What Does the Etsy Bestseller Badge Mean? And Do You Even Need it?

People are always asking how to get an Etsy bestseller badge, but they should be asking what it even means.

There’s a lot of mystery around the Etsy bestseller badge, because Etsy doesn’t tell anyone the specific criteria for what it means or how they hand them out.

The only indication of how they assign it to listings is vague, but there are some things that you should know about it before you get all worked up trying to get one on your listings.

what does the etsy bestseller badge mean, and do you even need it?

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Table of Contents

Etsy bestseller badge

What is the Etsy bestseller badge?

The Etsy bestseller badge is given to listings that have sold well in the past 6 months, according to the criteria that Etsy discloses. The problem is that they don’t define what that means.

Whether it’s something that sold well in the entire category, or just in your own shop, is anyone’s guess.

My personal guess is that it’s based on sales within your own shop, because I can do searches on Etsy that bring up ZERO bestseller badges, and if it was based on sales in a category there should be at least one.

However, it could also be that Etsy doesn’t show badges for every search result, and I might have hit upon one that didn’t show any!

etsy listing photo with a bestseller badge on it

Where does the Etsy bestseller badge show up?

The badge shows up as a white or yellow button on listing images, or under the image in search results.

It may or may not show up in your shop’s homepage, either on the photo or under the photo.

Sometimes it doesn’t show up in search results, especially if there are other badges that Etsy is testing out, or if you have a sale running.

At that point, the sale notifications will take over and the bestseller badge might not show up.

I’ve seen the bestseller button show up under listing photos along with free shipping badges, so it just depends on what Etsy decides to show to customers.

Right now this listing of mine is marked as a bestseller, most likely because Halloween is coming up and it’s a seasonal listing.

The photo above is from Etsy search results, but when I go to my shop homepage the badge isn’t there, so just because it shows up in one place doesn’t guarantee that it will be everywhere.

Etsy search results including the star seller badge

Is a bestseller badge the same as the Star Seller badge?

The bestseller badge isn’t the same as Star Seller. Star Seller just says whether the shop itself is a Star Seller, it isn’t about individual listings.

The bestseller badge only refers to a specific listing, it’s not about the entire shop.

You can have a bestseller badge if you don’t have Star Seller, they’re pretty much mutually exclusive.

In the photo above, the purple star on the listings (one being from Artisan Shopping Directory member Bello GlassOpens in a new tab.) show that the shops are Star Sellers, but just because that’s there doesn’t mean that the listings will have the bestseller badge.

They’re also used as different filters in Etsy search. The Star Seller filter is one that people can choose from when they filter search results, but at the time that I’m writing this, the bestseller filter isn’t an option.

Instead, the “Etsy’s Pick” badge has taken the place of the bestseller filter, so bestseller isn’t even filterable for customers.

How often is the bestseller badge assigned to listings?

The Etsy article about finding the best items as a shopperOpens in a new tab. says that they give the bestseller badge to an item that has a high sales volume in the past six months, and “is popular with other shoppers.”

This means that if you have a specific item that starts selling a lot, it might get the bestseller badge, but it also could mean that there’s more to it than that.

As far as how often it’s given out, it’s probably on a monthly basis, since Etsy tends to do things that way.

However, they don’t tell anyone the specifics about the badges, so it might be more frequent than that, and nobody really knows for sure.

I’ve noticed that a lot of my listings that start selling really well don’t get the badge right away.

For example, the photo above shows the section of my shop that has edible fall leavesOpens in a new tab. for cakes and cupcake toppers.

Since it’s basically the start of fall, I’ve started selling a TON of a couple of these listings, but there’s nothing in my shop or in search results that would tell anyone that.

Even the number of “X number of people have this in their carts” wouldn’t give that away, since the number of things in carts isn’t always an indication of sales.

My guess on the timing of this is that they probably assign the badges every month, or at the most, every couple of weeks.

To see the full Artisan Shopping Directory sections, including signups for discounts, click here.

How Do You Get Bestseller on Etsy?

Etsy says that the bestseller is given out based on the total number of sales in the past 6 months and is popular with other shoppers.

So that might mean that it’s basically a sales volume thing, or that there’s another factor that they look at, like customer clicks or favorites.

Since Etsy does take customer interaction into account for search placement, it’s possible that engagement is part of the bestseller badge, but on the other hand, it’s about selling, so maybe not.

The problem with guessing about this is that it’s just guessing, because Etsy doesn’t tell anyone the details!

The only guaranteed way to get a bestseller badge is to sell a lot of something in a short period of time, which means that if you have a run on something and sell a lot it’s likely to get the badge.

That’s kind of a “duh” answer, but until Etsy tells people exactly how they determine what gets the badge or not, it’s the only answer.

