Etsy Sellers Alarmed Related Searches Invade Listings, Divert Buyers

Liz Morton
Liz Morton


Etsy sellers are alarmed and incensed over increasing encroachment of competitor ads within listings and beyond.

First, Etsy has added an additional "picture" to item pages that directs buyers away from that listing to "related searches" for competing items.

Magnifying Glass! Promoting other Shops in our shops? WHAT?
I don’t usually post here….But, is anyone just as disappointed with Etsy’s new Ridiculous Feature as I Am! Oh my gosh! Have you noticed the magnifying glass icon at the end of your photos, when you look at one of your listings? Why in the World would I promote another Shop, (not that I don’t love…

I don’t usually post here….But, is anyone just as disappointed with Etsy’s new Ridiculous Feature as I Am! Oh my gosh! Have you noticed the magnifying glass icon at the end of your photos, when you look at one of your listings? Why in the World would I promote another Shop, (not that I don’t love a bunch) in my Shop under one of my listings???? This is beyond Stupid! Are they hurting that bad?$$$$

we do need to all contact them! This is wrong! Hopefully another Dum Test! Just to get us all going I guess,,,again!

let’s hope the buyer buys our item when looking and not distracted by that….geez…… because I did NOT put it there!

We have already given up so much space on the bottom of each listing to other shop listings. No one can possibly find the minute text size of our shop's hot link on the listing. Now this to add one more draw away with the photos.

It really is frustrating and distracts the potential customer from actually reading the listing description for a potential informed sale. As if we are not already overwhelmed by choice-overload. Depressing.

and to make it hurt even more, they are using OUR tags that we created to drive customers away....we work hard to come up with tags and listings, this is a total back stab after all our hard work.

Related Searches showing up as last photo
I just opened one of my listings and was looking through the photos. I didn’t fill up all the photo slots and Etsy has added a “related searches” with five of MY tags that will take people away from my listing and on to other related listings! How nice of them. I guess I need to take more photos.…

I have a few listings with all the photo slots filled, and they just added an 11th slot with the related searches. I can't fathom why they don't direct buyers directly to more items from the same shop since the buyer was obviously drawn to the style of that seller. It seems like common sense and something that should be part of what we pay for to have a shop here.

I completely agree. We pay for the listing. To have something added that directs a potential customer away from that item and your shop is insane. Of all updates/changes they've made, I think this one bothers me the most.

I rarely chime in on changes that Etsy makes, or tests that are run, until now. If Etsy would like to continue to add links to other shops at the end of a listing page, as they have in the past, I can understand as their main concern is the overall sales taken in. However, to add it to our listing photos is completely unacceptable.

The fact that the links are in the listing photos, makes it appear that the seller provided those links, as if they are links to other items of similar interest within the same shop. If this is to continue beyond a test, which I would be strongly opposed to, they need to, at the very least, make a statement that the buyer is now leaving the seller's shop.

So add to that, that the competing shops they suggest to potential buys are often mass-produced goods or items made using unfair labor practices. Then suddenly shoppers are viewing distinctly different prices with which we cannot compete.

Insult to injury...we PAY for each of those listings! If Etsy wants to take folks away from my listing, then get rid of the per listing fee!!! But I pay for that listing and don't want that search tool there. So mad about that

I could understand if these links directed folks to other similar listings I have in MY shop, but to send shoppers out of my shop to my competitors just doesn't seem ethical at all. I pay for my listings, not for traffic to go to someone else's.

As if the inserted picture "ad" isn't enough, sellers are also finding Etsy is inserting ads directing buyers to competing listings in messages and confirmation emails as well!

During a message conversation about whether I had another color of an item she had already purchased I had a customer tell me that a photo of another shops listing was attached to my reply. I did not attach a photo of another shops listing in a reply to her. Tried a chat to find out if this might be another test-got no help whatsoever.

So, I just printed a shipping label. And once again (this happened the other day), in the shipping notification I sent to the buyer -- Etsy inserted 6 pairs of earrings from OTHER shops with the blurb: "You might like these too".

One pair was $5.00, a pair for $9.94, a pair for $11, one for $12.00, etc. Thanks a lot Etsy, I really appreciate you steering customers that have purchased from me to other shops. NOT !!!!!!!!!

And so the crap continues ---- I just printed a shipping label. I have the settings set to have a copy of the shipping notification sent to my email. I just looked at it and right under the message that I wrote to the buyer Etsy has inserted 2 rows of photos (6 items) from other jewelry shops saying "Insert customer name____, you may like these too" !!! Thanks Etsy, I soooo appreciate you directing them to other shops right inside my shipping notification. NOT!

So I just checked the shipping notifications sent to my customers for orders sent yesterday and yep, one out of three of them included "(customer name) you might like these too" and showed six completely unrelated (and looked like mass produced resold junk) items from other shops!!!! As well as the "free shipping" blurb which of course isn't true unless you buy from a shop that offers free shipping....It just keeps getting worse and worse.

Some sellers have discovered a possible "workaround" - it appears if you only include one picture, Etsy may not insert their extra "ad" image.

If you only have 1 picture the black box will not be created. I also created a video for an extra picture and still the black box wasn't created, so I have several picture and as much as I can get in 14 seconds. I plan on a lot more..

That seems very counterintuitive - arguably more pictures makes for a better buyer experience and Etsy has now disincentivized sellers from including additional images.

Sellers whose items need multiple images are also experimenting with making a photo collage to combine those multiple pictures into one and avoid having the "related searches" module added.

What do you think of Etsy using listing image spaces, messages and shipping confirmations to direct buyers to competitor listings? Let us know in the comments below!

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Liz Morton is a seasoned ecommerce pro with 17 years of online marketplace sales experience, providing commentary, analysis & news about eBay, Etsy, Amazon, Shopify & more at Value Added Resource!