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Promoted Listings - An Improved Way to Advertise on Etsy

Hi Everyone,

When we announced that we were moving Search Ads to cost per click, we mentioned it was the first of many improvements we’d be making to advertising on Etsy this year. Since then, we’ve been hard at work developing a system that incorporates your most requested Search Ads improvements, including giving you more control over how your budget is spent and simplifying keyword management.

Today, we’re excited to announce an improved way to advertise your items on Etsy: Promoted Listings. Key features of Promoted Listings include:

- Flexible Pricing - With Promoted Listings, tell us how much you want to pay for a click on your listing and we’ll make sure you never pay more than that.
- Keyword-less Campaigns - Managing keywords is a pain. With Promoted Listings all you have to do is tell us which items you want to promote and we’ll make sure they are shown to the right buyers at the right time.
- Automatic Management - While you have the option to control every aspect of your campaign, promoting your listings can be as simple as setting a daily budget. With auto promotion and bidding, we’ll make sure you get as many clicks as possible for your budget.

Promoted Listings launches on September 9th, but you can start setting up your campaign today! Visit the Promoted Listings management page at www.etsy.com/your/shops/me/promoted-listings to get started.

If you’d like more information, feel free to take some time to read about Promoted Listings at www.etsy.com/promoted-listings/about.

Promoted Listings will replace Search Ads over the next month and a half. As of today, existing Search Ads campaigns will continue to run and can be edited, but no new Search Ads campaigns can be created.


Nick and the Etsy Ads team

37 Highlighted Responses

crochetgal from crochetgal asked:


So what happens in the scenario where one shop is willing to pay $10 for their widget to be shown and another shop is only willing to pay $2.

Will the shop who is paying less ever have their items shown? And what will the frequency be compared to the shop paying 5x more?


Hi crochetgal,

Great question! When designing Promoted Listings, we took care to build a platform that allows sellers of all sizes to participate and find success. When determining which ads to show to a buyer we take many factors into account, including how well the listing matches the search, how frequently a listing has been shown today, and how much money is left in the budget.

While campaigns with higher budgets and bids may show up higher and more frequently, continuously showing the same listing to a buyer creates a poor user experience. There are many controls in the system to ensure that buyers see a good mix of the items being promoted.


Bob from BirchCreekLeather:

"A higher bid generally helps your listings show up more frequently and higher up within search results. "

Does this mean that promoted listings will not only appear in the ad space, but also they will get a boost in relevancy in the normal search results? Does this mean that those of us who do not pay for promotion will have our listings appearing further down even if they are more relevant than a "promoted" listing?


Hi Bob,

Another great question! Promoted Listings in no way influences normal search results, they are totally independent from one another. “More frequently and higher up” refers specifically to the placement within our designated ad slots.

We’ll work on making that language more clear!


RareRagsandTreasures from RareRagsandTreasures:

Will you be putting these promoted listings in the correct categories? I ignore the current paid ads that pop up in the wrong categories. They are a nuisance and cause confusion.


Hi RareRagsandTreasures,

Yes! We’ve heard your feedback that Search Ads that don’t respect the search query and filters, including category and ships to, are extremely disruptive to the search experience.

With Promoted Listings, we’ll ensure that the ads we show are relevant to what buyers are searching for.


Mona from BeachStudio7:

How is this any different from google's pay per click? I see that next to one of my product a $.37 amount, Like google, does this mean I have to pay at least $.37 for each click? This is the reason I stopped my advertising with google. At the lowest rate they were offering per click, I was spending at least $600.00 a month. Its not in my budget to do this again.


Hi Mona,

Thanks for posting this question. Placing bids by listing is a new feature and one that is central to Promoted Listings, so it’s worth explaining it a bit in more detail.

When you place a bid, you are indicating the highest amount you are willing to pay for a click on your listing when it is displayed as an ad. Again, your bid is the maximum amount you will ever be charged for a click on that listing. Like other bid based ad systems, you will only be charged the minimum amount required to secure your spot, so it is very likely that you will pay less than your bid.

With Promoted Listings, we want to ensure you never spend more on promoting your items than you are expecting. Set your daily budget to an amount that makes sense for your business and we’ll make sure we never exceed it.


Elaine Rose from nanarosedesigns:

Will what we enter as our budget be closer to what it actually costs us? If I gave a maximum of $100 a week for search ads I would never actually be charged more than $20 for that week. Will that change with the new system?


Hi Elaine,

With Promoted Listings, we’re trying hard to meet your expectations, and that includes being clear on how much you can expect to spend per day. It’s difficult to budget for marketing when the budget you set and the amount you actually spend are very different from each other.

Given this, you should set a daily budget that reflects the actual amount you want to spend promoting your items.


Melanie Fuller from DragonStarCreations1:

Hi Nick,
Could you please explain, if Etsy will not be using keywords for this, how will Etsy determine whether a listing is relevant to a customers search?

