There has been some debate as of late as to whether renewing is good or bad, whether it helps or hurts, whether it's commie or capitalist.
I'm not going to get into the middle of all that messy debate. I figured as a member of the Etsy community who cares deeply about other people and their feelings, I want to share with you my strategy. While I have not been as successful as others who may have better advice, they are too busy to help you. I have done better than a lot of others who would probably give crappy advice. So take it from me with a middle of the pack shop, or else you'll get it from someone worse than I am.
So let's look at renewing in a whole new light. Let's not think about it as trampling others to get to the top- a low grade form of throwing money at a problem to fix it.
No, let's look at it in a more rational, sensible way. Renewing is simply cutting the line. But it's not a bad thing in this instance because you pay for it. And if it yields results you have more money to pay to keep yourself at the head of the line. And that's the American way.
Before you poo poo this analogy, please be patient and think this through. America is based on the free market system. Yes, as each decade passes the market is less and less free, but we can't argue that America was founded on principles of property ownership and unmitigated, obscene profits.
The crystal clear example of this is Walt Disney World. Obscene profits. And line cutting all day long. And guess what- it's the happiest fucking place on Earth! Everyone is willing to hand over $8.00 for a hot dog (which in case you didn't know is just intestine stuffed with lips and assholes) and why- for the privilege of taking part in the epitome of the American way.
Paying a lot for sometimes little reward, waiting in line, and perhaps even faking a disability to get to the front- it's just like Etsy. Except the only disability one can have on here to help them out is that they are unable to actually make things themselves and are forced to make a living selling someone else's. Sure, it's against the rules, but do we want to forbid the downtrodden? The disabled? That is more communist than any ideas presented elsewhere.
In conclusion, my strategy is simple- I cut the line when I can and when necessary. Do I cut the line for the Snow White ride? No, cause it kinda sucks and I'm in no rush to get on it. Do I force my way to the front on Soarin' or Test Track? You bet your arse I do. Firstly, they are awesome rides, and b, it's the American way.
My strategy on Etsy is the same. If I'm fighting a category where the items and photos are you know meh, well why would I need to renew constantly? I'm easily better than they are and folks will walk down the line to find me. But dudes, if you are in a category that is awesome and competitive, like the Toy Story ride, well I'm sorry- you've got to fight for your right to be seen. And if you don't fight, well then you're Switzerland and you'll probably end up full of war criminals.