Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

Self-Critique Your Shop

Make your shop the best it can be by looking at it with a critical eye. These questions can help you identify areas for improvement.

By Danielle Maveal Jan 19, 2012
Photo by notebooksetc

The Seller Education team has collectively been critiquing your Etsy shops for more than nine years! We’ve watched many of you grow after our critiques and we’ve also seen you successfully critiquing each other on the Forums and in your Etsy Teams. I’ve created this list of the most important questions you should ask when critiquing your own shop (or a friends!). You can also download and print this list! Am I missing an important question? Let me know in the comments below.

Will your Shop Name help promote you?

Does your About page and Public Profile need a little help?

Are your Shop Settings working for you?

Photo by Annie Lee's Cottage

Let’s check out what’s in your shop!

  • Do you have enough items in your shop? The more items you have the more a buyer has to choose from, and the more likely you’ll be found in a search query.
  • Are your item titles easy to read?
  • Is there variety in the titles throughout your shop?
  • Have you made your titles, tags, and descriptions relevant for search?
  • Do you use all spots for tags in each item listing with relevant search terms?
  • Do you use style, color, size and texture tags including word phrases as tags that a your buyer would search (eg. steampunk cufflinks)?
  • Do your descriptions reflect your unique voice – making it easy for the buyer to connect with you as the artist or collector?
  • Do you answer all the questions a buyer might be asking about this item?
  • Reevaluate your prices. Do your prices reflect the quality of your work and your time?
  • Do you ship internationally? Ask your local Etsy Team for advice if you need it. (Did you know that roughly 1 in 4 sales on Etsy involves a buyer or seller outside of the U.S.?)
  • Search for what you sell, and look at your photos in search results. Do your photos make you want to click?
  • Are you using all 5 spots for images including at least one close-up and one photo that shows the whole piece?
  • Do you have unnecessary graphics, borders or logos on your photos?
  • Is your shop cohesive? If not, try to tie it together with your photography style. Cut back on listing items that aren’t selling.

How did you do? Think you’ve mastered all these points? Don’t worry, there are still a few things you can work on that I didn’t cover here (like promoting, branding, product development, etc.). Never stop evolving your shop, that’s what makes running your own creative business fun, not only for you but also for your buyers.


Danielle Maveal from daniellexo

Before working for Etsy, Danielle also managed two jewelry studios/shops in Toronto and Detroit, and even had her own gallery in Brooklyn. Then she found a really cool website that allowed her to sell her own work. Within 3 months, she quit her job and ran an Etsy shop full time (she almost hit 1,000 sales before Etsy hired her!).


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