40 Tips to Thrive This Holiday Season on Etsy

Every year I have a laundry list of things to do- in preparation for the holidays. I affectionately call this: Preparation H. This time of year is a whirlwind of exhilaration, late night sewing, lots of coffee, and many convos. You'll spot me in the Dunkin Donuts drive thru with thread in my hair and pins randomly stashed in my shirt sleeve (hug me at your own risk). I've had a late start this year and maybe you have too- worry not I'll share my to do list & together we'll make this holiday season a sweet success.

1. Re-photograph any products you think are getting stale or switch out the thumbnail

2. Update descriptions with gift suggestions: “perfect for the teachers on your list,” “fabulous for the person who loves to cook.”

3. Update your banner. Does it reflect your current work?

4. Update your profile. Is it current? Is it interesting?

5. Check your avatar. Is it memorable?

6. Stock up on supplies: Do you have enough mailers, boxes, labels, etc?

7. Straighten up and organize your shipping area.

8. Freeze meals for later. Home cooked meals in the freezer will be gold on busy days later, trust me! Top 5 Feezer Meals Yum!

9. Schedule some time off- trust me you need a day for sanity.

10. Ask family and friends for help. (again this is for your own sanity!)

11. Include a photograph of your packaging in your listings.

12. Buy Etsy search ads.

13. Offer gift certificates and offer fancy gift boxes for the gift cards for additional cost.

14. Offer returning customers a discount.

15. Plan what will happen to seasonal items after the holiday– put them on sale? De-activate the listings? 

16. List gift sets. 

17. Type up responses to common questions to be ready to copy and paste into convos.

18. Set your location for Shop Local.

19. Label items “ready to ship.”

20. Post shipping cut-off deadlines.

21. Post your shipping times.

22. Include links in your signature to find you on social media 

23. Spruce up your “message to buyer” with calls to action to “like” your facebook page or join your email list.

24. Start a blog if you don't have one. (Check out Blogger, Typepad, or Tumblr)

25. Start an email list if you don’t have one. (Try Mailchimp.)

26. Ask buyers if they want to be added to your email list, include an incentive like a coupon or discount off their next purchase.

27. Tag items with common price terms: “under $25,” “under $50.”

28. Freshen up your blog or website

29. Offer gift wrapping and/or direct shipping- Don’t be afraid to charge a little more for this

30. Boost buyer confidence. Include testimonials in descriptions or link directly to your feedback. 

31. Start a facebook business page if you don’t have one.

32. Offer personalized or custom items.

33. Post your cut-off date for personalized or custom items.

34. Know your options for expedited shipping, offer extra fast shipping for additional cost.

35. Update your titles and tags for relevancy. More tips for getting found on Etsy. 

36. Buy blog ads.

37. Re-photograph your products with seasonal themes (for example, reindeer with your soy candles, …)
38. Review your prices. Promote items with a comfortable profit margin. 

39. Create a coupon for your Etsy teammates so they can do some holiday shopping with you. Haven't joined a team yet? Find out more. 

40. Keep an eye on your Etsy shop stats and revise your tags and titles as you see which keywords bring the most traffic to your shop.

Quite a list, eh? The most important thing is to remind yourself what a successful holiday season means to you. It is so easy to loose track of your goals, chasing after every opportunity and every sale. Know your limits, under promise and over deliver. Do you have your own Preparation H list? What does it look like? Share your tips in the comments below- and hey! pass this post along to that crafty friend of yours in the handmade trenches this holiday season as well. I bet she'll appreciate that.


  1. Great post, Jenelle. Lots of solid advice!

  2. Thanks Cody & Nic! Cheers to you for happy holidays & happy sales!

  3. You make it sound so easy... I've got 233 items in my shop (some I should probably get rid of!) and dread the thought of editing everything for the holiday. It would make sense, but I dread it nonetheless.

  4. It sounds easy doesn't it, though staring down an additional list of 40 (MORE) things to do does not. Have you used any of the bulk listing editors available MJ? Google Besti, Edit Express (from Craftopolis), or Etsy On Sale. I'll work up a post this week with all of the apps I use to *attempt* and streamline the biz, thanks for the inspiration!


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