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Topic: To Etsy or Not To Etsy, that is the question  (Read 3719 times)
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« on: April 13, 2010 09:10:13 PM »

Hi all.  I've been lurking around these boards for a long time, and I finally decided to jump in and ask a question I've been wondering about. 

I'm working on starting up my own little online store and I've built up a bit of an inventory and I feel like I'm ready to start an online shop.  But I'm trying to decide whether I want to open an Etsy shop to sell my goodies in, or if I should start it on my own website.  I know that either way I'm going to have to advertise and promote a lot on my own, but what I'm really wondering is if paying Etsy's fees is really worth it?  For the price that you pay to them, do people really find you on their own without you advertising further?  Because I'm wondering if sales only come from other advertising, if maybe I just should add a shop page to the blog that I'm working on and use paypal to set up a basic shop.  Any ideas or comments?

« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2010 07:17:36 PM »

I know this post is a bit old, but I wanted to add something.

I have any Esty shop and my own webpage.  They both had the same things (for a while).  I've sold 5 things on Etsy without doing ~any~ kind of promoting aside from putting it as my webpage on message boards.  I've made no sales on my personal website.
I think Etsy is nice because people come there wanting to buy something.  You aren't just hoping they remember you from a business card, or internet search.

When in doubt, use more glue!

Look Ma, I'm on Ravelry!
Feel free to check out my Etsy shop.

Creative for Charity ~My Charity Blog
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2010 10:47:21 AM »

What do you guys think about Big Cartel? I had an Etsy shop for a while, haven't used it in years, and just started a new BC with new products. I LOVED the back end - so much more than Etsy - but I'm not sure about the implicit community. Any opinions?

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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2010 10:17:52 AM »

I've done both. I started with my own website before I ever sold on etsy. Etsy was definitely the better option. I make my living on etsy now.

My blog, Soap Deli News, is filled with homemade soap, beauty, and bath and body recipes. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.
« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2010 07:15:08 PM »

Try Etsy out--it's a really great site to get started selling on, and you can do it for very little--probably for pocket change at first.  Etsy's fees really aren't that bad, especially when you compare them to EBay.  20 cents is pretty fair for 4 months listing time, and so is a 3.5% final value fee.   The fees get excessive if you renew all the time, which a lot of times you have to do to be seen on there because there are just so many people on Etsy.  Even if you renew a lot, though, if you keep it to a plan and watch your Etsy bill, it's really not that bad. 

The problem with Etsy is that you must always have some kind of off-Etsy promoting or advertising.  There are just so many sellers on that site that you have to do something to make yourself be seen.  I think that's the whole challenge behind Etsy--being seen.  Etsy does not promote sellers without asking for more money (renewing, showcases, group ads in magazines).   A good way to do some off-Etsy promoting for a low cost and controlled way is to bid on ads using Project Wonderful.  Over there you can advertise for sometimes pennies a day, and you can search their site for tons of different places to advertise on. 

Then again, what you pay for on Etsy is Etsy's clientele and following.  This goes a long way because many people go to one Etsy shop and then end up going on another Etsy shop after that, than another Etsy shop after that...etc.  With a personal website, you'd have to drive the traffic yourself. That takes lots of patience Sad

Wallets, Jewelry, & Home Decor from Recycled Materials: http://sugarshoxcrafts.etsy.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/sugarshoxcrafts
« Reply #5 on: December 08, 2010 01:49:36 AM »

I know that this is a bit old and I'm sorry if I'm asking something that has been asked already but there are a lot of new or competing venues that are gaining popularity against Etsy especially recently. I'd like to know, as what's been said above, as whether or not Etsy, especially for someone that has just started, is a better venue to other venues? Etsy eats up with a lot of the costing and some venues don't have listing fees or any fees in fact! Etsy is obviously a jungle especially if you are starting. Is Etsy going to last in let's say the next two years to invest in that it would be worthwhile or should we jump ship (or start up for the first time elsewhere) because Etsy is loosing it's feasibility?

Thank you!
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« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2011 10:54:02 AM »

Etsy has changed a LOT since I last posted in this thread. Even seasoned sellers who have been with etsy since the beginning or experiencing a slow down in sales numbers. Renewing to make sales no longer works and it's more difficult to get seen. Combined with bugs in registration and checkout over the past several months, you may be better off with your own venue. I just opened my own shop and have already seen sales to it without having to compete with a million other sellers in the same category on the same venue and without having to pay a commission. Plus my site has NO registration. Many folks abandon their cart if they find out they have to register.

My blog, Soap Deli News, is filled with homemade soap, beauty, and bath and body recipes. You can also find me on Pinterest and Instagram.
« Reply #7 on: August 09, 2011 08:16:59 AM »

 I think it's better to start off with a well known market place like Etsy. You don't have to promote your shop as much and the fees aren't that high to list an item. ($0.20) And then, if you do really well, you start your online shop.

 ~ That's just my opinion. Smiley
« Reply #8 on: November 27, 2011 11:41:01 AM »

I have posted items on three other sites and just tried Etsy.  I have sold nothing through my own site, have sold one thing through GLC Mall, and four things through iCraft.  I felt swallowed up by Etsy, and overwhelmed by everything. Setting up shop was easy, trying to figure out how to be seen is a different story.  After two days posted, my items fell from first spot to almost 800th. 

It is an inexpensive place to get started, and there are lots of teams you can join that might be able to help you get seen.  It is also a one-stop address for everything you need to know about web selling.  Starting your own website means that you have to do you own research on search engine optimization and spend time finding different sites where you can have links.  They have lots of information for photographs, writing, and business help.  I have had my other sites going for two years and thought I would give Etsy a try.  It is worth it, as there is a great community there to help you.

Craftster is also a great place to be.  I get a lot of traffic to my website from here, and the same could go for your Etsy site.

elizanne handcrafted treasures
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