Knowing what’s selling on Etsy is key if you don’t want to waste your time creating unwanted products. Doing some research first might sound tiresome. Probably you just want to be creative and do what you love. But as an Etsy seller, you also want people to buy your products and be excited about their purchase, don’t you?
Researching what’s selling on Etsy doesn’t have to be super complicated and you don’t need expensive tools. In this article, I’ll show you how to find the best selling Etsy items without paying for tools or spending hours searching.
Etsy categories give you a general overview of what’s selling on Etsy
Whenever you try to sell on a new marketplace, look at the categories that sort the products. Whatever is in the categories is sold and bought by enough people to make it worth having its own category. So let’s look at Etsy’s categories:
- Jewelry & Accessories
- Clothing & Shoes
- Home & Living
- Wedding & Party
- Toys & Entertainment
- Arts & Collectibles
- Craft Supplies & Tools
Note that Vintage has it’s own category, so Vintage is big on Etsy!
Now go further down and look at the subcategories. Once you’ve done that, you have a pretty good picture of what product categories sell on Etsy. But which are the best selling categories on Etsy? That’s a bit tiresome to find out with Etsy alone, so we need some help with that.
Use Etsy SEO tools to find best selling Etsy shops
If you want to find the best selling things on Etsy, finding the best selling shops on Etsy is a good way to get there.
Whenever a lot of data has to be analyzed, it makes sense to use the appropriate tools for it. It would take you forever to manually find the top selling Etsy shops. Save your time and use an SEO tool.
The two most popular Etsy SEO tools
Usually, any free SEO tool will limit the number of searches you can do per day or how much of the search results you see. eRank offers a lot of insight for free, but Marmalead has no free plan.
Free SEO tools work well enough in the beginning and I wouldn’t pay for an SEO tool right away. Once you have some money coming in, you can always start paying for tools. If you’re just starting out, the free version of eRank is likely sufficient. I’m still fine using the free version. I can’t give my opinion on Marmalead as I haven’t used it so far.
What can the free version of eRank do for you?
Before you can use it, eRank requires you to create an account. Optionally, you can connect your Etsy shop to have it analyzed. eRank uses information Etsy makes available for developers. For the more tech-savvy of you, eRank gets data through the official Etsy API. This allows you to see analytics for your shop, look at keyword search volumes, find similar keywords, and check out competition. The competition part is what we’re here for at the moment.
The competition area shows you the Etsy Top Sellers, Etsy Top Sellers by Country, and Top Sellers by Category. Each will give you the top 100 sellers, including links to their shops.
If you have no idea what to sell on Etsy, start with the 100 top sellers and see in what categories they sell in. That will show you in which categories sellers are selling well. If you already know the category you want to create products in, browse the top sellers in that category and find out what products they offer.
There’s a slight catch with this method: While it shows you which shops make a lot of sales, it doesn’t look at revenue or considers material costs. Just because a shop has 120 sales per day doesn’t mean that the shop owner is getting rich. So checking eRank top sellers is mostly good for lower priced product categories. Do you plan to sell a higher-priced product? Then you will want to use one of the following strategies to find out what’s selling on Etsy.
Find best selling items on Etsy
Once you’ve found a product type or a category you want to sell in, you can do some more specific research. Type a product in Etsy’s search bar and look at the results. You can’t sort the results by best selling, but Etsy is marking bestsellers. Bestsellers get a little light orange badge below their price. So if I search for “necklaces for women”, I get the following result:
Do you see all these badges below the listings? There are a lot of bestsellers in that search result. Just with typing in the product, I’ve already found 5 listings for best selling jewelry.
Based on my own shop’s bestsellers, I assume that listings marked as “bestsellers” sell at least once a day, most likely multiple times a day. So the more bestsellers you find on the first page of results, the better that product type is selling. Judging the results for my search of women’s necklaces, they sell pretty well in general.
But… don’t just look at bestsellers
Products can do well even without being bestsellers, and that becomes important with higher-priced products. You don’t need multiple sales a day if your products sell for $800, right? It’s also a much harder sale if the product is in a high price category. Look in the furniture category for example.
The only bestsellers we see here are items priced less than $10. That makes sense as people put likely much more thought into buying a $1’600 product than a $10 product. Spending 10$ doesn’t really hurt. Does that mean none of the more expensive items sell? Most certainly not. But how do you find out?
Other ways to see on Etsy if a product sells
There are 3 other ways you can tell whether a product has sold or not.
1 – Look at the reviews
Now, this a confusing thing about Etsy. When you see search results, there is a star rating below each product preview picture. For example, this bestselling Brass Cabinet Knob shows a five-star rating and (3’383).
