etsy shop

The decision to close Etsy shop should not be entered into lightly. It could mean throwing away months or years of hard work. It could also mean giving up on your dream when things don't pan out like you envisioned. On the flip side, it could mean embracing growth and admitting that your business has outgrown the platform.

Before making any hasty decision you might regret, you'll need to figure out whether you should close your store, take a short break from it, or delete your account entirely.

Top Reasons to Stop or Pause Selling on Etsy

Right off the bat, it's important to be clear on why you want to close or pause your Etsy shop and be sure it's the right decision for your present circumstances. Here are some common reasons why many store owners stop or pause selling on Etsy.

1. Burnout

Running a business takes time, energy, commitment, and good old-fashioned grit. A running joke among entrepreneurs is that they quit their full-time jobs working 9-5 to become business owners working 24/7. Burnout is real and sneaks up on you when you least expect it.

You work late nights, early mornings, weekends, and holidays all year round. After a while, it feels like you're just going through the motions, and the fire you once had flaming inside when you had the vision for your business has slowly fizzled out. Suddenly, you can't remember why you ever resigned yourself to this life of misery. You don't see your friends anymore and hardly have time or energy to spend quality time with your family.

While your hustle might be flourishing, it's costing you your physical, mental, and emotional well-being, at which point, it might be time to slow down and reevaluate what really matters. If it means pausing your shop or closing it entirely, then that's what you must do.

2. Loss of Passion

Maybe you're not burned out (yet), but what was once something you enjoyed doing every waking moment has turned into a laborious endeavor, hogging all your time and energy. You no longer roll out of bed before the alarm rings. You no longer have a spring in your step as you think of all the fun things you'll do at work. Your creative well is drying up fast.

If this describes your current state of being, these are the signs and symptoms of lost passion. If you were once obsessed with running your Etsy shop and letting your creativity shine through your creations, it might be time to take a breath, pause, and introspect. If taking a break from the day-to-day running of your store doesn't reignite your passion, it might be time to close Etsy shop.

3. To Switch Things Up

Perhaps the reason you got into Etsy in the first place was because of how effortlessly good you were at creating unique things. Maybe you were good at creating one thing, and people loved it so much that you kept making more of it. Now, however, it's a chore. It doesn't excite you anymore. Besides, you don't want your entire identity as a creative to be defined by this one thing. 

If that's the boat you're in right now, it might be time to pause or close your Etsy shop until you feel inspired to create something new. Something that people won't be able to get enough of. The best way to get those creative juices flowing so you can switch things up again is to step away from the very thing hindering your growth in different dimensions.

4. To Upgrade to Something Bigger

If Etsy was the first place you sold your creations, you might have a fond attachment to it. After all, the platform launched your brand into the limelight. That said, in the famous words of Kenny Rogers, you've got to know when to walk away.

As great a platform as Etsy might be, you might have outgrown it. Your brand might be ready to spread its wings and launch into something bigger and better. If Etsy is no longer serving you and your customers in a way that reflects your true vision for your business, it might be time to upgrade to your own eCommerce website, where you can connect with your customers and target audience directly.

Former Etsy store owners who outgrow the platform will generally migrate to a website where they have full domain ownership and can host a virtually unlimited amount of data. The issue many Etsy stores run into is the "ceiling" they hit, especially if they have over 500 listings. In such instances, closing an Etsy store is less about burnout, loss of passion, or dismal revenue and more about curtailed growth.

See also: How to Move Products from Etsy to Shopify.

5. Close Etsy Shop Due to No Sales

Last but not least is the lack of sales. It is arguably the biggest reason why Etsy shops close down. Most store owners become disillusioned and give up when they don't see the dollar returns within the first six months of business.

As discouraging as it might be not having visitors to your store months after its launch, it's not a reason to close shop. Sure, you might have been excited about taking the world by storm with your creations, but, as they say, all good things take time. It might be worth looking into strategies to help you drive traffic to your store and convert visitors into paying customers.

Nonetheless, many entrepreneurs find it hard to justify paying Etsy's listing fees with no revenue coming in. If you're in this situation, you might opt to count your losses and close shop until you build the financial muscle to reopen.


Things to Think About When Closing an Etsy Shop

Before you wind down your Etsy store, there are some important factors you must keep in mind. Many store owners are oblivious to these elements and complicate what would have otherwise been a fairly straightforward closure process.

1. Familiarize Yourself With the Potential Legal Ramifications of Closing Shop

Understanding the legal implications of winding down your Etsy shop is first on our list, and with good reason. For starters, you can't just wake up one day and decide to close Etsy store (no matter how bad a day you might be having). The platform requires you to adhere to the obligatory notification period or risk facing legal action.

You definitely don't want that.

