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Large Sellers Dominate on Etsy

Large sellers dominate on Etsy, according to business intelligence vendor RJMetrics.com, which recently analyzed Etsy patterns to come up with some tips for people shopping for handmade items on the site. 79% of Etsy shops carry 100 or fewer items in their store, but the remaining 21% drive 75% of the orders on Etsy, according to the report.

Tristan Handy, Vice President of Marketing for RJMetrics, discussed the challenges of defining what handmade is and of finding handmade items mixed in with the mass-produced items found on the site, and he shared the results of his analysis.

“Tiny” stores, which he defined as those selling fewer than 20 products, have 7 times the number of admirers per sale than their massive competitors, he said, but they have the highest ratings (4.76). The biggest stores – those with over 1000 products – have the lowest ratings (4.02).

He also said “tiny” stores outperform those selling over 1,000 products on a per product basis. “On average, the smaller shops have 35% higher sales per product.”

Handy told us how he calculated that figure: Sales per product is the number of sales that a shop has divided by the total number of products they list. So, he explained, if you have 100 sales and list 10 products, you have 10 sales per product.

That data suggests that smaller sellers sell 35% more per item, he said. “You could say that it’s because they engage more effectively with the community or that their products are of better quality, both shown in later charts – ultimately we don’t know that’s the case but those seem like good hypotheses.”

He recommended that shoppers who wished to shop the tiny stores visit the art and home and garden categories.

We wondered whether the data took into account small sellers listing in the Vintage category who might be one-person shops but have a lot of items listed since they don’t have the requirement to hand-make such items – watch for an upcoming post the EcommerceBytes Blog to read more about that issue.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.