Best Times To List on Etsy

Tim here with an (un)scientific analysis of when to list or renew listings on Etsy.com

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When is the best time to list on Etsy?

It’s a question every Etsy seller has asked themselves. It’s a subject we’ve talked about before. It’s not an easy question to answer, but the ramifications of getting it right could be huge.

Recently on the Etsy Forums, a forum thread was started with the idea that there really is no rhyme or reason to listing times. As is often the case with forums, most of the comments were from others in agreement, so there wasn’t much real discussion.

But it got me to thinking: There must be a pattern. There absolutely has to be peak times on Etsy. I wonder if we can figure them out.

So I tried…

Etsy has a predominately North American user base.

One of the most reasonable arguments for there not being a peak traffic time on Etsy is that the site is global. That’s true and it’s one of the great things about Etsy, but it’s important to realize what that means in numbers.

Take a look at this screenshot from Alexa.com. (Alexa attempts to track and estimate web statistics)

EtsyRegions

Over 70% of Etsy users are in the US and Canada. That at least can help us to figure out when the peak traffic times are. It seems like a safe assumption to correlate peak traffic with peak sales, would you agree? (please leave your thoughts in the comments)

In digging a little bit for the breakdown of US population by time zone, I found two things. First, I found a thread on Google Answers that gave some data based on voting poll statistics. Here is that data:

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Second, I looked at a time zone map at mapsofworld.com to see if the above data looked right visually. Seems like it does to me…(I redirect you to the opening mention of the UN-scientific nature of this post)

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80% of the US Population is on Eastern or Central time. If that’s correct, and Alexa is right about Etsy, then it would mean that approximately 57% of Etsy users are on either Eastern or Central time.

So what time do they buy?

What time is best to list?

Here is my thought (aka – best guess) on the answer:

We know without a doubt that overall traffic on our blogs peaks between 9:30pm and 11:30pm Eastern time and remains strong well into the wee hours as the large West Coast population gets into the later evening.

So for more views, I think that approximately 9:30pm Eastern Time is the best. But does that translate to sales? Do people buy at that time? I think that some of them do. The “browsers” for sure.

But what about the buyers on a mission? When do they buy? I think they buy in the mid-morning. My theory (un-scientific) is that those customers who have “buy some great printer paper” on the to-do list will do that between 10:00am and 1:00pm.

More and more people have Internet access at work and/or work from home and based on my personal experience and what we’ve seen online, they create a “mini-spike” during the mid-morning hours.

Bottom line: I still say that listing twice a day at around 9:30am and 9:30pm Eastern time makes sense. I can’t imagine the possibility that it’s totally random.

There must be a pattern!

~Tim

What say YOU? Have you seen a pattern in sales? What works for you?

Note: This post was published prior to the current (as of 11/2011) Etsy Relevancy based search results.  Prior to this, Etsy searches were based on most recently listed.  Since that’s no longer the case, what time you list isn’t as important as it once was.

 

Comments

  1. Spice Berry Cottage says

    Great job, Tim. I usually see these peak times in sales for us as well, which translates to 6:30 AM and 6:30 PM on the west coast for us. Thanks…

  2. says

    Interesting thoughts. My Google Analytics show heavy traffic from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET., but I am probably skewing the results by renewing routinely at mid-afternoon ET.

    I think I’ll try some later renewals and see what that does, but I’ll pass on the 9:30 am renewals since here in Hawaii that would require getting out of bed at 3:30 am. Thanks for the research and suggestions.

  3. says

    I agree totally with what you are saying…sorry I guess this is not discussion inducing. What about the weekends? I will add this since I have bought a ton of stuff on etsy…from suppliers and things I have “thought” about, I buy in the morning, impulse purchases occur at night! I always try to list in the evening though, because from my own calculations this all seemed to be true! Loved this article!

  4. says

    I am so glad I found this web page and thanks for the interesting article. I agree with the mid-moring rush, but my shop is usually quiet in the 9:30 – 11:30 p.m. eastern time frame. I agree – there has to be a pattern? I would love to crack it some day!

  5. says

    Great info. And timely too, since I hope to be posting some new items in the next week!!

    Your “un” scientific research makes sense to me! Thanks!

  6. says

    You’ve done a good job of following what makes sense… and I hope you’re right, I’m going to follow the advice for the next few weeks. On a side note, I used to manage a pizza shop and I used to say all the time, “if people were only predictable I’d never run out of food, I’d never be short of people, I’d never deliver a late pizza…” I don’t think there is anything predictable about people and they’re shopping habits!
    .-= Jessica´s last blog ..Art for Your Arm Water Collection XXX A Lake in the Middle of the Woods Memory Wire Glass Bracelet =-.

  7. says

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this! I’ve been trying to figure out peak listing times for a while and I just felt stumped as to what time zone I should shoot for :)
    .-= Sarah´s last blog ..Im back! =-.

