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Understanding Etsy’s ‘Use’ Attribute in Listings

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Etsy logoEtsy has a field in certain categories that auto-populates based on the type of item a seller is listing. As a recent discussion on the Etsy boards indicated, it can be disconcerting to sellers since there’s little information about it – we couldn’t find anything in Etsy’s help file. And there’s no override for sellers who feel it may not be an accurate way to describe the item they’re listing.

The field is called “Use” and shows up in some categories including clothing and shoes.

When listing an accessory, for example, a seller saw the field auto-populate with “Use: dress.” The seller worried shoppers would see the field and believe the item was actually a dress. But the “use” attribute was meant to indicate to shoppers that the accessory was for use on a dress, not that the item itself was a dress.

The use field ended up displayed on the published listing in the Overview section (underneath Add to Cart) as Use: Dress, above another field called Materials.

There are many clips on Etsy with different uses (dress clips, binder clips,…), so conceivably the Use field could help prevent shoppers from buying the wrong type of clip.

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What bothered sellers was that there was no way to override the Etsy classification. But eschewing attributes altogether may not be such a good idea since they help with search rankings and other ways of gaining visibility on the marketplace.

If you’re an Etsy seller, have you experienced auto-populating fields that can’t be overridden? Would you find the Use field helpful?

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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). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.

3 thoughts on “Understanding Etsy’s ‘Use’ Attribute in Listings”

    1. I couldn’t agree with you more. It’s all about pleasing the shareholders. The couldn’t care less about the sellers. I keep praying everyday that another company will bump them out of the handmade market.

  1. Attribute SCHMATTRIBUTE. It’s in the TITLE.
    And why is Etsy showing me VISITS ?
    I want to see HOW MANY TIMES my items are VIEWED !
    “Visit” stat is MOOT, USELESS, IRRELEVANT.
    It’s a battle between the FAMISH and the visionaries.

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