Etsy – Things I Learned Last Thursday

Every Thursday at 2pm PST in the Etsy Labs, one of the lovely admins runs a shop critique. I crept in and sat at the back and by the end I felt as though I’d learned loads. Here are my notes, which I’ve put into practice in this shop listing for Big Hairy Spider. I intend to change the other listings as soon as I get a chance.


– Almost everyone is confused about tags, some people hate them and lots of people misuse them.

– But with the Etsy search now based on relevancy it’s more important than ever to try and get your tags right.

– Try to sum up your style in a few words and use those words as tags.

– Also use colours, materials, people who may want the item and the room where the item would be kept as well as some adjectives.

– Remember that the first two tags place your item in a category. These are the most important. Look at what else is in the categories and ask yourself if your item fits in there.


– There is a “sweet spot” for titles, too descriptive and it turns off a potential buyer, too creative and it won’t show up in the right place in a google search and it may damage your relevancy.

–  The first three words of a title is what the customer sees under the image when they’re searching.

– Cute and clever names are not the way forward. Think of it as a waste of title space if the title doesn’t contain a search term for your item.


– Tell people why they want one. Tell them what’s in it for them. Be obvious. Keeping the attention of a web buyer doesn’t leave time for subtlety.

– If you made an item use “I made this” not “this was made”. Etsy buyers are looking for a connection with the maker.

– Use long descriptions but try to break up the text with bullet points or caps. Remember, the descriptions are also available to search engines so fill your descriptions with…er…description. Colour, materials, size, shape etc.

– If you were inspired by something when you were making it, then mention this. It’s another set of key search terms and another connection for your buyer. Tell a story that makes a connection to you.

– Ask yourself “what makes this item special?” and put the answer in the description.

– If you have a sale or special offers, put that information in every item description not just in the shop announcement. That way you can pull a buyer further into your shop.

Other Stuff

– Look at to find out what time of day you get the most hearts on your items. If there’s a busy time of day, then that would be the best time to list similar items.

– Look for Storque blog entries from the Merchandising Desk, this tells you what etsy will be featuring over the coming month which may help you to tag or just list items that will be of particular interest to the admins in that month.


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