You could assume now that it has gotten 3,383 reviews with an average rating of 5 stars. Wow, that’s amazing!
But no. That star rating IS NOT for that product. It’s the rating of the shop and consists of all product ratings that shop has received. If a product preview in the search results shows 5 stars and a number, that doesn’t mean that product has received that many reviews. It might have no reviews at all. To find out, you’ll have to click the listing and check below the product picture.
On the product page, you can still see the 3’383 reviews, but below that, you also see two tabs, one titled “Reviews for this item” and one “Reviews for this shop”. The tab “Reviews for this item” shows 26 reviews.
As you can only leave a review when you buy the product, you now know that this item sold at least 26 times. Not all customers want to leave a review. If we assume a healthy order-to-review-ratio of one review per ten orders, that cabinet knob has more likely sold around 260 times.
2 – Find items that are in people’s carts
This is another great way to find items that sell. Etsy displays when items are in other people’s carts. That should give you a sense of urgency, because if you don’t buy right now, the item could sell out.
So let’s go look into a shop to demonstrate this.
You can see “x people have this in their cart” on quite a few products here! Note that only two of them are bestsellers, so you wouldn’t know from the Etsy search results page. Now I know that it’s only in people’s cart and that doesn’t mean it sold. But it definitely shows that there is an interest in these products. I know from my own shop that all the products which are in people’s carts sell sooner or later.
If your brain works like mine, then by now you’re wondering if those products are really in people’s cart or if that’s just an Etsy marketing trick. Sadly, I haven’t found out yet.
But a good rule is: If Etsy shows it’s in over 20 people’s carts and it’s not a bestseller, it’s selling well enough.
3 – Not always possible: Bluntly look at a shop’s sold products
Etsy shops by default allow people to see what items have sold. You can hide that for your shop, but many sellers either do not know that or do not care. But this means there are plenty of Etsy shops where you can just go to the shop page, click on the sales, and see all the products that have ever sold. If a product shows up in that list again and again, then it’s definitely a good product!
You know what’s selling on Etsy, now what?
After going through all the steps above, you’ve hopefully found plenty of products that are selling well on Etsy. But what should you do with that knowledge?
Once you know what sells, you can use that knowledge to create your own products and add them to your Etsy shop. Knowing that you’re creating something that’s already selling will make it unlikely that you’re just wasting your time.
Yet, there are some more things to consider before creating a product.
Don’t forget that there is competition
If a product sells well, that doesn’t mean it will automatically sell well for you too. A lot of competition can make it hard or even impossible to get found by customers, no matter how good your product is. If you choose a competitive item, make sure that you can add your own twist to it or niche down.
For example, we found that necklaces for women sell well, but there is a lot of competition. Our earlier search showed that there are over 1.5 million listings for the search term “necklaces for women”.
So if you want to sell necklaces, sell to a specific type of person. Women who are pregnant with twins. Personalized necklaces for families with a dog. Niche down until you get fewer search results. I can’t tell you what’s the sweet spot, but I personally go for keywords with less than 10’000 search results.
I don’t mean if somebody is selling a printable to-do list, you can’t offer a to-do list too. Create a to-do list in your own style, try to improve on what’s already sold and if you can, add something unique to it.
Copying is not only just wrong to do, but it can also get you in trouble, like this next one:
Even though a lot of sellers on Etsy sell Disney stuff, you shouldn’t do that. I very highly doubt these sellers got Disney’s permission to sell products using Disney princesses or Baby Yoda. So if an Etsy seller offers products using trademarked content, DO NOT do the same. Don’t use TV-series, movies, or brands in your product or product description.
And it’s not just known brands and entertainment you need to be careful with. Some pretty common terms are trademarked too. Especially if you are selling anything with text on it, make sure to check for trademarks:
- Global: https://www3.wipo.int/branddb/en/
- US: https://www.uspto.gov/trademarks-application-process/search-trademark-database
- UK: https://www.gov.uk/search-for-trademark
Finding out what’s selling on Etsy isn’t hard. You just need to do some window-shopping on Etsy. You probably do that already anyway. Now just do it in the niche you are interested in, and you’ll find products that sell in no time. Then be original – don’t copy, create your own version of that product, or a new product to solve the same problem.
And there you have it – a new product for your shop that will make customers and your bank account happy.
If you just started with Etsy, make sure to check my 10 tips for selling on Etsy as a new seller.
Did these strategies to find out what’s selling on Etsy work for you? Did you find any other strategies? Let us know in the comments!