This may need to be a few part series...
I have seen this question a lot lately. Should I sell on Etsy? Pros and Cons?
I'm in several Facebook Etsy groups, creative maker groups, etc. and this question is asked or selling on Etsy is discussed a lot. Oftentimes we see only the negative. So how do you decide when it just looks like a crappy place to sell. LOL
I have had an Etsy shop since 2007. I started with selling knitted coffee cozies; which I was very successful with. Then my dog ate yarn and had emergency surgery, so that put me off from wanting to knit anymore.
After that I sold flair buttons and then I started selling digital cut files for Silhouette, Cameo, and similar machines. Mainly directed to paper crafters / scrapbookers / card makers.
Now, I don't do a lot in the sense of "promoting" my shop or my items. I do get sales weekly and sometimes daily. But it isn't paying the bills or really buying any supplies. If I worked harder toward this I know I could make more money. This is something I’m working on personally for 2022. Drawing more attention to my shop.
What I like about Etsy?
1. It is a marketplace. If you don't have time to promote your shop on social media platforms, you can still get sales through people searching on Etsy. If they are looking for Cat Art Prints and that is what you sell, you will show up among all those who sell this product. Now, to say it is THAT easy is fooling people. As there are SO many makers on Etsy and people have to sift through the noise. But it is still possible to make sales if you are too busy to promote outside the site. Focus on your SEOs so people can find your item.
2. It's easy to use and list items. I have to say ALL sites whether Etsy or a website, this takes time. There is no easy way to not spend time on your listings. Spending time on listing items anywhere is important as it helps make your item searchable. You have to take time to come up with keywords that really describe an item, but also thinking as a consumer on words they would use to search the item. Photos are also important (but we will get to that in another post).
3. You can advertise with Etsy. This is something I haven't done. As I just don't find it worth my money to invest in Etsy advertising. But it is a great option if you are looking to boost sales. Just like social media boosting, paying for advertisement, pushes your items on consumers. It is pushed to the front pages of searches and even used in off-site Etsy ads. Like I said, I don't use this option, but it is a great feature.
4. Shipping. This is something I see a lot of people complain about. I guess the fact of the matter is, shipping cost money. As a seller, you do have the option to have "free" shipping or charge for shipping. I personally charge for shipping. I'm not paying or losing money on this. When you look at your sales report or monthly report, it may look like a lot of money is spent in this area. But it isn't eating my profit from my sales.
If you choose free shipping, you the seller need to include those costs into your item costs. Shipping is never "free". Etsy is not paying for you to ship items.
As for shipping with Etsy, the prices are competitive and I like the ease of using their shipping system as I can complete orders right from the Etsy site without exiting the site to another shipping method.
I will get into the cons (for me) in a future post. But Etsy does have quite a few perks to help handmade sellers!
If you are new to Etsy and want to start selling, feel free to use my referral link. We will both receive 40 free listings!
Referral Link: https://etsy.me/3JeHLB6
Do you have specific questions about Etsy? Comment on this post. And stay tune to more posts in my Etsy series.