The Etsy Blog

From Etsy’s Merchandising Desk: September 2011

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods

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September brings us into full gear for the busy holiday season ahead. Our goal is to create a healthy balance between promotions for traditional holidays, seasonal changes, cultural events, and lifestyle trends. It’s also a great way to change up the way you approach managing your Etsy business. If you’d like to stay engaged and involved with the approaching merchandising themes, use them in your own artistic voice as you add to your shop. They can be translated in your listings, photos, shop announcements, descriptions, tags, titles, sales promotions, and more.

Promotional Opportunities for Sellers:

    1. Keep up with August’s seasonal themes, holidays and trends in the August edition of Merchandising Desk.
    2. Search Relevancy: Search sorted by relevancy is now the default search experience on Etsy. In addition, we have updated our policy on labeling and tagging. Read this blog article for tips on how to keep your shop and items at the top of search.
    3. In the coming weeks, we’re launching an easy and affordable new way for you to promote your listings on Etsy search pages. Be among the first to learn more by signing up for notifications here.
    4. Holiday Tip: Etsy’s seasonal Gifts Email will be relaunching in September. Now is the time to list your full holiday line with clear seasonal tags. Don’t forget, Etsy’s “holiday” season encompasses all aspects of Halloween, Thanksgiving, and the classic December gifting holidays: Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa.
    5. Create and tag treasuries fitting August’s merchandising themes for a chance to have your collection featured on Etsy’s homepage or linked from promotional emails. Sharing these collections via your social networks during relevant time periods will help increase traffic and engagement around your items and shop.


Stay Engaged in September: Our central merchandising will focus on autumn, Halloween, and preparing for the holidays ahead. While emphasis will be placed upon the seasonality of the Northern Hemisphere, it’s important to remember that the Southern Hemisphere is preparing for spring. Maintaining seasonally appropriate options year-round is good practice for boosting international and overall sales.

      • Celebrations and Traditions: Look for references to the activities classically surrounding Labor Day, the U.S. Tennis Open, Oktoberfest, weekend cookouts, family gatherings, references to sports, beer drinking, festivals, and German traditions.
      • Back to School: We’ll be wrapping up back to school promotions early in the month, with a heavier focus on fashion and office gear. Think organizational essentials, gadget and computer accessories, notebooks, writing utensils, cases, book bags, backpacks, satchels, lunch carriers, and fall fashion.
      • Halloween: Halloween searches are in their prime right now. Particularly popular at this time is decor, party supplies, full costumes and accessories (both baby and adult), jewelry, pumpkin decorating ideas, DIY kits, treats and treat alternatives, and the darker side of Etsy. Get in the game by listing your full Halloween line now.
      • Autumn: Seasonal shift in weather, colors, and activities. Think autumn home decor, entertaining, woodland motifs and nature’s symbols. Harvest themes encompass fall planting, preserving the summer garden’s bounty, rustic farm references, and fall food favorites. Tagging tip: “Autumn” is a more global seasonal association than the more American-based “fall” term; try including both as descriptive words.
      • Fall Fashion: Entering the height of 2011 fall fashion in clothing, accessories, and jewelry. More specifically, key basics, layering elements, the introduction of winter accessories and outerwear components, thick fabrics and rich leathers, autumnal tones, vintage boots and heavy-weight all-weather bags.
      • Weddings: Coinciding with our Halloween promotions, unconventional approaches to pulling off a creative event will have their time to shine. Don’t forget to stay a step ahead for brides currently planning and shopping for 2012 winter and spring weddings.
      • The Holidays: That’s right, now is the time to list your full holiday focused line. Emphasis on gift ideas, decor, and options for entertaining.
      • Sapphire is September’s birthstone; September’s astrological signs are Virgo and Libra (August 24 – September 23: Virgo, September 24 – October 23: Libra).

Trending Topics:

        • Halloween:

Celebrity references, film and pop culture reinventions, clever costuming plays on words, pet costumes, baby costumes, group options, vampire themes, folk and vintage decor, photobooth props, and the classic color combinations (orange, black, yellow, white, red, green, purple).

