Ch 11: Listing on Etsy – 2016 Online Selling Guide

Listing on Etsy

This is my favorite marketplace to list on. Mostly because I begin coming up with new things I can create and potentially sell. Right now, I’m coming up with a new concept of dog jackets for my boxer mastiff and lab spaniel. I’ve looked on every marketplace for something that is comparable but I can’t find anything. But instead of just making them for my two dogs, the business mind kicks in about how I could mass produce them in different sizes, trademarking a name, building a website for the product…and I haven’t even made a prototype.

Getting Started

Etsy’s Search Algorithm

I have this above How to List on Etsy because you need to know what makes items appear closer to the top of the search results. Positive reviews help push your listings towards the top of the search results, that being said, advertise your items across social media so friends can purchase and then give you positive reviews.

Completed About page, Shop Policies, optimize your titles and tags (mentioned below). These may simply be best business practices but it’s worth mentioning how to get your items found on Etsy.

List on Etsy

Now you’re ready to list an item on Etsy. Go to Your Shop > Listings > Add a Listing.

Listing on Etsy

Photographing Your Item

The first step to list on Etsy is uploading your photos because images speak louder than words on this marketplace. Images on Etsy can be a bit different than for eBay and Amazon. When listing brand named items, people just want to see the item with no creative flair. On Etsy, buyers like to see an art piece showcased in a living room, a dog playing in snow wearing his jacket or a screen printed shirt being worn while walking through the streets of New York. That being said, unlock your creativity to display your items the way you see it being used. Keep in mind the key factors to follow when photographing your item.

Listing on Etsy

Describing Your Item

The listing process on Etsy can be very fast but it must be thought out. You can’t simply list “Oceans T-Shirt” when the shirt has lyrics to a song. This doesn’t make your listing stand out at all. I mention this in Listing on eBay and Listing on Craigslist, the 3 key points to convert someone browsing into a potential buyer are Title, Image and Price. Without an enticing title and great gallery photo, you’ve already lost the first round of sales conversion. Learn how to describe your item through the title in Ch 5: Describing Your Item.

Listing on Etsy

Next is selecting how long you want an item to remain online, the type of item and describing your item. Etsy gives plenty of notes on the right side to understand what to choose on each option.

Listing on Etsy

If you are listing variations, meaning different colors or sizes of your product, then the quantity you state may be an issue. You cannot assign the quantity of 3 to your Medium Red variation and a quantity of 4 to your Large Green variation. These options don’t exist. So if you’re going to list a variation listing, you need to have access to an equal supply of items. Otherwise, it’s best to separate all of your variations into different listings so your quantities can stay accurate.

Listing on Etsy


Etsy allows for both calculated and flat rate shipping. The only other major marketplace that also does this is eBay. If you are not sure whether to enter a flat rate of $10 or use calculated, be sure to see how to prep your item for shipping so you can know the best amount to charge. On Etsy, it’s best to create Shipping Profiles to select your shipping method.

A decision that might detour potential buyers is a long fulfillment time. If it takes you 3 weeks to ship the item due to buying materials and making it, you’re slimming the chance of sales conversion. How could you speed up the process?

Listing on Etsy

Tags and Materials

When I used to list handmade steampunk lamps on Etsy, I didn’t fully research how these keywords determine how your item is found. For materials, I typed “wood, metal, electricity”. It’s a wonder that I even sold those lamps without building the listings right. You have up to 14 tags and 14 materials. Target your audience, don’t just list 3 materials. For a dog jacket I would use tags like:

Pet Supplies, Pet Clothing, Dog Clothing, Dog Jacket, Dog Raincoat, Dog Rain Coat, Dog Snowsuit, Dog Snow Suit, Pet Waterproof Jacket, Dog Waterproof Jacket, Dog Accessories, Pet Accessories…

You can see how I’m explaining the same item in different methods that people may use when searching.

Listing on Etsy

Regarding materials, don’t add what you didn’t use but feel free to list everything you used. For a dog jacket, I might include:

Nylon, Polyfill, Polar Fleece, Zipper, Velcro

Select Occasion if your item pertains to birthday, a holiday or a certain event. For Style, you have two options. If you have no clue what to select, take a look at other examples of similar items on Etsy to give you ideas.

Listing on Etsy

Social Interaction

In Ch 13, were going to cover the social aspect of your listings and customer interactions. Etsy and eBay both started leveraging users creating Pinterest-like boards of their favorite items which get displayed on people’s feeds. Your items could become popular solely through many people “liking” and posting on their feed.

This post is eleventh in the series of 2016 Online Selling Guide.

Listing on Etsy

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