Thank you,


Hey Melanie,

Great question! Instead of relying on keywords, Promoted Listings uses the same criteria that we use in search to determine whether or not a listing is relevant. A listing's title, tags, and bid are all taken into account when we determine which promoted listings to show.

Julie from CakesAndKidsToo:

The info also states that the "quality" of a listing plays a part along with bid and relevancy. How is "quality" determined? What makes a listing a "high quality" listing?


Hi Julie,

Great question and sorry we left quality out of our previous response. The reason it was overlooked is that quality is actually one of many factors that we take into account when determining how relevant a listing is to the search being performed.

With Promoted Listings, quality is simply a measure of how likely we think the current buyer is to click and purchase a listing. Using quality helps us ensure that we’re showing your listings to the buyers who are most interested in them.


Hi Everyone,

Today is the day! Promoted Listings will begin rolling out over the next few hours, so we thought now would be a great time to recap one of the main features of our new system: bidding.

With Promoted Listings, you enter a bid for each of your listings. Your bid is the maximum amount you’re willing to pay for a click on that listing. We will make sure you never pay more than your bid, and often times you will pay less. You can read more about how bidding works at www.etsy.com/promoted-listings/about/bidding.

While we roll out the new system, here are a few key things to remember:

- If you are currently running a Search Ads campaign and have signed up for Promoted Listings, your Search Ads campaign will end today as soon as your Promoted Listings campaign starts
- If you currently use Search Ads and have not signed up for Promoted Listings, your Search Ads campaign will continue to run as normal until October 1. On that day, all active Search Ads campaigns will be transitioned to Promoted Listings. If you do not wish to use Promoted Listings, simply pause your Search Ads before October 1 and you will not be transitioned.
- Search Ads will no longer run after October 1.

If you haven’t already signed up, visit the Promoted Listings management page at www.etsy.com/your/shops/me/promoted-listings to get started.

If you’d like more information, feel free to take some time to read about Promoted Listings at www.etsy.com/promoted-listings/about.


Nick and the Etsy Ads Team
Ryan Popoff from PopovLeather:

Are we users of the promoted ads competing with users who have search ads? I'm getting absolutely crushed unless I manually up my CPC to $1.00. With all my listings on automated bidding and no limit on CPC, I show up maybe every 30-40 page refreshes. While I see the same 4-5 stores almost every pageview.

That just isn't sustainable for me.


Hi Ryan,

Good question! While Promoted Listings and Search Ads are both currently running they are operating completely independently. When a buyer performs a search, we choose to show them all Promoted Listings or all Search Ads. They will never see a mix of both.

As you and many other sellers have noted, it seems like the same ads are showing up again and again when you refresh the page. Unlike Search Ads, where new ads are selected each time you refresh a page, Promoted Listings will return more or less the same ads. This means that if you go from page 1 of search results to page 2 and then back to page 1, you will likely see many of the same ads as you did the first time.

Note that this is done on a user by user basis. The ads you see are not the same as the ads someone else will see, even for the same search. We try to get your ads in front of the buyers who are mostly likely to buy your products. That means that just because your ads don’t show for you, they may be showing for others.


Charity from SocialpopTees:

I'm seeing a lot of changes that are going to help Big shops that can shell out a lot of money for campaigns which will give ETSY more revenue, but I'm not seeing anything to try and level the playing field for smaller shops. Plus this whole "bidding campaign" is so flipping confusing there should be a video put together explaining the whole thing! Every change I see seems to be more like Ebay (confusing, non-user friendly). But if I'm wrong and this will level the playing field, then my other point is perfectly proven that this is so confusing it needs more explanation!


Hi Charity,

We developed Promoted Listings to ensure that anyone who was interested in advertising could participate. There are many controls in place, from how much you can bid on an item to how we choose which ads to show, to help prevent any one seller from shutting out other sellers. These controls help create a fair system for all of our sellers, regardless of size.

For sellers who are worried about how much time it takes to manage Promoted Listings, using auto bidding for your items makes managing your campaign easy and time effective. It also intelligently adjusts your bids over time to help maximize the return you get from your ad spend.


Emily from Nothingbutstring:

Robert - I'm not going to be home on Thursday so I'll post my question now. Hopefully someone will be able to address it.

I've been using promoted ads since the first day it was available, and I have a few comments and one big question.

I'll need to give you a little background. Right now I'm running the ads on my fingerless gloves, slippers and leg warmers. What I've noticed is that on my fingerless gloves I'm being charged different amounts in the auto bid mode. This is not the bid itself, but the max auto bid that Etsy is recommending. In particular I have 2 listings that are exactly alike, they are the same item, only with different pictures. In one instance the auto bid is set for $.22 while in the second instance it's $.26. Over all my auto bids for my gloves are rangeing from $.20 on the low side to $.33 cents on the high side.

Why is this happening?

