Should You Sell On Etsy? 2023 Etsy Review When Selling Your Handmade Products
If you've thought about selling your handmade products online, you may have wondered about opening your own Etsy shop. But is Etsy the right platform for your new business? And is it even worth your time selling on Etsy? In this article, we'll take a look at what Etsy has to offer (and what it doesn't) so you can decide whether or not opening an Etsy shop is the right move for your creative business.
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What is Etsy?
Small handmade businesses have found a large market on Etsy. A lot of the items available for sale are things you can't find in stores, and it is the go to place for unique gifts.
While selling on Etsy has a lot of advantages, there are some disadvantages to be aware of before you open your shop. Below, you will find a list of the pros and cons of selling on Etsy.
Advantages of Starting an Etsy Shop
There are a number of advantages for small handmade businesses when they start selling on Etsy. Here are some of the top reasons people love to sell on Etsy:
Etsy is a well-known and trusted brand. This means that potential customers are more likely to trust your products if you are selling them on Etsy. You may have an easier time selling your products on Etsy than on other sites because customers know they can purchase handmade goods on the website.
Etsy is also a very effective way to reach a large audience of potential customers. Because Etsy is such a large platform, you have the potential to reach a much wider audience than by selling on your own website or through other channels. When you sell on Etsy, your products are also exposed to people who may not have otherwise found them.
Physical, Digital and Custom Products
Etsy offers crafters the opportunity to sell their products in a variety of formats, including digital downloads, physical products, and custom orders. This gives you the flexibility to sell the products you want in the way that best suits your business.
Low Startup Cost
Another reason to sell on Etsy is that it can be a relatively low-cost way to get started in ecommerce. You don’t need to invest in developing your own website or blog; you can simply create an Etsy shop, add a listing, and start selling your handmade crafts.
Low Time Commitment
Etsy provides a platform for crafters to sell their products without the hassle of spending time setting up their own online store. This can be a huge advantage, especially if you are a beginner to online selling. When you are just starting your craft business, you probably don’t have the time to set up your own website until you are sure your products will sell.
Etsy also offers a number of features and tools that can be helpful for craft businesses, such as the ability to track your sales, listing fees, and traffic statistics. Because Etsy offers many features that make it easy for sellers to manage their shop and track their sales data, it can be a great platform for those who are just starting out in the craft business.
Getting paid is also extremely easy on Etsy. You can choose to be paid through PayPal or direct deposit, and you can set up automatic payments so you don’t have to worry about manually processing each order.
Sales & Promotions
Etsy makes it easy to create a sale or promotion in your shop. You can offer discounts on specific items, offer free shipping, or create a coupon code to share with your customers. Etsy also has a number of tools to help you promote your products and shop.
Etsy has a great community of sellers, which can be a great resource when you are starting out in your craft business. There are many forums and groups where Etsy sellers can connect with each other and ask questions or offer advice. In most cases, you can find an Etsy seller who is willing to help you with any questions you may have about starting or running your business.
Disadvantages of Starting an Etsy Shop
As with all ecommerce platforms, there are also a few disadvantages to selling on Etsy. Here are some of the top reasons people don’t love to sell on Etsy:
Etsy is such a large platform, and the competition is quite competitive. With so many sellers and products available, it can be hard to make your shop and products stand out from the rest.
Even if customers find your shop, Etsy will show other shop owners' products, which may discourage potential customers from making a purchase from your shop. When you have competitors showing on the same page as your product, it can be difficult to make a sale.
Creating a brand is difficult on Etsy because customers are not likely to remember your business name. In many cases when someone asks them where they received the product, they will reply, "I bought it on Etsy".
Without the ability to brand your business, it can be difficult to stand out from the competition and build a loyal customer base. This can make it difficult to turn one-time buyers into lifelong customers. You will need to work more diligently to brand your business on Etsy and promote your products outside of the platform if you want to build a loyal customer base.
Customers Overloaded with Choices
Because there are so many sellers on Etsy, it can be easy for customers to get overwhelmed and not know where to start. When customers have too many choices, they are often dissatisfied with their purchase or they don’t make a purchase at all.
This is a big problem for Etsy sellers because it can be difficult to get customers to purchase your products. Many shoppers feel if they keep looking they will find a better product or deal elsewhere.
You must also remember that when customers are looking for products on Etsy, they are typically looking for unique items that they cannot find in stores. This means that you need to make sure your products stand out from the competition and offer something unique that buyers cannot find elsewhere.
Customer loyalty is a major downside of selling on Etsy. It is already difficult to build up a customer base. Because there are so many different shops and products available on Etsy, it can be difficult to draw buyers to your particular shop and keep them there.
Even if a customer has previously bought from you, it does not guarantee future loyalty. When selling on Etsy, you need to understand this drawback from the outset. This allows you to work on promoting your products and shop outside of Etsy. This will help you to build up a customer base that is more likely to be loyal to your business.
