I was excited to learn recently that sellers can run a search on Etsy and choose what they’re calling ‘market research’ results. This brings up a graph that tells you, to quote Etsy, “the range of prices for items that sold recently and samples of recently sold items.” I’m in the midst of a pricing experiment right now, so I was eager to see what I could learn from this feature.
I had a couple questions about the results right away: what time period did they span? How did the number of items in sales correspond to items in stock? So I got all geeked out and did a little research of my own, using ‘coffee cozies’ for my search term. I wrote down all of the results from the graph and then ran corresponding searches to see how many items were in stock at those prices. Of course, this information has limited helpfulness; the items sold are no longer in stock, of course, although many have probably been restocked. However, I suspected that the most ‘popular’ price would loosely correspond to the percentage of items stocked at that price. It didn’t correspond as closely as I thought it might, but there was a definite connection.
As far as the time period that the search results reflect, there was no way to tell that I could see. However, my results today (four days later) were significantly different, so I assume the chart reflects sales as they happen, though I’m not sure how far back the data included goes.
Under each bar in the graph are three keywords, supposedly to help you understand different essential qualities between items sold at various prices. ‘Pattern’ usually appears under the lowest range, helpfully cluing you in to the fact that, if you are selling a finished product, these items aren’t really your competition. However, there is a lot that they don’t tell you—for example, are the coffee cozies selling for $25 really sets of several cozies, or perhaps a cozy for a teapot?
In my assessment, this tool isn’t all that helpful. It doesn’t necessarily tell you the price people are most willing to pay. My initial reaction was, “Yikes, I’d better change all of my prices”, and I may do some more experimenting with that, but really, my prices are very close to the range that is ‘optimum’ according to the graph, so no reason to panic. In the end, it’s interesting. It may be one piece of the perfect price puzzle, but I wouldn’t change your prices based too heavily on these search results. In fact, after a month’s trial of my coffee cozies at one price, I had planned to change them according to the market research results as part of my pricing experiment. When I ran the search that time, my cozies fell in the ‘optimum’ range.
To improve this feature, I think Etsy needs to include information about how long a time period the data covers, how many items actually sold, and the correlation between number of items stocked and number of items sold. Pictures /links to items sold would be a great bonus.
If you are an Etsy seller yourself and want to try this, enter a search term. Next to ‘sort by’ are three icons; the graph icon all the way to the left will bring up the market research results.