Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Etsy can be a great platform for small business owners to showcase and sell their products and services, using Etsy as their online store.

But there are some common mistakes Etsy sellers make that may impact their success on the platform.

In this blog I’ll share Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid, to help make sure you stick with best practices on the platform, to optimise the success of your Etsy business.

Let’s dive in.

Etsy Strategy

Whenever you list any new products or services in your Etsy store, it’s essential that you create well-crafted Etsy listings, to attract customers and make sales. 

A big part of doing this means understanding that Etsy is at heart like other search engines (google, pinterest), and is therefore an seo driven platform. 

This means you have to make sure your listings use good practice with Etsy seo, so that your products stand the best chance of being found by potential customers.

Using good Etsy seo strategy will help Etsy rank your products, giving them a greater chance of showing up early in search results.

Additionally, there are strategies Etsy wants you to use inside the platform, to ensure any Etsy customers have a great experience when shopping inside Etsy,  and with you.

Here are Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes that are more common that you may think, and are mistakes you should avoid.

Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 1: Poor Product Photography

Low-quality and/or unappealing listing photos can turn potential Etsy buyers away. 

Etsy is predominantly a visual platform. 

Your product listings should have the best photographs you can create.

Those images should clearly demonstrate to potential customers what your product is, how it works, and what it looks like. 

I see many Etsy sellers use poor photography, where it’s apparent little effort has been made with those images. 

You would probably not want to walk into a shoe shop if the window display had shoes lying around all over the place, without any professional display or organisation. 

Your Etsy store is no different. The photography for your product listings are your shop window.

Additionally, whilst Etsy allows you to list ten images and one video for each of your product listings, I see many instances where Etsy sellers use only one or two images.

That leaves on the table a lot of photography that could be being used to really showcase products to Etsy customers.

Some tips around photography for your Etsy listings:

  • Make sure you take your photographs in good lighting, and natural lighting where possible, so that potential customers can see the true colours of the product.
  • Have nice backgrounds for your products on Etsy. Putting them on the stained kitchen table with all your kitchen table mess on show is highly unprofessional, and makes it look like you don’t care.
  • Show all the different angles of your product, so that potential customers can really get a sense of the full look and feel of the product.
  • Show the product in use. For example, if you sell earrings – show a pair being worn so that Etsy customers can see the scale and fit of the product you sell.
  • Make sure you make use of the 1 video available for each of your listings, don’t ignore that opportunity to bring your products to life in video format.

Mistake 2: Incomplete Product Titles And Descriptions

Because Etsy is an SEO optimised platform, the use of appropriate keywords in your product titles and product descriptions is important.

It’s also necessary to make sure you create complete product descriptions, so that your audience really understands what the product is and how it helps.

I have seen Etsy listings with titles such as “planner, downloadable PDF”.

That title says very little about what the product is other than that it is a planner of some sort, but it does not make it clear to Etsy customers what type of planner, who it is for, what size it is etc..

Incomplete or vague product titles and descriptions can leave customers with unanswered questions.

Your role as the Etsy store owner is to make sure you give as much information about your products as possible.

At the same time you should make sure you have keyword optimised your product titles and descriptions to help with Etsy seo.

Some tips around product listing titles and descriptions:

  • Make sure you provide guidance to Etsy customers around crucial details like sizes, colours, materials and care instructions.
  • Be clear about what the product is, how it helps, how it functions.
  • Do your research, and use suitable Etsy keywords in your product title and your product description.
  • Don’t be over spammy with keywords.
  • Write your product descriptions in a way that makes them more friendly – a bit like telling your best friend everything about your product and how awesome it is. This helps people see a human behind your brand.
  • Make clear any policies around shipping, downloading, returns, refunds, estimated delivery times etc., so that your customer is fully aware of how and when they will receive their purchases.
Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 3: Ignoring SEO

The significance of search engine optimization for Etsy cannot be ignored.

The entire platform works off seo, and keyword optimisation inside the platform is key to your products showing up in Etsy search results.

I see many Etsy sellers create listings without any seo/keywords attached to their listings, and then they wonder why they’re not selling products inside the platform.

Etsy is a great place to sell your products, but you have to be aware of good Etsy strategy if you want your products to be found.

And at the very heart of that strategy is keyword optimisation to help with Etsy seo.

Researching appropriate keywords for all of your listings is important.

Using those keywords for your product tags (you have 13 available to you for each listing limited to 20 characters for the keyword) is essential.

Having some of those keywords in your product titles and descriptions will be fundamental to your products being placed in front of Etsy customers who are using Etsy’s search bar to find what they want. 

