Are you asking yourself, “is selling on Etsy worth it?”
Do you want access to a large and ready pool of buyers who are looking for the next best thing on Etsy?
Have friends or family told you that Etsy is not worth it and tried to frighten you off?
If this seems like you, you have come to the right place! I will be sharing the points about selling on Etsy, as well as the pros and cons.
I am not being paid by Etsy to do this review. And I am certainly not advocating for Etsy sellers to go in blindly and hope for millions.
I do, however, want to help you make a decision on whether selling on Etsy is the right step for you.
As a quick summary, here are the pros and cons of selling on Etsy:
|Easy to use and set up||It is competitive due to a large number of sellers|
|Has a wide customer base||It is easy to have copy-cats copy you|
|Easy to use Etsy SEO||You cannot design your store like a website|
|Supports small businesses||You are at Etsy’s mercy|
|Has an in-built marketing tool||There is a potential lack of customer loyalty|
|It is easy to scale|
|Has affordable fees|
|It is a trustworthy and established brand|
Affiliate Link Disclosure
Some of the links on here are affiliate links and I may earn if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA cost to you. Hope you find the information here useful! Thanks.
If you are super busy and you want to start making money selling on Etsy fast, you can check out this and this Etsy course. It will help to step up your Etsy game and start earning within 3 months!
Alternatively, you can also check out this free Etsy Ebook that will share a list of best-selling products by month and teach you how to capitalize on seasonal trends to make sales.
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What Is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace with hundreds of thousands of buyers and sellers. It is primarily known for selling items that are handmade, unique, art, craft, and vintage items.
There are no large-scale production and automated manufacturing items sold on Etsy. It is an e-commerce platform that was designed for small shops and creators to bring their products to the world, and be more accessible for them.
As you read, you will be able to slowly answer, “is selling on Etsy worth it?”
Is It Profitable To Sell On Etsy?
It can be profitable to sell on Etsy if you follow all the best practices that top Etsy sellers and Etsy recommends. I have a comprehensive guide on how to get consistent sales on Etsy.
Having said that, Etsy is not a place for you to expect money to be rolling in without making any effort. There is no space for that kind of thinking here.
After reading this article, I hope you will be able to tell whether is it worth it to sell on Etsy.
Advantages Of Selling On Etsy
1. Easy To Use And Set Up
Etsy is a ready-made platform that has everything set up. You need not have to worry about creating a website, learning highly technical stuff regarding domains or hosting, or setting up payment platforms.
Etsy has so many guides available on their site, plus Youtube is buzzing with many easy-to-follow tutorials that show you step-by-step how it is done.
2. Wide Customer Base
Etsy has a ready pool of customers who trust and use the platform regularly. Based on the data, there are approximately 96.3 million active buyers.
This is an insane number! If these people are active, this means they love shopping on Etsy and are always looking for something valuable and worth their money!
This alone will give you an affirmative on whether is an Etsy shop worth it.
3. Etsy SEO Is Different From Website SEO
If you set up your e-commerce website, you need to optimize your content for search engine optimization, wait at least 8 to 10 months before you start ranking on Google.
This means you will need to wait that amount of time before you can start getting sales.
But with Etsy, you can still practice and adopt Etsy SEO, and if you do it well, you can rank highly on Etsy search results instantly. This increases your likelihood of getting sales faster.
If you are wondering, “is starting an Etsy shop worth it,” yes for sure! Because of the SEO benefits.
4. Supports Small Businesses
Etsy is all about building a community that is trying to make e-commerce a human and personalized experience. This is why they have rules in place that forbid automated and large-scale manufactured products.
If your product is something that can connect with this value, you will be easily supported by Etsy and its buyers.
Imagine joining a place that celebrates being a small business! Is starting an Etsy shop worth it? For sure!
5. In-Built Marketing Tools
If you had your e-commerce site, and wanted to make it visible faster, you would have to run ads on other platforms such as Google Ads or Social Media Ads like Facebook or Instagram.
But Etsy has its own in-built Etsy Ads in place. You can easily run Etsy ads without installing anything complicated.
