3 Reasons Why You Should Not Be Using Auto Renew In Your Etsy Shop

Anyone who knows me knows I’m obsessed with efficiency.  I love saving time and money with automations, etc.  Not kidding, just ask my husband.  So when I saw that Etsy was giving us an auto renew feature, I thought this is amazing!  BUT… that was a very short-lived thought.  

I’m going to tell you the 3 reasons why you should NOT be using auto renew in your Etsy shop.  So let’s start with a biggy for many Etsy sellers.

Just a heads up!  This blog post may contain affiliate links.  That means if you make a purchase through one of those links, at no additional cost to you, I may make a commission from your purchase, which helps me provide this content to you!

 You Are Not In Charge Of Your Own Etsy Shop

Etsy sellers are always talking about Etsy taking control of our shops. Talking about how we run them through the shop features they give us or those they take away.  Well, folks, sometimes we hand control of our shops right over without batting an eyelash.  And we don’t even realize it.

When you let Etsy relist your entire product line using auto renew, you are no longer in control of your products or your shop. 


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Many Etsy sellers started their online stores to gain more control over their lives, finances and time.

So unless you are a religious watcher of your Etsy stats, you may be renewing listings that aren’t selling and have SEO problems that are simply not getting you any results or revenue in your shop. But you are saying, “Nah, Etsy, you know my shop better than me.  You run things your way.”

If your Etsy product SEO is way off from what it needs to be and you don’t stop to correct it, you are going to be running your online business into the ground without even knowing it.  This easily happens when you have auto renew set. 

You set it and forgot it, and it’s costing you big time.

You May Be Wasting Your Money

You could be throwing your money right down the drain using the auto renew feature.

Etsy will gladly take your money.  That’s one of the reasons I simply will not, under any circumstances, let listings auto renew. 

I’m way too conscious of where my revenue dollars are reinvested in my business to allow for this, and you should be too. Fix this today. I’ll tell you how to do this in just a bit.


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For many Etsy sellers, you are looking to quit your day job by growing your Etsy store or you have already jumped ship, and your Etsy shop is your sole form of income. 

By using Etsy’s auto renew feature for your listings, you are allowing Etsy to renew your listings at it listing date expiration. This can, in turn, cause you to incur higher listing renewal costs than is necessary.

If your product SEO isn’t on point and the listing is set to auto renew, this isn’t going to bring in revenue to your bank account, and you may not be running your shop for very long as a result.  

Whether a product listing needs some work to its photos, SEO, etc. to make it generate more sales or that it is a seasonal item that shouldn’t be renewed due to it being out of season, auto renew can creating excess marketing expenses.

I have seen countless Etsy sellers taking the easy road here, we all love automations, and don’t even realize how much this feature is really costing them in the long run. 

A few dollars here or there may not be a huge deal, but Etsy shops with lots of listings, those with sometimes thousands of listings, could easily set up their shops for failure and be none the wiser.

You Are Missing Business Growth Opportunites

When you’re so used to Etsy running your listing renewals for you, you may be neglecting to actually pay attention to your listing stats, both on Etsy and Google Analytics.  This may seem obvious to experienced sellers that have sales every single day but watching your stats can help you make wise decisions about product line direction, which products getting the ax, etc.  

When you automate the product listing renewal process, you sometimes forget to keep track of shop trends and other invaluable information that you need to be watching. You could miss potential business opportunities shown in your Etsy stats.

You are here - business growth chart

Auto renew will be renewing all your products every 4 months so when you look at your listing dashboard, you see the good with the bad all shown in order of what renewed most recently, whether by making a sale or the auto renewed feature. 

If auto renew is turned off, you’re only going to see your top selling or most recently sold items at the top of your listings screen, which is set to Expiration: Latest First by default.

This lets you know what products are selling like hotcakes and helps you determine what direction to pursue with new product development.  If something is a best seller, it’s right there in your face.  You can focus on creating new products that are similar or complimentary to what is working.  

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With auto renew on, you don’t have that immediate indicator of what is making your Etsy shop sales because you are seeing the duds, and psychologically, because they are right there at the top, you’re thinking they are winners.  Wrong.

Lots of sellers get this kind of backwards and focus on what isn’t working instead of feeding what is working, focusing on the not-so-great products instead of the thriving ones.  In your off-season, work on fixing the non-sellers.  They may still have potential, but this shouldn’t be your main focus. 

Auto renew puts the junk in the way of progress.

To see how focusing on one product at a time can really ratchet up your Etsy revenue, check out this article when you finish with this one.

How To Edit Your Etsy Listing Auto Renew Settings

There is more than one place to locate your auto renew settings. 

You can bulk un-enroll your listings quickly, all at once, using the bulk editor on the listing dashboard.  Select the items you want to change the renewal options for and click the EDITING OPTIONS drop down.

Then click CHANGE RENEWAL OPTIONS.  Super easy-peasy. 

Etsy Product Listing Editing Options Dropdown Menu

I will periodically do this to all my listings in all my shops just to make sure something hasn’t gone wonky in the backend of my listings. It’s just a good habit to get into doing every once in a while.

A new place to watch when renewing your items manually…

If you select several listings at once and select renew, Etsy now puts a little check box that is AUTOMATICALLY CHECKED to set that listing(s) to auto renew. 

Sneaky, sneaky.

Etsy Bulk Renew Feature - Renew Automatically option

You MUST uncheck the box EVERY TIME you use this function or those items will be right back to auto renewing and snatching away your hard-earned dollars.

I have seen this little check box not being shown recently on the bulk renew popup, but better safe than sorry and keep an eye out for it anyway.

But wait!  There’s one more place your need to watch.  And it’s when you are creating a new listing. 

The next time you set up a new listing, whether from scratch or by duplicating a listing and editing the important parts (it doesn’t matter which way), you need to make sure you are looking for the auto renew section on the listing creation screen too.

When creating a new product from scratch, this automatic renewal option can be found right above the listing description box (in the old listing screen version) or at the bottom of the listing screen in the Setting section (in the new listing screens).

Set that sucker to manual right from the start.

Etsy listing screen renewal option

This is especially helpful if you are like me, and trying to save tons of time with new product listings, and you just duplicate listings from other products and change what you need to. Then you never have to worry as the duplicated listing will carry forward the manual renewal setting.

Etsy’s always finding new ways to slide these little things in right under our noses, and it could be costing you your hard-earned income and could cost you your business if you aren’t aware. 

Be sure to keep up on changes as they roll out.  Take control of your listings and ensure you are KEEPING your revenue and not needlessly watching it flutter off into Etsy’s bank accounts instead of yours.

Are you thinking about starting your own Etsy shop??  Use this link to get 40 FREE listing credits!!

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Hi. I'm Melissa Talbott. Long-time seller on Etsy since 2013 with multiple shops on Etsy and several other E-commerce websites. I enjoy helping makers and small business owners create profitable businesses they love that also provide an income that supports their families on their terms.

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