The Etsy Blog

Seller How-to: Making Category Suggestions handmade and vintage goods


Dear Sellers:

As many of you are aware, we are in the process of improving the Category system. This is a long-term project that we are very excited about!

We get many suggestions for subcategories and sub-subcategories. Almost all of these will be in the new system. Keep making these suggestions, as we are saving them to be implemented later!

As our engineers work on the new systems, we are currently and constantly adding new subcategories and sub-subcategories to the site. In my estimation, we immediately add over 50% of the unique ideas proposed into the current category system! Last week, for example, we added about 29 new sub and sub-subcategories. So keep ’em coming!

So, what determines whether we will add a new subcategory or sub-subcategory — now, versus later? And, if you have an idea for a new subcategory or sub-subcategory, what is the best way to suggest it to us? Here are some pointers and tips:

How to suggest a new sub or sub-subcategory on Etsy: 

1. Start using the name of your proposed subcategory or sub-subcategory as a tag, and encourage others to do the same.

When we are deciding whether to add to the current category system, we will search for the word under the proposed Category. If there are items “tagged” with this word, it greatly increases the chances that it will be added. If the sub or sub-subcategory is added, these items will automatically be in it!

2. Got an idea for a subcategory or sub-subcategory? Let us know!

Etsians make category suggestions in various ways — all of them are great! Some like to post in the ideas section of the Forums. Make the title something like “Category suggestion: how about “XYZ”?”. If an admin doesn’t reply, please convo HeyMichelle (that’s me!), and I’ll take a look. Feel free to convo me directly as well.

Other ways that people suggest categories are by e-mailing Community or Support. These are just fine, although it may take a bit longer for me to see the suggestion, since they are just going to forward the email to me!

Many suggestions we get are good, but for various reasons, we are unable to add them at this time.

Reasons we might not add a suggested category, subcategory or sub-subcategory:

1.  There’s a better chance of us adding to a short list than a really long list.

Does the place where you would like us to add a sub or sub-subcategory have a long list underneath it? This makes it more difficult to add subs underneath it. If there is nothing, or a really short list, it’s almost a shoo-in. Don’t let a long list intimidate you, though! If your idea is a good candidate for the current system, we will try to find a way to accommodate it!

2.  We are not currently adding “styles” to the category system. 

Examples of styles are “Primitive,” “Kawaii” and “Cottage.” These are currently very useful for shopping, and will be included in the new category system. However, adding them now will lead to mistagging, and will make it more difficult to find items in these styles. A suggestion for those who are making items in a style: create or join an Etsy Team with others who are working in that style. At the bottom of your item descriptions, describe the style in one sentence, and encorage shoppers to search for the style to find similar items. This will spread the word about the style and help with cross-promotion!

3.  We are not going to add new top-level categories that are not *types* of items.

New top-level categories in the current system are very rare indeed! We’re not currently considering new top-level categories for methods, art forms, materials, styles, or any other type of category other than “What is it?” types. Please continue to suggest these, though, as they may be excellent candidates for sub and sub-subcategories, and are useful for designing the new category system.

4. Technical difficulties

Certain things that would make a fabulous subcategory for the current system can’t be added now for technical reasons. An example of this is Art Dolls. We are working on implementing fixes for these types of problems, and we apologize for the inconvenience.

Well, that’s all for now! Thank you so much for your category suggestions — we very much appreciate it, and we look forward to hearing more!

  • babeta

    babeta says:

    Hi As far as categories go, I'd love to see Humor added. :-) Pam

    7 years ago

  • kittycrossbones

    kittycrossbones says:

    I would love to see a Promotional category

    7 years ago

  • allisonstrine

    allisonstrine says:


    7 years ago

  • VIZArt

    VIZArt says:

    printmaking instead of prints would be nice.

    7 years ago

  • dejavu

    dejavu says:

    As has been frequently requested, a top-level category for Collectible Miniatures would be wonderful. I know that MaryMary came into this thread to say that you are working on a solution: To me, the only solution would be a top-level category. It's definitely a "type" or a "what is it" heading. There is a HUGE market for it, but because there is no definite place for it on Etsy, it discourages potential buyers or sellers from even considering Etsy as a market. Currently the only place for these items on Etsy is under Toys, and that's insulting to miniaturists who make incredible works of art that are definitely NOT for children. Here's something I noticed: Music as a top-level category has only 1300 items in it. Do a search for "dollhouse miniature" and you get over 1100 items - and that's without even having its own category. There are a lot of miniaturists who are resisting Etsy because they have no appropriate category to place their items. Make a category, and it WILL grow! Since we've been told that Etsy is "working to find a solution", is there any way we could get a hint whether a top-level category is the solution being considered for Miniatures? Or is there some other "solution" being considered? (I can't imagine what.) Thanks!