Be mindful though. I highly recommend Etsy Ads only if you have done everything right to get sales organically. Because Etsy ads are just a way to make you more visible.
However, if your product is hopeless or your customer service tanks, whether you have ads or no ads, you will not do well on Etsy.
If you have no marketing experience and asking, “is opening an Etsy shop worth it?” Yes, for this reason!
6. Easy To Scale
If you start doing well on Etsy, it does not end there. Etsy will take notice of you and you will be eligible for Etsy Plus. This allows you to have more features to bring your Etsy shop to the next level.
Some of the features of Etsy Plus are:
- Custom Domains
- Having restock requests
- More customization features
- Providing more discounts and perks to entice sellers
- Having business cards and printables
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7. Affordable Fees
You need to pay to be an Etsy seller. But it is any day cheaper than setting up your own website or brick-and-mortar shop.
Some of the Etsy Fees are:
- Listing Fees – how much it costs to list and showcase your product (USD 0.20)
- Transaction Fees – for every successful sale, Etsy takes 6.5% of the total fees paid by the customer. You, the Etsy seller, will get the remaining 93.5%.
- Payment Processing Fees – vary across countries and currencies. You can get the comprehensive breakdown here.
Your fees will increase if you use Etsy Ads or subscribe to Etsy Plus, but those are entirely optional. If your sales are good enough as it is, you need not pay for those.
You are advised to add these fees into your costing so that you still have a healthy margin that keeps you happy!
Having read this, I hope it answers your question on whether is it worth selling on Etsy.
Etsy is an established brand name. Now, when online scams and fake websites selling fake items are on the rise, you can rest assured that you will be using a platform that protects buyers and sellers equally.
There are features such as guaranteed shipping options, safe and secure payment portals, and a proper review system. These are the hallmarks of a professional e-commerce platform.
Trust should play a huge role in helping you decide if is it worth having an Etsy shop.
Disadvantages Of Selling On Etsy
1. It Is Competitive
I mentioned above how many buyers there are on Etsy. But there is a large number of sellers too. Based on data, there is an estimate of 7.5 million active Etsy sellers.
That is a huge number of sellers you are competing against. Having said that, are you actually going up against 7.5 million folks? Absolutely not. Etsy is a place that has countless unique items.
People’s tastes are so diverse and creative. This is your opportunity to create something that is fresh and appeals to your customers.
You do not need a large customer base to make money on Etsy. All you have to do is appeal to and address the pain points of a small group, keep them engaged and they will keep supporting you!
This is what I do!
I do not have a large following, compared to other bloggers. But my small and mighty Instagram following has helped me make close to 6 figures. It is all about delivering quality then chasing quantity!
2. Easy To Get Copied
For all your efforts in creating something new, unique, and crafty, there will be a copycat out there who may outsource the manufacturing.
They will try to develop your product as a rip-off and at a fraction of the price! These are things you can be mindful of.
However, it would be easy to find them. If you do your keyword research and look at your competitors, you should be able to find rip-offs.
Luckily, you can complain to Etsy about these and they can investigate too! That is the benefit of using an established portal!
3. You Cannot Design Your Store Like A Website
Etsy shops are pretty standard in design! So you may think it is hard to help you stand out! This is true, but there is a way around it!
You can always get additional coverage by having a Facebook, Pinterest, or Instagram account and linking it to your Etsy shop.
This will allow you to share other useful information which you may have limited opportunities to do on Etsy.
Additionally, you can make your shop stand out by:
- Having excellent product photos
- Clear product descriptions, titles, and tags
- Impeccable Customer Service
4. You Are At Etsy’s Mercy
Bloggers always recommend having their own website because they can create their own email marketing list. By only relying on social media platforms to engage your readers and those platforms suddenly go out of business, you will be dead.
What happens to your business?
Same for Etsy. If by some terrible turn of events, Etsy is gone. Your shop will be gone too! This is why you are encouraged to keep a record of your customers and engage them through email marketing. That way, you can never lose them!
I firmly believe in this strategy using this tool.
