5 common characteristics
top Etsy sellers have

let’s explore them

written by Irene

  1. They create high quality products

  2. They upload a huge amount of listings

  3. They niche down and focus on very specific products

  4. They’ve been running their shops for a very long time

  5. They create a strong brand identity for their shops

What is it that makes some Etsy Shops stand out, while others struggle to make a couple of sales?

After a little research I did on the Etsy platform, I assembled the 5 common characteristics the most successful shops have in common. I did this research for Etsy shops that sell digital products, but I believe the same applies for other products too.

Let’s dive in together.


No 1: They create high quality products

What I’ve noticed about the most successful Etsy shops in my niche, is that they offer products that stand out from the competition. These products are often unique, handmade, or customizable. They have a high level of craftsmanship and attention to detail.

Let’s be honest. Etsy is a highly competitive platform. It’s not easy to stand out. If your shop offers low quality ordinary products, people will leave and look elsewhere for what they want.

So before working on SEO, advertising, social media promotion or email marketing take a close look at your products and ask yourself: would I be buying what I sell? If your honest answer is no, improve your listings or change them completely.


No 2: They upload a huge amount of listings

Now this one is a bit controversial for me. Let me explain why.

Although the most successful shops do have a large number of listings, there are many other stores with a smaller number (10-20 listings the most) that make a lot of sales too.

So I have been wondering if it’s worth spending our time creating more and more products for our stores. I came to the conclusion that it is worth it, as long as these products are of high quality, are complementary to each other and stay within the niche we represent.

For a shop selling wedding invitations, it would be nice to sell wedding thank you cards and welcome posters. These are the ‘complementary products’ that will keep your customers inside your shop. You want them to find everything they need inside your store.  

You can also create different variations of an already successful product. This is a way to test what sells better so that you can promote it more. 

My strategy is to add a few listings each month, but pay attention to the quality. Also stay within your niche and don’t puzzle your potential customers with irrelevant products they don’t expect to find in your shop. 

After all Etsy is a search engine and as that, the more listing you have the more likely it is for Etsy’s algorithm to show them to potential customers. If you offer 5 products and your competitor offers 50 products, the chances are you will not be found. 

To add listings to your shop, you have to be dedicated. Even if you don’t see your sales rising you have to keep creating. And to do that, it’s essential you enjoy what you do. 


No 3: They niche down and focus on very specific products

Another characteristic top shops have is they focus on just one niche. Whether they sell handmade physical products or digital downloads. Etsy’s shops are not like department stores selling everything to everyone. They are special. The type of customer Etsy attracts is the one looking for unique, top quality or customized products. 

If you are selling a bunch of different things and not serving a specific niche, customers might assume that you are not good at what you do. Or even worse, that you’re drop shipping things that are massively produced. 

Knowing that, it’s really important to pick a niche that matches your skill set and your interests. If you are a beginner and feel overwhelmed with choosing your niche, think of it like that: you either plan ahead for the niche you’re going to serve and stay in that path, or if you are not quite sure yet, you can discover your niche along the way. Sometimes it takes time to find what’s right for you and that’s ok. 

Try not to get into a niche just because you see other people succeed in that specific niche. You might not have the skills they have, or the capability to produce the amount of products they do.  


5 characteristics top Etsy sellers have

No 4: They’ve been running their shops for a very long time

Another characteristic all top shops have is longevity. It might not be as obvious as the other characteristics, but the vast majority of the most successful shops have been running for a lot of time. Like 5-10 years. Sounds like a lot to you?

 Well the thing is that a lot of people see Etsy as a way to make money quickly or with minimum effort. That mentality is far from the truth.

 If you are not willing to make a serious effort for at least 2-3 years, chances are you will close your shop as soon as you don’t see progress. When you set out to start a business, don’t look for results within the year or even less. It probably won’t happen. Success doesn’t come overnight. Don’t look for instant gratification. A solid business takes time to build. 

I think a lot of people struggle with longevity because of the uncertainty of business. So they just give up and stop when things get tough. But you have to remember this is part of the process of owning a business and starting from scratch. 

You really need to have faith and keep going. This will set you apart from the competition and make your business thrive in the long run. As a business owner, keep your feet on the ground but remember: it pays to be optimistic. 


No 5: They create a strong brand identity for their shops

Top performing Etsy Shops have a clear and cohesive brand identity that resonates with their target audience. This includes elements such as a memorable shop name, logo, colour scheme, and overall aesthetic that reflects the values and personality of the brand.

If you want to know more about how to build your brand as an Etsy seller and avoid the most common mistakes check this post.


To sum up

The hardest thing about building a business is that there is no set path. Follow people who have already done what you aspire to do and reverse engineer. If you treat your business with this mindset it can actually be fun. 

The above are the five common things I see top Etsy shops have in common. Do a bit of research on the most successful Etsy shops in your niche.

By embodying these characteristics and adopting a proactive and customer-centric approach, you can increase your chances of success and achieve your business goals on the platform.

As with many things in life, ‘building a business is a marathon.’