Relisting on Etsy – Is it still useful given relevancy-based searches?

As you may know, I run a small yarn dyeing store on etsy called Nooch Fiber. Recently, I’ve spent some time trying to make my products more “searchable” through the etsy engine – I’ve tinkered with keywords, titles, descriptions, etc. One area that was still unclear to me was the impact of relisting on views and sales.

What is relisting?
Relisting is when you renew an item (or several) that does not “need” to be renewed. If I listed a skein of yarn today, it would be in my etsy store for months before expiring on its own. Relisting refers to paying etsy that $0.20 again before it is absolutely necessary in order to possibly bump up my listing in etsy searches.

Why is relisting even a thing?
Historically, relisting was an important component of having a successful store because all etsy searches were default sorted by listing time, meaning that, as soon as you paid your $0.20 for an etsy listing, your item got bumped up to the front of the list for all searchers to see. Recently, etsy switched to a relevancy-based search, so it’s currently not clear whether relisting is still a good tactic, especially if you have a limited shop budget.

The Experiment
I decided to start relisting to see if it had an impact on my views and revenue. I tried to relist one item around the same time every day (usually 6-7pm Eastern) – there was no real reason for choosing this time, it was just a time that seemed intuitively good to me. I did this for about two weeks, with the aim of comparing these two weeks with the two weeks prior. Additionally, I did this experiment during the month of August, which is a notoriously slow slow SLOW month for yarn sellers on etsy… Not that I can blame people – knitting isn’t exactly appealing when it’s 90 degrees out and 100% humidity!

In order to reduce the plausability of any alternative explanations, I took the following precautions:
1. Tried to relist at the same time every day
2. Didn’t relist more than one item per day
3. Didn’t count days where I had a major shop update, as these always result in a spike of views
4. Didn’t include days where I was having some sort of sale or promotion
5. Continued my normal advertising and social media posting throughout the experiment

About the actual data:
I’m going to be using the following terms from now on, here are some quick definitions:
– Relist: whether or not I relisted on the day, dummy coded as 0 (no relist) and 1 (relist)
– Views: the combined number of shop and listing views – shop and listing views are almost the same for every single day of the experiment, so I saw no need to separate them out
– Revenue: the actual dollar $$$ amount made on a given day through the store

Descriptives in bullet point form:

– 23 total days
– 9 non-relist days
– 14 relist days

– 76 average views per day (all days)
– 55 average views per non-relist day
– 90 average views per relist day

– $14.29 average revenue per day (all days)
– $3.56 average revenue per non-relist day
– $21.19 average revenue per relist day

A simple linear regression reveals that relisting significantly predicts views (Beta = 0.414, p<0.5). The model has an R-squared of 0.17, which indicates that 17% of the variability in views is accounted for by the model.

I did not find significant results when looking at relisting predicting revenue, but that is likely due to the very small sample size and the huge amount of variability in daily revenue.

So what does this mean?

Short version:
Relisting every day increased number of views. The results were inconclusive in the area of revenue, but it’s likely that relisting also will lead to greater revenue.

Long version:
Relisting every day increased the number of views, which leads me to conclude that etsy’s relevancy-based search algorithm still relies heavily on recency of listing. For this reason, I plan on continuing to relist every day. Though the small sample size and crazy variability in revenue kept me from statistically determining that relisting had an effect on $$$, I think that jumping from under $4/day to about $21/day with only this small change is not too shabby and definitely worth the $2.80 I spent relisting on the 14 days of this experiment.

There are lots of things I could do better – a longer experiment, a larger experiment, more variability in how many items I relist per day, looking at different times of day to relist, maybe looking at data from another shop etc. All those issues aside, this was a relatively quick and cheap way to determine whether I should be relisting, and the answer is YES.

Thanks for taking the time to read this and please comment below to give ideas on what I should look at next or improvements I could make! I know a lot of people don’t like to share their etsy secrets, but I figure this information should be available to everyone.

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6 thoughts on “Relisting on Etsy – Is it still useful given relevancy-based searches?

  1. I have relisted something every day since I opened my shop in November 2006. I have never done a comparison study but intuitively feel this is necessary to continue to get new views in my shop.

    • Hi Maple! Thanks for taking the time to read my post! :) I don’t think it’s totally necessary, but it really helps! :D I’ve definitely gotten on the relist bandwagon!

  2. This is really interesting, Mariana. I generally list something pretty much every day, but it has been completely dependent on sales and listings that are set to expire. Looks like I need to make it a point to relist something every day.

    Thanks for sharing this with us!

  3. That’s an interesting experiment with interesting results! I did read on Etsy that everyone recommended relisting regularly so it is good to see that it is indeed useful. Now, if only I had enough items to relist as often as I should!

  4. Very generous of you to share your info. I never thought about re-listing as a sales tool, but you certainly laid out the facts in favor of it. This will come in handy, since there are days when getting anything new listed is an utter impossibility!

  5. I kinda love you after reading this post! You were so scientific about the study and I really appreciate it. I have found that doing SEO work (titles, tags, descriptions) is the key to my sales (and I do a lot of business on ETSY) but now I’m going to integrate renewiing back in. Since the change to relevancy I’ve been focusing on SEO but this article reminds me that I need to also renew if I’m going to get the most out of ETSY. If you aren’t familiar, http://www.etsyonsale.com is a great way to relist daily with no work involved. All the best with your sales this holiday! Thanks again for the study you did! :) Sarah Jane http://www.lifeisrosey.com

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