Pricing Must be Competitive
Etsy is a marketplace, so prices for similar products can vary widely. It can be difficult to compete on price with other sellers who may be selling similar products.
If you are selling creative products that are priced higher than similar items on Etsy, you may need to think of other ways to stand out from the competition, such as through your marketing or by offering unique products.
Too Many Discounts
Another downside is that many sellers use sales promotions to discount their items, which can lead to a race to the bottom on prices. If you are not careful, you could find yourself in a situation where you are selling your products for less than it costs you to make them.
This is why it is essential to have a good understanding of your costs before you start selling on Etsy. If you do not have a clear understanding of your costs, it will be very difficult to price your products competitively and still make a profit.
Selling on Etsy can be time-consuming, especially if you're dealing with customer inquiries and fulfillment. You not only have to make the product, but you have to deal with the logistics of getting the product to your customer.
It is also easy to get bogged down in the day-to-day operations of your Etsy shop and lose sight of your goals. You must find a balance between promoting and running your Etsy shop so that you don't become overwhelmed. By having a clear understanding of your goals, you can stay focused on what is important and not get caught up in the day-to-day operations of your business.
When you first start, you may believe that Etsy will market for you. Unfortunately, for your business to thrive, you have to put in the work to market your products yourself. Etsy can work for handmade businesses, but it is not a magic bullet.
To be successful, you still need to build your brand and market your products. This includes creating effective product descriptions, email and social media marketing, and ensuring you have great customer service.
You will also need to put in extra effort to brand your business on Etsy. You can do this by promoting your products outside of the Etsy platform so you can build a loyal customer base. Once you have a consistent following, they are more likely to go directly to your Etsy shop, which will increase your chances of making a sale.
Lack of Control
When you sell on Etsy, you have no control over how Etsy displays your products, how many customers see your products, or even if your Shop will be shut down without notice. Because you do not have a storefront, you are at the mercy of Etsy. This can lead to your products not being seen by potential customers, which can obviously impact your sales.
With this much uncertainty, you are taking a risk when opening your shop on Etsy. Although you cannot ensure your shop will remain open, it can still be a great platform to sell your craft products.
There are a few things you can do to minimize the risk, such as building your brand outside of Etsy. If you are relying on Etsy for all of your traffic, this can be a big problem. Therefore, you need a plan B and drive traffic to your Etsy shop from other sources, such as social media or your own website. This way, if Etsy ever shuts down your shop, you will still have a way to reach your customers.
While the startup cost is relatively low, Etsy's fees are quite high and really cut into your profits. These fees can add up, especially if you are selling multiple products, or your prices are on the lower end.
Etsy charges 20 cents to list an item for sale in your shop for four months, or until it sells. When your item sells, you are charged an additional 20 cents. You will also be charged a 6.5% transaction fee for each sale you make, plus a payment processing fee for each order.
As you can see, these fees add up. If you are not careful, the fees could eat into your profits. You really have to pay attention to the fees you pay and price your items accordingly.
Along with the fees Etsy charges for each listing and each transaction, if you are not getting traction on your listings, you may need to pay for advertising. It can boost your sales, but it will also eat into your profits. If you decide to advertise with Etsy, you are not required to pay upfront for the advertising. Instead, you will be charged a 15% fee for any order attributed to the advertising done by Etsy.
You need to make sure you are comfortable with paying Etsy these extra fees before you start advertising on Etsy. You do not need to pay for advertising to be successful. However, if you decide it is necessary to reach your sales goals, then you want to factor in the cost.
Inability to Control Negative Feedback
Because Etsy is an online marketplace, there is always the risk that something could go wrong with an order. While Etsy does have systems in place to protect sellers and buyers, such as their dispute resolution process, there is always the potential for problems to arise.
Further, you're left with making the customer happy, even if they're unreasonable because they might leave negative feedback. You cannot control the feedback, which can be frustrating, and it can have an impact on your business if they leave negative reviews.
All in all, there are pros and cons to selling on Etsy. It is important to decide if Etsy is the right platform for you and your business before starting your Etsy Shop.
The good news is that you can make a decent profit selling on Etsy. You just need to be aware of the fees, have a plan in place, and be comfortable with the lack of control you have over your business.
It is also important to realize that Etsy is not for everyone. Just because you sell handmade products does not mean Etsy is the right platform for you. There are a number of alternatives to Etsy, such as Shopify or WooCommerce. These platforms offer more control to the merchant, but they require more work to get started and you have to pay for the service.
No matter what route you decide to take when starting your own ecommerce shop, remember that selling handmade products is a lot of work. However, if you are persistent, you can succeed. Once you are determined to be successful, then any platform, including Etsy, can be a great way to sell your creative products.
Once you have a platform that works for your business, you will be able to start and grow your creative business. If you are looking for alternatives to Etsy, check out our other reviews on Shopify, BlueHost, Godaddy, and Webflow.
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