Etsy Sales Down In 2018

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One of the most common things that successful Etsy Sellers say is that their Etsy Sales have gone down drastically. We've experienced the same exact thing as well. In some of our Etsy Shops, our sales of gone done. But in others (especially the newest Etsy shops we have), our sales have gone up in 2018. 

Learn the 2 most important things to know about seling on etsy

 
 

If you're Etsy Sales are Down in 2018, here are some things to consider on how to work around the dramatic changes in Etsy.

Remember that you are not in control of what Etsy does with their platform. Their 5% hike increases, their ever-changing algorithm experiments, and their tendency to disregard small artists and focus on their shareholders are all things that Etsy Incorporated is focused on. In order to work around all of those major shifts that Etsy is doing (because they are a large publicly-traded stock), you must learn how to use these changes to your advantage. 

Here are 3 ways to work around the dramatic changes on Etsy in 2018:

  1. Make new stuff. If you have been selling the same things as 2015, 2016 and 2017 as now, one of the reasons your sales are likely down is because you have not changed strategies and starting selling other kinds of products that people want in 2018. You must always continue to be ahead of the curve and develop new things that people want, but not a lot of other people are making.
  2. Don't rely on Etsy's Algorithms. Etsy Algorithms seem to change like crazy more than ever, and not in a good way. Their unreliable algorithms cause instability in the day-to-day searches of customers. The best way around this is to sell products that have high demand and low supply. It's hard to figure this out, but doing a lot of research on selling products and focusing on niche, under-served keywords is the best way to keep getting a lot of visibility on Etsy. Look for niche keywords that no one else is using and focus on capturing small audiences, not big vague keywords like "jewelry" or "dress" or "art", but instead things like "black and white vintage dresses."
  3. Take control of your own Marketing. Think about building your own website and doing your own marketing. Etsy is the best place ever to start a new business and get sales quickly. But once you hit 1000 sales, you should start thinking about how to create monthly stability, and that's by taking control of your own marketing, collecting email addresses with Mailchimp.com, building your own website on Squarespace.com, and drive business to you instead of rely solely on Etsy. 

There is so much opportunity on Etsy, but you have to do it right. Don't sell what everyone else sells. Instead, stay ahead of the game a be a leader in your niche market. 

Learn the 2 most important things to know about selling on Etsy


Have your sales been down in 2018? 

What kind of issues have you seen with selling on Etsy lately? Share your comments below.

Looking Ahead On Etsy In 2018

How can you grow your Etsy Shop in 2018?

Today, I discussed this and much more with Ijeoma of the 'Etsy Conversations' podcast, including:

1) How to deal with the changing Etsy algorithms

2) Keeping your Etsy Shop and working to make it grow

3) Advice for Etsy sellers looking ahead in 2018
 

Tips To Boost Your Christmas Sales On Etsy

If you are set up to offer 1-Day expedited shipping, you are likely able to push your Christmas Sales on Etsy all the way up to December 22nd. 

In the past, Etsy Customers have typically stopped making purchases for Christmas gifts right around December 12th. Most shoppers will start turning back to local shop to do last-minute gift purchases so they don't have to worry about it being shipped on time. 


But as sales online increase every year, you have an historic opportunity to increase your sales on Etsy by offering two things:

1. One-day or two-day expedited shipping through UPS or FedEx (if you are in the U.S.)

2. Gift wrapping or gifting options, which Etsy allows you to offering in your Shop Options panel.


Every year, more and more people are comfortable making last-minute shopping purchases online, because shipping companies know that customers prefer to shop online than go to the stores. And these days, FedEx and UPS are even more reliable than ever to offer last minute shipping on Etsy.

So, if you can afford to put in the time, I recommend you push these last 2 weeks before Christmas to optimize your shop to offer fast shipping, gift options, and promote it clearly on your Etsy Shop. 

Just one note of caution:  If you are in the United States, don't use the US Postal Service (USPS). They do not guarantee fast shipping, and they're super unreliable. In the past, we've had as high as a 10% lost rate from shipping from the USPS. And even though they "say" they insure the item if it is lost, it is impossible to get them to actually get your money back through insurance. So don't even bother with the USPS. 

So get to it! Make these next 2 weeks for Christmas gift shopping your most successful ever on Etsy. 

How To Get Your Etsy Sales Up During The Holidays

When I talk with Etsy Sellers, many of them assume that since the holidays are coming up that their sales are going to go up automatically without any extra work. But this is not the case at all.

While more people do spend money on retail items during October, November and December, you're going to have to put in the extra effort to take advantage of those sales. Otherwise, people are going to buy from other Etsy Shops instead that are prepared for the Holidays and are putting in the extra effort. 

Here are 7 main things I've learned about selling on Etsy during the holidays to help you be appropriately prepared:

  1. If you want to get more sales, you need to put in even more time than ever.
  2. Gifting is a huge part of the holidays, so make sure to feature gifting items based on items you know have been used as gifts in the past. Certain items are better gift ideas than others.
  3. People look for deals during Christmas, so figure out some good discount or coupon strategies that work for your customers.
  4. You don't necessarily need "Christmas" items like Christmas Trees or Snowmen. Most items sold during the holidays are not directly related to Christmas. But they might be more related to cold weather like coats, boots, tableware, and home decor.
  5. Get ready for the Holidays right now, starting today. The peak of Holidays sales is Black Friday which is November 25th. After Black Friday, Holiday sales online quickly decrease. 
  6. Keywords are always your best marketing strategy. You can do newsletter emails and social media, but updating your keywords about every 2 weeks is still going to be the best way to find new customers on Etsy. When people visit Etsy.com, they are usually ready to buy something, and those people are always your best customers.
  7. If you're not sure what to sell for the Holidays, focus on your all-time best sellers - especially the ones that sell well year round. People like classic designs that are popular no matter what time of the year it is. So feature your best sellers, instead of New items that don't have a track record of success. 

