How To Review Your Own Etsy Shop

When your shop is new, or when you just need a refresher for an older shop, you can do an Etsy shop review on your own shop. It’s pretty easy to go over the basics, and it’s likely that you’ll find something that you can improve.

So what framework should you use to do your own shop review?

To perform a shop review for your own Etsy shop, you can use the Etsy guides for best practices when setting up a shop, Etsy shop checklists, and Youtube videos showing shops being reviewed. All of these sources will have some type of information that can help to guide you as far as what to change or add to your shop. However, you should be careful to avoid advice from people who don’t sell on Etsy, or who don’t have many sales on Etsy.

One thing I’ve noticed from a lot of people who hand out Etsy advice is that they don’t tell you what their shops are, or that they don’t sell on Etsy at all. I’m always suspicious of that, so just be careful.

how to review your own etsy shop

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Table of Contents

Start with an Etsy shop checklist.

Start by going over your shop with a checklist of the best practices that are based on what Etsy says to do, plus experience as far as selling on Etsy goes.

I wrote this article that goes over the basics of my shop checklist, and you can use this as a general guideline and to download the list itself: Etsy Shop ChecklistOpens in a new tab.

When I did the 5-minute shop reviews on YouTube, I basically went over the items on this list to look to see if the shops I was checking had everything in place. Using a list provides a structured way to look at a shop to see if there’s anything obvious that can be added or changed.

Click to see the video.

Follow the Etsy Best Practices.

Etsy has many guides that will go over tips to setting up a shop and how to best promote your business. You can find the articles here: Selling On Etsy.Opens in a new tab.

The issue that I have with a lot of the advice that Etsy hands out is that it directly contradicts itself a lot of the time. I’ve spoken to Etsy reps online who told me to do things that are specifically prohibited in the Etsy Terms Of Service, so you need to be careful.

When you’re trying to figure out if something is “Etsy legal” or not, always err on the side of it not being okay to do. It’s not worth getting your shop shut down after you work to build it up.

So if you’re auditing your own shop and you come across something that you’ve always wondered about, research it according to the terms of service. Don’t rely on Facebook forum opinions, or even the opinions of the Etsy support person who happens to answer your question.

If you’re cautious and don’t take chances, it’s less likely that you’ll get strikes against your shop for violating the rules.

Click to see the video.

Watch video reviews of other shops.

Watching video reviews of other shops can be helpful to find things that you can work on in your own shop.

However, one thing that you need to realize is that it’s really, really easy to go into a shop that’s brand-new and isn’t set up right to give advice. Shops that are older or that are already set up the way that they should be are more difficult to review.

When I do shop reviews I get a little more in-depth with them, and I do things like check out the social media accounts, look at the structure and quality of the sections, check how the shops show up on Google, etc.

There are a lot of things that aren’t necessarily obvious that you can do that might help your shop overall that are more consumer psychology driven than shop structure driven.

If your shop is more established, you might not need to do anything structurally to it to make it better. You could change your banner or update your shop announcement but sometimes that’s all you need to do, if you even need to do that.

If you watch enough videos to verify that you’re already doing the basics, then you can move on to the more complicated nuances of how a shop attracts or repels customers!

Check the things that aren’t obvious.

When you’re reviewing your own shop it’s going to be hard to really get to the meat of why your shop does or doesn’t get the attention that you think it deserves because you’re probably too emotionally attached to it. If you can get a friend who’s willing to really tear into your shop and tell you everything they think you can change to make it easier to shop from, that’s a good way to start.

I’m not saying that you should change everything they say, but getting some uncensored feedback will give you an insight into how people might react when they see your shop.

Let’s talk about an obvious issue that a lot of shops have, which would be politics. Some shops are very heavy on a political perspective, which is fine if that’s your customer base. However, you need to understand that by “picking a side” you’ll immediately alienate 50% of consumers these days.

My point isn’t that you shouldn’t have a perspective, but if you choose to have one of ANY kind, you’ll need to adjust your expectations about what your customers are looking for.

Once you have a realistic idea of your audience and who you’re NOT selling to, you’ll have a better understanding of what kind of marketing you should be doing, and what your shop should look like.

If you’re selling all-natural custom baby clothes, your shop probably shouldn’t look like the clearance department at Walmart.

If you’re selling handmade vegan soap and you sell to people who like the idea of small-batch manufacturing, you might not want your shop to look too mass-produced.

It’s an interesting thing to do, just stand back and try to see your shop through neutral eyes. You might find out that there’s something you’re doing that’s turning off the audience that you want to connect with.

Be honest with yourself.

The hardest part of looking at your own shop is the being honest with yourself part. Generally, when we’re honest with ourselves it means that we’re going to be creating more work for ourselves in the process, so it’s easier to pretend like there’s nothing that needs to be done.

Watch other shop reviews, get the checklist ready, they go through your own shop with as neutral a perspective as you can. Make your list of things to change, and I promise it will help in the long run, even if there are only one or two things that you manage to improve!


Kara Buntin has run a home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 49,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO.

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