The notification period exists for store owners to communicate with customers and suppliers. Any unfulfilled orders you might have must be delivered to the customers as scheduled, or notify them that they will not be getting their orders, in which case you're required to issue them a full refund. The same thing applies to any unpaid invoices you might have from suppliers. These must be paid in full before you close down your Etsy store.

Keep in mind that failing to do this could result in civil action or even criminal prosecution.

2. Create a Clear, Actionable Timeline

Once you've decided to wind up your store and have notified your customers, suppliers, and stakeholders of your intention to close shop, the next step involves developing an execution plan. To do this, you'll need to create a timeline with clear and actionable milestones outlining different phases of the store closure and steps to be taken at each stage.

Closing your store without warning could result in aggrieved customers leaving bad reviews online and could permanently damage your brand reputation. The best thing to do is give customers a one-month closure notice. You should post an announcement on your store's homepage, social media channels, and email.

Ensure your notice provides a reason for the closure and include a portion thanking your customers for the support they have shown you up until that point. Include your contact details in the announcement and invite the public to contact you with any questions or queries.

3. Organize the Necessary Documentation

Next, you'll need to compile the required documentation related to the closure of your store. These include:

  • A full transaction history of your Etsy store
  • A record of your store's payment history
  • Pending Etsy fees
  • A record of customers' payment history for transactions made through third-party providers other than Etsy
  • A detailed log of all orders and listings and any relevant information on them

4. Finalize Any Open Transactions

To reiterate, it is extremely important that you close any open transactions. If you log into your Etsy account and notice that you have one or more transactions still in progress, their status will display "pending" until completion. You can choose to deal with these transactions in one of two ways.

On the one hand, you could accept them and fulfill the orders. On the other hand, you could cancel them as soon as possible and issue the affected customers a full refund, possibly accompanied by an apology and explanation.

The same logic applies to pending transactions due to a customer making a wrong payment. You could accept the payment and cancel the transaction, effectively reversing it. Alternatively, you could accept the erroneous payment as-is, add a new transaction with the correct amount, and proceed with the order as usual.


5. Refund Open Payments

Any open payments you might have, including but not limited to Etsy payment plans or fees, must be refunded before you can close your online store. To do this, log into your Etsy account, navigate to the "Finances" section of the dashboard, click the link labeled "Payment Plan" for each plan you might have open, and cancel it.

Likewise, you can also navigate to the "Fees" section and click the link labeled "Cancel Fees" for any amounts you wish to refund.

To refund open payments, go to the "Money" section of your Etsy account dashboard, click the "Payments" button on the top right corner of the screen, and select "Money." Once you do, click "Add a Payment" and choose the specific payment you want to refund.

Ensure you include a narrative explaining the reason for the refund, which, in this case, is because you're closing your Etsy shop.

6. Deactivate All Open Listings

You will need to deactivate any open listings you might have to avoid incurring additional fees. To do this, select the individual listing and click the link marked "Deactivate." You should also deactivate any open listings scheduled to land at some future date. To do this, navigate to the "Listing Manager" and click the "Deactivate" button beside the scheduled listing date.

Remember that while the deactivated listings don't attract fees, Etsy will not refund any fees that may already have been applied to open listings.

7. File Your Store's Closing Documents

Ensure you submit the requisite store closure documents to Etsy as soon as possible for review. Once they verify that you have no open transactions, you will get the green light to close your account. The required closing documents are as follows:

  • Tax information: It should include your store's gross income, expenditure, and sales over the past 12 months. You can access this information by navigating to your Etsy dashboard's "Finances" section and clicking "Tax Information."
  • Proof of identity: Etsy also needs to verify that the account owner is indeed requesting the account closure. For this reason, you must upload a clear photo of a government-issued ID, such as your driver's license or passport, in the "Account Settings" section of your account dashboard.

8. Balance Your Books

Before you close your Etsy store, ensure your finances are accurate and balanced. Navigate to the "Finances" section of your account dashboard, click "Account Summary," and analyze your store's statement of transactions. You also want to close your store's PayPal, Stripe, or other linked payment methods.

9. Close Your Etsy Account

Once you've wrapped up all the steps we've outlined so far, you're now ready to close your Etsy shop. You can do this by navigating to your dashboard's "Account Settings" section and clicking "Close Account." More on this in the next section.

See also: Best Things to Sell on Etsy.

How to Close an Etsy Shop

So far, we've explored the possible reasons you might want to close your Etsy shop and some of the things you need to keep in mind before you do. With that in mind, here's how to close shop on Etsy.

  1. Visit the official Etsy website, log into your account, and click "Shop Manager."
  2. Navigate to "Settings" and click "Options."
  3. Go to the "Close Shop" tab.
  4. Expand the dropdown menu and pick the reason for closing your Etsy store.
  5. Click "Close Shop" and complete the short survey before exiting the site.

