Are Etsy Ads Worth It?

Selling items on Etsy can be a very lucrative business, depending on the niche you are trying to conquer.

However, there can be numerous pitfalls along the way, not least of which is the sheer saturation of the internet, and the difficulties sellers can have when it comes to being seen and heard. 

Many might opt for Etsy advertising, but is it actually worth it? 

What Is Etsy? 

Etsy is an American online e-commerce marketplace started in 2005 by Robert Kalin, Chris Maguire, Haim Schoppik, and Jared Tarbell. 

Focusing on handmade or independently produced items, the website soon found a much sought after niche within the wider online marketplace, offering sellers and buyers alike the chance to engage with unique consumer goods that has otherwise been lacking amongst the sea of large corporations. 

The ethos begins Etsy has always been one of human interaction and championing creativity, and this remains true even today, despite the company being worth an estimated $493.5 million dollars, as of 2021. 

How Does Etsy Work? 

Etsy sellers can create their own pages – or ‘stores’ – wherein they can advertise their specific wares. Website visitors can then browse for specific items – such as ‘t-shirts’ – and then explore what t-shirts there are available. 

Once they have then found an item they like, the customer can then either add it to their favorites – in the form of a wish list – or add it to their basket – whether they can purchase it via an online payment system. 


To start a store on Etsy, sellers have to place at least one item on their page, and it must have a minimum price of 20 cents.

This item will then remain on their page for a maximum of 4 months – after which it will have potentially been sold, or removed due to inactivity. 

Each seller can also choose which payment methods they will accept, allowing the individual to make a choice that suits them, their needs, and the nature of their business.

Potential payment methods include PayPal, credit cards, debit cards, and any form of coupon or special offer they might decide to offer. 


Once a buyer has seen an item they like, they can then either add it to their favorites or their basket – the latter of which will then allow them to checkout and pay. 

Once they have received an item, and assuming they are satisfied with it, they can then have the option to leave a review for the seller and the specific product – potentially helping or hindering the success and reputation of the seller. 

This is a good way of both keeping the seller honest – in their business practices and in the products they produce – as well as encouraging human interaction and potential exchanges of gratitude between both parties. 

What Are Etsy Ads? 

Etsy Ads is a new marketing tool open to Etsy sellers to use – allowing them to reach potential buyers both on and off Etsy. 

Etsy sellers can set themselves an advertising budget, and then the company will use their insights – and knowledge of online commerce – to decide where the best places to spend these invested dollars might be. 

This is somewhat different from other online marketplaces, and offers a more personalized service that can suit each individual business model. 

How Do They Work? 

Are Etsy Ads Worth It?

There are two main kinds of Etsy Ads: onsite and offsite. 

Onsite ads generally show up on the general site, appearing organically in search results, depending on the items that are being searched and the applicability. 

Offsite ads however are listing ads that are promoted outside of Etsy. These ad listings are promoted by Etsy on popular sites like Google, Facebook, Buzzfeed, and Instagram. 

Which Is Better? 

Of course, there are distinct differences and benefits to each of these methods. 

Onsite ads are more in the control of the seller, and can be amended on their marketplace dashboard.

This differs from offsite ads, which are less within the control of the seller, and controlled by Etsy’s marketing team, who will put them in the most appropriate places to gain more traffic to the store homepage. 

Are They Worth It? 

The answer to this depends on several things – namely the intent of the seller, the nature of the business, and the level of success they currently have. 


If the seller sells more expensive products, then the ads are probably more likely to prove successful – at least from a financial sense.

This is because the same percentage is taken from expensive and cheap products alike, meaning that those selling cheaper products might actually make less in total. 

Conversion Rate

Sellers who are already popular might also do better from ads – as they have a higher conversion rate, and require less clicks to get a sale to go through. 

This also makes the ad fee lower, meaning they make more in profits as well. 


It also depends on the product. For unconventional products that are hard to categorize with any degree of specificity, ads can help to get them noticed and boost traffic in ways that key words simply cannot. 

This means that pricier, eccentric products will do the best overall. 

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about Etsy advertising, and whether or not it is worth it for independent sellers and small businesses. 

It’s true that Etsy has changed the game for private sellers, allowing people to sell homemade and vintage goods to willing audiences from all around the world.

While advertising can be useful for certain types of businesses, there are countless that do just fine without, making it a choice that is dependent on the nature of your online store, and the market you serve. 

So if you are looking to improve your Etsy business, then why not consider advertisements?  It might just make all the difference!