Etsy shop critique checklist

Free Etsy Shop Critiques DIY Do it YourselfWhen I'm reading Etsy shop critiques on the forums, I see the same suggestions coming up over and over. I've rounded up my observations into one place, so if you're a new Etsy seller (or even an old one!), I have some basic things you should make sure you've done to help make your shop effective.

Let me start by saying I'm not pretending to know it all - my shop has only been open for two months. I don't assume I know the 'secret' to Etsy success. But I'm an avid reader of the forums, and I've achieved modest sales in my shop, and these are the basic suggestions that every Etsy shop should take into account. Read more below.

On your shop front:
Shop Banner. If someone is stumbling into your shop, this is the first thing they are going to see. Make it attractive, certainly, but we're not all graphic designers. The most important thing is that your banner should tell something about your shop. Put your shop's name (and your Etsy username, if the two are different) in a prominent place, your logo if you have one, and either photos or a description of your product. A name without an explanation is practically worthless, and ditto yummy product photos without your name attached to them.
Featured items. Etsy gives you the opportunity to place any three items at the top of your shop, so use it! It's a great way to displace your favorite items, best sellers, or what's on sale.
Creat Sections for Shopping Ease. Sections make it much easier for a buyer to browse your Etsy shop. Try not to make your sections too broad, but don't create too many either. 4 to 7 sections is a good ballpark number to have, depending on what you're selling and how diverse your shop it.

Filling out your account:
Pretty much everything there is to fill out, you should fill out. The more information available about your shop, the better.

Etsy Seller Profile. Tell something about you, why you're doing this, how long you've been doing it, how much you love it. Fill out your location too, so local buyers can find you.
Shop Policies. This is important! Please fill it out, at least put something there about how you ship and what your return policy is.
Shop announcement. There are varying opinions on what you should put in your announcement and how long it should be, but I'm of the opinion that it should be kept brief. Just put a line or two about your Etsy shop, maybe a link to your blog or something, and any promotion you might have going on. More in-depth info can go in your shop policies or profile.
Shipping. Keep your shipping prices reasonable, naturally, but don't feel like you have to compete with other people's shipping prices. My prices are actual shipping plus a few bucks to cover packaging, and I offer a discount if people ask for recycled packaging. Do offer international shipping, if you're able. It isn't that much harder than domestic, and you open yourself up to a whole new range of buyers. And make it easy for buyers. If someone has to convo you for a shipping quote, they're probably just going to move on to someone who has an "Everywhere else" shipping option built-in.
I made Yarn by Joyuna handspun yarn Etsy shop icon avatarMember Avatar. Upload an avatar for yourself. It can be your logo, one of your items, or just something that you feel represents you. My avatar is a closeup of my handspun yarn. Your icon is your face on Etsy, so when you're posting in the forums or hearting other peoples' items, they'll recognize it as you.

Item Listings:
Good photos. This is tough, and it's one of the things I need to work on myself. Use natural light, or a lightbox if you have one. Don't use flash. Flash will wash out your item, and make it look pretty horrible. Even if you can't take great photos, you can improve them immensely by editing them in a graphics program such as Photoshop or the GIMP. Learn how to crop, resize, adjust the brightness, contrast, levels and saturation, and even mediocre photos can turn out appealing.
Item Titles. Your title should tell what the item is. "But everything in my shop is [soap, jewelry, paper, yarn, whatever]!", you protest. "I like my creative minimalist titles!" Well, sorry, but even if you only sell one thing, if a person is looking through some search results, they don't know that. You can have creative names and descriptive titles at the same time. Play around with what naming convention works for you.
Listing Descriptions. Descriptions should be, well... descriptive. Tell me what the item is, and what it does. Tell me how big it is, and what colors it is. Pretend that I can't even see your photos. Especially since monitor settings vary, it's important to have good color descriptions. Numerical measurements are good, and measurements in both imperial and metric are best.
Item Tags. Tags are IMPORTANT. Tags are how you get found on search. Speaking as a long-time Etsy buyer, I hardly ever buy something without using search. You get 14 tags. It's really important to use them all. Tag for colors, materials, aesthetics, anything. Is your item girly? Steampunk? Retro? Elegant? Warm colors or cool? Fuzzy or smooth? Cute or edgy? Anything that you think people will search for to find your item, that isn't in the title, should go in the tags.

This isn't everything you can do to make your shop the best it can be, but it's a start. Think of this as a preliminary Etsy shop critique. If you follow these above outlined steps, you'll at least be ahead of a good number of other new Etsy users. Plus, it'll make your customers' buying experience a much easier one, because you'll have presented your shop and items in an informative, easy-to-use way.



  1. That's quite thorough, thanks for the info:)

  2. This was excellent. Thank you. :-)

  3. Great list! The etsy forums have been a big help to me but having everything in one place like this is more handy. :)

  4. Very good information. I agree with your tips.

  5. Very informative post, particularily for the newbies. you should put it on the forums and get some traffic coming into the blog from it.

  6. Thanks -As someone considering this opportunity, your suggestions are so helpful!

  7. Thanks, this is great suggestion for Etsy newbie I've ever read :) Very useful!

  8. I am setting up an Etsy shop in the next few weeks to sell my recycled wool yarns, and I'm glad I found these pointers before moving forward! Thanks!