option for you, you could temporarily deactivate your best-selling items for a short period of time. 

This is especially helpful when you’ve had a huge influx of orders to catch up with. 

To deactivate your product listings,

1. Go to your “Seller Dashboard” 

2. Click on “Listings” 

3. Click on “Deactivate” 

3. Running A “Late Shipping” Sale 

This is a great way to keep a steady flow of orders coming in even when you’re on vacation! 

Run a sale to offset the delay in shipping. If you do not have sales often, this strategy will work well, provide at least a 10% to 20% discount. 

Your customers will be happy with the discount and will not mind waiting a few extra days to receive the product. 

Just make sure to make space for creating and packing orders when you get back from holiday. ‍

Etsy vacation mode

What To Do Before Deactivating Vacation Mode

1. Notify Your Mailing List 

A day before your shop re-opens, send out an email to your previous customers entailing the details of your return. Update them that you’ll be back to creating items for them. 

Share with the new product releases, what is back in stock, promotions, or sales that you’ll be running when your store re-opens. 

2. Make An Announcement on Social Media 

This works great if most of your customers are already following you and if you have a follower base. 

Announce that you’ll be back to business as usual, maybe be creative about your announcement, throw in a countdown post, and share new products or promotions in the days building up to your store reopening. 

3. Use Etsy Advertising 

An easy and quick way to increase visibility on your listings is to run Etsy ads. 

I advise running ads on your best-selling products first, as it will boost their sold items ratings. This will allow it to appear in organic searches. 

Keep in mind that for the ad to be successful in driving sales, you have to invest in the ad budget. The budget should be able to get a lot of views in a short span of time.

You want to get as many eyes on the listings so that it drives traffic and engagement to increase your shop’s activity. 

A low budget will not be able to achieve this and your ROAS (return on ad spend) will be low too. 

4. Run a Sale 

Providing shoppers with an incentive to buy your products works out well most of the time. Running a sale in conjunction with your store reopening will definitely drive traffic, let me explain why. 

When your listings are for sale, they will appear under the “sales” filter and the sales price will be shown on the listing, which attracts buyers. 

This could potentially increase traffic and activity in your shop that’ll result in higher search rankings and well, sales! 

FAQs On Etsy Vacation Mode

Does Etsy Punish You For Vacation Mode?

No, Etsy does not punish you for vacation mode as it does not impact your shop and its ranking. Nevertheless, when you use Etsy vacation mode, your shop’s listings will be removed from the search results. Your shop may lose traction and experience a drop in relevance and quality rankings on the platform. 

What Happens When You Put Your Etsy Shop On Vacation?

So, what happens when you put your Etsy shop on vacation? When you put your Etsy shop on vacation mode, a message appears on your shop page notifying shoppers that you’re on a break. Your shop will not appear as an auto-suggestion and your items will not appear in Search. 

The shop will still be visible if your shop name is searched for. However, they won’t be able to make a purchase as the add to cart button will be grayed out. 

Can I Put My Etsy Shop On Vacation With Open Orders

Yes, you can put your Etsy shop on vacation with open orders. Communication must be prioritized, sellers should notify customers when the estimated shipping date will be. 

Etsy vacation mode

Long story short, you should absolutely use Etsy vacation mode when you need to take some time off from your business. 

It may take a few days to get the ball rolling again, but there are a few things you can do to speed up the process. 

You can announce your shop’s reopening date on social media, send out an email to your mailing list and run ads promoting your best sellers. 

It would also be good to activate your store a day or two in advance for Etsy to start recognizing your items again. You could also add new listings and new Etsy tags to improve your shop’s SEO. 

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