Saturday , 15 May 2021
It occurred to me that, for many of us, your Etsy shop isn't just a hobby, it is a small business, and small businesses should have plans for unforeseeable circumstances.

Do You Have an Etsy Contingency Plan?

Do You Have an Etsy Contingency Plan?

It’s not something you want to think about.

However, for example, I wrote a post for Handmadeology last week, and when I went to have it posted, one of the shops being featured had gone into vacation mode with a note that said “My shop is closed while I am recovering from a serious accident.”

This reminded me of a forum thread I read not too long ago about a seller who had been seriously injured in a car accident and was hospitalized for months. Her husband of course did not even think about her shop, but all the while people were making purchases and leaving bad feedback because there was no response.

It occurred to me that, for many of us, your Etsy shop isn’t just a hobby, it is a small business, and small businesses should have plans for unforeseeable circumstances. Heaven forbid something happens, but if it does, you don’t want people to be sending you their money and then never receive their items or a refund.

So it doesn’t have to be anything fancy. I decided it would just be a good idea to have an “ICE” (in case of emergency) folder just like I have an “ICE” number in my phone.

In this folder, I’m going to put:

{1} Passwords.
- Etsy Username and Password
- The email associated with the Etsy account in case I changed it and forgot to update the file so they can use the “forgot your password.”
- Email password
- Paypal account email and password
- {if applicable} Blog login address and password.

{2} Instructions.
- How to put the shop in vacation mode
- How to view sales & cancel them in Etsy
- How to refund sales in Paypal
- How to edit shop announcement
- {if applicable} How to post to blog

You may also consider including social media passwords and information, but of course if your page allows posts from other people, that could be done from the account of the person taking care of everything.

So that should be enough for someone in your life to shut things down effectively for awhile. Just let someone know where it is and you’re good to go.

It might seem silly in the scheme of things, but think about how much worse it would be to recover and have to try to put the pieces back together and appease angry customers.


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  1. This is a great post and something everyone should think about. Thanks again.

  2. Wow. I have never thought of this. What a great idea! Now that I am starting to see Etsy sales and my business is heating up, I am definitely going to put a file together with this information. Thank you for sharing!
    Enjoy the day!

  3. Great point. Definitely going to do this just in case.

  4. Definitely something very important to consider and to do. Thanks for posting this!

  5. Great post about something I know I haven’t even really considered. I’m not a full-timer, but it helps to be prepared.

  6. Thanks for the heads up!! I will work on this folder!

  7. I had never even given this a thought. No one else knows how to access my shop or what to do in this case. Thanks for this; I’m going to make a plan now.

  8. A wise idea. My daughters have this info to use, just in case.

  9. wonderful idea :) Thank you for these awesome tips…

  10. Wow, I would never have thought of anything like this — thank you so much! I guess I better do this just in case…..

  11. Such an important thing to think about. Thanks for reminding us that the unexpected IS something you can plan for. :)

  12. You know, an unforeseeable circumstance led to my last Etsy shop being shut down in 2006 and all the unpleasantness could have totally been avoided with a plan like this one! Thanks SO MUCH for your thoughtful post and reminding us that it’s always better to be prepared. :)

  13. As someone who got rushed into hospital last week and with a husband who is pretty clueless without line by line instructions this is very timely. Fortunately I was only in 3 days and it was a quiet 3 days for me, no harm was done. This is my next job to sort!

  14. I have put together a book not just for my Etsy store but for all of my online accounts and then told my daughter where to find it. My mother passed away three years ago and I’m still looking for things. It’s good to go through the information once a year too to make sure everything is up to date.

  15. Great post. My wife has mentioned this kind of thing, but I had not done anything. I like your idea for putting all the info in a folder. Thanks!

  16. Really great article!!! I ended up in the hospital last Friday night after almost passing out at the Costco. I’m fine, nothing serious, but it got me to thinking, who would handle my shops if something serious did happen? Well, now I do have a plan in place so thanks for pushing me into getting that going!!


  17. Definitely a good idea, you never know what might happen!

  18. Good advice. I had to spend quite a few weeks away from home caring for a relative – my husband kept my shop ticking over with instructions by phone from me, but it would have been WAY easier if I’d thought about writing instructions down first.

  19. Good idea – I really hadn’t even thought about that. Thanks for an important reminder.

  20. Such a great idea! Would save my husband and lot of trouble if anything happened to me.

  21. I have thought about this often, but hadn’t put anything in place yet. This is a great motivational post, thank!

  22. Really good idea that I could put to use. Thanks for the list of things to include.

  23. This is such a good idea, Tim, as always. However, if something happened to me, my husband would not have a clue what to do or how to go about doing it. Having all that info would be greek to him. Therefore, since my sister and I live across the country, but talk and work etsy, she is the one that will get my “pink” book. It even has passwords to money accounts, should details about those be needed. If my sister would not be available, then I would find another very trusted internet marketing friend who could do the needed tasks. This is important, especially if etsy is not your only online business.

  24. great advice, Sarah. I hadn’t really given it any thought until I had surgery not too long ago. I thought I’d feel up to at least answering emails, but 3 days went by without me tending my shop! That was when I tacked a piece of paper to my work corkboard with all the info you had mentioned !

  25. Great information. Thanks!

  26. This is a great reminder! I’ve purchased something from a shop, never to have it sent or money refunded, and no responses (and I was a repeat customer from before).
    I mentioned this plan to my husband, and he reminded me in a serious accident or similar that we may be together and to make sure someone else knows where to find the information too.

  27. This is superb advice! ICE it for sure!

  28. Because nobody knows the future! Great advice.

  29. Having been rushed into hospital and stuck there for 3 days earlier this year, I have now! Talking husband through how to deal with a sale whilst I was waiting for an MRI scan was not my most glorious moment, but we managed.

    Whether he’d find the folder if there was another time, heaven knows :)

  30. Excellent list we should all use. I made copies of my ICE plan and gave one to my son, placed one in my Etsy file drawer and one in my “When I Pass Away” information folder. I also included information as to how to log onto my computer and access my Etsy shop information. I need to make arrangements with my best Etsy seller friend to provide answers to questions my son might have. I’m 70 years old and might “forget” how to do every thing.

    Thanks for the reminder!
    Sincerely, Margaeet

  31. This is really good information I need to set this up. I’m saving this very important information and post to start getting this set up.

    Thank you so much

  32. I actually have a google doc with info that is shared with my mom, but I haven’t quite gotten around to making sure she knows how to do all those things. Probably should add another person to that list and some contacts incase they need help.

    Thanks for sharing.

  33. It’s a great idea.
    My daughter probably knows what to do, but may not think of it!

  34. Something to think about. My husband is a big part of helping me with my business. He recently had an accident and had to have surgery. This really has hit home for me….What a wrench it caused in my business since it happened…

    Great information!

  35. Awesome article chock full of excellent advice. Thank you so much for sharing!!!


  36. This is an excellent idea ~ something I had thought about once or twice but never done anything about!!

    Now I’m going to before it’s needed :)

  37. Fantastic idea. Can honestly say I hadn’t considered past the vacation mode option.

  38. Thank you! I’ve just sorted it – very wise advice

  39. Thanks for the reminder!

  40. Great advice. I would recommend giving this file to an Etsy buddy if you have one. Someone who already knows the ropes and understands how important your craft business is to you.

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