30 reasons why customers don't buy from your Etsy shop

Etsy Tips3

There are quite a few reasons why buyers might leave your shop without making a purchase, even though they liked your product or at least were interested in it. Here is a list of most common reasons that can scare off customers from your Etsy shop.

30 reasons why customers don't buy from your Etsy shop


1. Higher than reasonable shipping rate or no combined shipping for multiple items
This is one of the most important reasons why buyers might leave your shop. Even though they understand that you might be located in different country the overall shipping cost will make them leave and look for similar items from domestic shops. Also, many buyers are also sellers on Etsy or elsewhere and therefore they know how much it should cost to ship a specific item. When that shipping price is way higher of course it's a turn off.
If you use calculated shipping to have the most accurate rates you can't offer a combined shipping. Each additional item on the order will add full shipping cost to the bill. Most of the times the difference is not that big. However, we suggest to mention somewhere in the listing description or your shop policies that combined shipping cost difference will be refunded to a buyer. It's quite easy to do and it might keep you a customer. Actually, a lot of customers as this is one of the most common reasons why buyers leave Etsy stores.

2. Bad reviews or a lot of reviews for a similar issue that indicates a trend
Second most common reason to leave a shop is bad reviews. You shouldn't be nervous if you have a few bad reviews. Everybody understands that some bad reviews are just silly ("It was smaller than I thought", "Didn't arrive quite quickly", etc), so before making a decision to leave most buyers go through reviews and try to analyze if there is a pattern for bad reviews, which indicates a real problem. If bad reviews are random and unfair, you're safe.

3. Bad photos or lack of photos to show off all the details
It doesn't mean that you should have professional photos in all your shop items. The customers are looking for clear, informative pictures of the product and you just need to put as much visual information in the photos as you can. A rule of thumb is to take pictures as there won't be a description or a title, so by looking at your photos buyers would understand what the item is. Take photos with good natural light, so the details would be crisp and the colors are as close as possible to original shades. Don't forget to take a close up shot as well to show off the texture, details or finish. If your item has a back side don't forget to shoot it as well.

4. Lack of information in the item description
Next the most common reason why buyers might leave your shop is if they can't find all needed information in the product description. Measurements (in both imperial and metric systems) are a must! Also specify a content, care instructions, etc. You must try to answer as much questions you can think of. Of course, one might say "A buyer can always contact me to get all the information". But it requires additional time (plus response waiting time) and nowadays, with a lot of options to buy from, most purchases are fast and impulsive. So if you don't have product information necessary to place an order then you might lose your customer. Also, a lot of buyers don't really need long descriptions they must read through all the colorful epithets about how the item was produced and what inspired the artist to create this item. They need a clear information about technical details most of the times. And if you have a lot of writing in your descriptions mixed with product information, it gets really hard to pick out those pieces.

5. Harsh policies or no policies at all
As a seller you want to protect your business with policies. This is one of the corner stones of the business, especially the online one. And it is understandable when sellers state in their policies they won't be responsible for any lost in mail situations or damaged packages, etc. But for customers this is a sign that there is nothing that would cover their purchase if something goes wrong. For a lot of customers this is an immediate turn off. And unfortunately there is no easy advice here. Depending on how often your products are getting lost or damaged you must decide if this is a crucial policy for you. If you haven't had lost packages so far - maybe you shouldn't worry that much about it. It might not happen at all, right? Just state in your policies that you won't be refunding order cost right away and would regulate the situation through messages if it occurs (working with a Post Office to find the package, etc). On the other hand, if your products are getting lost or damaged a lot you probably have to stick to these "rough" policies to protect your business and live with that. 

6. Not responding to convos in a reasonable time
It is always a good customer service to answer all questions and convos in a reasonable time. Usually, most of the buyers would wait at least 24 hours to get a response to their message before they decide to not buy from a seller. Of course, we all understand that there are different time zones (especially for international sellers) and there might be emergency situations. So no one would expect you to answer the message immediately. But responding to messages in one (two at most) days is a good manner. If for some reason you couldn't get back to the buyer with an answer in that time frame, don't forget to apologize for a long waiting and be as clear and helpful in your response as you can, so buyer could get an answer without sending another message. Don't ignore any questions asked. If there are several in the message, answer them respectively even if you would be writing the same information twice.

7. No return policy
No return means that they don't have any coverage if item wouldn't be as nice as they thought, or wouldn't fit, etc. The very idea that they won't be able to return a product if something goes wrong is turning them away from your shop. Of course, this doesn't include returns for personalized or intimate items.

8. Bad grammar or using a text language
It just feels repelling for a lot of people. If you can write without grammar mistakes please do. This just shows that you're serious doing your business. Also, using text language is a very bad practice, as it gives an idea that you don't have time to answer customers questions, therefore they feel like they are unwanted here and leave the shop. Of course, that's not one of the most common reasons to click away from the shop. A lot of people realize that Etsy is a global marketplace and a lot of sellers here are trying their best, as not everyone knows English (even at beginners level). So if you're not a native English speaker - don't worry. A lot of customers still don't get sensitive when they see grammar mistakes. But it's always a good idea to improve your English, if you can or at least use a spell checker.

9. No shop location
No shop location is repellent as well. A lot of buyers are worried that this would be a China shop with cheap, low quality items if there is no shop location indicated in the info block. And also visible shop location helps understand how long it might take for item to arrive, at least approximately. Don't make your potential customers guess or wandering your shop trying to find the shipping from location. 

