How to create a best seller on Etsy

I opened my Etsy shop around 2yrs ago – I’ve sold just over 4000 items, and I have less than 90 items in the shop. The reason for this is I have a couple of items that have the Best seller on Etsy badge.

In this post, I will show you the best practices to get a Best Seller badge on Etsy and why it’s not necessarily a good thing. 

What is the best seller on Etsy?

The majority of best sellers on Etsy have several things in common. Some which are within your control and plenty you can’t do anything about. You can, however, maximize your chances of creating a best seller on Etsy and making money by following these few simple rules. 

Here is a menu of what we will cover in this post

You can also find more help in planning your Etsy shop by setting goals

How I got a Best Seller on Etsy

I love to paint and spent about a month just painting what I wanted, which was watercolor plants and leaves. At the time, I really wasn’t sure if I would be able to sell any of them. I probably had 3 gorgeous ones, 20 or so good ones, and the others just not quite the same quality. Hit or miss maybe.

I worked out how other shops were selling them, and I also had another Etsy shop selling prints I had made up using a mixture of my own artwork and clip art I had purchased with a commercial license.

For those who are unfamiliar – I purchased a license to sell that clip art in my own work if I had made it my own. Either by adding additional interest or creating a completely new design with the clip art forming only a part of it. If you are interested you can purchase Clip art on Etsy

Some of these did well, most – not so great. 

But anyway – back to my Etsy Botanical print shop with watercolors

I scanned my artwork into Photoshop and cleaned it up and uploaded it as digital prints. 

No, it doesn’t end there – this is not how you get a best seller on Etsy 

But let’s find out what is required first.

Even though I do have a best selling on Etsy – it took a lot of mistakes to get there.

What is a top-selling item on Etsy

A top-selling item on Etsy is an item that has a high conversion rate, consistently good reviews, and shows up in search. 

In detail

My conversion rate for this particular item ranges from 2.5-1.5 

How to work out your conversion rate on Etsy

Simply divide the number of visits by the orders and x 100. 

400 visits /25 orders x 100 = 6.25 conversion rate

My reviews for this item are high – all of the reviews have 5 stars

It also shows up in a search on the first page for a couple of keywords

Find out how to increase my views on Etsy in this post

What else makes this product a target for the Best Seller badge on Etsy

The product is also fairly unique. Or at least it was for several months. (More on that later). I had seen a couple of shops combine their best sellers into one listing giving three prints for the price of two. So I pulled my three top-selling prints into one listing, and it worked like a charm. 

Best selling prints on Etsy

I was seeing sales of this item every day consistently. But then it just fell off. 


What are the downsides of having a best seller on Etsy and why it’s not always a good thing

You see, the best seller badge is really a double-edged sword. You want the customers to know that other buyers have been overwhelmingly pleased with this product and increase their desire.

We all want what others have.

But the downside of this is that other shop owners can also view your success. And ’emulate’ your Best Seller on Etsy. 

What to do if your item is stolen on Etsy

The first thing you should do is educate yourself on the best course of action. Read your rights on stolen items on Etsy

I was spending at least 2-3hrs a week just reporting copies of my Bestseller. I don’t mean they had unwittingly gone out and created the same prints – I mean, they had purchased my prints and began reselling them as their own. Booo.. ! 

Copying items on Etsy

Not great

Don’t go there!

It’s ok to be ‘inspired’ by another store. Indeed I have done this. But I can paint my own prints and sell them. I don’t have to purchase someone else’s painted artwork and resell it as my own. 

Fortunately, I was able to show Etsy my original prints in watercolor, and they took down all the listings which had stolen my artwork. 

Instagram link to original artwork.

But the damage was done. 

If you are starting on Etsy, you can find the best way to start an Etsy shop helpful

My Bestseller had gone over to the ‘let us all do that same thing’ – I shouldn’t have been surprised. It had happened before with another print in my other Etsy shop. Honestly, I had purchased a water pen for my watercolors and put ink in it and was testing it one night just by drawing lines. I figured I’d put it in my digital Etsy shop and boom – it went off like a rocket. 

Best selling line art print on ETsy

Does it look familiar?

Oh yes, – I know. (Holds head in hands)

So it happens. But then on the plus side, you are really are nothing on Etsy until you have been copied. And selling Digital artwork is the main target.

Don’t panic if your item gets stolen – it happens. Just keep your evidence to prove that it was your original idea, and Etsy will take the listing down. 

The dark side of Etsy

I’m saying this because I want you to know that not everyone on Etsy plays fair in the sandpit. I have seen in some Facebook groups – best sellers being reported for no other reason other than another unscrupulous shop owner wants it out of the way. 

As Etsy takes reporting of items quite seriously – you could find yourself without a shop or a best seller. For no other reason than another shop wants your business and will do much more to get there. 

And don’t think they stop at Etsy!

Oh no.

The courageous ones might even go as far as stealing your Pins on Pinterest and changing the URL to their shop. 


What rot. 

Not sure what a stolen pin is – here is the information you can find on stolen pins on Pinterest. Simply send them an Email

Or read my post on how to promote your Etsy shop on Pinterest.

Why does the Bestseller badge is great for Etsy, but not shop owners? 

Simple – unless you have something unique which only you can make – Etsy knows what sells well, and it’s in their interest for every shop to do the same thing. Guaranteed sale for any angle. 

But now my reader – you are a bit wiser. 


Ok – let’s move on from this chat. 

Why does one item sell better than another similar item on Etsy

Well, like any other market place. It comes down to buyer intent. Why will my print sell less than someone else’s identical prints? 

Having good reviews is paramount on Etsy

Don’t be surprised when I tell you that most buyers actually read reviews before buying. They want to know that other buyers have been pleased with their purchase, and this creates more buyer intent. Be aware of best practices for Bad reviews on Etsy

Check out this article on buyer intent if you are not sure what I mean by this.

