Am I the only one selling less? Every seller on Etsy has asked this question at least once. We often experience dramatic drops in our sales, especially in the wake of high-yield periods, such as Black Friday and Christmas. Naturally, we wonder whether we are the only ones affected, how much our competitors sell, and how the Etsy market is behaving overall.
To answer these questions, the Koalanda team analyzed the data on Etsy sales, as the numbers never lie. We from Koalanda collect and process information about the daily sales of every Etsy shop in real time. In this article we will share some information about the Etsy market as a whole, as well as about the number of Etsy sales by country, category and shop size in the period from 1 October 2021 to 28 February 2022.
Table of Contents
The Etsy market as a whole
Black Friday and Christmas
You probably remember that in 2021 Etsy announced the longest Black Friday sale period to date, stretching from 19 November to 1 December. From the beginning of November, sales already started rising. However, it is quite clear from the graph that the real shopping happened in the days between 26 November (Black Friday) and 30 November. The average daily sales in these five days were twice higher than the sales in October — nearly 3 million sales per day compared to about 1.4 million in October. The total Etsy sales for only these five days amount to 14.5 million.
The best part, however, is that it did not all end in November. The first two weeks of December were also quite strong for the Etsy market as a whole. The number of sales was lower than during Black Friday, but still much higher than the average for October and for January 2022 (over 35% increase). The drop only happened around 12 December, with sales hitting the bottom on 24 and 25 December — Christmas Eve and Christmas — when we all turn away from the online world and spend time with our loved ones.
The sales before and after the most profitable period (i.e., in Oct and Jan – Feb)
One of the biggest mistakes to make when analyzing the January 2022 sales is to compare them with the sales in December, which is one of the strongest months. Instead, we from Koalanda decided to compare January to October 2021 and thus find out whether it really is such a weak month for sales. As can be seen, following the big drop around Christmas, the number of sales normalized again in only several days. Thus, in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Eve it was already close to the number of sales in October. The sales then kept at a stable level all throughout January and even increased slightly in the first week of February.
After all that talk about January being a weak month, you are probably surprised by the data. It turns out that the Etsy sales in January and February are similar to those before the big discounts in November. In fact, the average daily sales in January are identical to the ones in October (with a 0.2% edge in favor of October). The only significant drop in sales during the examined period was in the days before Christmas, as demonstrated in the data. After that, the market returned to the October levels in a matter of days.
St. Valentine’s Day
St. Valentine’s Day has become one of the most commercial holidays in the past few decades. But is it also an opportunity for Etsy sellers to hit a record number of sales? Not according to our data, which show no significant change in the sales of all Etsy shops up to 14 February. It appears that the hopes of getting a spike in sales during Black Friday and Christmas are justified, whereas the same cannot be said about the day of love.
The data also reveal something very logical, which many of you may have already suspected, but can now confirm with certainty — people shop more at weekends. Don’t expect your sales to double, but keep in mind that all our sales analyses based on different criteria (country, category and shop size) show that on Saturdays and Sundays sales are on average 10% higher than during the week. This is something to take into account when deciding when to post your items.
Small vs big sellers on Etsy
As many of you know, there are both small and gigantic sellers on Etsy, and you may now be thinking that the numbers we shared above are only applicable to the large Etsy shops.
Indeed, the belief that the growth of the Etsy market is a growth of only the big players on there is often spelled out by sellers. However, let’s see what the data can tell.
The data about the sales of every Etsy shop since 1 October 2021 reveal some differences in the sales dynamic depending on the shop size.
Here are the common tendencies for all groups of sellers:
- there was a gradual increase in sales from the beginning of November
- there was a significant jump in sales on 26 November (Black Friday)
- the lowest number of sales was registered on Christmas Eve and Christmas (24 and 25 December)
- only several days after the big Christmas drop, the number of sales returned to, and even surpassed, the number of sales in the beginning of October
But what are the differences between the small, medium, big and gigantic sellers?
This will probably come as a shock to many Etsy sellers, but the data show that the small shops did much better than the big ones during this period. More specifically:
- In the five strongest days of the Black Friday campaign, the small and medium sellers (up to 10,000 sales) made about 2.5 times the average sales for the first days of October. In comparison, the big Etsy sellers recorded a 2 times increase in sales in the same period. Thus, in spite of their greater resources for marketing outside the platform, the big sellers could not secure the lion’s share of the Black Friday and Christmas sales pie. The data unequivocally show a higher percentage increase for the small sellers compared to the October numbers.
