Podcast Episode 73: Answering all of your Etsy FAQs

etsy podcast Apr 19, 2023
A colorful display of sewing notions and crafting trinkets appear around the edges. The Etsy coach Lizzie Smiley's headshot is in the bottom right corner. The text reads

Watch this episode on YouTube: 


QUESTION 1:   ------- 7:43

 I love your show and listen faithfully!!

I have created a sub-shop of HR related merchandise in my POD shop.  Is there a way to easily move those items to a new Etsy shop if I wanted to open a new, dedicated HR shop?  





Download listing data:


QUESTION 2: ------- 8:57 

Hi Lizzie,

My question is if I had a very successful etsy shop many years ago selling a physical product, what tips for selling digital downloads? and listing them?





It’s a very different platform post 2020 AND a really different product space. Digital products are awesome and there are endless possibilities.


Typically to be successful you need to have A LOT of listings—so plan to regularly add more each week. But, of course, it doesn’t always mean adding a new product—you can always repackage an existing product with different SEO or a different thumbnail image.


Also—pay attention to REALLY saturated micro-niches and avoid them. So for example—you’re not going to make any headway with another “Home Sweet Home” printable unless you put a really unique spin on it. I’d look for pockets of micro-niches where people are searching for it AND there’s not crazy competition yet.


GOOD LUCK! The most important thing is to set realistic expectations for yourself. Be patient, have fun, and just know it will most likely take a lot of time and trial and error before you hit your stride.



QUESTION 3: ------- 13:37


Can you please talk about physical art and its' place on Etsy right now? All I hear across the board online is planners, stickers and print on demand all digital (I do offer digital downloads too and I make traditional and digital art and I’m using ai now to write listings etc)

I’m always searching to hear about any successful artists on Etsy.

Are physical products still something to peruse?




QUESTION 4:  ------- 18:04


Part 1: Ideal customer has always been a tough one for me.  I try to keep my prices the lowest, but the products keep climbing so How do I compensate so I'm able to sell to those who will pay the price of a $200 wreath. 


Part 2: SEO is my biggest one, been told so many different ways.  What's the best way for SEO listing? 


Part 3: I probably have more I've sold 32 wreaths on Etsy not much profit especially if I run a sale, seems my customers come from Texas.  They are more expensive to ship.  I have free shipping  I use 3 x cost.  I don't include the box and all the glue etc.



QUESTION 5:   ------- 31:19


Hi Lizzie,

I’m crap with social media because I’m embarrassed to post anything 🙈 (even on my personal all I’ll do is share ‘lost dog or people’ posts) I have business pages but post very occasionally- up to date how to do a Facebook group advice would be great. 


Thank you



Fear is not the boss of me – Jennifer Allwood

Daring Greatly or The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown

Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis


Check out Julie’s Biz Boutique for up to date, detailed social media training



QUESTION 6:  ------ 36:42


Sandra asks:  “I opened my shop in October 2022 and have yet to list anything! When I start listing, is it better to close my current shop and open a new one? I’m worried that Etsy already thinks I’m a loser and won’t promote my shop since it took me so long to list anything!”

I can’t decide what I should sell.. either digital products or POD. I have 15 years of experience as a wedding planner so I’m leaning towards products for weddings. I’ve studied Etsy on YouTube for almost a year. But it’s not for the lack of wanting to sell. I’m a solo mum to a wild 5 year old and I work full time in an office. 



QUESTION 7:  --------------- 40:58


Hey Lizzy, I’m still learning and just getting setup but have a question about print providers. 


How important is it to print the right providers initially? And how hard is it to switch providers later down the road?


I find myself in analysis-paralysis deciding between Printify, CustomCat, and Awkwardstyles. Or going with something like MyDesigns that has awesome bulk tools but your locked in to they providers. 


