Should I put my shop on Vacation Mode?

If you’ve been an Etsy seller for a while you’ve probably heard other sellers say “NEVER put your shop on vacation mode! You’ll regret it! You’ll lose sales and never recover and watch your Etsy shop burn to the proverbial ground!” Or something equally frightening. But you may have wondered what the big deal is and what you’re supposed to do instead…continue reading to learn everything you need to know about vacation mode on Etsy.

So, what is Vacation Mode on Etsy?

First off, “vacation mode” was created as a way to keep your Etsy shop technically open but not able to receive orders for a while (by the way, you can get to this feature by going to your Shop Manager then selecting “Settings” and then the “Vacation Mode” tab). It was meant for sellers who have to step away from their shops for a short time (because of vacation or illness for example) or simply need to catch up on orders but they don’t want to close their shop entirely.

3 things that happen when Vacation Mode is activated on Etsy

Once Vacation Mode is activated an Etsy shop, 3 things happen:

  1. Listings don’t appear in search results
  2. Nothing can be purchased
  3. When someone comes to your Etsy shop they’ll see a message that says “this shop is taking a short break”.

As the shop owner, you’ll still have access to your Shop Manager to edit existing listings or setup new ones to be activated when you return. It is important to know that you’re still responsible for shipping out the orders that existed before the shop was put on “vacation mode”. Note: Fees such as the Etsy Plus monthly subscription and any auto-renew listings will continue to be charged even when the shop is on vacation. 

So why is “vacation mode” such a bad thing? Here’s the thing, when you put your shop on vacation it basically freezes in time. But while yours is frozen and basically hidden from shoppers and the algorithm, other seller’s shop listings are being interacted with all around you. New listings are being created, some are sold, some are favorited, etc. Everyone else goes about their Etsy day just as normal and as if you don’t exist. And then when you DO decide to come back, Etsy has to figure out where YOUR listings fall given the current climate on the platform. Ok, now, don’t freak out. Maybe you have recently put your shop on Etsy mode and you’re panic-wondering whether or not your shop will bounce back from it. No worries, keep reading!

4 things you can do to bounce back from Vacation mode on Etsy

If your best seller was consistently showing up on page 1 before you went on vacation mode it *might* not be in the same spot when you return. It takes the algorithm a little while to see where you fit in. Here are 4 ways to try to speed up the process is to make Etsy more aware of your return.

  1. Add new listings
  2. Renew old listings
  3. Create a new “shop update”
  4. Drive organic traffic to your Etsy shop from social media

The more people interact with your listings, the more Etsy will notice your return and be able to re-sort you back into search (think the sorting hat in Harry Potter, lol).  It could take hours, days, or even weeks to get back up to “normal speed”. 

I want to take time off but do I really need to put my shop on vacation mode?

If you already know you won’t be able to fill orders for two weeks, or whatever that timeframe looks like for you, it is not necessary to go on vacation mode! Phew, I know. So, what should you do instead?

Let the masses know. Add a note in your announcement section, your thank you message, and/or possibly even your description letting buyers know of your absence. And then most importantly – extend your shipping times. This way your shop is still technically open and can receive orders but you can dictate when they are shipped out. Oh, and you can keep your ranking while you go sit on a beach (or your couch, both are fabulous ways to vacation) and still make sales.

Not an Etsy seller quite yet but it’s been on your “to-do” list? Jump on the waitlist for Handmade Sellers 101 coming soon in February 2021! Hundreds of sellers have already taken this course and opened their shop and you could be next! For more info and to get on the waitlist visit

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