    7 years ago

  • SteppingStones

    SteppingStones says:

    Hey Hey Michelle! Thanks for the article!! Found objects - or something like it under Supplies! Seaglass and Beach Stones are neither commercial nor handmade! Thanks!!

    7 years ago

  • BlueKittyMiniatures

    BlueKittyMiniatures says:

    Definitely "Miniatures" with, I would suggest, sub-headings "dollhouse scales" and "other collectables". I am part of the "miniature community" and have been dithering about opening a shop here for over a year because of the lack of visibility. I finally opened one this week in the hope it is going to be accepted as a main category so collectors can find items. They are certainly not "toys" - not even legally able to be sold as such. When you consider that some miniature pieces sell for more than their real life full size counterparts it is definitely insulting to include them under "toys".

    7 years ago

  • PhotoAmerica

    PhotoAmerica says:

    Thanks Michelle! I sent you a convo. Please pay special attention to reorganizing the ART Category... please!

    7 years ago

  • GoldenUnicornMinis

    GoldenUnicornMinis says:

    Thanks, Michelle! Back in the Fall on etsywiki there was a "Collectables" category. If this will become reality, that is where collectable dollhouse miniatures should be, and specified as 'collectable' so our items don't get lost among the sea of non-collectable miniatures. What we artists handmake are really collectables and not Toys - many pieces are breakable and almost all of them can be a dangerous item for a child to play with. Thank you for your consideration of a Collectable Dollhouse Miniatures category.

    7 years ago

  • halfadozen

    halfadozen says:

    Collectibles would be a good category with Miniatures, Dollhouse miniatures, Scale Miniatures, etc, as subcategories.

    7 years ago

  • fenrislorsrai

    fenrislorsrai says:

    If a miniatures category is created, it should definitely have a TRAIN section. Yes, there aren't a lot of men shopping Etsy, but that's the sort of thing that could draw them in! There's a large thread on Art Dolls needing a specific category. I will agree with this. There's none in art, and having dolls that are clearly NOT MEANT FOR CHILDREN in the Toys> Dolls Art could also do with a category for carving. Yes, there's carving in woodworking, but what if you work in stone, bone, or something else? I end up lumping my bas reliefs into sculpture. Yeah, they're sort of sculpture, but it could easily get pulled out some someone looking specifically for that could find it. An "outdoor art" category for art to cover really HUGE art that's intended for outdoors would be nice too.

    7 years ago

  • thegreenefairy

    thegreenefairy says:

    How about a fiber subcategory in the jewelry section? :)

    7 years ago

  • mikrow

    mikrow says:

    How about a "miniature" subcategory in Art and or one in Everything else. You could copy the subcategory structure used in Toys.

    7 years ago

  • thesunnysidebiz

    thesunnysidebiz says:

    What is considered vintage? Is there a date like before _____ ? 80's would be vintage? And anything from vintage era can be sold on Etsy?

    7 years ago

  • vcjewellery

    vcjewellery says:

    Yes, how about for jewellery "Fine" which would represent silver and gold and "Costume" for everything else. Also Etsy is global market place... the system should have both the British and the US spelling of jewellery/jewelry. A lot of people don't know there is two ways of spelling it. Thanks!

    7 years ago

  • kmedlin

    kmedlin says:

    Becoming a recent addict of handmade soaps has made me ask that a new sub-subcategory be added to "soaps." I think there needs to be an "unscented" section as many people have sensitive skin. If a product has its own smell because of a particular ingredient (i.e. cocoa butter), that's fine, but I have an aversion to fragrance/essential oils. I also noticed that there is a "fragrant" and "scented" sub-subcategory. Since they are similar in meaning, maybe they could be combined in order to make room for the "unscented" section. Thanks!

    6 years ago

  • urbanwoodswalker

    urbanwoodswalker says:

    I would like to see a recycled, upcycled, or repurposed category. I am a compulsive recycler, and I like create and buy anything made within this subject matter. I usually use 3 of my 14 tags allotment with the above words. Then I am adding eco art, or environmental, or something to that nature. Its taking way too many tags. I would love to see a category with subcategories of fabric, metal, paper, cardboard, plastic, leather, and glass. I guess all the materials one can usually find at a great recycling center and a little bit more. What I do NOT want to see is vintage fabric yardage or yarn skeins sold in a "recycled" category. Also, the 3 words "recycled," "upcycled," & "repurposed" all imply different meanings, so that would need to be cleared up so sellers would not be confused. I believe that every time a seller goes to tag their listing, a paragraph or 2 should come up explaining in detail what the category they are about to choose exactly is. In this way, hopefully, listers will tag and categorize items more authentically.

    6 years ago

  • isaratrading
  • PCouey

    PCouey says:

    Just started using Etsy. Post selling handmade necklace. Any suggestions on how to promote my jewelry?

    6 years ago

  • PCouey

    PCouey says:

    Did I incorrectly set up my Etsy account?

    6 years ago