Your New Etsy Ads Questions Answered {Podcast: Interview with Etsy}

You’ve probably heard by now that starting next Tuesday, September 27th, there will be paid ads showing up in the Etsy search results. These ads are open to all Etsy sellers to promote their items at a relatively good price. Considering that buyers are already looking for what you’re selling, the “conversion rate” from clicks on these ads is bound to be great!

Kim and Tim Ready to Podcast! Hershey sleeping...

But We Had Questions!

We had a few questions and I bet you do too! We were lucky enough to get Frank Harris and Natalie Schwartz on a Skype call straight from Etsy HQ! Tim and I had a list of questions and they graciously answered them in-depth for more than a half-hour. If you’re looking to maximize your Etsy sales, this information is a must! Questions cover topics such as:

  • Does the cost of ads vary?
  • Will there be any more recent listings shown?
  • How do you decide what ads to show?
  • How do you determine top search results and what can we do to get on page one!???

It’s worth the time to listen to this straight from the real people at Etsy who make this stuff work. I think you’ll be pleased to hear a genuine concern for the needs of sellers like you and me! Tim and I both left the conversation feeling excited about the future of Etsy and our role as Etsy sellers by extension.

Enjoy the podcast:

If you prefer to read, rather than to listen, we’ll be posting a written summary of the questions and conversation soon. But there’s something to be said about hearing it directly. So I hope you give it a listen.

You might be interested in reading some of these:

Don’t forget to join us each week for our 10-week series, Blogging Leads to Online Greatness {B.L.O.G.}.  Learn how to set up and use a blog to promote your shop!

Keep up with the the latest Etsy news subscribe to Everything Etsy!

What are your thoughts on the new search ads on Etsy? Have you signed-up yet? Are there questions we didn’t ask?



  1. says

    Hi Tim & Kim: You two are adorable and amazing. I joined quite a while ago. I work full time and have my etsy shop and I wish I could participate more here :( I just listened to the podcast and it was informative. I have advertised LOTS of places my almost five years on etsy and I am one of the SKEPTICAL ones about etsy’s new ads program. I do not understand why they are not doing CPC as opposed to CPM. With my little knowledge it tells me they are more into making money for etsy with the impression ads than helping the sellers get sales. i.e., the showcase. I still buy them or I would never be seen. But once they moved them from having a very prominent place on the site it I thought it was over for the showcases…but people still buy them….it’s like people are so desperate to be seen they will buy the snake oil. That is my concern with these ads. People are so desperate to be seen they will pay anything to grab a chance to be seen. Tim, your point with Googleadwords is exactly my concern with this new ad program on etsy, our ads will not be seen with the impression ads. They flash for a second and then they are gone and then our 1,000 impressions are gone in a matter of hours. I do understand a little better now that they based their keywords on what we use and how they perform. The stats is a good thing too. Anyway, I’m not buying any ads now because I’m on a very limited budget and I pay etsy enough per month as it is. I want to see how it plays out. I have spent countless hours and lots of $$$$ building my shop up and etsy hasn’t helped me one bit. I hate to sound so skeptical but I’ve seen for years how etsy treats its sellers, and it’s not that pretty. If you want to be successful on etsy you have to just dig in, concentrate on what you do and don’t expect much help from etsy, unless you are one of the chosen few that one of their very biased admin members want to promote. I make a beautiful product, with great customer service, great feedback, but I did it all myself. It’s hard work. You have to believe in what you do and never give up. Oh, and have really thick skin.


  2. says

    I will try anything new and watch my shop stats.There are many other shops that sell digital collage sheets but not the exact same collage sheets that I design. I am hoping the search ads will get my shop promoted. I think the relevancy search was a great idea.

  3. says

    Thanks for all your great info..I’ll admit I have been one of those sellers afraid to spend a few dollars!! But I’m thinking of trying it even tho I’m still not sure exactly what you get for the money. You buy the keywords and keep them for a certain amount of clicks or searches??

  4. says

    I haven’t listened to the Podcast yet nor have I read about the new Etsy opportunity for me to spend more money on my shop. I have too much money going out rather than coming in. Although I think a lot of the changes Etsy has made recently are very much to the good, I really wish they would spend more money on advertising/PR for Etsy to get more BUYERS instead of SELLERS. I’m so tired of having to explain to people who have never heard of Etsy. I hope you’re going to print the transcript of the podcast as you said. I’m old school – I like to read and highlight.
    Thanks for the info – much appreciated.