Here are some Etsy seo tips:

  • Use relevant keywords in your listing title, and in your item description to increase the chances of your products being seen.
  • Use relevant keywords in your tags, to help Etsy understand what your product is, and to show that product to Etsy customers using Etsy search.
  • Do research inside Etsy using the search bar to find keywords relevant to your niche and your products.
  • Do research inside platforms like erank or Marmalead, to help you find the best performing keywords, and to see what keywords your competitors are using on similar products to yours.
  • Do the hard work with keyword research up front, to save you time and frustration of poor results on Etsy.

Mistake 4: Neglecting Pricing Strategy

This is probably one of the biggest mistakes when selling on Etsy.

You want your own Etsy shop to do well on the platform, and you want to make plenty of Etsy sales. I get that.

However, sometimes Etsy sellers do this at the cost of making suitable profit in their online shop.

Etsy is a competitive marketplace, and many Etsy sellers feel the pressure to compete on price.

They sometimes do this to the extent that they don’t have a great enough profit margin on each product, to maintain their Etsy store, or their business for the longer time.

There will always be sellers on Etsy willing to let their products go for a pittance.

It is bad strategy to feel that you have to compete with that.

Neglecting good pricing strategy is the downfall of many Etsy sellers who go out of business.

Your pricing strategy does need to fit the market you serve, but you must also make sure you price appriopriately, so that you can make enough profit from the sales you make to sustain your small business, and pay you a decent wage.

Here are some tips around pricing strategy on Etsy:

  • Do not underprice your products in an attempt to compete with other Etsy sellers, if that leaves you without profit on the items you sell.
  • If you want people to buy your products, and you know you have to charge more than other sellers, add value by way of bonuses, quality of service, speed of delivery.
  • Etsy customers want their journeys inside the platform to be easy, and to feel they are getting value for money. Adding value through bonuses can do this.
  • Don’t overprice your products to the extent that you price yourself out of the audience who are your target market on Etsy. 
  • Calculate costs for every product, including materials, time invested in making the products, time invested in packing and shipping the products.
  • There is simply no point you selling a product on Etsy if the end result is that you’re paying yourself £5.00 an hour doing so.
  • Be bold enough to stand by the prices you charge, and know that there are Etsy sellers making huge profits selling their products that are priced towards the higher end when compared to their competitors.
Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 5: Inadequate Product Titles

I’ve touched on this in Mistake 2 above.

Let’s dive a little deeper.  

When anyone searches for a product inside Etsy, the first thing they will see are the visuals of products available, with a small amount of text below the visuals (this is your listing title), and below that will be a review score (see Mistake 6 below), followed by the price of the item.  

If an Etsy customer clicks the image of your product that they see in Etsy’s home feed, they then see a larger image, the price of the product, the listing title, and below that other information including est. arrival times, delivery costs, ratings (from your reviews) and the full product description.

Whilst many people will scan your product description, it’s likely they will read your listing title in full.

You have a very short window and  just a few characters available in the listing title (140 characters), to encourage Etsy customers to stay with you, read your product description, and more importantly, buy your product.

So let’s say you have a planner you want to sell.  

Instead of using the listing title to say ‘planner, pdf downloadable‘ which is very vague.

You could instead say ‘printable business planner, undated for small business: product and social media templates, finance tracker, mailing list planner, daily schedule

There’s much more incentive in the second example to encourage people to read more, to scroll through your images, to make a buying decision.

Here are some Product Title Tips:

  • Research keywords for your product title in Etsy, erank or marmalead.
  • Use all of the characters available to you in your listing title (120 characters) to give factual information, with some keywords added in to let people know exactly what you are selling.
  • Rather than just keyword dump in your listing title, try to make it make sense!
  • Remember your listing title when created with keywords, will help Etsy understand what the product is, so they can index that product to show up in the right searches being made in the platform.
  • Your listing titles need to be keyword rich, and compelling enough to make people want to learn more and buy.

Mistake 6: Neglecting Customer Reviews And Feedback

Did you know that Etsy search has a filter that allows people to search for products by reviews given?

And that a whopping 80% of people in Etsy will check reviews? This is how important reviews are.

There are plenty of Etsy sellers who don’t pay enough attention to the importance of reviews for their products and services.

Don’t be one of those people.

High quality reviews can be the best way to encourage people to make purchasing decisions from you.

Here are some tips for Customer Reviews and Feedback in Etsy:

  • Whenever you make a sale, at some point soon after you know the customer has received their goods and had chance to use them, send an automated Etsy message thanking them for their purchase, letting them know they can message you with any questions, and ask them politely for a review.
  • Not all your customers will be willing to leave a review. Don’t over-pressure them with too many spammy messages asking for this, it could impact your Etsy success.
  • Whenever any customer leaves you a positive review ALWAYS take the time to respond and thank them.
  • If a customer leaves you an unfair/unjust review that is not appropriate or true, raise it with Etsy to ask for the review to be removed.
  • Too many bad reviews can result in your Etsy customer satisfaction rating dropping below the required percentage (95% at the time of writing this post), and that could cause Etsy to close your store down.
  • If anyone leaves a negative review, if you know you have failed that customer – do what you need to put the matter right. 
Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 7: Overlooking Shipping and Delivery

Shipping and delivery can be quite a minefield on Etsy, because Etsy likes free shipping, and a lot of Etsy customers filter their searches to only those products with free shipping.

