If you’re trying to start an Etsy shop and you want to know how to not be terrible at it, you should definitely keep reading this list of the 10 least successful Etsy shops and why they are failing.
Selling stuff online is kind of hard. It requires work and some amount of business savvy I’d imagine. I don’t have that kind of patience or skill. I’m sure my shop would be on this list you’re about to read, to be honest. I’m also not that crafty, but that’s beside the point. I can’t imagine trying to sustain a successful Etsy shop and I’m proud of every single person that’s been able to.
Etsy made its online debut 11 years ago and has attracted a lot of successful sellers. It has about 1.7 million active sellers and 27.1 million active buyers. Like all other businesses, some have hit the jackpot and some have hit rock bottom. There are two sides of this, though. Etsy has a niche of items that tend to do really well, as shown on our list of the 10 Best Things To Sell On Etsy To Make Money, while other shops just tend to not do as well for not selling just the right type of item. There are a wide variety of reasons for this, like shortcomings in SEO, marketing, and even pictures you post. Sometimes online selling just takes luck.
Failing at Etsy doesn’t mean you’re not good at online selling in general since Etsy isn’t the only online marketplace. This article simply lists some specific Etsy mistakes and shortcomings that can guide you in a better direction. Because it’s hard to find specific shop names that have failed because of lack of information (people tend to not promote bad shops), we decided instead to search for the types of shops that are least successful. The data was sourced from Etsy’s Forum and Discussion page and Etsy’s Seller Handbook.
Keep on reading to find out what not to sell on Etsy:
10. Jewelry shops
It’s crazy to see that this is on our list since jewelry is arguably one of the best selling Etsy items. The reason it made it to our list is because it’s such a popular product, making it difficult to get attention when you’re new.
9. Mug shops
Customized mugs are seasonal and really hard to sell. There are so many types of them, which could be partly the reason why they’re not successful. These require a lot of detailed tags and titles on posts, and the lack of success could be linked to a lack of proper tagging. When listing mugs, it’s best to list by material (i.e. clay, glass, etc.), print, theme, among others. The more specific you are, the higher you’ll rank in search results.
8. T-shirt shops
Like jewelry, the main problem with these shops, why they are least successful Etsy shops and why they are failing is the competition. SEO will be your best friend if you’re trying to sell shirts. While Esty functions as a marketplace, it essentially works as a sort of search engine. It’s crucial for you to properly tag and title your posts or you’ll fall through the cracks.
7. Purse and wallet shops
Etsy has always been dubbed as the best place to sell handmade goods online. While Etsy allows you to sell purses and wallets, the market isn’t really interested in it. There are quite a low number of successful purse and wallet shops, which proves it’s probably not a good option.
6. Pallet shops
People who into DIY flock to Etsy for supplies. However, stuff that they can make themselves don’t tend to do well, which is why this ended up number six on the list of 10 least successful Esty shops and why they’re failing. These are failing because the sellers probably didn’t think about the practicality aspect.
5. Photo shops
This is another case of shops selling in a very competitive category. But why photo shops are the least successful Etsy shops and why they are failing? It’s natural for these to sell longer because it would take time for them to be noticed. Etsy users can all attest to the fact that one of the biggest and most common problems about Etsy is that it’s difficult to get attention.
4. Metal art shops
Not only do they tend to make a profit that isn’t very sustainable, but they also have products that take longer to sell out. Some shops sell items that take them some time to get to customers, but still succeed because the capital isn’t much, to begin with. Metal art is expensive because of its raw materials and the time spent to make it. The shops fail probably because they were not able to see the preferences of Etsy buyers. Now, let’s see which are the least successful Etsy shops and why they are failing.
3. Keychain shops
Keychains aren’t really the problem here. The culprit is mostly how items are presented. Etsy has so many sellers swamping the product feed, so you have to make sure you’ve mastered SEO, descriptions, and photos to grab attention.
2. Pillow and sheets shops
The category here is so wide that it’s hard to become successful. It’s hard to find a particular niche, which would make it easier to make it big.
1. Seasonal product shops
Seasonal items include Christmas ornaments, Valentine’s Day gifts, and other products only deemed useful for a short period of time. In order to make a successful shop, it has to be long lasting, and these products just don’t last more than a season.
Take a cue from these examples of the 10 least successful Etsy shops and why they are failing and take your store a little more seriously. Be creative, but make sure not to fall into a trap that could send your shop sinking.