From Ghosted to Glorious: The Wild Ups and Downs of My Etsy Empire

From Ghosted to Glorious: The Wild Ups and Downs of My Etsy Empire

Y’all, let me take you back to the beginning of my Etsy journey. Picture this: seven years deep into the Etsy game, with a modest collection of 300 listings. I was comfortable, coasting along, but little did I know, I was about to hit the accelerator hard.
One fine October day, fueled by ambition (and probably too much caffeine), I made a pledge to myself: ten new listings every week, no excuses. This wasn't just about adding numbers; it was about refining, diversifying, and really honing in on what makes my shop stand out. Thanks to a newfound love affair with print-on-demand sites and a little help from my friend CHATGPT, I was not just throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks—I was creating a gourmet meal for the Etsy algorithm.
Fast forward to the Christmas season, and  bam! My shop hit 900 listings. Sales weren’t just trickling in; they were flooding my inbox. We’re talking a 60% increase. I was living my best seller life, feeling like the Beyoncé of Etsy. It was all “Single Ladies” until...
 Etsy decided to put a ring on it, and by ring, I mean a big, fat suspension. No warning, no explanation—just vanished into thin air.

After years of dedication and hard work, you’d think I’d get at least a “we need to talk” message, right? This was the part where I needed my “Fani Willis, Don't Be Cute With Me" embroidered patch, not just for the humor but as a badge of resilience in the face of Etsy's silent treatment. This cold, hard suspension came with no communication whatsoever, trust me I even combed through all my spam emails. You know, after years of loyalty, you'd expect at least a breakup text, right? There I was, left swiping through support pages, looking for answers and it would take me a month long to get back into my Etsy seller account. 

A queen never stays down, and neither did I. That unexpected pause from Etsy? I saw it as a royal decree to expand my kingdom. So, I poured my heart into my Shopify, TikTok, and eBay shops, infusing each with a touch of my unique magic. Hours were devoted to synchronizing my listings across these platforms, transforming this moment not just into a comeback, but into a dazzling display of growth and resilience. With the help of some savvy Shopify apps, this task was less of a chore and more of a charm, smoothly integrating my offerings with a single click.

And then, as if by some twist of fate or a nudge from the universe, Etsy, like a classic ex, noticed my newfound glow and decided it wanted a part of that shine. No grand gestures, no heartfelt apologies—just a random sale popping up, as if nothing had happened. Diving back into the abyss of emails provided no clues about my initial suspension, leaving me with more questions than answers. Despite my urge to shout my confusion from the rooftops (or, in this case, Etsy Facebook Groups), I chose discretion over discord. After all, why stir the pot when my empire was already flourishing elsewhere?

A few more weeks go buy and I thought we were cool. However, Etsy started playing coy with my earnings. Every day, a new promise of payment, yet my bank account remained a barren wasteland. This saga had me wishing I’d slipped into my money-print house shoes to kick some sense into the situation. After a series of customer service misadventures that could rival a daytime soap opera, my funds finally made their grand entrance. Like I tried etsy chat, etsy call me back, etsy file a help center request button and it still took 4 - 5 arguments for them to show me MY MONEY. 

 What valuable lessons did I learn from this journey? Foremost, diversification isn't merely a strategy—it's a crucial survival technique. It's about not putting all your eggs in one basket, especially when that basket might unexpectedly disappear with your livelihood. My adventure began with Etsy, but it certainly didn't end there. Along the way, I discovered the diverse landscape of online marketplaces and the nuances of each.

For instance, sprucing up my TikTok Shop revealed that integrating Shopify and TikTok isn't straightforward; it requires a third-party app, which comes with additional costs. Venturing into Walmart's marketplace showed me the patience needed, with approval processes taking up to 2-3 weeks—a similar patience required for Amazon. Meanwhile, eBay offered untapped marketing potential, rewarding those who delve into its tools.

Moreover, the world of Print On Demand (POD) is vast beyond the popular Printful and Printify. Hidden gems like Gooten, Yoycol, MWW, Arts Add, and Sublimator await those willing to explore. The key takeaway? Do your homework. The digital marketplace is vast and varied, and success lies in leveraging its diversity.

Second, the power of persistence. Whether it's fighting for your earnings or expanding your product line to include those adorable custom name Happy Easter tumblers (just in time for the holiday rush!), never back down. 

 And finally, the importance of laughter. Through all the ups and downs, keeping a sense of humor has been my secret weapon. It turns out, a good laugh can be just as satisfying as seeing those sales numbers tick up, especially now on different selling Platforms. 
So here’s to the crazy ride of online selling—may your listings be many, your sales be merry, and your Easter tumblers be filled with joy (and maybe a little bit of wine). Cheers!



@Geneva Solomon 3/13/2024

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I love the inspiration and encouragement beautifully blended with the reality of being a creative entrepreneur.

Nataliah Denise

Thanks for sharing! This etsy game certainly sounds like a full-time Hustle until you get the hang of it! But nevertheless it looks like it works! Hustle mode activated!
~Boss Lady, STL

Bridgette Reed-Wynne

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