      • Wizardry, magic, owls, and mysticism with the release of the final chapter of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
      • Vampires: They’re back on the radar with shows like HBO’s True Blood and fall’s approaching premiere of Twilight: Breaking Dawn.
      • Feather Hair Extensions: Still going strong.
      • Sports: The U.S. Open this month brings attention to athletes and tennis while the start to NFL and college football seasons brings on the football and tailgating fever.
      • Weddings: Handmade and Vintage variations on the wedding dress, and engagement ring along with creative invitations, save the dates, and signage on the rise.
      • Fashion: Plaid, polka dots, tribal and snakeskin patterns, and lace embellishments. Feathers, menswear, blazers, vests and jackets, maxi skirts, gray basics, tailored and wide leg pants, patterned leggings and opaque tights, oxfords, vintage boots.
      • Colors: Pantone’s color trend report for fall 2o11 includes quarry, cedar, and teal greens, nougat and coffee browns, orchid and phlox purples, bamboo mustard yellow, honeysuckle pink, and ember-glow coral. We’re also noticing interest in turquoise, rustic fall colors, jade greens and mustards.
      • The Local Artisanal Shop and the Speakeasy: The butcher, baker, ice cream shop, patisserie. Barware of mixology, nightlife, live music, and secret passwords.
      • Garden Preservation: Canning, jams, preserves, and stocks.
      • Culinary Trends: Year of the homemade pie, whoopie pie, and macaron. DIY culinary kits are on the rise. Classic cocktails, home brewing, beer and wine accessories, herb infusions, garden to table.
      • Designer Vintage: Authentic fashion, collectibles, bikes, and auto accessories.
      • Letters, Numbers, and Symbols: Large vintage signage letters, letterpress blocks, monogram housewares, and typewriter keys.
      • Personalization: Monograms, initials, text, numbers, zodiac, constellations, portraits, custom labels, stamps, fingerprints and family trees.
      • Natural History: Woodland forest themes and animals, namely birds, owls, squirrels, hedgehogs, chipmunks, bunnies, butterflies, feathers, nests, eggs, acorns, leaves, trees, branches, woodgrain, and natural colors.
      • Lockets, secret hiding places, skeleton keys, arrows, diamonds, paper cuts, silhouettes, fortune cookies, wishbones, constellations, fortune telling.
      • Large scale vintage and handmade paper maps, botanical and anatomy charts.
      • Upcycled lights, lamps, exposed bulbs, and chandeliers.
      • Creative gadget cases, docking stations and accessories.
      • Bike caddies, baskets, and creative accessories.
      • Shabby chic decor and accessories.
      • Video game inspired references.
      • Writable chalkboard surfaces.
      • Wall and laptop decals.
      • All things steampunk.
      • Vintage cameras.
      • Braided hair.
      • Mermaids.
      • Peacocks.

If you make items that would fit well with the themes outlined, try stocking up and listing them in advance to take advantage of potential shipping deadlines and site features. Do you already have items in your shop that meld well? That’s great! Now it’s time to revisit those items to make sure your tags, titles and descriptions reflect keywords that shoppers might be looking for during this time of year. This is also a great opportunity to revamp your item photography with a new look. Check out some great how-to’s for item photography to get started.

For those of your who enjoy making treasuries, we’ll be looking to highlight lists that interpret these themes in a creative and cohesive ways throughout the site. Please tag your treasuries accordingly. Special tip: Tagging your treasuries with a single word, or a multiple word that is meant to be a multiple word, will help us find your lists. Tagging with multiple words that do not relate to one another might be detracting from your list from being found. For example, using a single tag for “skeleton key” will help you get found in tag searches for “skeleton key” though using the tag field for “skeleton key nostalgic pink” would not be returned in tag results pages for “skeleton key.”

Upcoming Dates to Remember

  • September is known as National Honey, Classical Music, and Self-Improvement month.
  • August 29 – Sept 11: U.S. Tennis Open Tournament, NFL and college football seasons begin.
  • September 1-4: Ethical Fashion Show (a Parisian-based show featuring ethical trends and designers)
  • September 5: Labor Day
  • September 5: Back to school day for primary and secondary students (France)
  • September 7: Brazil’s Independence Day
  • September 10: Sewing Machine Day
  • September 11: 10th Anniversary of World Trade Center attacks
  • September 11: Grandparents Day
  • September 12: Harvest Moon Festival, Mid Autumn Festival
  • September 16: Mexico’s Independence Day
  • September 17 – October 3: Oktoberfest
  • September 17- 18: Hello Etsy Summit
  • September 19: Talk Like a Pirate Day
  • September 23: Autumnal Equinox
  • September 25: International Rabbit Day
  • September 27 – October 5: Paris Fashion week
  • September 28 – Conficius’ birthday
  • September 28 – 30: Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown
  • September 29 – October 2: Art Forum Berlin, biggest international art show in Germany

Have a date to remember that you don’t see on the list? Let us know in the comments section below.

Read Past Merch Desk Articles