50 Reasons You're Not Getting Etsy Sales - Self Evaluation

Tuesday, June 10, 2014


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I just got finished reading 50 Reasons You're Not Getting Etsy Sales from Handmadeology, and it was certainly an eye-opener. I'm not going to lie, my Etsy shop has had a very slow start. I've had it for a few years and I have made a whopping...2 sales. Total. I've sold more in a few hours at a craft fair. I'm not about to give up though, I'm a Gryffindor! So my latest goal is to check off all 50 reasons in this list and see if that changes anything. I'll be going back to this a few times so think of this as a mini series here on my blog. If you have an Etsy shop, consider doing this with me! If not...*shameless self promotion* check out my shop...? :) http://nerdy-monsters.com

1. You don't have enough items.
Currently I have just about one page of products. It's recommended to have 2 or 3 full pages. That's a lot of products (and Etsy fees) but I am working towards reaching this.
Status: In-Progress

2. You don’t list often enough.  
This year I've added at least one thing each month, but in months with more than one new listing...I've added them all at the same time. I guess this needs work as well.
Status: In-Progress  

3. Your product photography “could use some work.”  
I actually think I'm not too bad at this. I have a lighting kit and a DSLR so the quality is not what I'm worried about. I do think I could use more 'in action' shots. I'll put in 50% more effort for this month's new product and see if that yields any results.
Status: In-Progress   

 4. You forgot to include dimensions.
I'm actually a bit inconsistent about this. About half of my items have dimensions and half don't. This is a very good observation and something I need to pay more attention to.
Status: In-Progress   

5. You’re directing people offsite.
Not in my product descriptions! I direct them back to my Etsy shop front.
Status: Complete

6. Your descriptions are lacking. 
I think I got this. Some are better than others but it is something I am thinking of each time I list or renew an item.
Status: Complete

7. You just got started. 
Ha. Ha ha, no.
Status: Complete

8. You don’t have any reviews yet. 
I've got two sales and two reviews, both 5 stars. Boo-ya!
Status: Complete

9. You have poor reviews. 
Thankfully no.
Status: Complete  

10. You’re not on social media.  
Nerdy Monsters are on social media. (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) Am I being smart about it though? For the sake of this list I'll say that it's fine but I do want to improve my strategies.
Status: Complete  

11. Your items don’t stand out.  
This is something I really try and focus on! The Nerdy Monsters themselves were something born out of my imagination and completely original. I'll admit the rest of my items (buttons, hairbows, etc.) are not as original in their design but they complement the main focus of my shop; plush creations. I have a few other plush related different items up my sleeves that I can't wait to show everyone!
Status: Complete

12. You aren’t being featured outside of Etsy.  
I am, a bit. I've been on blogs and such. I defiantly try to keep this happening. However, every time I've participated in a giveaway on another website or blog, it's never led to sales. Sure it's increased my social media, but that's not the same. I'm doing this but maybe not as well as I could have. I'm going to keep working on this.
Status: In-Progress  

13. You aren’t being featured on Etsy.  
Not at all. I'll try joining some treasury teams, but this sort of thing is mostly out of my control.
Status: In-Progress    

14. You aren’t optimizing your titles.  
Optimizing is what I do for my day job...so...I'd better be doing this!
Status: Complete

15. You are cramming too much into your titles.  
This one's half and half. I need to be better about being specific rather than general.
Status: In-Progress  

16. Your target market isn’t clear.  
I'm not sure about this. I think I'm doing okay at keeping my target market (female, college-age, nerdy, collectors) but I'll admit there are a few items that might not completely fit in.
Status: In-Progress 

17. You ignore your current customers.  
I don't really have recurring current customers yet...but when it happens I will not ignore them!
Status: Complete

18. You don’t accept custom orders.  
I LOVE custom orders! Please please please ask me about custom orders. I am willing to work with you!
Status: Complete

19. Your shop is all over the place.  
I think I've got this under control. If any of you disagree, let me know.
Status: Complete

20. You haven’t listed anything new in a loooooong time. 
I am releasing a new product every month this year!
Status: Complete

21. You never talk about your shop in person.  
I...need new business cards. I try and talk about it in person but I'm too humble. I need to work on that.
Status: In-Progress  

22. You don’t network with other sellers.  
I am constantly emailing and messaging other sellers about advice and tips. I also love making friends who sell handmade. It's great for collaborating, cross-promotion, and splitting table costs at craft fairs.
Status: Complete

23. You aren’t blogging.  
Well of course I blog, I'm blogging right now. I think I could stand to blog about my shop (without seeming like an ad) a bit more, but I need to really make those posts fun and interesting before I take that route.
Status: Complete

24. You haven’t been keeping up with Etsy’s changes.  
Oh, I keep up with change.
Status: Complete

25. You aren’t tracking where the views are coming from.  
Ugggggg, no. I have not been doing this at all. It's what I do for my day job so I have no excuse (Except for maybe being sick of it) Will work on this.
Status: In-Progress 