My comments I guess are more suggestions. I'm finding that if I leave my ads running for the whole 24 hours I'm running out of money each day. I have my maximum amount set to $2. I'm finding that a lot of my ad money is being eaten up in the middle of the night. Most of my buyers are here in the US, so while I still want to advertise at night I'd like the majority of my ad money going towards my US target audience. I know that you can pause the ads, but you have to go through each page individually to do it, and then the same when you restart them. Can't there be a button that when you hit pause it really pauses all the ads at once on all the pages without having to go through each page?

In addition is there any way to add a scheduler? I'd really like to set my ads to run from about 7AM to midnight Etsy time. I'm on the west coast, so the midnight part isn't a problem to stop them but I really don't want to get up every morning at 4AM to start them.


Over all my auto bids for my gloves are rangeing from $.20 on the low side to $.33 cents on the high side.

Hi Emily,

The difference in auto-bid amount for your similar listings is likely due to the fact that one of the items, due to buyer behavior, has performed better as an add. The auto-bid generator takes this into account, and determines an appropriate bid that will allow your listing to perform the best it can as an ad. The good news here is that the more successful your ads are, the lower the auto-bid suggestion will be (which occurred in the case of one of your fingerless gloves).

I also understand you’d like to control the precise time of day your ads appear on Etsy, however we aren’t currently planning an ad scheduler.

The suggestion about selecting all items in the management page, as opposed to one page, is something we’re working on implementing.

Thanks very much for the feedback.

Claire from ModAndMini:


My Questions:

Where are the conversion stats?

Why do we not have the ability to customize any targeting or adjust for specific keywords, time zones, or really do *anything* other than "automated vs custom bid"?

Why am I not being shown when clicks result in Favorites, or Treasury listings, or even Adds to Cart without checkout? (these do have value -- a conversion doesn't have to always be measured by an immediate sale)

Why am I not being shown which particular items are selling from Promoted Listings?

Why am I being given NO information (or control) at all regarding what keywords are being used to find my items?



Hi Claire,

Thanks for all of the feedback! We want to ensure all sellers who choose to use Promoted Listings have the data they need to make informed decisions on how they allocate their advertising budget. Detailed feedback like this helps us understand what data you’re interested in and where we should focus our efforts. In good news, giving you more insight into which ad clicks result in sales is on our roadmap and we hope to have it out soon.


Mike Kleinschmidt from PrecisionEngraving:

From what I am seeing in our shops, promoted listings are not working. Our sales revenue is down over 75% from what it was when we were using Search Ads. Time to look for new sales avenues out there. This is the slowest on record we have had for the month of September since joining etsy in 2008.


Hi MIke,

Sorry to hear sales are down this month… There are many factors which may contribute to this, so it’s hard to pin down exactly why sales are off this month. When developing Promoted Listings, we made sure to keep value to our sellers in the forefront of our minds. We are continually monitoring the value Promoted Listings provides to our sellers and at this point it is nearly identical to Search Ads.

In good news, we’ve identified an issue with tracking sales that happen across platforms, so the revenue we’re reporting via Promoted Listings is actually lower than what it should be. We’ll have this fixed soon and hopefully you’ll find Promoted Listings to be a valuable tool for promoting your business.


Dee from LittleBabyBumblebee:

I did send in an email to Etsy regarding my question earlier in the thread here (www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/15113599/page/21?post_i...) and I received a response on Sept 3rd.

I wish I could share the exact response with others, but am bound to Etsy's confidentiality clause at the end of the email, so I'm going to paraphrase instead.

There may have been changes since then. I think this information is very pertinent with current discussion/QA.

-- Bids are determined by the marketplace.
-- Listing "quality" is the listing's tag, title, and photos.
-- Etsy's team that rolled out Promoted Listings worked on the testing internally before rollout.
-- Real time stats will be provided @ rollout.
-- Sorting through listings, as I have over 700, is something that was forwarded as feedback to the Promoted Listings team.
-- Controls were built in so everyone gets a fair chance.


With that said, I did turn off Promoted Listings in this shop. The marketplace determined that I needed to pay $0.40 for each listing. I have over 700 listings and they are all $9.00 each. I spent $32.00 and received $54.00 in revenue. The ROI is not worth it, IMO for my shop. My ROI with search ads was better than Promoted Listings.

My question is can you please provide real-time stats on how the Promoted Listings are doing compared to Search Ads?


Hi Dee,

We aren’t planning a comparison tool, however your Search Ads stats are still available through the Promotion page. You might try opening your Promoted Listings and Search Ads stats in two windows, and go back and forth to compare stats.

Deborah from ClassicEndearments:

What bothers me, is that I don't see Etsy promoting Etsy outside of the members that already know about us. I almost always get blank stares and "I never heard of it", or "Isn't that just crafts?" It is ridiculous. Surely Etsy makes enough capital to put a few commercials on TV. We are paying for this, and yet we still must spend extra money and endless time promoting ourselves. I am really dissatisfied with this.


