In December I put my Etsy shop on vacation for about 25 days. That’s 25 days longer than I had ever had my shop on vacation.
I was WORN OUT, people. Plain and simple, I just simply needed a break.
I’m sure you’ve heard all the awful things that happen if you put your Etsy shop on vacation, right?
“You fall out of the search results, and it takes months to recover! *CRY*”
“People can still order from you because it’s not that great of a feature, so… yeah….”
“It’s basically death to your shop and everything you’ve worked for all these years, so avoid it at all costs.”
You used to not even be able to edit your listings while in vacation mode, but that’s no longer the case.
So that is why I have never put my shop on vacation mode until recently. The whole “you drop off the face of the Etsy-Earth” thing was a substantiated theory about two years ago. Some improvements were made and Etsy posted (somewhere, I can’t seem to find it again now) that they improved this but lots of things play into search ranking, yadda yadda yadda, basically…. anything can happen and it depends how long your shop is on vacation for.
Of course the main reason for NOT putting your shop on vacation mode is money. If your shop is open, you still have the potential to make money. Sometimes SANITY > MONEY. Or LIFE > WORK. And I’ll say this: don’t feel bad about having to take a break. I wish I had done it sooner… a couple of times… yup.
Here’s what happened for me:
It was December 8th – YES I know, that’s like, peak online-holiday-shopping season – and I put my shop into vacation mode with a custom “away message” that would show on my shop’s main page. I changed my banner to say something about being back after Christmas and email me with any issues, questions, concerns, etc.
I didn’t deactivate my listings, I just went into true vacation mode.
If a listing is deactivated, people cannot view or buy it, same as with vacation mode. There might be some algorithm thing that plays into differentiating these two features but I am not aware of it. I find vacation mode is more favorable because when you are on vacation mode, shoppers are aware of that, and can opt to be alerted once you reopen. If you deactivate all your listings, you’ll probably want to put a note in your shop announcement about the status of your shop – you’ll have to replace your existing one in order to do that (save it, I guess, for later when you reopen, and repost it) and no one can opt-in to be notified when your shop reopens.
No one was able to order from me during the time my shop was on vacation mode.
That’s what I wanted. But of course I had heard the rumors, like I mentioned above, that for whatever reason orders were still sometimes able to come through. In my case: no orders.
The only listings people could see or favorite were the sold listings.
This is actually sort of nice in my case because I sell the same sort of thing over and over for the most part, so everything I make was still able to be seen. So if someone wanted to show their friend, or bookmark something, or see an image, they still could. This wouldn’t be the case for someone with only OOAK listings or vintage items.
My stats were still active, and I could see some views and favorites.
Again, these were on the sold listings. These could’ve been accessible through favorites, the new homepage feed, Pinterest links, or any other links out in the great wide internet.
Before I went on vacation mode, my listings were appearing well in searches.
I spot checked a few of them randomly and made notes about them the days before I went on vacation.
When I reopened my shop, I waited about three days to back through to check the listings in search. I was surprised to see they were not only still ranking well, but some were ranking even better!
I think some of that could’ve been because a lot of other shops go on vacation at that time of year and so many listings were out of the field so to say. But even now, my listings are ranking well and clearly, if vacation mode was going to ruin my shop forever, it would still be an issue two months later. It wasn’t.
The moral of the story is that vacation mode is not as scary as I once believed it to be. I was in the right place to take a break, and I’m glad I did it. I’m thrilled to know that it didn’t break my shop or “ruin everything” and I might take another break someday. For now, I’m happy with my new part time pace.
I hope this makes anyone feeling trepidatious about vacation mode feel a little bit better.
I would love to hear your experiences with vacation mode as well if you have any!