Maybe I’m overthinking it, but I wanted to set a strong foundation and visualize the long view with this. I want to setup an efficient, repeatable workflow and the backend provider seems key (and would be hard to change your entire collection later)







QUESTION 8:  -----  46:12

Gena asks:  If you sell something locally is there a way to not charge shipping? I’m a new seller on Etsy.



There are a few ways to handle it: 1) You can have a free shipping guarantee or literally set up the shipping to be $0—however it would apply to the listing for all buyers until you changed it. You can’t designate it for local only.

You can set up a sale or a promo code in the Marketing tab of your shop manager and set it for free shipping.

Also, worst case scenario-- if a local person buys something you can always refund shipping.


The only nuance here that can get tricky for new shops is—if there isn’t a tracking number that proves delivery, Etsy may hold on to your money for a while. They call it a payment reserve and they keep it for 45 days when there isn’t a tracking number.


It’s a safeguard they built in after 2020 to have somewhere to refund shoppers from if a seller was running a scam or just didn’t follow through.



QUESTION 9:  ------ 48:16


Question: regarding legality things... I have my Etsy shop running and have made several sales but am now double guessing the legality of it. Do I need to register my shop as an IBO? Do I need to apply for a license to have my Etsy business? I don't want to get into trouble for missing a step Etsy didn't walk me through 





I can’t offer legal advice because I’m not qualified—so this is for informational purposes only. So—there’s not requirement from Etsy to set up anything. As far as they’re concerned you can be a sole proprietor and run your shop with a social security number—and they’ll send you a 1099 if you meet the criteria. The only reason there would be a legality issue is if you live somewhere with specific rules that require you to have a license. So I’d look into your local state/county/city laws for that.


I haven’t heard of anyone I know setting up an IBO. But it’s somewhat common to set up an LLC.


Last year I had a creative law attorney—Paige Hulse—on the podcast and she talked all about that. It was an excellent conversation that might be helpful to you!


It was podcast episode #36 “How to keep yourself out of legal trouble in your Etsy shop”



QUESTION 10: -------  50:26

Hi Lizzie!

 Since you got into POD T-shirts how do you decide on the actual print provider from Printify or Printful? We’ve had not a good time with our designs being off-centered and not straight horizontally. I had one customer that made 2 orders days apart, a total of 6 items and with all 6 items the designs were askew each in a different way… and worse, so were ALL the re-prints. Lost that customer. We went with another printer from the same company for samples, and we’re having similar print quality issues. We checked our designs for symmetry, placement, etc, and they seemed good to us. How would you tackle this problem? 

 Best regards,




Short answer: I would take down the design—order samples from another print provider to see if it turns out better. If not, I’d scrap the design.


I don’t think you have to order samples of everything you create because that would be insanity LOL! But I would at least get 1 sample of every type of product so you understand what the customer will receive. I also order samples if I trying a unique color combo that I haven’t seen printed before.


QUESTION 11:  ------ 54:24


  1. How long does it usually take to get traction with digital products? (I’m in the wedding stationery niche opened my store about two months ago). 


  1. When do you recommend ads? And how much do you recommend to spend in the beginning?


  1. How much time as a new seller do you recommend putting into Pinterest? 


Thank you!





QUESTION 12: -----  58:10

Gina asks:

Hey so I’m pretty new to Etsy I’ve optimized every part of my Etsy shop according to different coaches have said and I still get almost no visits through Etsy. I was wondering if you ever had struggles like this and does social media help to get a head start and does Etsy pick up on that eventually that get more views through the Etsy algorithm?



The first place I would check is what page are you showing up in the search results. If there are thousands and thousands of competing listings—you could have an incredible product, but no one will ever find you.

Social media can help, sometimes ads can help. But you need to KNOW you’ve got a winning product before I’d go down those rabbit holes.

The best way to know is either a) you have prior experience in sales or ecommerce or b) you get someone to take a look who has the experience and can tell you.

Otherwise I recommend hunting for micro-niches where there is some demand—people are searching for what you have, but the competition is lower.