So get your Etsy Shop prepared for the Holidays right now. People start thinking about, planning for, and buying for the Holidays as early as October. So take advantage of the busy retail season. If you don't do any extra work, then you'll most likely see a drop in sales. Don't let that happen!

3 Steps For Starting An Etsy Shop

Just getting started on Etsy? The worst thing you can do is wait until that "Perfect" time to get started. The best time to get started in right now, right away. Here are 3 steps you can take right now to kickstart your Etsy Shop and get moving today. 

 

Step 1 - Make 1 Product
If you have not started your Etsy Shop yet, get on it today, even if it is just 1 item. I have managed and worked with over 400 clients in the past 6 years. One of the biggest set backs that most business owners have is that they are afraid to put out their products early. They want everything to be as perfect as possible before anyone sees the items.

The problem with being a perfectionist is that your business never grows, and your ideas just stay in your head. The most important thing you can do to grow your business is to get customer feedback as soon as possible, so that you can develop your products into something that people want to buy. And the only way to do that is to get your products visible in the market place as soon as possible. 

So just start out with 1 product as soon as possible, and get it live on your Etsy shop. Most likely, no one will buy that product. But you need to take that first step.

 

Step 2 - Make 24 Products, Build Keywords, Talk to Customers
Once you have gotten past setting up your Etsy Shop and getting one item up, it's time to start building your shop to somewhere between 24 and 48 products. You don't want to make more than 48 items when you are first starting out, because you need to test your ideas and products before making too much. You also want to test your keywords, your shipping prices, shopping polices, and Item Details to make sure everything is working.  Spend the time each day to make 1 new product, if possible, so that you have at least 24 Items. Don't rush it. Take the time to think it through and watch your Etsy Stats, Keywords, Favorites, and Etsy Conversations.

 

Step 3 - Try to get Sales
Do not wait until you have 24 products to make a sale. Try to get a sale immediately. There are many ways to get a Sale on Etsy early, and you have to be willing to build up sales to 200 Sales about 20 five-star reviews to establish yourself as a credible Etsy Shop. Here are ways to help kickstart your shop:

  • Adjust your prices temporarily for new products, to see if price effects your sales
  • Offer coupon code incentives
  • Get your shipping costs as low as possible
  • Offer "free returns and free shipping" to lower the risk your customers are taking
  • Improve your keywords so that you get more shop visibility
  • Improve your item descriptions and photography
  • Always get back to customer inquiries as soon as possible
  • Always take great care of your customers - you absolutely must have five-star reviews
  • Offer free customizations or alterations to see if you can get more interactions with customers

Focus on these three steps for several months. Keep your products at or under 48 items until you get 200 sales, and get as many five-star reviews as possible. Once you reach that goal, you can start to relax a bit and grow into the next phase of your shop.

Should I Accept Returns & Exchanges On Etsy?

An Etsy Seller Asked:

Based on your Etsy guides, I decided to change my shop policies to allow for returns, exchanges and cancellations. How often in your experience do customers ask for one? I was afraid to do this at first (previously it was "only if I'm at fault for something") because I wasn't sure if it would lead to me being taken advantage of, but that might be a baseless concern. 

We sell about 1000 listings per month, and even with our very generous return policy (which is: Free Returns & Exchanges No Matter What) we probably get 1or 2 refund requests per month. So mostly it's just a marketing tool to increase sales, because most people will not complain after they place their order. You want to eliminate the fear that if your customers are unhappy then they can't get the problem fixed. So by offering very generous return policies and exchanges, your customers will feel more free to purchase your items. Often times, even if the Customer is unhappy with their order, most people won't complain and will not ask for a refund or exchange their item. But in the event that they do, you do not want a 1-Star Review. It is better to give a refund than to get a 1-Star Review and then hurt your future sales. I'm unsure of the exact number for our Etsy Shop, but within the last 3 years, and out of 32,000 Sales, we have probably refunded at the very most 100 people.  That is a 0.3% return rate. So, as long as you sell decent products on Etsy, you should feel confident that most people will not return your items. 

This goes the same for Physical Products. We have sold thousands of products, and we have never had someone ask for a refund. The closest we came to this was that someone was unhappy with the way their item turned out, and gave us a bad review on Etsy. What I did was immediately send them a fixed item, without even talking to them. I simply shipped it in the mail with a $15 USD 1-Day Shipping option. The next day, the customer go their item, and immediately changed their review to 5 Stars. We took care of this customer, gave them a fixed item, and now we have a nearly perfect 5-Star rating for our Physical Items. So having generous Return & Exchange policies is absolutely crucial on Etsy. No one will want to come back as a repeat customer if you messed up and wont even own up to it. It's just better for your business to have a clear "Free Returns" policy.