Once you complete the steps above, it might take time before the system approves your closure request. In the meantime, your account status will change to "buyer-only," although the platform will no longer display your store to users.

If, while going through the steps we've outlined above, you don't see an option to close your shop, it is likely because your account still has unresolved issues you need to close. Refer to the previous section in this guide to learn what you must do before you can close your Etsy shop.

It's worth noting that you can reopen your store at any point in the future. Closing your Etsy store puts it in a dormant state.

How to Close a Draft Etsy Shop

If you went through the account setup process but later decided not to open your shop to the public, you'll have to contact Etsy Support and submit a request for closure.

Get Informed Well Before Closing Your Store

Before attempting to close your Etsy store, it would be prudent to do your due diligence. The internet is chock-full of helpful resources you can use to find out the best course of action to take as far as stepping away from your store goes.

Learn the difference between closing your Etsy shop, closing your account, activating vacation mode on your store, and permanently deleting your store. Yes, there's a difference.

Go to YouTube, watch informational videos that spell out the difference between them, and find the most appropriate option for your needs. The last thing you want is to permanently delete your store when all you wanted was a short break to go on vacation.


Deleting an Etsy Store Permanently

At this point, it is important to mention that closing your Etsy shop isn't the same as deleting your account. Closing is temporary and leaves store owners with the option to reopen. On the other hand, account deletion is permanent and irreversible. To delete Etsy store, you must ensure:

  • Your payment account has no due amounts.
  • All pending orders have been fulfilled.
  • Any open cases have been resolved.
  • You have downloaded and saved important information for tax and record-keeping purposes.
  • You don't intend to use the email associated with your Etsy account on a new one.

With that in mind, here's how to permanently delete shop on Etsy.

  1. Visit the official Etsy website and log into the account you wish to delete.
  2. Navigate to "Account Settings" and click "Privacy."
  3. Go to "Permanently close and delete your Etsy account" and select "Request deletion of your data."
  4. Log into your associated email address and look for a message containing instructions on completing your account deletion request.
  5. Follow the delete shop Etsy instructions provided in the email.

Etsy takes about two weeks to review your request. Upon confirmation that your account has no unresolved issues, your store will be permanently deleted.

Need a Break From Your Etsy Store? Activate Vacation Mode

Perhaps you want to briefly step away from the day-to-day running of your Etsy shop for a few days or weeks. While your store will still be visible to prospective customers, they cannot place new orders during that period. However, you will still be able to manage open orders and communicate with clients if need be.

Here's how to turn on vacation mode on your Etsy store.

  1. Log into your Etsy account and go to "Shop Manager."
  2. Choose "Settings" and click "Options."
  3. Navigate to the "Vacation Mode" tab and toggle the setting to "On."
  4. Fill in your auto-responder message and temporary shop announcement in the fields provided.
  5. Click "Save" once done.

Closing Your Etsy Seller Account

In an earlier section, we looked at how to close your Etsy shop. This section explores how to close your Etsy seller account. Your seller account is the umbrella that hosts all your Etsy shops. You can have multiple stores all housed under one account.

To close your Etsy account:

  1. Visit the official Etsy website and click "You."
  2. Select "Account Settings."
  3. Scroll down to the section marked "Close Your Account."
  4. From the dropdown menu, pick a reason for closing your Etsy account.
  5. Click "Close Account."

If you get to the final step and don't see an option to "Close Account," it might be due to an open case in your shop or an amount due on your statement. You must first resolve any pending issues before proceeding with your account closure.

If you get an error after clicking "Close Account," it might be because you've recently changed the primary email associated with your Etsy account. You will have to wait 7 days before reinitiating the account closure process again.

Reopening an Etsy Shop

To reopen an Etsy shop you had previously closed:

  1. Visit the official Etsy website on a laptop or desktop computer and log in to your "Store Manager" dashboard. Kindly note that you cannot complete this process on a mobile browser.
  2. Click "Your Account" and navigate to "Account Settings."
  3. Select the closed shop you wish to reopen.
  4. Click "Reopen shop" and confirm if any of the listings you previously had have since expired.
  5. Confirm that the billing information on file is accurate and up-to-date.

See also: Etsy vs. Shopify – Which Is Better for Your Online Store?

Final Thoughts

There you have it – the lowdown on how to close an Etsy shop. Remember, there's a difference between closing your Etsy shop, closing your Etsy account, activating vacation mode on your store, and permanently deleting your Etsy shop.


Two of these are temporary. Two are not. Can you tell which ones?

If your online business has outgrown Etsy, it might be time to move to an eCommerce platform that can host your store under your own brand domain name. Cart2Cart can help you with the move. Our automated shopping cart migration tool provides a simple, hassle-free way to transfer your online store to your preferred eCommerce provider in a few clicks.

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