My emails have a high open rate and I make it a point to reply to emails from my readers! I love speaking with them here, and it is easy for me to recommend or sell to them, without having to be an in-your-face salesman!
5. Lack Of Customer Loyalty
As a potential customer, when you search for a product on Etsy, you will be bombarded with a ton of Etsy shops! All will be clamoring for your attention. As a customer, it will be hard to decide who to pick.
Having said that, customers are not going to Etsy to waste their money. They want something that fits their needs.
So if you do your part to help get your first sale on Etsy and make sure you take care of your customer. You will definitely get a loyal customer.
Additionally, you cannot demand loyalty from customers. You have to earn it. If you keep doing your stuff right, and engaging them without forcing them to buy from you, you will easily have loyal customers!
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What Are Some Etsy Alternatives?
Here are some Etsy Alternatives you can look at::
- Shopify – comprehensive e-commerce platform with links to their own site and social media
- Big Cartel – web-based e-commerce platform suitable for artists and crafters
- Squarespace – website builder with integrated e-commerce features
- Wix – website builder with customizable domains and designs
- WordPress – most popular website builder which I am currently using.
- Ecwid – an e-commerce platform that can be integrated with your existing website.
- IndieMade – website building and e-commerce platform.
- Bonanza – an e-commerce platform similar to Etsy.
- Amazon – only the biggest online platform worldwide.
- Facebook Marketplace – make sales using your existing Facebook account.
- eBay – an online platform that connects buyers and sellers to trade anything at whatever cost they agree.
- Full Beauty – online marketplace specializing in outfits and apparel.
- Top Hatter – online marketplace which has live auctions for most products.
- Tanga – an e-commerce platform that has affordable deals.
- Fruugo – online marketplace with a diverse range of products.
You can study these alternatives and then decide where is it worth it to open an Etsy shop.
How Much Do Etsy Sellers Make?
Etsy sellers have a diverse range of incomes depending on how much they sell, how often they promote their products, and how much it costs.
Additionally, someone who is a full-time Etsy seller is likely to make more than someone who is doing it on the side as a hobby.
Hence, you can make from $100 to $10,000 or even more depending on what you sell, and how often you sell it!
So, if you are wondering is selling on Etsy worth it or is Etsy really worth it, it depends on your product and your efforts!
How To Estimate Your Own Potential Sales Figures?
You can create a Sales Forecast Estimate by:
- Listing out your products and their prices
- Creating a low estimate of how many you expect to sell
- Calculate the total revenue
- Deduct the cost of making it
These are just estimates, after all! You are advised to estimate lower figures first so that you do not get your hopes unnecessarily high.
Here are some free sales forecast templates you can consider looking into!
A sales forecast will help you in answering if is it worth selling on Etsy.
How To Boost Etsy Sales?
I have written in-depth guides on how to increase your Etsy Sales and how to get your first sale on Etsy. You can take a look on this guide first before deciding is selling on Etsy worth it.
Here is a quick summary:
- Use Etsy SEO
- Do Etsy Keyword Research
- Use Social Media
- Take Good Photos
- Offer good shipping and free shipping
- Research your competitors
- Have sales and discounts
- Use Etsy Ads
- Get consistent reviews
- Have behind-the-scenes footage of creating your product
- Answer customer pain points
- Write clear descriptions
Well, there you have it, folks! I hope this has helped answer your question on whether is selling on Etsy worth it.
As with any business venture, there are risks involved. But compared to setting up your own site or investing in a retail shop, this is much less risky!
The only fixed cost you have to deal with for Etsy is the listing fee which is incredibly affordable! The other 2 fees; payment processing and transaction fees, will come when you have made sales! That is a good thing, right?
So my advice to you is, just try and see if selling on Etsy is worth your while! Please do not go crazy and invest a ton in making your product. Start from small, learn, take time and go from there!
Is it worth it to have an Etsy shop? In my opinion, yes! But only if you are willing to put in the work and not expect quick easy money!
I hope your Etsy seller’s journey is worth it and rewarding! Here is to wishing you financial success and happiness as an online Etsy Seller!
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