Hi Deborah,

While Etsy hasn’t run any TV commercials in the US yet, we do promote Etsy and the items our sellers have for sale on other sites. For example, Etsy pays to promote all of the items in the marketplace on various shopping engines, such as Google Product Search. Listing products on shopping engines is a great way to get products in front of buyers who aren't searching on Etsy. While shopping engines do charge a fee to list products, Etsy is currently picking up the tab!


Shadow Moon from ShadowMoon:

I just don't get this bidding, automatic, custom etc. this is really confusing. if i only want to spend a dollar a day can't i do that? i have 118 items, so if i set 1.00 per day is that per listing? i just don't understand this and i don't see any clear cut info on this at all, it's very vague.


Hi there,

I’ll try to clarify. There’s a difference between budget and bid amounts. Your daily budget is what you’re comfortable spending on ads in one day (we’ll never charge you more than this).

The bid you set for each listing, whether you choose auto-bid or manually enter a bid, is the most you’re comfortable spending for a click on your ad in search.

So if you bid $0.30 on an item, and that item gets shown in search and gets clicked, you’ll be charged either $0.30 or an amount lower. If that listing gets shown twice and clicked twice, and your budget is $1, it’s possible you won’t get shown a third time that day because that click might go over your budget.

For that reason, if you set a $1.00 budget and want to promoted 118 items, you probably won’t serve impressions on all those items.

Hope that helps!


ThePaperSandbox from ThePaperSandbox:

What's there to prevent other sellers from deliberately clicking your ads so that your budget is used up? I avoid the paid ads when I search for items on Google so I would probably do the same thing here.


Hi there,

Abusive practices, such as clicking on another seller’s ads in order to run them out of money, are a serious concern and once that we’ve spend a lot of time thinking about. We have multiple lines of defense capable of detecting and preventing these abusive behaviors. While I can’t go into detail here, rest assured that we are continuously monitoring for bad behavior.


Robin from anyoldtime:


Did the search algorithm change when Promoted Listings was instituted?


Hi Robin,

No changes were made to the search algorithm when we launched Promoted Listings. Search ranking is in no way tied to or influenced by your participation in Promoted Listings. Advertising is completely optional and not required to perform well on Etsy.


Ashley Scank from JustSayingToo:

It says you will not spend over my budget however there have been a few times where this happened. What do I do about it or who do I contact?


Hi Ashley,

I know this is concerning, but rest assured that you will never be charged more than your budget. There was a minor issue with how we were displaying your spend which made it look like some sellers were going over budget. This was just an issue with how data was being displayed and has been fixed. If you are still seeing issues, please do file a bug so we can look into it but know that you will never be charged more than your daily budget.


Ashley from digitaldoodlebug:

I have a question: when will more stats for it be added? Such as being able to sort by clicks or $ spent on an item. Or more importantly to see what is selling as a result of the ads.
My more expensive items were costing a lot but didn't seem to bring any sales. It's hard to say without stats, but since they were quickly running through my budget I stopped running them.


Hi Ashley,

Great question! We are currently working on updates and improvements to Promoted Listing’s stats and are planning on rolling out new changes in the coming weeks, including the ability to sort your items very soon.

Regarding the revenue of the ads: we’ve been tweaking how we calculate revenue quite a bit lately. When you make a sale, it’s really tough to figure out what specific reasons led to that sale. Was it your really awesome photos? Or was it your ads they saw in a search result? Maybe that person was really itching to buy something and they got a link from a friend on facebook. What if that person was using their phone, saw your promoted listing, favorited your item, then bought it a week later from their laptop? The point is, this is a tough problem to solve, and there can be significant stretches of time (days, weeks) before the sale of an item is attributed to an ad. Having said that, we realized that we were under-reporting revenue for Promoted Listings across platforms and have since fixed this mistake. We will continue to make tweaks to this until we’re confident that it’s correct.

Dee Erfourth from JewelryDesignsbyDee:

How can you tell if an item in the listing is in the adds as a buyer?

Hi Dee,

If a listing is promoted, there will be a small ‘Ad’ logo in the top left of the listing. I took a screenshot of a recent search to show an example: i.imgur.com/qJty5vd.png

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Theresa McCarthy Sayer from CopperCrowDesigns:

I don't understand the daily budget. Can you explain if the daily budget is set for each individual item or is it set for the entire shop?


Hi Theresa,

Your daily budget is set at the campaign level for your entire shop and tells us how much you want to spend on advertising per day. If you choose to advertise on Etsy, make sure to set your daily budget to an amount that makes sense for you and your business.

If you’ve lowered your budget and still find you are spending too much, consider lowering your bids. While this will likely decrease the amount of impressions and clicks your listings will receive, it will also reduce your advertising costs.


Hi De,

Glad to offer tips.

