Interested in mastering product research on Etsy?
This article delivers seven top-notch strategies to do just that.
We'll provide actual examples for each method, most of which are free — with paid options for those who want to make their research process more efficient.
First, let's quickly go through what Etsy is and what products you can find there.
What is Etsy, and what products can you sell there?
Etsy is an online marketplace that allows merchants to buy and sell products.
However, Etsy only allows products that fall into three categories:
- Handmade products. These products must be designed or created by you. If you work with a partner (such as print on demand supplier), you must disclose that in your product listings.
- Craft supplies. This category includes tools, ingredients, or materials used to create an item or commemorate an occasion. Unlike handmade items, craft supplies can be bought from other suppliers and resold.
- Vintage products. Items that are over 20 years old are considered vintage on Etsy. Vintage products don't have to be handmade, and you can resell products you have bought as long as they follow the 20-year-old rule.
It's a relatively small group of products Etsy allows you to sell, right?
On top of that guideline, Etsy states in their policy that they don't allow reselling on their platform.
If you work with a supplier, you must design the product yourself and not just dropship existing products with platforms like AliExpress.
We see many sellers breaking this rule and reselling products directly from platforms like AliExpress and Alibaba, but we can't recommend it as it's against Etsy's guidelines. Sellers seem to get away with it if they use their own images and disclose their partners.
7 Product research methods for Etsy
Next, we will go through the seven of our favorite product research methods for Etsy.
Important note: Keep in mind that due to Etsy's stringent reselling policies, you shouldn't use these product research methods to replicate products directly. Instead, use the products as an inspiration for your own designs.
With that said, let's get started.
1. Use Etsy's search field
The most simple (and one of the most effective) method for doing product research on Etsy is using Etsy's search bar.
Anyone can access the search from Etsy's home page.
Let's look at an example of how to use it.
Begin with a broad search term — let's say 'earrings.'
As you can see, Etsy gives some great product recommendations.
However, these are still quite broad search results. To refine, take one of the search options and type the term.
In our example, we selected 'earrings holder' and typed it in.
Here, Etsy recommends many more niche products, and you could consider selling some of them.
From this search, we selected 'earrings holder for travel,' and we found this interesting product:
This product research method is great because Etsy's algorithm is designed to highlight in-demand searches.
You can uncover some great product opportunities by starting with a broad search and narrowing down the results by adding a new word to the search.
We even checked the above product with Google Trends, and it looks like it has a huge trend peak coming in:
This proves how effective this simple strategy is.
You can also look for product opportunities from the 'Most Loved' section using the above search strategy.
On top of the 'Most Loved' section, Etsy's home page is full of special categories you can take inspiration from.
It's a simple method but one of our favorites!
2. Spy your competitors
Tapping into the successes of other Etsy sellers is a clever product research hack.
You can spy on the best-selling products of other Etsy sellers and get product ideas that way.
Here's how you do it: Start on Etsy with a general search term related to your niche, like 'necklace.'
Choose a product from the search results that seem interesting to you. After this, click on the product listing and head to the seller's product page:
From the product page, click on the seller's name to reach their profile:
Once you're on the seller page, scroll down to the reviews section.
From there, sort the reviews by 'Most recent.'
This will show you all the recent reviews the shop has (from all the products they sell).
By scrolling through the most recent reviews, you will quickly get an idea of their best-selling products.
The more reviews there are for a specific product, the more people purchase it and leave a review.
For example, this seller's review section was dominated by a 'Custom name necklace' product:
This tells us what works for them and is a good inspiration for what we could potentially sell.
Pro tip for this product research method: Pay close attention to the content of the reviews. Are the customers complaining about something? Do they wish the product would be better in some ways? Use the reviews to identify areas of improvement.
3. Analyze your competitor's product pages
Etsy's product pages and listings show a lot of information about potential winning products.
Plus, they are great for finding improvement opportunities.
The first thing you can look at on a product page is how many people have the product added to their cart.
This is what we mean:
In the top right corner, the 'In 20+ carts' indicates that the product is in high demand because so many people have added it to their carts.
Although not every add-to-cart results in a sale, it's a strong indicator of interest.
As we showed previously, you can also look into the reviews section to see if they have many recent reviews:
Use signs like this to identify high-selling products.
Once you have identified a product that is currently selling well, examine its images, headline, and product description.
The goal is to find improvement gaps.
- Are the images high-quality, and how many are there?
- Is there a product description, and if there is, how well does it explain the product?
- What does the headline look like?
The ideal situation is that you find a product that is high in sales and has massive improvement gaps, such as missing descriptions.
If you want to take this step further, you should examine the keywords the product page uses to get visibility from Etsy's search.
To do that, we recommend using the free tool EverBee, which we'll go through soon in more detail.
While you can't directly copy products due to Etsy’s rules, you can use this information to spot market gaps that your unique product designs could fill.
Social media is a gold mine for Etsy sellers.
Let's look into a couple of examples of using social media to find Etsy product ideas.
The first strategy is using TikTok's Creative Center.
It's a free tool anyone can access to search for the best-performing ads on TikTok.
You can start with a broad search, such as 'jewelry.'
With a search like that, you will get hundreds, if not thousands, of businesses and their top-performing ads.
