235 – How to be the #1 seller on Etsy amongst 1.5 million stores

235 – How to be the #1 seller on Etsy amongst 1.5 million stores

Alicia Shaffer is the biggest seller on eCommerce store Etsy. And that’s no mean feat given there’s 1.5 million stores on Etsy! However, the success she’s currently enjoying with Three Bird Nest didn’t come easily – like all successful business owners she’s tasted failure, but chosen to rise from the ashes.

In this inspiring fireside chat, you’ll discover:

  • How to build a successful business on Etsy
  • How to create a strong point-of-difference in a crowded market place
  • Why starting a business with what you’ve got is best practice
  • Why reinvesting your profits makes sense
  • How to overcome adversity
  • The importance of open communications with your business partners
  • Why to never become complacent
  • How to build a fun and shareable customer experience
  • A very clever pricing strategy
  • And plenty more marketing G O L D !

I also share an experience I had on live TV just last week.

Marketing Speaker Tim Reid

Yep, it’s another big show. Let’s get stuck right into episode 235 of Australia’s #1 marketing podcast. Go!



Episode Timeline


  • 00:33  Welcome and overview of today’s episode
  • 02:12  Checking in on your week
  • 04:27  Online marketing tips from Netregistry
  • 05:58  I introduce today’s guest top-selling Etsy store owner, Alicia Shaffer
  • 07:10  My chat with Alicia Shaffer of Three Bird Nest
  • 50:38  My top 10 learnings from my interview with Alicia
  • 54:04  Motivational marketing quote of the week
  • 54:37  Wrap-up and insight into next week’s guest



Today’s Episode Sponsor (please support them)

Netregistry  Get your online marketing sorted!



Resources & links mentioned in this episode




Tweetables – Share The Love



My Top 10 Marketing Tips from my chat with top Etsy seller Alicia Shaffer of Three Bird Nest:


  1. This too, shall pass. Every business owner hits road bumps along the way. The successful ones tough them out, coming out the other side scathed, but better for it.
  2. Stand out in a world of sameness. I loved Alicia’s  simple idea of using a human and not a mannequin to show off her products.
  3. Start with what you’ve got. You don’t need the best of everything to have a successful business.
  4. If you love what you do, time becomes irrelevant. Alicia sifted through photos at 2:00AM when the kids were asleep!
  5. Reinvest your profits back in to the business. Avoid buying unnecessary luxuries when you’re trying to build something.
  6. Continual fine tuning of all your business processes.
  7. Be excited to ‘ship’. I loved Alicia’s phrase “I love delivering Xmas!”
  8. Have fun building an amazing customer experience.
  9. Listen to your customers. Often!
  10. Give more thought to your pricing. Alicia’s strategy of everything ending in 80 cents is genius.



Inspirational Marketing Quote of the Week


 “If you’re a good marketing person, you have to be a little crazy.”




Over to you!

Let me know YOUR #1 takeaway from this episode by leaving a comment below.

My guest and myself personally read and respond to every comment.

10 thoughts on “235 – How to be the #1 seller on Etsy amongst 1.5 million stores”

  1. Hi Timbo – Etsy floated just a few days ago in the US, at a premium of 89%! It will be interesting to see if they can retain their identity as a public company over time. Cheers

  2. OK, so the problem I had with this episode is my personal interpretation
    of Etsy is, “I am buying hand made goods from the person who created said hand
    made goods.” I buy from Etsy frequently. When I buy a tea cossie from a little
    old lady in England, I think she’s taking that money, to perhaps buy her
    grandkids a few treats. I like that story.

    I fully accept that business start on Etsy and from this
    quaint environment, grow bigger to become a successful commercial enterprise. Fair
    enough. I had a look at the threebirdnest Etsy store and there have been over
    100 000 sales. Well done! Were all the items personally made by the seller? I’m
    not sure – maybe they are – that’s not clear to me.

    In the podcast the exploration of the business operations,
    seemed to suggest the business was quite sizable now, to the extent, it was
    taking four weeks, to set up and outsource shipping. Growth and success is
    great – but do you still belong on Etsy?

    I feel like this storefront is like a Coles or Woolworths
    setting up a stand at a locally home grown Farmers Market.

    With respect to marketing, I think being on Etsy, suggests
    you are a lot smaller operation, than what in fact threebirdnest has become. Is
    it really fair to still be on Etsy? Would I feel duped by this once I realised
    how big you had got? Yes.

    From a personal perspective, I buy into the story of why
    someone is on Etsy, and I’d be off put by the sheer commercial nature of your
    business, being on Etsy.

    The threebirdnest website and products look great.

    I just wonder from a marketing and storytelling perspective,
    is Etsy still the right place for threebirdnest? Should you be moved to the “Hall
    of Fame” and moved to a different level?

  3. You make an interesting point, Heather. Alicia has made good effort to move away from Etsy, as her business grows well beyond what it started out as. I didn’t ask her (and maybe should have) whether she had an exit strategy in place to be 100% self-sufficient, selling only from her own website, at a point in time. I will ask her to respond. Stay toooned!

  4. Yes, and to her credit she does seem to sell a lot more products on her website. (Her shoes are incredible :))

    Of course – probably all the top ten Etsy sellers are in a similar situation and maybe Etsy needs to address it.

  5. This is by far my favourite episode so far (I have listened to a lot, but still so many to go – can’t wait!)
    I felt that my products and business model were/are similar to your guest’s – and what amazing story she has!
    i love learning from you and your podcasts!! So much content and inspiration!
    Thanks again Timbo!

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