If you're looking to sell a specific item or two, a good plan is to set a budget you're comfortable with, and auto-bid or manually over bid on those items. If you're looking to promote your entire shop or a specific group of items, you can auto-bid across those items and pausing others.
Maryanne Fender from FenderMinerals:

I was playing around with bids this morning. Auto bid gives me .25 for my listings across the board. If I try to customize bids individually some items at .25 give me "low bid". How is that happening?


Hi Maryanne,

Good question! While this behavior seems odd, it is actually due to something very simple. It appears that you have set a Max CPC for your campaign of $0.25. For items in auto bid mode, where the system determines the best bid for your items, your Max CPC indicates the highest amount you would ever want the system to enter on your behalf.

In this case, Promoted Listings has determined that the best bids for your items are actually higher than your Max CPC. When you try to customize your bid, we indicate this by telling you that your current bid of $0.25 is lower than what they system would enter if no Max CPC was set

You can adjust your Max CPC at anytime by clicking on the gear icon and going to Advanced Settings. There you can either enter a new Max CPC or disable this feature altogether.


More detailed tips can be found in the article I wrote on this topic for the Etsy Seller Handbook: blog.etsy.com/en/2014/3-ways-to-make-the-most-of-promoted-listings/
Dr. Lee from resetreality:

Hey Etsy,

Is there a way to remove sold out listings from my Promoted Listings stats page? Or hide them? It's sorta annoying.


Hi Dr. Lee,

Thanks for the feedback and good news: we’ll be adding this functionality in the coming weeks!


Mary from LyricalArtworks:

Question for Admin...

Is there going to be an added feature where we see what keywords are being used to show our listings? Or at the very least, what keywords people are using when they click on our listings? This is obviously a very important part of being a shop owner... knowing what keywords are working.

A bit more transparency in the Promoted Listings is definitely needed.


Hi Mary,

Thanks for the suggestion! While we’re currently assessing which features to add to Promoted Listings, you can get some of this data from the keywords section of shop stats at www.etsy.com/your/shops/me/stats.


Norma Agron from NormasBagBoutique:

Will promoted listings be able to promote only to searches made on countries I ship? It doesn't make too much sense to pay for a click (promotion) made from a country I don't ship to.


Hi Norma,

Promoted Listings respects the "ships to" filter, so we only show your ads to buyers who are in countries that you ship to.




The launch of Promoted Listings wasn't related to the Our Picks for You section of the homepage. Our Picks for You are items we think you'll enjoy based on your history on Etsy--purchasing and browsing. Again, these are not ads, and are intended to reflect your tastes on Etsy. Also, we're working on ways to show you these recommended items in a clearer way--stay tuned!
Pam from FrugalFairyVintage:

Question for admin: Since you used us as testing lab rats for the last couple of weeks, is there any way that you can refund everyone some portion of the fees charged for all who participated in this experiment? This is not fair to the sellers & we should not have to take the time to prove out that we were overcharged.

Numerous problems uncovered: 1) charged for clicks that never appeared in shop stats (therefore they do not exist) 2) charged for vague high level keywords like earrings or gloves as examples. No one wants to pay for this...I was even charged for a "blank search" click. Sellers had no control over the keywords selected & are being forced to pay up for nonsense keywords 3) Many sellers were charged more than their budget.

We have put up with lots of tests but this one has hit us directly in the wallet.


Hi Pam,

Thanks for highlighting a few common complaints about Promoted Listings. On your specific points:

1. Clicks not appearing as views in shop stats is due to a bug in the way that the Etsy apps are reporting views and is not specific to Promoted Listings. This will be corrected as soon as the apps are fixed.

2. High level searches are some of the most popular and highest trafficked searches on all of Etsy. While we don’t have a way to exclude your listings from these searches at this time, we’ll definitely consider it as a future improvement.

3. There was an issue with the way that stats were being displayed that made it appear that sellers were going over their daily budget. This was a display issue only and has been fixed. Sellers will never be charged more than their daily budget.


Krystal from ModernSwitch:

Question: Can a search box be added to the page so we can search our listings. I need to be able to find specific listings, and with 700+ listings, it is impossible to find them all, even if I am narrowing by section. Part of my campaign so far is setting different bid amounts for different items, for example right now I want to set higher bids for my halloween items, I'd love to just be able to search "Halloween" and have all my halloween listings come back.

Question: Sort by clicks/Impressions? I would love to see just what is being shown and clicked on. With 700+ items I don't have time to scroll through 16 pages to see what has clicks/impressions.

Question: Keyword stats: This is important. I need to know if people are coming into my shop because of using keywords I would be low ranking in (example: halloween decor), or if they are coming in using keywords I am highly relevant for (example: Light Switch Cover). The idea of paying for advertising is to advertise to people who I am not normally reaching. I do not want to pay for advertising that I am already relevant for. I have seen many times, where I have both the same item in an ad box, and not an ad box on the same page because of high SEO relevancy. I can't be paying for something I am already getting for free, that would be silly!