What we like to do with this information is to take a product that looks interesting and selling well and then compare it to Etsy and see if other sellers are selling it (and see how well they are doing).
This anxiety relief ring was selling exceptionally well on TikTok and looked interesting to us:
When we looked up the product on Etsy, we saw other people selling similar rings but not with a flower design like on TikTok.
That's an example of a product gap we could potentially fill.
For Facebook, you can do exactly the same.
If you're not familiar with Facebook Ad Library, it's a free tool that anyone can use to spy on other sellers' Facebook Ads.
Outside of these tools, observe the social media activities of brands, especially those directing traffic to their Etsy shops.
What's cool is that you can actually find these social media accounts on Etsy.
Many big Etsy sellers advertise their social media handles on their profiles. For example, 'HopeLoveShine' prominently displays their social media on their banner image:
From here, you could go to their social media and analyze their strategies and the products they keep pushing.
5. Use product research tools
Free product research methods are great, but we can't deny that paid product research tools that have a massive database behind them can be extremely helpful.
One popular product research tool for Etsy is EverBee:
What's convenient is that EverBee offers a free Chrome extension that integrates seamlessly with Etsy and provides valuable data about your competitor's product listings.
Even with the free plan, you can see the listing age, amount of reviews, views, and product tags — a big plus for Etsy SEO.
If you upgrade your plan to EverBee's 'Growth' plan at $29.99 monthly, you can access more data, including estimated monthly sales and revenue.
There is also a free keyword research tool available with the Chrome extension.
Plus, for the products that you find interesting, you can save them to EverBee's 'Favorites' tab so you can get back to them later on.
All the above features we went through are free, which is the craziest part.
Outside of EverBee, we recommend Sell The Trend to find new product opportunities:
Sell The Trend is a winning product research tool that focuses on product research opportunities for multiple platforms, not limited to Etsy.
We believe it's an excellent tool for bringing new and not-so-known products to Etsy.
They offer a seven-day free trial for those wanting to dip their toes in before committing.
6. Use data to see what customers actually prefer
Here's a lesser-known tactic that we don't see many Etsy sellers talking about: Analyzing Etsy customers' public favorites.
On Etsy, you can see any customer's favorite Etsy items and shops.
Not all customers have these, but a lot of them do!
To do this, go to a product listing within your niche on Etsy and scroll down to the reviews section.
You'll find that some customers have public profiles. To see someone's favorite items, click on their Etsy account name.
On their profile, you'll see a list full of their favorite items.
If you want to take advantage of this product research method, we recommend that you go through multiple customer profiles and start listing the items you see.
You will eventually start seeing many of the same items.
This can then act as an indicator of what customers are looking for and buying.
Moreover, you can explore the 'favorite shops' of these customers, which can lead you to your competitors and their successful products.
In our opinion, this strategy is quite underrated!
7. Use Google Trends to validate products
Google Trends is great for validating if customers are searching for a specific product.
Even though it doesn't tell you how many people search for it on Etsy, it's a good indicator that if people search for it on Google, they will likely search for it on Etsy.
Let's look at an example of this.
Using the help of the second product research method in the list, we found that this name necklace has been selling well amongst many Etsy sellers.
So, to validate the product, we typed 'name necklace' into Google Trends. This is what it showed:
As you can see, it has a trend peak every December. If you were to start selling this around December or just before that, you would know that you have a higher chance of succeeding with it.
You can also use Google Trends to compare the popularity of two products.
If you're thinking between two products (or even more) and not sure which one to sell, Google Trends can be super helpful for deciding.
We compared the name necklace to a name bracelet:
This helps us validate which one has more interest, and we can make better decisions.
Note: Remember that a product's search popularity doesn't always equate to better sales. Sometimes, a less popular product can be the one that helps you stand out. This applies if the market is too saturated with one product.
Reading and absorbing information and knowledge is great (definitely if it’s free!), but do you know what’s even better?
So, to help you with taking action with what you have learned in this article, take a look at the bullet points:
- Map your own needs. Before starting product research for Etsy, you must ask yourself: what do you want from it? Are you looking to create your own Etsy shop, or do you just want to get some inspiration? These questions will dictate the ways you should do product research.
- Try the free product research methods. Steps like taking advantage of Etsy's search, doing competition analysis, looking for gaps for improvement, and taking advantage of Google Trends are all free. They act as a great starting point for product research.
- Optionally, try the paid product research tools. Tools like EverBee and Sell The Trend can make product research much more efficient. Plus, EverBee has a free plan, and Sell The Trend has a free trial, so you have nothing to lose here.
- Create your Etsy shop. Once you have found and designed your first product, and if you decide to sell it on Etsy, you can start creating your Etsy shop. When you register to Etsy and create your shop, Etsy wants you to create the first product listing during the registration process, so be ready for that.
There you go!
You've now learned the seven best product research methods for Etsy.
Many of the best product research methods for Etsy are free.
However, if you want to speed up the process, you may want to take advantage of different paid product research tools, such as Sell The Trend.
There are also free product research tools that are specifically designed for Etsy, such as EverBee.
What are your favorite product research methods for Etsy?
Let us know in the comments! If we missed some major strategies, we would love to know those as well.
Good luck with your Etsy journey!
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