I see lots of comments in Facebook groups when a shop owner is fighting ferociously to dispute that 1-star review because they wasted a few dollars on postage. 

Lookie here shop owners – 

Don’t do this.

That 1-star review can be avoided if you just get off your ‘seller mode’ and be overly sweet a helpful. Humbly accept that often, you will lose more in sales than you will by graciously giving a refund. 

But what if the review has already happened – 

Well, not much you can do now – but don’t – repeat DO NOT – go in guns blazing and tell the customer it was their fault in reply to your 1 star. Even if – gasp – it is!

Your reputation is priceless, my dears. 

Find out in our complete guide to Reviews on Etsy

Shop look and branding

Your shop’s overall appeal is crucial to making sales. Buyers want to see a busy professional shop with plenty going on and past transactions. They want it to look inviting and have perhaps something to differentiate it from the next best shop. Or indeed the other 456 shops selling the same thing.

Remember your shop header is the first view – it must say everything in 10 seconds or Less.

Has your shop been featured in Trending items on Etsy? – Take a look. If you view this regularly, you can see how Etsy progresses through the seasons and warms up to the sales of gifts at Christmas and trending items for spring and summer. 

There is a reason they put gift items front and center from October onwards and organization items and home decor in January and beyond. 

Is your item trending on Etsy? If so, let us know in the comments. 

You solve a problem with your product

Simply put – your product solves a buyer’s problem completely. 

My items solve the problem by providing simple, cheap wall art which they can print at home and hang in minutes. 

What problems do your items solve?

Does your item solve an urgency problem? – is it worth more money because you can deliver in a shorter time, or do you solve the buyers’ gift problem by providing unique gifts not found elsewhere? 

Etsy likes and favorites

Having someone favor your item is a perfect way to get a little traction behind the scenes. If you have a lot of favorites, the buyer has found what they might be looking for and wants to keep it in their lists. 

This process can be wildly powerful on the buyers’ experience. After all, before the buyer purchases, they usually see the same thing seven times. Etsy will show you your recent favorites over and over again. They work for a reason. 

We love favorites!

If this is a bit overwhelming you can start with a post about Why sellers fail to sell anything on Etsy

How much money can you make on Etsy with a Best seller?

This is what you are here for, I know!

Etsy stats for visits to item

This item has been viewed 35194 times and has sold 706 times. Which gives it an overall conversion rate of 2. On the best month, it made 1600​

I want you to know that ultimately, Etsy sent traffic to this item, not me. But now Etsy search sends less than 1% of traffic to this item. 

Etsy traffic stats

I know rubbish – boo Etsy.


Possibly it isn’t trending any longer. Indeed someone sends me a message recently saying how much they loved my work and could they buy it to sell on print on demand in China?

Hmmm, let me think about that?

No thanks. 

But then went on to say that it wasn’t trending any longer anyway, and pop art was where I needed to focus my time. 

You see – 

Etsy is not a set it and forget it process.

Key points on how to create a best seller on Etsy

It shows up on Etsy in Search

Are your photos amazingly perfect? – have you done everything you can to improve your product images and give them the maximum appeal? – 

I favor white images mostly. Products on a white background feature heavily on Etsy shopping emails. 

Your item converts well 

Are you achieving more than 1% conversion rate on the item – for every 100 views are you making 1 sale?

Is it priced correctly – not too high and defiantly not too low

You’ve done everything possible to make it both appealing and likable.

You have good reviews on your item

Highlight those reviews – put them in the listing description, tell them, this item has had xxx 5-star reviews. 

If you can, encourage reviews for your item by asking the buyer to respond to the review request. I email my customers after they have purchased and say thank you and join my mailing list and leave a review. Since I started doing this – No reviews. 

Honestly – no reviews. 

This could be because they checked out as a guest or just because they can’t be bothered to log back in. I don’t actually know. But yes, I’ve not had a single review since I started emailing my buyers after they purchased. 

You can glean from this information as much as you wish. Try out and see what works best for your shop. 

It has, however, encouraged a lot more signups to my email list and that’s a good thing. I can repeatedly use it to send more traffic to my shop. 

No email list? – Find out how to grow an email list on Etsy

If you have a unique product – tell the buyer why it is unique, what makes it better than other similar items on Etsy. 

Final thoughts on how to create a best seller on Etsy. Produce a product that is popular on Etsy right now, either because it is trending on Etsy or has a Bestseller badge – but also has the following criteria is the best way to create a Bestseller on Etsy.

  • Good reviews
  • High conversion
  • Repeat customers
  • Does well in Etsy search
  • Unique product
Simple ways to get a bestseller badge on etsy

More helpful articles on Etsy

Struggling with an Etsy shop name – find useful tips on choosing the right name for your Etsy shop

Get some great Etsy shop ideas and make money from home

Start selling Digital items on Etsy

Set Pinterest up correctly and promote your Etsy shop

Grab the perfect gift for your Etsy shop creative

How to create a best seller on Etsy

If you want to remember this article on How to create a best seller on Etsy – please pin me to your favorite board on Pinterest.

Thank you for reading

Trina x

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  1. Good to know. Very educational writing. Thanks for sharing it.

  2. Myrna R Fletcher says:

    I have read and reread the how-to’s etc Etsy provides. The articles you shared are the most informational and inspirational I have found! Not only did you cover the Etsy platform, new ideas on other ways to promote and grow were so very welcome! It all is a bit overwhelming! But armed with your guide posts it suddenly sounds doable! My thanks for your encouragement. Most of all thanks for sharing your hard-earned knowledge!!

    1. Hi Myrna,
      So glad you found it helpful. Let me know if you have any questions and thank you for your comment.

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