  8. says

    Really great info. I live on the eastcoast and have of my customers are on the West coast. I have found that many of the purchases have come around 11pm EST. The few weekend sales I have received happened in the morning all before 11am. Evening knowing this I still tend add new listings around 1pm during the week. With this new “study” I am going to try the evenings. Although I don’t know if my will can hold out that long through the day.
    .-= Tehlia´s last blog ..Custom orders =-.

  9. says

    Interesting thoughts but if there’s one thing I have learned in my ….years (fill in the blank!) is that predicting the unpredictable can be unpredictable!
    Thanks for your stats.
    .-= Barbra´s last blog ..Ribbed Green Hat =-.

  10. says

    Very useful article. I have tried listing in different times (always following Eastern time zone) and found that around 630pm I get more views, not necessarily more sales. This week I am going to try out the 930am & pm and see what happens.
    I have listed as late as 11pm thinking that when I am going to bed, someone, somewhere around the globe is about to get up, however that did not bring any results.
    I saw a comment above and have the same question: what about weekends?
    my weekends are very slow being than Sundays it almost comes to a complete halt in traffic.
    For some reason (I check craftopolis.com) I have had the most traffic on Thursdays for the past 3 mos.
    .-= Rose Kute´s last blog ..Baby Booties =-.

  11. says

    The time to list is different for everyone. You should install Google Analytics and see what times YOU get the most traffic. For me it picks up around 6 pm EST/EDT and doesn’t slow down until around 1 am EST/EDT. My best days are typically Tuesday and Wednesdays with weekends being extremely slow. Other people have peaks at different times, so it’s best to check when your buyers are actually coming into your store.

  12. says

    I like to list at noon (central) for those office browsers and between 7pm-9pm (EST) because etsy is popular with the evenings customers. Also, I seem to get sales in the middle of the night. I love night owls!
    .-= Sally´s last blog ..Piggy Ear Hat =-.

  13. says

    First, your sight is simply adorable!!On to the topic… I’m new to Etsy and haven’t had enough sellers to do analysis of my own shop, but I must agree – 930am and 930pm seem like prime times for shopping…. what’s my proof (whispering) I’m a shop-a-holic/surf-a-holic… lol. Those are approximately the exact times that I’m either on the computer or physically in the store. Thank you for ALL the great information.You are in my favs, one of my tweeps, and I’m a fan!!!Let’s just hope that I am truly a reformed shopper and NOW I am a ETSY SELLER… charmedstyles.etsy.com

    Stay charming dolls! xoxo

  14. says

    For us, I have noticed that mid-morning does get more sales, but evenings are a great time to list new things. More people are socializing and sharing new links in the evening. We get more evening views than we do morning views. Sometimes it is helpful to list in the morning and share on Twitter/Facebook in the evening.
    .-= Charissa @ Mimi’s Babies´s last blog ..Girl Monkey Earflap Beanie with Braids in Hot Pink and Lime Green – Choose Your Size – Great Photography Prop =-.

  15. says

    I set up statistics not by time, but by day of the week. My shop is still new, so I don’t want to invest a large amount of money in renewing items and creating new ones. I have been tracking, since I started this past July, what days of the week are most highly populated with visits to try to target what days of the week I should post items. So far Tuesdays are by far the most highly trafficked day, with Saturdays being the worst day to accumulate visits. In fact Tuesdays are visited twice as much as Saturdays (there is a 52% increase in visits when you compare the two). Thanks for running these numbers- this was my next task- to figure out the timing!
    .-= Christine´s last blog ..Snug Bug Baby Swaddler- Pink Lemonade =-.

  16. says

    You are so right on! I am very impressed by how well thought out this post is.
    After reading it I went back and reviewed our sales on Etsy & other sites and sure enough.
    Great info!
    LeafandInk.com

  17. says

    In my own unscientific estimate :)
    I have to agree. I’ve been looking through my google analytics for the most popular times my etsy site is viewed and for the past few months the peak time seems to be roughly 9pm Eastern (this is whether I relist or not).

    I think I’ll try relisting at those times specifically and “test it” further. It can’t hurt, only help :)
    Thanks.
    .-= Karyna @ Paper Squid´s last blog ..Colorful Clouds Print- 13×19 inches =-.

  18. says

    Thanks for the info! I’ve been watching my stats closely but it seems like my peak viewing hours change every day. Mondays seem to be the best days overall.

    When I list at night (around 11PM – midnight, Central time) I get more views from people overseas than I do from people in the U.S. if I list in the morning or early evening.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Kawaii Glittery Bears and Blue Heart Magnets – Set of 3 =-.

  19. Virginia (Pickleberrylane) says

    This is very helpful!! I have kind of noticed the same or similar pattern. Thanks so much for the information!

  20. says

    After having my shop open for about a year.. I am finally getting traffic..sales.. And inquiries.. I do tend to agree with your findings! Thank you so much!! Now just to be able to close a sale!!

  21. says

    And then when everyone decides to list at 9:30PM ET, does that mean it will become the worst time to list because there will be ten times as much competition in the search results?

  22. says

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  23. says

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