Possible Bug: The first few days I noticed I went over my daily budget, was this due to the "Yesterday's stats being included into today's numbers" bug? I never did see a clear answer to that question. I can't verify if it is still happening, because that was when I was paying 50-90 cents a click, and now I am only paying 3-5 cents a click, and at 3-5 cents a click I never go anywhere near my max daily budget.


Hi Krystal,

Great questions and great suggestions!

I’ll address the bug first: The Yesterday’s stats in today’s numbers bug was fixed. If you saw issues with overbilling during that time period, it’s a fairly safe bet that it was a bug. We’re confident that the issues around that have been worked out.

Search Box: Great suggestion - this is something we’ve looked at and are considering. I can’t say either way whether we’ll implement this because none of us know. Suffice it to say we are acutely aware of the frustration of using the Console when your shop or section has more than a dozen items and we have plans to address this difficulty.

Regarding Keywords: At this point, we don’t have any immediate plans to show keywords because there is no action that can be taken as a result of keyword metrics. Your point about high keyword relevancy and low keyword relevancy is well taken - this is something that we have thought about before this question came up. I will say that we hear you, and that we are taking everything we can into consideration when deciding on what features to work on for Promoted Listings.

Sorting: Expect sorting changes very soon. We are finishing up a fair amount of work to get sorting working - we completely understand the frustration of having to dig through sixteen pages of search results to find what you’re looking for and are working very hard to make sure we get a *good* solution out.

Hi Everyone!

I'm happy to announce a couple of changes that were made to the Promoted Listings Console during our Q+A:

We now support sorting in the Promoted Listings table. Every column in the table is able to be sorted against.

The revenue graph has been updated. It should more accurately show your revenue, and it should look more consistent with the other graphs.

Take a look and let us know what you think!

Engineer on the Ads team
Maryanne Fender from FenderMinerals:

Issue: one of my tags is my shop name. That tag is being used by the promote algorithm. Can the algorithm be refined to not use the shop name tag to generate impressions and clicks? It happened today


Hi Maryanne,

Thanks for pointing this out. This seems like a bug; we’ll dig into this and figure out what’s going on. Sorry for the frustration.

Jacey Rademacher from JRCreativeDesigns:

ADMIN: I know you say you only bill once a month from promoted listings. Is there a way we can get it on our bill daily, if not daily atleast weekly. I show a revenue of $50 for the month but my cost is $40 for my promoted listings. Come the end of the month after I already withdrew my money I'm going to be owing a ton!! I typically pay my bill before I withdraw so I know how much I actually made.


Hi Jacey,

This is a great suggestion and something we've been thinking about. In order to make it easier to manage your business, we are going to begin adding ad fees to your bill on a daily basis. This should give you a better sense of how much you've spent on advertising so far in any given month and help you budget for the rest of the month.

You should see charges on your bill in the next few days and on a daily basis after that.


Hi Lisa,

Good news, we do still advertise your products free of charge on shopping engines, such as Google Product Search!

See this post where I answered this question in more detail: www.etsy.com/teams/7722/discussions/discuss/15113599/page/60?post_i...


kathy F from aosLeather:

I am seeing a strange thing today. On several of my items the price charged per click is 1 to 2 cents above my bid. Some of these bids are automatic, some are bids I set...
was i mistaken in my belief that the set bid was a max that a click would cost me? Not quibbling about pennies - just trying to solidify my understanding.


Hi Kathy,

The amount that is shown in the bid column is always your current bid, even if you're looking at historical stats. If your bid has changed over the time period you are looking at, the amount you have been charged may be higher than your current bid.

For example, say you were bidding $0.20 on an item yesterday and received a click that cost $0.18. Today, you decide you only want to bid $0.15 on that item. When you look at your stats for yesterday, your average CPC for that item will say $.018 and your bid will say $0.15.

I hope this helps answer your question and know that we will never charge your more than what you are bidding at the time you receive a click.

Enjoy the weekend!

Hi Tom,

We're investigating an issue in how we are displaying "yesterday's" stats in Promoted Listings. In some cases, the values we are displaying for "yesterday" include today's stats. This was an issue with the display only and did not affect your costs. If you check now, you will see that your budget was not actually exceeded.



2123 Responses

this sounds interesting, thanks Nick.

I'm concerned that my ad budget maximum is used up by 11am each day. My afternoon & evening sales are gone. Can you please tell me how to divide my budget between the morning and evening? Thanks.

