Time for some soul searching. What is the issue?
Four questions to ask
Start with pinpointing where the issue lies:
1. Is there demand for my items?
2. How is my pricing?
3. Are my photos top-notch?
4. Have I optimized my listings for SEO and getting found on Etsy searches?
I continually see shops with weak tags and titles. Before deciding on words for your title and tags, always ask yourself if a shopper would type those words into the search bar? If not, avoid using them.
Take action on any of the four above issues that need work. Get everything is in shape. See if sales increase.
Consider an advertising campaign.
It could be that your items are simply not being seen. Many categories are saturated with listings. Etsy's promoted listings get your items in front of more potential buyers, more exposure.
There are no short cuts. Successful advertising campaigns depend on the above four points. Your items must be in good shape as to photos, in demand, pricing and SEO/Etsy relevancy.
Keep costs down by making maximum bids low. Give it a month or two and see if things improve.
What about changing what you sell?
Perhaps there is not very much demand for some of your items. Experiment with selling other items. Try specializing more. Or less. Research trends. Perhaps rebranding your or refreshing your product lines will improve your sales.
One vintage seller added a "DIY" section to her shop. That dovetails with Etsy's new Studio, and her branding. Other shops might consider a party section. Both of these ideas may involve reselling of new items (allowed with craft and party items). The dollars could be smaller. But listing multiple quantities is less work. You are attracting a different target audience, broadening your selling reach.
Consider changing up your selling outlets
With vintage, there are several ways to move your items:
1. Rent a booth in an antiques mall. This is a good way to dip your toe into local in-person sales.
2. Sell at shows. This can be a lot of work. At the right show, profits can be high.
3. Sell on Craigslist or another local venue (especially larger items).
4. Open a brick-and-mortar shop. Be sure to do your research. You will have to collect sales tax on any sales within your state, even online.
5. Open a Pattern shop. It now allows you to offer items less than 20 years old. Your items on Pattern can differ from what you sell on Etsy. There is a $15 monthly fee as well as final value fees. You are still subject to many of Etsy's terms and conditions. If you lose your selling privileges with Etsy, it will include your Pattern shop.
6. Create your own website. Most involve a monthly charge but no listing charges and no final value fee. Showcase your brand and creativity. There will be payment processor fees, however. There is no traffic, so you must drive traffic to your own site. Many sellers like making their own rules.
7. Sell on another online venue. Many Etsy vintage sellers sell on eBay already. Some items sell well there, particularly collector items. Perhaps yours will. Other websites include Amazon, Artyah, Artfire, Bonanza, Ruby Lane, eBid, eCrater and more. There is even a start-up in the works.
Meditate on it. Ask a trusted friend. Carefully consider your options.
Does your business need a remix? How will you change it up? How will you ensure it is working?