Remember that badges and purple stars and notifications are there for the customer, not for the seller.

How long does an Etsy bestseller badge last?

Since Etsy hands out the badge based on sales in the previous six months, things will naturally fall in and out of the bestseller category.

I have a listing that consistently has bestseller on it, but it doesn’t sell a lot all of the time.

Instead, it’s probably built up enough sales volume that it carries over each month and keeps the badge on it, even when sales slow down.

If sales completely stopped, or slowed down enough that it dropped it below whatever threshold Etsy is using, the badge would probably disappear.

I fully expect the listing that I posted above to lose the bestseller badge after Halloween is over, since it’s a seasonal seller.

The thing about that, though, is that it will take a while for the stats to taper off since it’s looked at for the previous six months.

Based on that, the moth listing might not fall off the bestseller badge list for a couple of months after Halloween, even if it isn’t selling anymore.

Because of that, the bestseller badge might not be totally accurate for everything that it’s on, or isn’t on.

So we don’t know for sure how fast the bestseller badge is attached to a listing, and we don’t know for sure when it will fall off.

If that’s the case, what does the badge even mean, and what does it do for your shop?

Etsy search filters
There’s no bestseller filter in search at the time I’m writing this article!

What’s good about having the bestseller badge?

A lot of sellers drool over the bestseller badge and wish that they could have it on their listings, but you have to remind yourself that it’s really pretty arbitrary and that sales can taper off without the badge disappearing.

However, there are a couple of things that the bestseller badge could potentially do to benefit your shop.

Social proof.

The good things about having the bestseller badge on Etsy is that it shows customers that the listing is popular with other customers. That’s something that will give the customer more confidence in buying the item, since it provides social proof.

Social proof just means that a lot of people like something, so that makes people think that it’s a better product.

Is the badge actually proof that the listing is better than others? Not really.

But it is an indication to people who are considering purchasing that it’s a popular choice, and that usually makes people think that it’s a better choice, even if that’s not really true.

Etsy changes the filters in the search filtering section every now and then, and they will sometimes put “bestseller” in as a filter.

That means that customers can filter to see only the listings that have the badge on them if Etsy has that available as a filter.

As I’m writing this article, the bestseller filter isn’t there anymore, so it’s not something that customers can filter for.

But since they do seem to change filters relatively frequently, it’s possible that it will come back eventually.

Filtering for bestsellers does bring up a problem that you might not think about, though, and it’s one reason why a lot of sellers don’t like the bestseller badge at all!

What’s the downside of having the bestseller badge?

Easy access for copycats.

The downside of having the bestseller badge is basically related to the increase in shady sellers who just come to Etsy to copy listings.

There has been a huge increase in people flooding Etsy with copies of existing listings because they just come to Etsy and other platforms to find things that they can copy.

The obvious thing to do would be to copy things that have a bestseller badge on them, and sure enough, if you go to YouTube and search, that’s a common suggestion for what I refer to as “lazy idea thieves.”

Since Etsy has pretty much no bar to entry, it’s fairly simple for people who aren’t creative to just copy other people and open a shop that’s full of things that they didn’t really design, and that they only list because someone else has the bestseller badge.

Even though this isn’t a foolproof plan because of how Etsy doesn’t give the badge out in real-time, (see the section above about how the badge can lag,) people still do it.

It’s also not necessarily going to work because of how the Etsy search algorithm works, but it’s still going to be annoying when your listing starts getting copied after Etsy gives it the bestseller badge.

Should I strive to get the bestseller badge on Etsy?

I personally don’t like the bestseller badge, just because of the lack of accuracy and the vague nature of how it’s assigned.

The problem of listing copycats will never be solved because people can be jerks, but having the bestseller badge just makes it easier for them.

It’s the same reason why I tell people to hide your sold items! There’s no reason to make content thieves’ work easier.

So as far as whether I try to get the bestseller badge, no, I don’t.

I can’t help it if Etsy decides to put it on things, though, so it’s not something that I spend any time worrying about.

I’m perfectly happy if the listings that are selling well DON’T get the badge, though.

Remember that badges and purple stars and notifications are there for the customer, not for the seller.

Try not to spend too much time worrying about what badges Etsy puts on your listings. It will change from day to day and you can’t count on a strategy for it since it’s totally out of our control!

Kara Buntin

Kara Buntin has run a profitable home-based business since 1999, and has a background in art, theater design, and cake decorating. She's a top Etsy seller with over 51,000 sales on Etsy and her own website, and helps other home-based business owners with their business goals and SEO. She founded the Artisan Shopping Directory website to promote the artisans who are members of her EShop Success marketing program.

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