10. Rude responses to bad reviews
For a lot of buyers bad reviews in a shop is not that big of a deal. But in those cases they are always checking how seller responds to bad reviews. This shows the overall customer service and gives an idea of how particular seller treats their customers. So If you happened to have a bad review, even if it's a nasty and unfair one, be professional and as polite as you can. Say that you understand how frustrating this might be for a customer and explain why this unpleasant situation happened and how you can or could help.

11. Not having PayPal as a payment option
If you don't use standalone or integrated PayPal as a payment options some of your visitors might leave your shop as well. A lot of people think that PayPal is a safer way to pay online and prefer to use it, instead of paying with credit cards. If it's not crucial for you we suggest to have both Direct Checkout and PayPal payments in your shop to make sure no buyers go away for this reason.

12. Copyright infringement
This is a big no-no generally on Etsy, but we all know that some sellers manage to sell copyrighted products nevertheless, hoping no one would notice. Maybe so... But in fact a lot of buyers don't want to deal with such sellers just because they know it is probably illegal to sell these products. 

13. International sellers
This won't sound good for international sellers but a lot of buyers just don't want to place an order with international shops for a couple of reasons. First of all, the shipping cost would be much higher than ordering local. And second, international shipping means much longer waiting time, which sometimes might take months. This is understandable from their point of view, although it's not so great for a global marketplace. 

14. Selling mass produced items
It's well known that Etsy is a place where you can find unique handmade products. But unfortunately lately you can find more and more mass produced products in there, that are obviously not handmade. Good thing is that a lot of buyers don't want to support such businesses on Etsy. 

15. No avatar or personalization of any kind for the seller 
A lot of buyers also want to see a person behind the shop, or at least a brand representation. Such things as seller avatar picture, banner, shop icon and about page are very important to make an opinion about the business. It is a good idea to keep them filled up and up to date.

16. Rude (or not polite) seller
As we all know a good customer service is a key for a blooming business. And that's why sellers should always be polite and never be rude. When you're answering the questions asked, don't forget to say hello (yes, some sellers don't do this), answer all the questions and thank for contacting you. Even if you have a lot of orders and really busy answering every convo, you should make your customer feel like he/she is your only current customer. And this will definitely pay off with returning customers.

17. Low prices
Well, this one is quite obvious. Very low prices might scare off some customers, because this way they expect to receive very cheap, low quality product. So it's always a good idea to check the market price for similar products and price your products accordingly. You can use Pricing research tool for your niche analysis.

18. High prices
Yes, this is an another reason. Clearly, too high prices might turn off customers just as much as low prices. So please check the market and change your prices if needed.

19. If seller is rude on Etsy forums
Interesting to know that a lot of buyers are also reading Etsy forums. And if they see a rude comment from a shop owner some of them make sure to remember the seller (negatively) and never buy from this shop. So, again, just another reason to be polite to each other, even if it's not a customer you're talking to.

20. Selling items that are copied from other shops
This is not a popular one, but if customer sees an item that was clearly copied from another (usually much more popular) shop they will probably leave the shop and won't come again. 

21. Long shipping time
Some buyers are getting very frustrated with a long shipping time and they leave your shop to find something similar somewhere else and get it faster. This is mostly a turn off reason for international sellers, as we mentioned above. 

22. Long processing time
This is a similar issue why customers might leave. Long processing time is a turn off for a lot of people. Some of them will agree to wait anyway for a really unique item, but nevertheless keeping your processing time as short as possible is a good idea.

23. Low amount of products
Good news for shops that just opened and don't have a lot of items. This is not that important for most of the buyers, though some of them might decide to leave a shop as low amount of items doesn't look very professional.

24. Too many products
And again, opposite is a reason to leave a shop as well. Having too many products in a shop (hundreds and sometimes thousands) might turn customers off, as it's hard to navigate through such a large shop.

25. Keyword stuffing
Well, keyword stuffing is annoying and buyers see those titles, and sometimes descriptions, too. This kind of titles look desperate to buyers and might make them click away from your shop.

26. PayPal only
And here is another opposite reason. If you don't accept direct payments and accept only PayPal some customers wouldn't place an order with your shop. Unfortunately, for a lot of sellers PayPal is the only option to have a business on Etsy, as they don't have a Direct Checkout yet. 

27. Shop has a lot of sales in a short period of time
This just doesn't seem realistic to some buyers and therefore raises a suspicion that the products are not what they stated to be. 

28. Repeatedly misrepresent the ages of items in their shop
This is accurate for vintage shops. If buyer notices that seller tries to cheat with dates of the items, of course they won't feel safe to place an order and just leave.

29. Someone else have similar item cheaper or buyer can get it faster
If you sell products that are quite popular on Etsy and are easy to find, high prices or long processing (shipping) time would be the most important reasons to switch to another shop. You should keep this in mind and check with the prices and processing/shipping time frames of your competitors (use market based pricing research tool for this). 

30. People don't have enough money to shop on Etsy
This is mostly a comic reason, but it's also true. And it doesn't mean that products are overpriced. The price might be absolutely right, but sometimes we just can't afford another cute thing from Etsy.

These are the most common reasons why buyers might get away from an Etsy shop. If some of these resemble with your shop, take a note and try to figure out what you can change to keep the buyers in your shop. Good luck!


    • Sabiha commented Jan. 23, 2018 reply

      Hi, this is a very interesting article for the new etsy sellers. I've read each and every 30 points and they are so useful for the beginners. I've recently opened an etsy shop (last month) and will definitely note down these points. Thank you so much for sharing this useful and amazing article!