(Not you specifically Angela, I'm really hoping an Admin sees this since you posted so high in the topic, thank you:))
I'm having the same issue. Even with a relatively high budget (for us) our budget is used up by 11am or noon every day.
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Inactive Etsy Member 7:15 am Sep 26, 2014 EDT
Same Issue here... This whole thing is ending up costing me a fortune...
Has anyone figured out why sales will be overextended by 9:00 am which means I'm missing the major market in the afternoon. I'm spending $60 a day and making $20 a day because the people that see my ads are the people surfing the web at 3:00 am, not the people that are serious about buying at 1:00 pm.
These are some great improvements! Thank you!
very interesting..... off to have a look.

to tell you the truth, I have not been overly pleased with the CPC. I had better luck with search ads before the change.
Same thing here !!
Me too! I was on a little roll with views and searches for certain keywords. No it seems that the only think I can control is how much I spend! This seriously sucks as far as I am concerned.

Oh an "quality listing" so if the powers that be don't think a listing is a quality listing, does that mean it will likely not show up at all or very little? I hate this new advertising.
Same thing here !!

I just canceled my promoted listings, I had one click and was charged 97 cents where before it would only be 31 cents, this is a HUGE price increase that I can't afford! I put my things on here to help bring in money, I can't afford to spend a lot of money with only a part-time job and needing major surgery in the next few months!
I canceled my listings because they said they would not go over the promoted listing prices that were set. well I just checked and I had 2 clicks that cost me 1 dollar even, the two items were one at 44 cents and one for 10 cents.. don't know how that equates a dollar in their math, I can't afford their math.
Same here. I mentioned this to ETSY staff, and gave a few suggestions on how to improve OUR sales while also improving their bottom line. It seems my suggestions were not liked.
I just canceled my promotions, I have read almost this whole page and the introduction page and I still don't understand. I don't want to pay to promote everything in my shop, just the items I had chosen in my search ads based on Keyword research that frankly took me a long time. I was proud of my keyword record and was doing pretty well. Now with the Promoted listings I have sold nothing on Etsy.
I've noticed this before...ads in the middle of searches, probably in a test mode.
Are you going to be blurring the non ad listings like what was done before?

I don't like the ads in the middle of the page. It feels like I'm being tricked..
GREAT questions, mia!
not loving them, but if I'm in the middle it would be fairer if the cost was less.

In the middle and paying the same as those in the top row = not fair.
I also am not liking the ads in the middle of the page. If they were relevant, then it wouldn't be such a pain, but part of the problem with the current system is how non-targeted the keywords are, so I hope these new changes help that. It's annoying as a buyer to be searching for something like "crocheted baby cocoon" (which is a very specific type of item) and having my shopping (cont.)
interrupted by non-relevant ads in the middle of the page for things like silicone babies, crocheted animals, doll clothes, etc.
Well I hate the middle of the page ads when I am doing a search that is filtered by price. It is really annoying to see something and think oh that is perfect and realize it is an ad and not in the price range asked for or not in line with the price range in the search if it is being filtered by low to high / high to low price.
It frequently does not serve the Ads well to be in that position, as it creates a certain hoodwinked atmosphere.
Plus....you can tell that they're ads because they have no relevance to your search.
I also do not like ads in the middle of search results. It makes me feel a bit cheated, like the search is not a fair search.
Mia- yeah I don't like the ads that show up in searches that have nothing to do with my search. It's kinda spammy to me!
dislike, dislike ads in the middle also. Super idiotic idea.

I am thinking this new fangled ad set up is not so great. Tried it.... could go broke. Money used up in a flash....

But I don't like the ads in the middle of the page - in fact I usually skip over them.
This is true. I often skim past the ads in the middle of the page, and hardly look at them, unless the picture is very striking.
Me, too!
I looks likely that adds will be in the middle of the page:

Get Your Items Seen More in Search

Your Promoted Listings appear in two reserved locations — above and within search results — increasing their chances of being discovered
I skip over them too as often they don't even belong in the category I'm searching in. I consider them a nuisance when searching. I would hope with this new system they actually put them where they belong.
I actually don't skip over them at all. I don't even really see the little "ad" button sometimes in the corner.
Not noticing the little 'ad' button is the problem. Sometimes I'll click on them not noticing that it wasn't what I was looking for, or not in the price range I wanted to look at.
Ditto Lori, I sometimes don't see the little 'ad' notice and don't realize that the price is completely out of whack to the price I was doing in my search filtering.
Often they are not what I am looking for - so it is easy to hop over them.
we use the old system with decent success. In the new version, will we be able to key our adds using shop-defined keywords and tags, or are we going to have the short-tail and oddball keywords that the old system generated?

