The Jam

Should I Sell On Etsy?

Have you ever considered opening an Etsy shop? Maybe at some point, a friend has said to you, “You should totally sell that on Etsy!” But what does it take to set up a shop? And is that the right choice for you? Stick around while we dive into this topic that we hope will help you find even more Etsy shop success

Should I sell on Etsy?

This is a question we see A LOT of forums and in Facebook groups. This question might be coming from someone who is contemplating getting into Ecommerce and they’ve heard about Etsy. It can also come from new sellers on Etsy who haven’t gained a lot of traction yet and are still figuring things out. These folks might be wondering if they should keep on selling on Etsy!

This might also be a question someone who is selling on Amazon might ask as they begin to branch out. It’s a question that covers a lot of different ground for a lot of different people. 

Things to consider if you’re considering selling on Etsy. 

Is your product handmade? This also includes designs you’ve created that are being printed by a third party (tshirts, coffee mugs, etc.) or is it vintage? Something that really sets Etsy apart is the handmade and vintage market it has. You’re not going to be picking up things at Goodwill or on Alibaba and reselling them. You can do this on Ebay or Amazon, but not Etsy. 

There is a quality expectation that customers are looking for on Etsy. Often, customers on Etsy are looking not only for unique and high quality products, they’re also looking to connect with the seller behind the products. This isn’t something you’d really think about on Amazon. 

So if the answer to this question is, if you can say yes, your product is handmade or vintage and you’re willing to take the time to make it high quality and invest some of your own story there, then YES! You should be selling on Etsy. 

What’s your motivation if your product is one of the above things, to actually sell on Etsy? 

Etsy gets 300+ millions visits PER MONTH to their market place. That’s big. If you’re thinking of the alternative to selling on Etsy as starting up your own website, putting your products there and having customers come to you, you’re going to have a tough time beating Etsy’s sheer number in visits. There’s no way you can start up and immediately have 300+ millions visits to your site. This is basically akin to taking your little lemonade stand at the end of your driveway and moving it into a huge mall where there are people everywhere all the time. Having Etsy’s audience immediately, especially when you’re starting up is a HUGE plus! 

You are essentially partnering with Etsy to have a guaranteed audience! If you’re selling something handmade/vintage, it’s important to try and understand the value of 300+ millions visits to a platform per month! Try and let that sink in and inform your decision on whether you should sell on Etsy or not. 

Your success is Etsy’s success!

Understanding that your success as an Etsy seller is what makes Etsy successful, is SO important! Etsy is invested in converting a large portion of those 300+ million customers into sales. They are putting a lot of money into making this happen. Etsy markets their sellers as well, which is a huge bonus. If a customer is in a shop and purchases an item and Etsy thinks this customer will also like your product, they’ll pitch that to the customer.

They want their customers to have a FULL experience. If the customer is buying a dress in one shop and you have a killer pair of earrings in your shop that might be awesome with it, Etsy will suggest that. Etsy is trying to have their customers check out with a full cart and not just one thing if possible. Etsy is trying to streamline the shopping process for their customers to make it as smooth and easy as possible. This encourages customers to not only stick around on Etsy’s platform, but to put more things into their cart to purchase. 

Dominating the handmade/vintage markets.

When it comes to this niche market, are there really any other platforms that come to mind? Amazon handmade is out there for sure, but it’s not a differentiated as Etsy. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with selling on Amazon handmade, but the grass isn’t necessarily greener on one side for the other. If you’re already selling on Amazon handmade, then selling on Etsy as well is a great idea! Take advantage of what Etsy is bringing to the table with the audience they have and the money they’re investing in making those customers work for both you and them. 

Overnight success? 

Sure, it can happen. But, like any business that is starting out, you have to use the tools that Etsy provides and be willing to put in the work it will take to make your shop successful. This isn’t a get rich quick scheme, but it’s truly a business you’re growing from the ground up. Hard work is most definitely a competitive advantage when it comes to your Etsy shop.

There is absolutely negativity you’ll hear about selling on Etsy, but a lot of that is the same negativity that there was ten years ago. Have things changed on Etsy? Sure! But that doesn’t mean that you cannot come into this market and make yourself successful on it. No platform is perfect because the people behind those platforms aren’t perfect. But does the good and what Etsy brings to the table outweigh the bad? We definitely believe so.

You’ll find what you’re looking for. 

If you come in looking for the negative side of Etsy, you’ll absolutely find it. But if you look for the positive and that’s the mindset you’re in, that’s what you’ll find! What you dwell on is what will happen in your life. So if you look at starting out selling on Etsy as a challenge, but one you’re willing to tackle with hard work and determination, then you will find what you’re looking for. 

Constant testing.

Another thing to also keep in mind is that Etsy is constantly testing things to try and maximize the potential for their market place. For example, they’re testing to see how big these photos should be, where should the title be placed and how big should it be? Where should the description go, how many related items should we put on this page? All of that information they’re constantly testing to set up their market place to maximize the experience for their customers and to maximize sales for all the sellers on their platform.

If you have your own website, that’s not something you’ll have a lot of time to devote to unless you have an entire team dedicated to running analytics for you and makes changes based on the data they’re finding. This is something that Etsy’s constantly doing and will continue to do because they want to make sure that they’re at the forefront of the Ecommerce space.

Final thoughts. 

The sheer amount of resources and numbers that Etsy is bringing to the table are definitely a benefit to you as an Etsy seller. Remember, if you’re already selling on Amazon and want to sell on Etsy, great! If you’e selling on Etsy and want to sell on Amazon, awesome! Big brands don’t limit their products to only one grocery store! They’re happy to have their products in as many stores as possible. 

So yeah, sell there too! As long as your customers are in both places, that’s great and you should not limit yourself. You don’t have to have an either or mentality. There is plenty of room for you to target different audiences on Etsy as well as targeting audiences on Ebay or Amazon. Will it take work in both spaces? Yes. Hard work is going to be your advantage and you have to decide if you have the time to put that hard work into two or more platforms. Again, choose the platforms and tools that are right for you. 

But is there room on Etsy and does Etsy provide plenty of opportunity? Yes. We whole heartedly believe there is and that there is an awful lot of traffic on the Etsy platform for you to ignore it as a really awesome and viable possibility for starting a very solid small business. 

Happy selling, everyone! 

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