However. I have seen Etsy sellers offer free shipping on products that means the cost of shipping falls to the Etsy seller, and that then impacts them making any profit on the items they sell.

Shipping costs and delivery times can impact a buyer’s decision, but you also have to be certain that you’re not destroying the profitability of your business by offering a free shipping and delivery service you can’t afford to absorb.

Some tips on shipping and delivery:

  • You can build shipping costs into the price of your product, so that the buyer can see the actual price they will pay.
  • You can bundle products together, so that the customer buys more at the point of sale and that gives you flexibility to offer lower or free shipping.
  • You should make your shipping and delivery policies very clear – and I would suggest making sure this information appears in every product description.
  • Do not offer free shipping if you know that doing so takes away any profit you are able to make selling your products on the platform.

Mistake 8: Failing To Update Listings

There are many, many Etsy stores that are old, stale and not kept up to date. Those stores do not provide a good shopping experience for their target audience on Etsy.

It’s important to keep your entire Etsy store fresh and up to date on a regular basis, and yes, that includes your Etsy listings. 

Here are some tips around updating your Etsy listings:

  • Re-visit older listings to refresh them, and keep them up to date.
  • Do not refresh listings too soon. Wait at least 3 months.
  • Etsy likes you to be in the platform, working to keep your store fresh, do not ignore this.
  • Some sellers prefer to duplicate a listing to refresh the duplicate, rather than mess with the original listing. It’s ok to test this.
  • Continuously do your keyword research to make sure you have all of your product listings keyword optimised.
Ten Etsy Listing Mistakes To Avoid

Mistake 9: Poor Customer Engagement

Don’t you just hate it when you have to communicate with a business you pay money to, and you get the sense that the business is completely disinterested in you, or worse, you have a hard time making contact with that business at all?

This happens on Etsy.

It’s a mistake to avoid. Lack of good communication can deter potential buyers or current customers from ever doing business with you again.

Here are some tips around Customer Engagement:

  • If you receive a message or email from any Etsy customer or potential buyer ALWAYS respond.
  • Try to make sure you respond to customer engagement in a timely manner (within 24-48 hours).
  • Make sure your customers can see that you value them when you have any contact with them.
  • Try to help with all queries promptly and professionally.

Mistake 10: Neglecting Analytics And Data

Etsy gives you some great metrics you can track to analyze your Etsy shop’s performance.  

It’s worth keeping an eye on that data, so that you can use it to positively impact your Etsy store.

There are Etsy sellers who fail to spend enough time in their own Etsy store looking at what is working and what is not.

That’s a mistake, the repercussion of which can be their Etsy store failing.

A good example of this is a store owner who keeps churning out more and more of the same product, when the product is failing to sell.

There has to be strategy around the way you run your Etsy store.

So if your metrics are telling you that one product type is having a great deal more success than another, that’s information to take away and use.

You increase the variety of products that do sell, and either pivot away from, or change the products that aren’t selling.

Of course, products failing to sell can happen for all sorts of reasons.

You should be prepared to do the work to see if you can identify why there’s a lack of interest in any product you sell (too much competition, no market requirement, underpricing or overpricing, poor listings with little or zero keyword optimisation for example).

Here are some Analytics and Data Tips For Your Etsy Store:

  • Use your metrics to review the progress and success of everything you do on Etsy.
  • Use your metrics to track which of your products are getting the most views, but perhaps aren’t selling.
  • Try to figure out why those products are not selling despite the views, and make a plan of action to tackle any red flags you find.
  • Use your metrics to see which products have zero interest (giving them enough time to get some traction on Etsy first).
  • Use that information to inform you to make a decision about what to do with those products moving forwards.
  • Use your metrics to identify where the traffic sources to your Etsy store are coming from. This could be from inside Etsy, from Etsy ads if you run them, from direct traffic, social media, etsy search, marketing and seo.
  • If you can see that, for example, your social media marketing is bringing traffic, do more of that.
  • Figure out what you need to do in the spaces that aren’t bringing the traffic and take action to change that.


It’s important that you understand how to properly manage your etsy account, etsy store and etsy listings so that you make best use of Etsy to sell your handmade products, digital products or other products/services on the platform.

Avoiding the biggest mistakes outlined above, and following the good Etsy tips I have shared, will go a long way to helping you achieve success on the platform.

Additional Support

I have two other blog posts about your success on Etsy you might find useful. You can read them here:




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