Changes to Etsy listing categories and attributes

No primary category set

Craft and vintage marketplace Etsy has informed sellers that it is making changes to listing categories and attributes in August. You can view the announcement here.

You see read the full lists of new categories and subcategories (there’s plenty to digest) on that page but the changes to Etsy listing categories in short are:

  • Expanded options for Clothing
  • New slime category
  • More subcategories in Menstrual Care
  • Removing Holiday and Celebration Attributes from some categories

As they say of the changes, speaking to the importance of the category and attributes system on Etsy:

When you’re creating a listing, you assign it to the most specific category that fits your item. Shoppers can use categories to filter searches on Etsy and when they’re shopping using Etsy’s navigation menu. Categories also act as tags, helping us match your items with more relevant searches. You should select the categories that describe what your item is, not how it’s used or what it’s made for.
– Taylor Combs, Etsy

Because all the items on Etsy are unique and often handmade, they aren’t following eBay down the catalogue line, simply because it’s not a valid option for them. So, very much like marketplaces in years gone by, the manual assignment of a category and attributes is essential if shoppers are to find the goods you have for sale.

But this also raises questions: are buyers really sophisticated enough and adept at searching on Etsy to utilise the various filters and options they have available. It seems likely that most shoppers will predominantly search in that way.

We’d love to hear your ideas and perspectives about this in relation to the Etsy marketplace. Are the categories and attributes very valuable or are they really subservient to the keywords in the item title? And does time and energy invested in attributes pay off with greater visibility and sales?


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