best selling jewelry on etsy...

Should you... or shouldn’t you adapt your collection?

Best Selling Jewelry on Etsy... should you or shouldn't you adapt your collection?

A simple Google search for “best selling jewelry on Etsy” quickly reveals that some Etsy shops are actually using this term, not only in their product titles, but also in their listing tags. One necklace showing near the top of Etsy, listed with the keyword tag “top selling necklace”, had little evidence of any sales. While keyword manipulation may occasionally bring a listing to the top of Etsy search results, especially for local products, you have to ask yourself who is searching these terms? Likely, it will be other jewelry makers searching these, moreover any actual shoppers.

The term best selling jewelry on Etsy will also turn up a popular article listing a few top jewelry shops that have well over 100,000 sales. Don’t be disheartened by the sheer volume of those sales because, in order to be wildly successful, you don’t need to sell anywhere near that amount, nor would it be reasonable to suddenly ship 30 to 100 orders per day without making some serious changes to your production, securing reliable materials, as well as making changes to your packaging, and your shipping set up.

Building shop sales to that level takes time, strategic planning for growth, and hard-won skill. In fact, the shop that has close to half a million sales is no longer a "little Etsy shop", it’s now a large-scale manufacturer with close to 100 employees. With annual sales upwards of a million on Etsy alone, and likely equally as much on their independent website (which coincidentally ranks at around 33,000 on the whole of the internet) you can be sure that the company is quite big. With over two billion websites online, and growing, what do you think it takes to rank around 33,000? A lot of regular website updates, media exposure, sites linking in, daily blog updates, new products and, naturally, lots of visitors.

When it comes to selling physical goods that are handmade, building sales strategically, so you can deliver with certainty and great customer service, will make your business sustainable for the long haul. Not surprisingly, some of the best selling jewelry on Etsy still continues to be personalized pieces, namely custom stamped items with personal messages, names, or initials. These type of items primarily make up the top trending jewelry shops. Does this mean you should adapt your collection to meet the demand? Not necessarily.

Keep in mind that wildly popular jewelry also comes with a wicked over-representation online, meaning you would likely have trouble getting your stuff found online, and that includes getting found on Etsy. Here’s what you need to consider before jumping ship on your own creative genius and producing a new line that emulates the best selling jewelry on Etsy:

Should you... or shouldn’t you 

follow the trends for best selling jewelry on etsy?

The Competition - Number one on the list of potential issues, as we just covered, is the massive competition. That’s not to say that you can’t, or shouldn’t, create jewelry in the same realm as the competition if that’s what you really want to do. It only means that you’ll have to work harder at getting enough eyes on your products. You’ll also need to find a branding angle that strategically sets your collection apart if you want your shop, website, and brand to be memorable.

Being able to include a popular keyword such as “initial necklace” will not make your item appear at the top of search. It will only ensure that your product is searchable with that keyword, however, your listing will most likely appear beneath the thousands-upon-thousands of other items (listed with those keywords) that came before yours. The ones that are wildly popular and selling daily will, of course, be light years ahead on the algorithm scale.

That aside, you’ll also need to ensure your photography is top-notch and that your product description and price points hit the mark when it comes to attracting your ideal customer. Typically when it comes to the best selling jewelry on Etsy, we see something that is similar to what is known as the “trickle down effect” in the fashion industry. When a trend first starts, it’s usually more exclusive and at a higher price bracket. Slowly, the trend is reproduced at a lower cost and works its way down the levels of retail, finally ending up in every dollar store... so to speak. At that point the trend usually exhausts itself and becomes yesterday’s news.

While the price battles on Etsy aren’t exactly the trickle down effect, it is similar in that the market gets over saturated with the same types of products being knocked off and sold at ridiculously cheap prices. Such is the pricing war that drags down the entire handmade marketplace.

So, if you’re thinking of offering the same type of best selling jewelry on Etsy, or your standalone website, just be sure to set your brand apart so that you can command higher prices for your distinct collection. Going in with similar products, and the intent of undercutting the competition, will only hinder your chance of success in the long term, not to mention add to the already existent price war that hurts everyone.

What You Choose to Design is Irrelevant... Sort of - Let’s say you design resin and wood jewelry. There are lots of other people also designing resin and wood jewelry. Same goes for mala necklaces, wax seal jewelry, energy bracelets, hand-stamped jewelry, Swarovski crystal jewelry, and boho earrings. When I say it’s irrelevant, I mean that what you design is not as important as how you reach buyers, market your brand, photograph your collection, and write your copy.

What matters most is how you do business. That means how you implement a plan to reach your potential customers and convert them into buyers. For that, your focus needs to be on the whole picture strategy, and requires good execution and follow through. As long as your collection is cohesive and you know that there is real interest in your products, the most important factor then rests upon consistently getting your brand in front of those prospective buyers.