- The smaller Etsy shops were more successful in the first days of December (the Christmas shopping after Black Friday). In fact, the smallest sellers even hit more sales in this period than on Black Friday. The bigger the shop is, the smaller the second surge experienced in the beginning of December. Further, with respect to the biggest sellers, we can hardly talk about a surge at all.
- The big drop in sales on 24 and 25 December affected the smallest shops the least. The shops with up to 100 sales saw no difference with the October levels.
- As of the beginning of 2022, the shops with up to 100 sales not only maintained their number of sales, but even increased it significantly.
In short, the small shops on Etsy made more sales (as a percentage) during Black Friday and Christmas than the big ones. They also exhibit a tendency to increase sales in January, whereas the big sellers only maintained the numbers recorded four months earlier (October 2021). See an in-depth analysis on this topic in Is Etsy Favoring the Big Sellers.
What happens in the different categories?
Etsy is an international, but also a very diverse, market. It is perfectly normal to observe variations in the sales of different products over various periods of the year. We looked into the data on the sales by category in order to see whether there are differences from the tendencies exhibited by the Etsy market as a whole.
In general, the sales in all categories follow the overall market tendencies for the examined period: a sharp increase around Black Friday and in the first half of December, followed by a significant drop on Christmas, and then a quick recovery of the sales to the October levels.
The average daily sales in the five strongest days around Black Friday are twice higher than in October. However, in certain categories the increase is much more modest than what we expect when we hear “Black Friday”. In Craft Supplies & Tools, for instance, the sales increased by a factor of 1.4. By contrast, other categories registered a greater increase than the platform average (2.0) for the end of November: Toys & Games (2.4), Books, Movies & Music (2.5), Jewelry (2.6), Home & Living (2.7), Bags & Purses (3.0).
Certain categories, such as Craft Supplies & Tools, recorded a peak in sales at the end of November, which however did not extend to the beginning of December. For Art & Collectibles, on the other hand, the number of sales in the first weeks of December was very close to that of the Black Friday period.
While the daily sales in January for the Etsy market as a whole are more or less equal to the sales in October, the same cannot be said for the separate categories. There are categories in which the January sales were in fact lower than the sales in October: Shoes (-7%), Accessories (-8%), Clothing (-19%). At the same time, there are categories that recorded a marked increase in sales in January: Books, Movies & Music (12%), Electronics & Accessories (15%), Paper & Party Supplies (18%).
What is the situation in the different countries?
When it comes to holiday sales, the background of the buyers is more important than that of the sellers. Nevertheless, the Koalanda team also looked into the sales distribution by country. It is interesting to see the differences between individual countries identified by the data. Here are some interesting facts about top-selling countries on Etsy.
- In the UK and France, Black Friday was good, but the sales in the first days of December were even higher.
- The shops in Australia registered an increase in sales in November, but the Black Friday sales were not significantly higher than in October (only 40% higher). At the same time, October seems to have been a more successful month for the Australian shops than January and February.
- For the shops in Germany, Black Friday practically never happened. The sales there increased gradually from the beginning of November up until the middle of December, and the first nine weeks of 2022 were more successful than October 2021.
- The shops in Turkey did not record a single day in January and February with sales lower than the average for October.
- In Ukraine, the Etsy shops hit a peak on Black Friday, followed by a relatively slow first half of December compared to the overall market, but also avoided the typical Christmas drop on 24 and 25 December.
- For the shops in Russia, the end of November did not meet the high expectations, but on the bright side, the sales in January and February were higher than in October 2021.
The data have shown that the Etsy market as a whole was not weaker in January and February 2022 compared to in October 2021. Of course, there are certain categories or countries for which this is not valid, but even in these cases the drop in sales was much less significant than what has been expressed in social media. The main reason for this is that sellers often forget they should compare the January sales to the sales in October (for instance), and not to the last two months of the year when online shopping is at its peak.
Even if sales in the first weeks of 2022 have decreased, Etsy sellers should not be bothered by this. January and February are regarded as the weakest months for online shopping. In light of that, the presented data should make us feel optimistic. If these are indeed the weakest months of the year, then we are looking at a very successful 2022 on Etsy.