Tag Archives: describing listings on Etsy

Crafting detailed listing titles, tags and descriptions to help your Etsy vintage item stand out from the crowd

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!

Asian Fan in EBay November 2015

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”.

Etsy Asian Fan Listings

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…

P1350097

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.

Red Crown Crane Fan Listing

I also included a bit of what I learned, for the item’s description section.  Excerpt below…

Red Crown Crane item description

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…

Red Crown Crane keywordsAnd yesterday…. despite this listing being less than a week old, the fan sold!

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):

Listings for Wood Box on Etsy Nov 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?

P1320384

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.

Long Wood Box Item Listing

And also on Tuesday,  guess what words — actually, NUMBERS — showed up on my top keyword terms?

2by11 box Top KeywordsThe box size, or at least close to it — 2×11.

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”:

Niche Definition

My last example for this post is a wood magazine holder, listed on my shop pages in August.

P1250781

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.

Magazine Rack

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.

Wood Magazine Rack

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!

Western style Magazine Holder

The wheel also reminded me of an old-fashioned ship or nautical type wheel, so I added the following terms to my listing tags:

  1. Wheel Decor
  2. 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).

Nautical Magazine Rack

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.

— Jane

By the way, yesterday, the customer who bought the long box left a positive feedback — another 5 star review for the store!

Long Wood Box Review

The buyer of the Asian fan also left a 5-Star Review 🙂

Screenshot 2016-07-14 13.39.48


 

Related

Market Tales Article – My first listings — and describing my Franciscan Pottery and Heath Ceramics items

Etsy image link How to Get FoundEtsy 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


Back to Market Tales Home Page, here.

My first listings — and describing / pricing my Franciscan Pottery and Heath Ceramics

One of the most challenging thing to do once you’ve set up shop in Etsy is to figure out

  1. How to price your vintage objects
  2. The language and description to add to your item listing

Until I set up my Etsy store, I didn’t know that Heath Ceramics, based in Sausalito, California were highly collectible.  I bought the plates years ago because I liked the simple design, the look of the glaze and colors.

I also had many pieces from the Franciscan Pottery Company in the “Jamoca” line, as well as various plates and creamers from other Franciscan lines.  Initially, I did not know that they were Franciscan.  I just liked the colors and the shapes and picked up pieces here and there, over the years.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTIONS

If writing is not your thing (I’m so-so at it) or you find it difficult to be creative with your words (as I do), then searching within Etsy to see how others describe similar items should get you inspired to write up descriptions for your first listing.

I’ve visited stores with very minimal words in their listings and some with long, super detailed descriptions.

I like information, so I tend to want to add more, rather than less.

I also think it is best to give your potential customer as much information to accompany the photos —- and leave it to them if they want to read the nitty gritty.

Along with looking within Etsy for similar products, you can do a Google search or search within EBay for product listing descriptions.  If the company who made your product is still operating, then it is easy enough to get information  simply by visiting their website.

P1230458Based on the information I gathered, I listed my Heath Ceramics Sea and Sand plates with the following description:

Classic and durable Heath ceramic dinner plates in beautiful Sea and Sand glaze, coupe shape.

The Heath company was founded in 1948 in Sausalito, California. They are known for their simple yet thoughtfully designed table ware.

The design and durability stands the test of time — thus becoming family heirlooms.

Many of founder Edith Heath’s original pieces are housed in permanent collections of modern art museums (MOMA and LACMA).

I thought it was a good start!

Getting a bit of history on the company made writing a description more fun, and for me, was an interesting process.

Franciscan Jamoca Gravy Pitcher
Franciscan Pottery “Jamoca” line Gravy Pitcher

Next up were my Franciscan dinnerware items, and I posted this description:

love the Franciscan line of ceramic dinnerware in the “Jamoca” pattern.

The neutral, dark brown color can easily pair with your other tableware collection, and the golden yellow scrolls, filigree designs are very pretty.

Franciscan Ceramics started under California-based Gladding, Mcbean & Co., and was later purchased by Wedgwood, then the Waterford Glass Group.

Jamoca is a discontinued pattern.

Franciscan Dinner Plates Jamoca edges

The Etsy item listing manager allows you to “copy” an existing listing.

In the case of the Franciscan tableware, this was a great feature as I was able to just copy most of the listing for the dinner / salad plates / footed cups & saucers, with all the information and product tags I already created.

Very nice, and time-saving, especially if you have many pieces that you want to sell separately.

PRICING

For collectible and known / popular dining and table top items, the website that sells replacement pieces is a good resource to get an idea of market price (and their availability) for pieces you are listing to sell. It is a terrific starting point for pricing.

I then checked EBay to see how many other sellers have the same or similar item for sale… what is their price?

And within Etsy, how many sellers already have the same item?  What condition is it in?  Is mine in better condition or less so?

Once I have done my research, I then price the items based on

  • what is available on line to replace these items
  • how many other listings there are, both on EBay and Etsy

And based on the condition and availability (is it rare?) I establish a price that I think is reasonable and fair.

Your thoughts? If you have tips to add on how to price your items, or additional ideas, please do comment.


Back to Market Tales Home Page, here.


Related Market Tales Articles: