What NOT To Do When Your Sales On Etsy Slow Down

There are a lot of “what to do when your sales slow down” articles and videos for Etsy sellers, but nobody talks about the things that you shouldn’t do.

I made a list of things that I see people doing that they really shouldn’t do when sales slow down, so here we go…

Table of Contents

Do not redo all of your titles and tags right away.

When you redo your titles and tags, you’re basically removing the information that Etsy uses to identify your listings. When the Etsy search engine sorts through listings, it uses the information from titles and tags to determine what the listing is and who it should be shown to, but if you change things too often it can slow the process down.

Etsy’s new XWalk search algorithm uses information about how customers have interacted with the listing when it’s deciding who to show it to, and changing that information will cause a shift.

Search engines don’t get “confused” in the same way that humans do, but if a listing has a history attached to it, changing the titles and tags won’t change that history.

It will take the search engine time to gather more information about how people are interacting with the listing now, as opposed to before the changes.

If your sales have slowed down and the reason wasn’t the listings, changing the listings can make things worse.

Here’s the exception…If a listing gets no sales and very few views or favorites, changing it is probably fine, regardless of whether your sales are doing well or not. Go ahead and change those titles and tags any time.

click for the video

Do not post all over social media asking if anyone else’s sales are slow.

If you ask the question “Are your sales slow?” You’ll find people who say yes, and you’ll have been sucked into the self-fulfilling prophecy hole.

You could just as easily ask “are your sales going well?” and you’ll probably get people saying yes to that, too. Without any context or any attempt to figure out what’s going on, posting a general complaint will just attract the same thing.

The problem with attracting the same thing is that when you surround yourself with negativity you’ll get complacent.

If “everyone” is seeing slow sales, then it’s not something that you can change. However, there are always things that you can do, even if it’s to gather information then decide whether you want to do anything or just wait it out.

It’s one thing to make that decision and another to decide that the decision is being made for you.

If you want to check in with other sellers, be specific about when your sales slowed down, what you sell, and any other details that could give people context.

Asking a general question like “Are your sales slow” is way too vague, and will only receive vague responses and people complaining.

I wrote another article about how you can check to see if your slow sales are “normal” or not, so click here for more information on that: How To Know If Slow Sales Are “Normal” Or Not.

visits chart from the Etsy stats

Do not start a website out of desperation.

Don’t wait until you feel like you HAVE to start a website, start one now. Selling on your own website is totally different than selling on a platform is, and it takes a year or more to really build a website to the point of sustainability as far as organic search goes.

If you wait to start a website until you’re under pressure, it’s going to make it a lot harder. Starting a website NOW is important so that you don’t need to panic and HAVE to start one.

Trust me, you don’t want to have to build something from scratch while you’re worried about your income, it will only complicate the process.

If Etsy is your main source of income, and your Etsy sales have slowed, paying attention to Etsy is what you should be doing.

Definitely start building a website now so that you can work on it when you can, but if you need to focus on Etsy that’s where you should be putting your energy.

Image saying what not to do when your sales on Etsy slow down

Do not assume that everything is fine on the technical side.

This relates to posting about your slow sales without adding any context, because the “misery loves company” responses can make you complacent.

However, checking in with other sellers to see if they’ve noticed anything different by asking specific things can help to put things in context.

If you’re seeing patterns that align with other sellers’ experiences, you might have discovered a glitch that needs to be examined.

You should definitely check in the Etsy Technical Issues forum first to see if other people are reporting any bugs that you’re also seeing.

Gather information but don’t participate by posting. Etsy does have technical issues that can affect sales, like shops being de-indexed by accident, or problems with how the checkout is working.

It’s important to eliminate the possibility of technical issues. To check for de-indexing, make sure that you can find your shop in search results by searching for the full title of one of your listings. If it comes up in search, you’re indexed.

Remember that Etsy is using personalized search now, so the position that your listings are seen in will vary from customer to customer. You might not see your listing on the first page of search, but someone searching for a slightly different keyword might.

Get another seller to try putting things in their cart to see if your shop is acting strangely on their end. If everything seems to be fine, checkout is probably not the problem.

If they run into shopping cart glitches, you’ll need to contact Etsy to have them look into the problem.

Image with text saying what not to do when your etsy sales slow down.

DO NOT edit your bestseller listings.

Editing your bestseller listings is the worst idea ever. Just don’t do it. A listing is a bestseller because Etsy continues to show it to customers, and they continue to buy it.

The basic fact is that over 80% of all sales from search come from the first page of search results, so a shift to page 2 can severely affect your sales.

The listing could be the best product ever created, but if it’s not on page 1 the likelihood of a sale is diminished.

If you change the listing in any way, you might be changing the one thing that keeps Etsy showing that listing, or the thing that makes customers respond positively to it.

Other than the sales history, you don’t know why a listing keeps being selected for first-page placement, so if something is working, don’t try to “fix” it. I promise it won’t be a good thing.

click for the video

Leave the listing alone and watch your analytics in Google to see what page it’s being seen on. This video will help you figure out where your listing was when a customer clicked on it, and you’ll be able to see if you’re still being found on page 1 or not.

If you’re not seeing first-page results on your bestsellers, you’ll know that something odd is going on, and you should probably contact Etsy.

They’re usually pretty interested if they hear that a bestseller isn’t being seen on page 1 for specific search results, because they want to make sales, too!

If your sales have slowed down, what you DON’T do is almost as important as what you should be doing.

Knee-jerk reactions are generally bad, and not doing anything is also bad. Gathering information and forming a plan of attack is the best option.

Never freak out and make huge changes to your shop, that won’t help you out in the long run!


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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