Updated date:

How to Create a Successful Etsy Product Listing: 5 Tips

Dani is a frugal and web-savvy writer with a knack for craft-based e-commerce.

Learn how to make your Etsy products sell by creating effective listings.

Learn how to make your Etsy products sell by creating effective listings.

What Is Etsy?

Etsy is a popular online shopping website and a platform for small artists, crafters, and creators to sell their products to a global market. It is also an excellent place to find vintage goods and craft supplies.

For sellers, Etsy provides an opportunity to reach a wide market of customers who willing to pay prices that respect handmade and vintage items. But before you make a sale on Etsy, you have to make a listing that attracts and entices buyers. Making a product listing can be difficult, but this article provides a checklist to make the process easier.

1. Follow Etsy's Terms of Service and Guidelines

This may seem obvious, but the Etsy team is very quick to take down items that violate any of their policies. The following list is not exhaustive, but it's a good place to start when reviewing your product listing.

  • Make sure your vintage items are vintage by Etsy's standards. For most product types, Etsy considers an item "vintage" if it at least 20 years old. New items that are not made by you or someone in your production team will likely be removed. There are some non-branded items you can "upcycle" or refurbish to work around the vintage rule.
  • Avoid listings that have copyrighted name brands in the title if they are not vintage. Handcrafted Monopoly boards violate Etsy's policies if they are not vintage. Try using more generic titles like "game board" or "tabletop game" instead.
  • If your product is mature, make sure that your listing follows Etsy's guidelines. Etsy has a very generous policy when it comes to adult and mature products, but there are still some rules in place you need to follow. The thumbnail and product description cannot contain vulgar or graphic images.
Product photos are the first thing potential buyers see when they search Etsy.

Product photos are the first thing potential buyers see when they search Etsy.

2. Take and Edit Clean, Clear Pictures

Your product photos are the first thing people see when they scroll by your listing. If your product photo is not clear and enticing, customers will likely keep scrolling.

  • Find the best lighting. One of the easiest things to improve in your photography is the quality of your lighting. Natural sunlight is your best option if you don't have a lightbox or other similar equipment. Bright, eye-catching photos will draw more customers to your listing.
  • Take photos from many angles. Online shoppers want as much information about a product as possible before making a purchase. As an Etsy seller, you will want to show the way your product looks in virtual 360. Remember to take detailed photos to showcase your hard work.
  • Edit when necessary. Depending on your editing software (I use what comes with the camera app on my phone) you have a variety of tools available to make your picture look like your product. One of the things I have found most useful in the process of editing my photos is increasing the "whitepoint," which can help makes your subject brighter without washing out the rest of the image.
  • Crop before uploading. Etsy, like Instagram and many other platforms, only allows square images to be used on their site and will crop your images for you automatically. To have the most control of your final image, crop your photo before uploading.

3. Write Effective Titles

A product title tells your potential customer exactly what you're offering

  • Make sure your spelling is accurate. Product titles with spelling errors make your listing and business look unprofessional and can make it more difficult for your customers to find you.
  • Be specific and concise. If you sell handpainted long-stem cherry wood roses, don't just title your listing "handpainted roses." Etsy is a very competitive niche market, and you want your customers to be able to find your products easily.
  • Don't "keyword stuff" your titles. Keyword stuffing is the practice of overusing keywords or common search terms to try to trick a search engine. This makes your listings look unprofessional.
Online shoppers can make split-second decisions about their product purchases.

Online shoppers can make split-second decisions about their product purchases.

3. Include Information in your Product Photos

In a perfect world, your customers would take the time to scroll down and read the articulate and informative product description you've crafted for your product.

This step is less important if you have several variations or parts of an item you want to be shown, but for simple and straightforward listings like stickers, this helps both you and your buyer.

Key Information to Include

  • Size and proportions
  • Estimated crafting/shipping times
  • Personalization information
  • Custom listings information

4. Include All of Your "Attributes"

Etsy has lots of built-in features to help your products be found. Attributes are the features of your product that make your item searchable. These attributes vary from item to item; if you're selling a refurbished coffee table, the attributes you select for your item will be very different than those you would select for an antique coin.

5. Use Tags Effectively

Tags are keyword indicators that are invisible to the customer. Be specific—not general. Etsy is a highly competitive marketplace with multiple sellers in the same product categories. If you are selling hand-carved wooden roses designed as gifts for mothers, don't use the tag "gifts for mothers" because your listing will get lost in a sea of other product listings completely unrelated to your market.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2021 Dani Merrier

Related Articles