QUESTION 13: ------------ 60:00

Chelsea asks:

How to know when your design is bad vs needing better key words?



A: If you’re getting lots of views and no sales—it’s likely your design (but can also be there’s a bestseller badge on another, your pricing is higher, or your turn around time)

  1. If you’re not getting views--- keywords is the place to investigate plus market saturation.

Open an incognito window so your search history doesn’t influence results. Then go to Etsy search and search for your keyword phrase you’re trying to rank for. Look right underneath the search bar to the right and you’ll see the number of competing listings.  If it’s tens of thousands— it will be hard to ever compete. Then go page by page and find out where you rank.


QUESTION 14:  --------  64:00

Jocelyn asks:

Do you have a favourite online photography course? I need to brush up on product photography and self portraits for Etsy and social media.



Jocelyn—I actually don’t—but I’ll be on the lookout for one. Honestly I think there’s a ton of great free content on this on YouTube. (I’m always one for a course, too, because I think we get what we pay for-- but I’d start there and see what you can learn)


QUESTION 15: --------- 65:00

Jorge asks:

If you open up a shop let's say selling one type of product/niche, and it doesn't do well. If you decide to switch niches/products. Is it best to reopen a new shop If the name of the shop was not specific to a niche/product? Or just clear out the same shop and just start fresh with the same name?



As of now, you can change your shop name once from inside your Shop Manager. After that you may be able to again—but you have to go through Etsy support.


How to change your shop name:




It’s time for another Etsy FAQ episode! I know how much you guys love one of these because they’re packed with details you don’t hear anywhere else. We will be talking about everything from the place for physical products on Etsy today, POD challenges, using social media and Etsy ads, how to know if your SEO is good—and so much more.

**“How to Sell Your Stuff on Etsy” is not affiliated with or endorsed by



25+ Etsy Experts are gathering together to give you hours of training on Selling Digital Products on Etsy. The event is 100% free so grab your ticket today!

Go Digital on Etsy Summit (May 2-5, 2023):


Grab my physical products Etsy course before the overhaul is complete and the price goes up: 


How to Export Your Listings:


Fear is not the boss of me – Jennifer Allwood:

Brene Brown Books:

Daring Greatly:

The Gifts of Imperfection:

Girl Stop Apologizing by Rachel Hollis:


Social Media Training Membership that I’m a part of (Julie’s Biz Boutique):


Episode with Attorney Paige Hulse (LLCs etc):

Podcast episode #36 “How to keep yourself out of legal trouble in your Etsy shop”



How to change your shop nam e:


Book a coaching session with me:



FREE PDF DOWNLOAD: “4 Strategies I Used to Grow My Etsy Shop from $25 to $6000k/month”:

Grab my Course “Etsy Listings that Sell” and learn how to skyrocket your Etsy business:   

Find me on Instagram and TikTok @HowtoSellYourStuff






THIS EPISODE IS SPONSORED BY: HeatherStudio Creative Fabrica

HeatherStudio and her completely free print on demand training: “How to earn your first $10k with Etsy and POD.” Want to learn how to create an additional stream of income from a product you don’t have to physically make, but will sell like hotcakes? Just go to to get access to the webinar.


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Creative Fabrica is a website where you can access UNLIMITED digital goods for just $9 per month. They have over 6 MILLION fonts, graphics, and other digital resources that you will gain full access to. (It’s essentially the top Etsy seller’s best kept secret!)

AND on top of all that Creative Fabrica discovered this podcast and reached out to me because they wanted to offer you guys a special little perk: you can now get a one-month free trial for up to 10 product downloads to test drive it and see if it’s a good fit for you. Learn more at:

 *Some of the links above are affiliate links which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. You can see my affiliate disclosure here:


Check out my eCourse Suite

Are you ready to dig in and learn exactly how to get your listings seen and sold on Etsy? You can do this! More than likely, you just need to make a few tweaks!

Learn at your own pace with my digital courses that are immediately available or hire me for a coaching session.

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