We have a secret. Shhhh! Don't tell anyone – We don't put our shop on vacation when we go on vacation.
I know what you're thinking. They must only go away for 2-3 days. Nope, we go away for a full 10 day vacation and leave our shop open. Why? and How is this possible, you ask?
First, let's talk about why we don't put our shop on our vacation and then I'll explain how we go on vacation with our shop open.
- Loss of traffic. In a slow month in the summer, we have 20,000 views (or 500-1,000 views a day) so we don't want to lose those shoppers to our competition. If someone is looking for an item and they like ours, we don't want them to not be able to purchase it, which leads to reason #2.
- Loss of revenue. This is by far the biggest reason that we don't put our shop on vacation when we go way. We don't make money if our shop isn't open and this vacation isn't paying for itself.
Now, let's talk about what you need to do to leave your shop open while you're sipping a fruity drink on the beach 3,000 miles away from your shop.
- Shipping Profiles – Revise the shipping time frame on your shipping profiles. If you're gone for 10 days, make the shipping time 11 or 12 days. You may have less visitors to your shop due to the longer shipping time (Etsy loves fast shippers), but in our experience less traffic is better than no traffic and some sales are better than no sales.
- Conversations – Respond to conversations and answer questions from buyers while you're away (after all, they don't know you're on vacation). If you can't answer the question, let them know you're away and when you will be able to respond. If you have a sale, send a convo to buyers letting them know you're away from the shop until ___________ (the date you're returning) and that their item will be shipped on _______________ (hopefully the day after you get back). Yes, this means you will have to visit your shop while you're on vacation, but if you set up a Snippet in Conversations, this will only take a few minutes a day and then you can get back to your fruity drink.
- Renew listings – This is optional, but will help with traffic while you're away. Just spend a few minutes a couple of times while you're gone (or every day if you're like us and like to keep the traffic flowing) to renew expired listings so your shop is still active, even though you're not doing any new listings. You can even prepare some draft listings and publish them while on vacation.
- Prepare – make sure you and your shop are ready for all the orders that need to be packed up when you get back. Make sure you have adequate inventory as well as shipping supplies such as boxes, envelopes, labels, etc.
We have never put our shop on vacation in our seven years as shop owners and in all that time we've only had 3 cancelled sales because the buyer didn't want to wait. Again, you may have less visitors to your shop due to the longer shipping time, but less traffic is better than no traffic and some sales are better than no sales. We do spend 10-15 minutes a day responding to conversations and renewing listings. You can do less and only respond 2 or 3 times a week if you're concerned about international phone or data charges, etc. (depending on how long you're away). We think it's worth a few minutes a day to have an Etsy deposit when we get back so we can start saving for our next vacation (I do love those fruity drinks!).
This may or may not work for you. It depends on the type of shop that you have, your buyers and your competition. If you sell items that buyers typically need or want quickly, this may not work for you. We suggest you try it out on a shorter vacation and see what happens. As with anything new, it requires testing to see if it's right for you.
If you want to take a vacation without having to worry about your shop, check out my blog post, Putting your Etsy shop on Vacation.
Happy selling and happy vacationing!