Stop chasing the elusive “perfect product” and focus on what you do best. There is no perfect product, but when you concentrate on honing your skills and developing your collection, with the fire of inspiration, you’re bound to fall upon your perfect products as you start to see chosen items get more attention. Build on that and you have the makings of a stellar top-selling collection.

The Cost of Chasing Greener Pastures - Adapting your collection to emulate the best selling jewelry on Etsy is perhaps easier to do in theory than in practice. We all want to make money, but at what cost? And the costs can be steep... from making pieces you don’t enjoy, to running a small factory business, to chasing the elusive dream, only to find you can’t gain any traction when it comes to sales. Emulating “popular” brands comes with no guarantee of sales.

Rather than focusing solely on the best selling jewelry on Etsy and which designs could potentially sell better for you, invest your time and energy into studying how the competition is getting eyes on their products and converting visitors into buyers. It is, in my opinion, the art of business that you want to emulate and not the business of art. It’s easy to idealize the why behind what makes some products sell well, but often it’s strategic marketing and not simply that the product itself is the magic bullet.

That said, when it comes to the actual best selling jewelry on Etsy, there are products that naturally sell better and have greater demand, however, chasing after that ideal product may have you running in circles when you could be investing your energy on magnetizing your brand and improving your product photos and website copy. Consistently testing and measuring your presentation and marketing efforts will produce better results than darting from one design idea to the next in effort to present the perfect-selling product. Yes, pay attention to what’s selling, but don’t divorce yourself from your own unique style because that is what will set your brand apart from all the other cookie cutter styles.

Traction - On the topic of designing the perfect product that everyone can’t wait to get their mittens on, there is sometimes a mystery as to why one product will sell again-and-again, while others never seem to be noticed.

This reminds me of a story about necklace. I once encountered a single necklace on Pinterest which was in a style that was popular about four years ago. I followed the trail from that necklace to Etsy and, much to my surprise, the shop only had about four items. Some shops have sales views enabled so you can click on the sales and see which items are selling. This necklace was selling in multiples. Every. Single. Day.

How is it possible that one necklace could sell again-and-again when there where only four items in the shop? It certainly wasn’t because of the high-quality photograph because, while it was an appealing image, it was also blurry. It was however, an item that drew enough attention and got enough sales that it catapulted the product rank on both Pinterest and Etsy.

Once in the zone of attraction, it becomes that much easier to gain traction and keep right on attracting. Enough people find and purchase an item and the algorithms start rewarding both the listing and the pin. One hundred or so people click on the link, visit Etsy, and five or ten people make the purchase, then the item starts to climb the ranks.

That item begins to show up at the top of the Etsy listing feed. More people see the item and click on it. More people buy it and it stays at the top of Etsy... and the top of Pinterest. Four years later, this particular shop still only has four items and sells the same necklace. With less frequency, none-the-less it’s still there selling. Just think how this could play out with a handful of designs that could gather the same kind of attention.

Gaining traction isn’t always easy, but it is 100% strategic because designing the right product at the right time and being found online isn't generally a matter of luck. When building traction consider the following:

  • Design items that people want
  • Ensure your collection and its presentation is cohesive
  • Implement strong branding
  • Use keywords that people search
  • Write copy that makes people want to buy
  • Take photos that make people want to touch and buy
  • Find a way to build your email subscriber list and send people to your products
  • Invest in advertising

Again, testing and measuring is your best bet. Start by creating great products, then take the ones that get the most attention and invest in some paid social advertising, Etsy advertising, product videos, and social sharing. Get the ball rolling on a few items and start creating traction.

If one shop can list one item that sells close to 1000 times, even with only four items in the shop, it says a lot about potential. The last time I checked this shop, 20 people had added this particular necklace to their carts. Go figure. Although I have designed items that tend to sell again-and-again, it makes me chuckle to think of making only one item because it’s just that popular. I reckon it’s similar to selling hot dogs, but it might be a nice problem to have. Should you find yourself selling one design in high numbers, you can always hire an assistant to make that one item. Maybe give that person something else to do as well!

There’s no right or wrong. The best selling jewelry on Etsy is perhaps the easiest way to research which items are popular simply by analyzing the shops that have clickable links to view sold items, and by browsing which items are most often added to cart. This is something you can view right on the listings in the Etsy search results. It is perhaps the one place where you can get an idea of design popularity.

Get to know the best selling jewelry on Etsy, but whatever you choose in terms of designing your collection, try not to obsess over finding product perfection. Focus your efforts mostly on consistency and perseverance with your overall branding, presentation, and marketing. Spending more time on promoting your business will take you farther than design analysis paralysis. Commit to a collection that comes together with a love for what you do.

If you want to dive into research on the best selling jewelry on Etsy, you can take a look at CraftCount, it's a great place to get started.

As for using keywords in your titles and tags that actually say “best selling jewelry on Etsy”, first consider whether it’s a term buyers actually search, but most importantly, only use keywords that are relevant and true. If you can honestly say your item is a best seller then there’s no harm in testing the keyword in your tags, otherwise don’t.

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