It’s been four months since I opened my Etsy vintage shop, and I’m getting better at crafting titles, creating more specific listing “tags”, and writing descriptions for my items.
This post is about my efforts to make my Etsy vintage items stand out from the mass of products available from web-based stores.
Based on my experience, this article covers:
- Why it’s important to use all 13 tags within the Etsy listing system
- How a little research can help a seemingly generic item stand out from the others
- How including the size of an item in my listing title may have led to selling it
- And an example of finding a niche in a product category with 74 pages of listings!
Listing Tags and Titles
Using tags — words or short phrases — to describe your item listing on Etsy helps potential buyers find your item by matching your tags with a shopper’s search term.
Etsy allows you to use 13 tags for each listing. Each tag can contain up to 20 characters.
At first, 13 seemed like a lot of tags — do I really need to use all of the tags?
I’m finding that the answer is YES, I do!
The tags help potential buyers find a listing in my store among the hundreds — or sometimes thousands — of similar products for sale on Etsy, EBay and the myriad of on-line shops.
Example 1: The Asian Fan with Red-Crowned Cranes
If you are looking for a traditional folding Asian Fan, and type in “Asian Fan” in Ebay’s search box, you will get thousands of results.
In fact, as of today, November 6, 2015, there are 12,406 “Asian Fans” listed on EBay. Yikes!
It was less overwhelming on Etsy, with just hundreds of fans in the different categories.
Still, there were a total of 2,069 items listed for “Asian Fans”.
So when I listed this fancy, gold-painted, traditional, folding “Asian Fan” on my store, I thought it would take a very LONG time to sell…
The folding fan was an interesting vintage object, but what I really liked about it was the theme, and the painting of the two birds on the gold background.
I took a guess that these birds were a type of crane, since I knew a little about the importance of cranes in Asian cultures.
More specifically, they had a red crown… so I researched “Red-Crowned Cranes”, and learned more about these birds.
I decided to focus the listing on the birds, and used the words “Red-Crowned Cranes” in the title. and included the string of words as one of my 13 tags for the listing.
I also included a bit of what I learned, for the item’s description section. Excerpt below…
On Tuesday, the words “red crown crane” were among the search terms someone used to find their way to my vintage shop.
Here’s a screen shot of Page 3 of the top keywords that day…
It was surprising to me because this item had zero views and zero favorites, prior to the sale.
Also, there was no search term that day for “Asian Fan” (or even Chinese or Japan fans, the other tags I also used for the listing.)
Perhaps someone was looking for something with a red-crown crane as a gift. And though they may not have thought about an “Asian Fan”, the item became a gift option.
For this listing, I think the focus on the Red-Crowned Crane helped sell the fan.
Example 2: The Long Wood Box
If you type “Wood Box” within Etsy’s search box, here is what you will get (as of November 4, 2015):
A whole lot of boxes —- 69,363 to be exact.
How on earth can you make your particular box stand out, like this wood box I listed among 69,363 wood boxes?
Well, it’s a wood box with a specific shape (LONG) and size (over 11 inches long ), information which I included in the listing and the tags.
And also on Tuesday, guess what words — actually, NUMBERS — showed up on my top keyword terms?
This box also sold that same day!
So, despite the 69,363 wood boxes on the Etsy website, this buyer found this specific box, because of the size, and this size number included on the listing title, item details and item tags.
Finding a Niche: The Wood Magazine Holder Example
Here is how the Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines “niche”:
My last example for this post is a wood magazine holder, listed on my shop pages in August.
In August, when I typed “magazine rack” in Etsy’s search box I got 3,097 results.
Being a fairly new seller, I didn’t even want to imagine where — or at what page (out of 74 pages!) my listing would surface.
Using a generic tag to include your item in a broad, general category is a start. But even better is to use more specific language.
My item was a wood magazine rack.
If one types in “wood magazine rack, the results are less daunting.
Now there are just 927 items, and only 23 pages of wood magazine racks.
Looking at my wood magazine rack, the wheel part reminded me of a Western wagon wheel, or a Western style decor. I added the following words for the tags on this listing:
- Western Decor
- Western Style Rack
- Wagon Wheel
And so now, if someone was looking for a “Western Magazine Rack” there is only 1 page of items, and only 13 results (as of August, 2015). And Voila — there is my item!
The wheel also reminded me of an old-fashioned ship or nautical type wheel, so I added the following terms to my listing tags:
- Wheel Decor
- Nautical themes
If someone was looking for a magazine rack with a specific wheel or nautical theme, they will have 1 page and 23 items to look through (again, as of August, 2015).
And now my listing is up on the top, in the first (and only) page, just as it was on the “Western Magazine Rack” search.
I barely have the patience to look through 5 pages of magazine racks….let alone, 74! Being on the first few pages is definitely better.
So while this magazine holder has not yet sold, I feel pretty confident that it will find its way to a new owner, eventually .
I’m still learning more about titles and tags…
What I do know is that using more detailed descriptions, and specific words or a string of words for your title and tags is a must, in addition to the generic terms for your listing (like magazine rack, or Asian fan).
When posting a new item, remember:
- There are 13 tags to use — use ALL OF THEM.
- Be creative, and think about what a potential customer may call the item or what they can do with it. Can it be re-purposed into something else?
- Be sure to use the listing title’s 140 characters to your advantage, and be as detailed as possible with your title.
- Include the size of your item — remember that the term “11×2” may be all it took for my long box to find its new owner.
- Incorporate the words used in your title within your item details and description. So far, I have not reached a character limit on my item detail description — there is a lot of room for item details!
- Have fun, do a bit of research on your objects and when possible, provide what you have learned to help the listing stand out from the masses.
I rarely put up a listing without using ALL of the characters allowed on the listing title. My “short” title means I use 138 characters and not 140.
Are you doing the same thing in terms of refining your tag words and using all the characters available for your listing title?
I hope this post was helpful.
By the way, yesterday, the customer who bought the long box left a positive feedback — another 5 star review for the store!
Market Tales Article – My first listings — and describing my Franciscan Pottery and Heath Ceramics items
Etsy Article – How to Get Found in Search Getting found in search may seem daunting, but all it takes is a little know-how
Etsy Blog – Seller How To: Tag-o-rama With Descriptive Keywords
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