  5. Anon says

    Felicia – Etsy will never spend money to get more buyers instead of sellers. The reason is actual quite simple too. Etsy spends money to get sellers because those sellers get them the buyers. Essentially, Etsy is advertising to both sellers and buyers by advertising to JUST sellers, because you the seller must advertise to buyers to survive. This is called the “YouTube Effect” which is a term coined by Chris Wanstrath of Github. Which basically means that when YouTube first started, they relied heavily on the user promoting their brand, not the company promoting their brand. This is why YouTube lets you embed videos and their advertising is located on the video and not on the YouTube page. Ever seen YouTube advertising for themselves? Of course you haven’t. This is because the world is advertising for them by embedding videos everywhere on the internet. This is what Etsy relies on too. They know you will promote your store, which indirectly promotes Etsy.

  6. says

    Here is a direct copy/paste from the most recent Etsy sales report for August 2011:

    The stats:

    $45.8 million of goods were sold by our community in August, 12.7% higher than July’s $40.7 million.
    That represents 2,268,820 items sold for the month, 11.4% higher than July’s 2,036,278.
    1,981,093 new items were listed in the month, 5.9% higher than July’s 1,870,832.
    480,423 new members joined the Etsy community in the month, up 61,449, or 14.7%, from July.
    1,158,545,762 page views were recorded on the site in August.
    The $45.8 million of goods sold by the community represents a 80% increase from August 2010′s total. At the same time, items sold were up 49%.

    Etsy didn’t reach this kind of success by being afraid to spend money on growing the site overall. Buyers and Sellers are both important and often are one-in-the-same. Show me an Etsy seller who has not made a purchase on Etsy.

    The anonymous comment above talks about the term “YouTube Effect”, which I’ve never heard, as if it’s somehow a bad thing. Last time I checked, YouTube was the second largest search engine in the world, just behind the parent company, Google. Whatever marketing they did must have been pretty smart. On top of having a great product.

    Etsy has a great product (not sellers’ product, the product of Etsy itself which is the marketplace, selection, brand, feel, and user experience…and most of all, the sellers!) Comparing Etsy to YouTube is about the most compelling reason to get involved I can think of.
    The idea that ANY business of ANY size can reach ANY level of success without an investment is mostly just dreaming. It does happen. Just like people DO win the lottery. If you want to count on that, it’s your call.

    If you want to do whatever you can to increase your chances of success, then you have to invest. That investment can be time, money, creativity, or sheer brilliance. The most successful endeavors are a combination of all of these.If you have lots and lots of time (years) that you’re willing to wait to obtain a decent income selling online, then you can probably avoid much investment in advertising of any kind. If you’re in a bit more of a hurry, you’re going to have to get the word out there and advertise.

    Advertising can take on many forms. When I was a kid, I had a bunch of fliers copied and took them door to door to get odd jobs. That still works today. You just have to have the time to invest.For lots of sellers, paying to advertise, be that on a blog like ours, in the search results at Etsy, using Google AdWords, or by other means, is a great investment. If sellers work hard at their business in all areas such as product development, photography, building relationships with buyers and the community, customer service, etc; they will succeed. You can’t fail if you don’t quit.

    But one thing is absolutely certain… a negative attitude can’t help you succeed in anything. Ever. It can help you make the decision to quit, but other than that it just doesn’t help. So if you want to quit, go ahead and quit. If you want to be successful selling on, then you need a good attitude about It’s really simple.

    One more thought… regarding people having heard of Etsy. There are still large groups of people in the world who couldn’t tell you exactly what Google is. Lots of people who have never been on Facebook. Lots who have never used YouTube. It takes a long, long time for something to become a household name that everyone recognizes. Etsy is on the way to that, globally, so just be patient and don’t quit.

  7. says

    Thank you so much for this information! I was just away from Etsy for a month (with a move and a family vacation) and came back wondering what was going on. Very informative. You very nearly answered all of my questions. Thank you for the help!

  8. says

    I’ve put a tool together that lets sellers work out Search Ad keywords costs instantly. It’s also very useful for ensuring that your listings are tagged and titled for maximum exposure (remember, the more often a keyword is searched on Etsy, the more expensive it costs for Search Ads!).

    Find it right here:

    • says

      Hi Alison –

      The Everything Etsy Podcast will be available on iTunes, but isn’t yet. Just a few steps to make that happen which we haven’t gotten to. We’ll post about it when it is available. Thanks for your interest! ~ Kim

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *