Improving Your Product Offering by Dropping the Stragglers {Selling on Etsy}

Whew! What a holiday season!

My first year selling on Etsy I was thrilled and surprised to have some extra money to put toward my Christmas shopping list. When the second year came along, I had a lofty goal that I would sell enough on Etsy to completely cover my list, and I did! This year, I hoped to do that again.

My Etsy sales set records in both November and December and for the first time ever actually exceeded our entire gift budget! We don’t go crazy with the gift buying, but it still adds-up fast and I was so happy to be able to cover it all with Etsy sales.

Yet I’m glad the New Year is here! I’m ready to start tweaking my systems and improving how I sell online.

And what I sell online!

The first of the year is an excellent time to take a hard look at what you offer to your customers. I say a “hard look” because some of those things need to go away and it’s up to you to be the ruthless bean-counter and pass-out some pink slips!

If you take a look at what you make and what you sell you’re bound to see that some of your items clearly outperform others. This is a perfect time to get a clear picture of what products you should focus on in the coming months.

Things to look at:

  • Which items sell the best?
  • Which items require the least effort to make, package, or ship?
  • Which items have the lowest raw material costs?
  • Which items have the highest sale price and profit margin?

If you want to build your business this year, focus on the top products and drop the bottom 20% or so from your store. Don’t think about them, don’t pay to list them, don’t try to market them. Forget them and focus on what’s really working best.

If you go through this periodically, maybe twice a year, you’ll focus your valuable time, effort, and money on the right things and your Etsy business will be better in 2012!

Best wishes for a prosperous new year!


Other posts you might be interested in for your Etsy business…


  1. says

    This is fabulous advice. I’ve been planning on revamping my shop along with my blog. And looking at what isn’t selling is a part of that.

    As cute as it is, for as many times as I’ve had to renew it, the sad panda’s days are numbered!

  2. says

    Dropping products that I think are fabulous is not an easy thing to do, but it does fit perfectly with my goal for this year: being deliberate. Dropping “non-sellers” will allow me to focus in on what is working. Thanks for the encouragement to get it done!

  3. says

    Hi Kim and Happy New Year!
    I re-evaluated my shop at the end of October and decided to do away with my gift tags and pretty much all my non-jewelry hand crafted items. I love the creative outlet, but they were too time consuming and the profit margin was too low to continue.
    I concentrate on my jewelry and Vintage finds and found that this November and December more than beat my goal for the

  4. says

    Oh Kim you must have read my mind! Thanks for the incentive to get rid of the items that have lingered in my shop. I have given this a thought briefly and you just gave me the ok to press on. Thanks. Great article.

  5. says

    Thanks Kim!
    It’s always great how it work for another person. It’s help me to focus and make clear my own goal and what to do for it.
    Happy New Year

  6. says

    Right now I have only two or three things on my shop that would fit into the category of “be gone and so long”. But I’m wondering if maybe I can turn a dud product around by making it a tutorial on my blog.

    An idea to think about!

  7. says

    Hi Kim

    I do not drop what is not selling, I change it to target a different customer base.

    Customers move in swarms of likes and dislikes, you only have to look at interiors over the last few decades. Growing up in the 70’s stripped pine was a favourite, the 80’s was kitch and overly decorated, the 90’s minimal, 00’s very retro and the 10’s are vintage mad. Retro now covers anything from the 50’s to 70’s and vintage is 20’s to 40’s.

    I think if you have a product that used to sell, it can sell again, you’ve just got to find the right presentation and outlet for it.

    I make small cats and owls from fabric scraps and over the last 3 years neither has outsold the other, but there has been months where only cats sold and vice versa.

    I usually use curtain fabric scraps but I changed to using Chinese silk scraps and found a new client base for them. This year I will be looking at using plain linen.
    It is a small inexpensive change that works.

  8. says

    Hi Kim,
    This is my second year, and I have thought about dropping some things that I am tired of looking at. Thanks for the push! I have found over the years that things finally sell to SOMEONE, but I think that’s better at a sale and not on etsy. Thanks for reinforcing that for me.

  9. says

    Oh my gosh, I just finished doing this before I read this blog post. I sure did question myself a bit. I wasn’t sure if it was a smart idea so I’m glad to read that you have the same take on it!

  10. says

    Thanks for the reminder. I had already decided this year was going to be my year to declutter… in so many ways including my business. Congratulations on having great sales in 2011!

  11. says

    Thanks for sharing this! I consider 2012 to be my first year (I opened in last november). I’m gathering all the info that I can and I try to apply it to my shop. I still have a lot of work to do but i’m sure it will pay off at the end if I put the time and efforts.

    This i s really precious information, I will keep this site in my favorites!



  12. Karen hornsten says

    Hi kim, I was sent to this article by Tim in response to an article on his site, and I found it well worth reading. My problem(?) is that I spend entire days paper folding flowers for orders, and when I am not crafting for order I am crafting for new listings. i have heard it said that the more items on your shop the better. But now I am reconsidering. The funds I make on Etsy orders, at this point, go to my Paypal account to fund what I owe from the supplies I have bought. Hhhhmmmm? Your advice has led me to believe that I need to rethink my shop a bit and what I offer. maybe it is just the niche I have chosen. It is very time consuming, but I love it. Thanks for the great advice always.

  13. says

    I know this is an old post, but it’s still relevant (as are all of your posts). I have been thinking of doing this lately, and to read it here in words, it makes sense. Thanks for the push!

    • says

      Heather – It does help you focus on what’s actually working for your shop. Thanks so much for stopping by and I hope you’ll find a few more helpful tips around our blog! :)

      ~Kim and Tim


  1. […] over so that I can work on making my Etsy shop more successful. One of the blog posts, titled “Improving Your Product Offering by Dropping the Stragglers {Selling on Etsy}” talks about how in the new year, it may be a good time to examine your shop and do away with the […]

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