If my worst enemy came to me and said, “Steph, tell me what to do for Etsy success” with intentions of becoming my biggest competition, here’s exactly what I would tell them – aka what NOT to do when starting your Etsy business.

The worst advice for starting an Etsy shop, ever! Only tips I would give to my worst enemy.

Don’t open your Etsy shop until everything is perfect.

Take lots of time to research, plan, and create strategies. Make sure you read every informational blog post, listen to every podcast, and take several paid courses. You should spend a few months learning everything you can before you open your shop.

It’s important to know exactly what you’ll do in every situation, how you’ll ship every order, and respond to customer questions. Write down exactly what you plan to do for every scenario you can think of – you can never be too prepared!

Have a full product line ready to sell.

Echoing the above, you should have at least 50 items in your shop before you start selling. People browsing really take the time to look through your whole shop and they’ll take you more seriously if you have more listings. Create as many different products as you possibly can, so you can appeal to everyone!

Once you do finally open your shop, continue spending the bulk of your time designing and making new items. Don’t pay attention to what buyers want, you know best!

Etsy sells on auto-pilot. Marketing isn’t needed!

Set up your Etsy shop and just wait – the sales will start rolling in! There’s really no need to do any more work after opening your shop. Etsy does all the marketing for you, so sit back and relax – most Etsy shop success happens overnight! And well, if it doesn’t happen fast for you, you should probably just give up. (And definitely don’t read this post about the mistakes new sellers make.)

Bad Advice for Starting a New Etsy Shop

Pinterest doesn’t work for Etsy sellers.

Pinterest is for recipes and workouts, definitely no place for product marketing. Most people on Pinterest are DIY-ers, so they’re not interested in purchasing from Etsy. The platform is really hard to use and takes a lot of time to set up. Don’t waste your energy on social media marketing, especially on Pinterest!

You don’t need any type of branding or messaging.

Speak to everyone when you create your Etsy listings, titles, and tags. Narrowing in on one type of person would be super limiting. Keep in mind the masses as you create your products, so that you have something for everyone. There’s no reason to draft a mission statement, define your ideal client, or create a brand; just do what you feel is right day-by-day.

Photo quality doesn’t matter.

If your photos aren’t great, that’s totally ok! People will still visit your listings and buy your items if they really love the product. Taking amazing photos is hard and beginners can’t afford to hire a photographer or buy an expensive, professional camera. Lighting, props, and styling are overrated!

Stick to what you know, don’t try anything new.

Once you open your shop, only do the things you know how to. It’s really risky to try new things and it can be a waste of your time and money. Also, trying something new is always scary and never fun – overall, just avoid it at all costs.

Mistakes Etsy Sellers make in the beginning

So there you have it, the worst (or best) Etsy advice I could ever give! If you could only pick one tip to give your worst enemy, which would it be? Comment below and let me know!