I'm very interested in the migration, but the FAQs are light on the details.
The way I understand it, keywords will be a thing of the past. See where Nick mentioned "Keyword-less Campaigns?"
I read that, but it's nonsense. If someone wants my nautical wedding carp and there are no keywords, there would need to be some mechanic to keep them from showing up with vintage mustached owls. If they don't use keywords, they'll need to use a version of the dewy decimal system. If there isn't a transparent way to direct traffic, I'm not interested in the product
I think he means the keywords designated by Etsy in the current keyword lists. The new way will use the keywords you have put into your titles and tags.
The language isn't that clear - I think the "keyword-less search" means no *special* controlled keywords like there is in the current ads system.
I'm really trying to understand this concept but if I understand correctly does this mean every person "just looking" that browses my listings and clicks on everything just to read, not to buy, I am going to be charged for that click? I get a lot of that kind of traffic lately - lots of people spend a long time in the shop clicking on everything without buying especially since last June.
That's a great post alorasadorables. I get people clicking in my shop all the time and I noticed yesterday that one person who favorited my shop had also favorited 181 of my listings. As my listings are set up for .20cents per click, that means I paid my full $10 budget yesterday because she clicked so many items in my shop.
I checked my stats for the week before CPC started and then this week and my profit is down a FULL 50% and my views/favorites are down 30%. Very sad for me :(
Etsy: you really must provide examples without obfuscation!
From prior statistics, Etsy fans view items in the evenings, local time. Etsy controls when and where the ads are placed and will be served to 'potential buyers' -- What if they are a seller's Chinese competitor clicking through the seller's budget to eliminate them from the evening feed? A clicking war makes Etsy the richer. oh my
Being new to Etsy this is all completely puzzling to me, do you mean to say, because I've been browsing and looking at other clever people's goods and sites to give me an idea of what's needed to start up, that I've been costing these folk money? Etsy is extremely interesting -better than any crafters magazine, there must be thousands of people who just look.
Me too. I feel guilty now. Actually, I thought that Etsy suggested that new sellers do this when setting up their page. Now, I'm really confused.
I love that it will be showing direct and indirect sales. This will help immensely. Very exciting change!

So what happens in the scenario where one shop is willing to pay $10 for their widget to be shown and another shop is only willing to pay $2.

Will the shop who is paying less ever have their items shown? And what will the frequency be compared to the shop paying 5x more?

Default avatar
Inactive Etsy Member 1:26 pm Aug 19, 2014 EDT
Good question...
I am also curious to know this
Another GREAT question!
I'd like to know this, as well. This question immediately leapt to mind when reading Nick's OP.
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Inactive Etsy Member 2:49 pm Aug 19, 2014 EDT
Agree. This part was not explained very well. Interesting if it can compete with google Adwords which currently gives way more bang for the buck, not to mention absolute control over all words and phrases used.
Great question. I am not one to leap into changes. I like to see the pros and cons first, and this is really important.
This works just like Google, Facebook, Twitter ads. The higher the bid the more you get shown. If your bid is so low your ads will basically never be shown.

For example on Facebook when I place an ad for Game of Thrones it shows estimated bids for clicks are $1.74 to $2.94. If I bid anything below $1.74 my ads will basically not show. If I bid $2.94 my ads will be shown before anyone else.
This is not going to be like Google AdWords because we don't get to decide which searchers see our ads. It says above that this is a keyword-less system meaning we don't select any keywords at all. We just tell Etsy what item to promote and THEY decide who to show it to. Not sure I think that gives us any more control - sounds like less control.
I agree, Less control... Just a money-making scheme that only the big-buck sellers can afford.

I'd never use "per click anyway", & probably never will.

Also, I hate the tiny "ad" thingie! -- If it's an ad, run it on the top with a huge word that says "AD", so we KNOW it's an ad. Don't try to disguise it! (some how, that feels very sneaky & deceptive)
Default avatar
Inactive Etsy Member 1:59 am Aug 28, 2014 EDT
I do not understand anything
I'm fine, if I still have sales that I have so far,
everything will be wonderful.
Ok, this is not right! some of us can't afford to pay so much for listing, so this means that the ones paying more get more traffic if there are no key words to go by, so what they are saying is the bigger budget gets the monopoly on the ads!
This is so true! I have been trying out this new promote thing. Here is what I have found so far. When my budget was 2.00 a day I got shown more in searches. When I dropped it down to 1.00 I was shown much less and after 5-6 clicks my budget was gone. When my budget was gone I didn't get any impressions the rest of the day! Not liking that at all!
I just recently decided to try the new "promoting" way and after researching the forums found out it doesn't really matter how much you up your bid to get an ad spot...its all about once you get the spot, is someone just clicking on it so you have to pay? or is the system honest and it's only a buyer clicking on your ad spot? If its someone just clicking...then the seller is paying for nothing!
I have been trying very hard to understand this new promote system and it's very difficult to say the least but a few things seem to be clear, we are budgeted to spend $2.85 a day total and by 5 clicks were done (early morning) and no sales and coincidence since October 1st we have been unusually slow. I am hoping this all gets worked out very soon.
My ads automatically transferred to the automated bid ads, and in the past week, $65 has been spent and I have only made one sale - we've lost money!!! In the past with the search ads, I could spend $14 and make several sales! Our shop and income is going to suffer greatly. I guess we're going to have to seek other sites to sell our products on to supplement the loss. :(
This looks interesting, I intend to look into it!

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