26. Your shop looks neglected.  
I'm always on my shop and tweaking it here and there.
Status: Complete

27. You take your sweet time to ship.  
The post office scares me, seriously, yet I am pretty quick about shipping things out! My shop states 3-5 days from purchase to shipping and it's usually closer to 3. Whooo! I'm sticking to this.
Status: Complete

28. You look like a faceless corporation.  
In the past I've fell into the trap of saying 'we' rather than 'I' when it's just me behind the shop. (Ok, sometimes my mom makes stuff, does that count as 'we'?) However, I'm pretty public about Nerdy Monsters being the brain child of MagicCatJenny (me). So, I think I've got this one down.
Status: Complete

29. You’re lying.  
Eww, no. Just no.
Status: Complete

30. You’re begging for sales.  
I really hope I don't come off as desperate. I'm honest as to the state of my shop, but I in no way mean to guilt anyone into buying from be because of that. In fact, I'm rather scared about sharing my new Patreon page because I don't want to come off as begging. (whoops, told you)
Status: Complete

31. You copy other sellers. 
I certainly don't feel as if I copy other sellers. Nerdy Monsters were born purely from my imagination. I may take inspiration from many places but I don't straight up copy. Sure, many people make hairbows and buttons, but I really try and put my own spin on things.
Status: Complete

32. You don’t pay attention to suggestions.  
I'll admit, unless it's a commissioned custom order, I've kind of ignored these. I read once that you should never make things people ask for unless they are ordering it from you. I'm going to re-think this and see if it's really that bad to try out suggestions even if they go nowhere. Open mind time!
Status: In-Progress  

33. You’re breaking copyright or trademark laws.  
This one is a super gray area when you are dealing with fan-art or fan anything... I am not breaking any laws and am being careful, but having 'inspired by' work is always a bit blurry. This is not something I've ignored though, and I believe I am in the right with my shop. If you think otherwise, I'd be happy to hear what you have to say.
Status: Complete

34. Your prices are too low.  
I've always had trouble pricing my items. If I go to high my target demo (teenagers) can't afford it, but if I go too low I wind up in that "what's wrong with it?" space. I've recently increased some prices to hopefully avoid that, but this is always a work in progress.
Status: In-Progress 

35. Your prices are too high.  
Nope, not the case. Defiantly the former.
Status: Complete  

36. You haven’t developed a memorable brand or style.
The Nerdy Monsters themselves are there but the rest...not so much.
Status: In-Progress  

37. You forget to respond to messages. 
I don't get many messages yet. So I always always respond asap!
Status: Complete

38. You’re waiting instead of working. 
I'm always creating new things! The sales are slow (and have been slow) but I enjoy the entire process of owning a shop and I know it will take time before things take off. I guess this is another way of saying 'don't give up'. I haven't.
Status: Complete

39. You aren’t offering combined shipping.  
I do this, but until someone purchases more than one item I can't say I have this completely perfect yet. I'll get there.
Status: In-Progress  

40. You aren’t offering a variety of products to choose from. 
Oh yeah, with a new product every month of the year, I got this.
Status: Complete

41. You’re making it all about YOU.  
I think this is on the right track. I have a separate  Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for my shop and the monsters. I, however, don't update them as much as my personals. I'm sure there is more I can do as well.
Status: In-Progress  

42. You aren’t collecting e-mail subscribers.  
I do this! However it's not super popular yet. I send out one email per month (maybe I can do more?) I realized there was no link in my actual Etsy shop, so...now there is!  http://bit.ly/monstercat-email
Status: Complete

43. You don’t offer multiple payment options.  
My direct checkout is totally turned on. That means shoppers can pay with Pay Pal, credit card, debit card, or Etsy Gift Card. Bam!
Status: Complete

44. You don’t ship internationally.  
I do this! Though I've only ever shipped to the US from Etsy, I have shipped lots of goodies over seas to giveaway winners in the past.
Status: Complete

45. You don’t have an avatar image.  
Oh, I never not have an avatar image. Done and done.
 
Status: Complete

46. You haven’t filled out your shop policies.  
I update these all the time. The more I sell the more I lean. This place will never be 'complete' but I am aware of it's importance so...
Status: Complete

47. Your “trendy” products are outdated.  
Nope. I'm on trend. ;)
Status: Complete

48. Your shop is flooded with spelling and grammar mistakes.  
I've checked and I'm pretty sure everything is okay. However, I have a hard time noticing things like spelling and grammar. I read so much those things fade in the background. So, if you notice any mistakes in my shop, I would greatly appreciate a private note about it.
Status: Complete (i think)

49. You aren’t directing people back to your store front.  
I wasn't doing this!! Now, each item description has this at the bottom:  To see more of my plushies, hairbows, buttons and more, check out my store, Nerdy Monsters! http://nerdy-monsters.com
Status: Complete

50. You aren’t drawing from multiple revenue streams.  
I'm still contemplating whether or not this is something I'm going to do. Should I list PDF tutorials or patterns? I think this is probably the last thing (and it is last on the list) to fix.
Status: In-Progress








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