You start your Etsy shop and add your product listings. You’re so excited because you know your handmade items are amazing and people will want to buy them. And then you wait and wait, but no sales come in. Sound familiar?
You can expect it to take between 2 and 3 months to make your first Etsy sale if your shop has at least 15 products and you have optimized your Etsy listings with the proper titles and tags to be shown in search. It takes approximately 120 views and 85 visits to make your first sale on Etsy.
It takes time for the Etsy algorithm to understand what your product is and how customers engage with it. The number of products in your Etsy shop also plays a role in how long it takes to make a sale on Etsy. The more products in your shop, the more opportunities to make a sale.
There are other factors that the Etsy algorithm takes into consideration when placing your items that can affect how long it takes to make your first sale too.
Things That Affect How Long It Takes To Make Your First Etsy Sale
How relevant your item is to the customer’s search
Etsy tries to match products as exactly as possible to what the customer is searching for. If your titles, tags, attributes and categories match the most perfectly to the customer’s search, your product will rank high in the search results.
If your keywords are an exact match to what the shopper searches, you have a chance to rank higher. However, your item has to meet the other criteria we’ll talk about here.
The quality of your listing
Your listing is analyzed to determine how shoppers interact with it. If Etsy shows your product to people and they don’t click on it, this gives a signal that it’s not what buyers are looking for. If this happens enough times, Etsy will stop showing it for that particular search term.
If customers are clicking on your item and then favoriting it or purchasing it, this tells Etsy that your item fits perfectly with this particular search and will continue to show it higher in search for these search terms.
How recent your listing is
When your listing is new, Etsy gives it a little boost in search results to see how customers interact with it. This small boost can last a few hours to a few days.
After that it is given a listing quality score to determine how it shows up in search.
The experience you are giving your customers
Etsy gives your shop a customer and market experience score. This score is determined by your shop’s reputation.
Key factors are product reviews and a completed shop as well as copyright infringement and cases against your shop.
Etsy wants the customer to have a great experience so they will show shops that offer that experience to customers higher in search.
Etsy says that getting 5 star reviews, a completed About section and shop policies are factors in a better score. While bad reviews, an incomplete shop and cases against your shop can result in a lower score.
My Simple Etsy Shop Setup Toolkit will help you set up your shop properly so your customer and market experience score will be high right from the start.
If you’re offering free shipping or not
Free shipping gets a boost in search results. Etsy determined that shoppers are more likely to buy when free shipping is offered. Based on this they give higher ranking to listings that offer free shipping.
If a shop doesn’t offer free shipping, the listings are ranked by the cost of shipping. So if your shipping fees are much higher than what your competitors are charging, you’ll most likely show up lower in search than their listings.
Etsy has said that digital downloads are considered free shipping in the way of ranking because there are no shipping fees for instant download products.
Your listing translations
If you sell in countries with a language different from the language your shop is set up in, Etsy will translate your titles and tags.
If you speak other languages, they recommend translating your own listings because the translations tend to be more accurate and result in better search ranking.
What the shopper’s habits are
Etsy gives different search results to customers based on factors like their search and purchase history.
Customers are shown the items that they are most likely to purchase based on the information Etsy has collected about them.
This means every customer is shown different search results based on their particular habits.
How Long It Took Me To Make My First Etsy Sale
I started a brand new shop in January because I had some product ideas that I wanted to put out into the world and I also wanted to use this new shop as a case study so I can remember what it’s like to be a new seller and the emotions and frustration that can sometimes come with being a new Etsy seller.
I started my new shop on January 9th and made my first sale on March 12th. So it took a little over 2 months for me to make my first Etsy sale.
I had 15 products in my shop at the time I made my first sale on Etsy.
The mistakes I made that delayed my first Etsy sale
My first mistake
The first mistake I made with my Etsy shop was not setting up my shop completely. I hadn’t taken the time to write my shop policies, about section, shop announcement, or my bio.
As I mentioned above, Etsy takes these things into account when determining the Customer and Marketing Experience Score for your shop.
That’s why I created The Simple Etsy Shop Setup Toolkit to help you get your shop set up perfectly from the beginning. You even get copy and paste text for all your shop sections that you can edit to make your own. This makes it so you have no excuse for having an incomplete shop. It couldn’t be easier.
My second mistake
I started out with some products that weren’t what customers were looking for. I had thank you cards in my shop but people weren’t able to add their own customization to them.
This caused me to get a really slow start because customers weren’t really interested in what I was offering.
Once I realized that shoppers wanted to be able to add their own logo, website, and message to the cards, I redesigned them and made new listings.
This is why looking at what other shops are selling can help you understand what customers want. Look at what other listings similar to yours have a Bestseller badge on Etsy and analyze that listing to figure out why that product is a best selling item on Etsy.
I added the new products on February 22nd and my first sale was on March 12th. Once I got my products right it only took me 18 days to make my first Etsy sale.
I can’t stress how important it is to understand who your target customer is and know as much about them as possible so you can create products that they want and that solve their problems.
Thankfully it didn’t take me too long to analyze my competition and find the mistake I was making, but many Etsy sellers sit there waiting for months for a sale because they don’t understand the importance of this step to find where their product is falling short.
How Many Views And Visits Does It Take To Make Your First Sale On Etsy?
It took my shop 120 views and 85 visits before I made my first Etsy sale.
I had 20 favorites on my items when I made my first sale. And the item that sold had been favorited by one person. That was not the person who purchased the item.
I hope this has helped you understand how long it takes to get your first Etsy sale, the things that can help you get your first sale on Etsy faster, and the things that will slow down getting your first Etsy sale.
I’ll continue to share my experiences and insights about my new Etsy shop with you so you can avoid some of the problems and disappointments that can come with selling on Etsy.