Are you wondering what are the pros and cons of Etsy?
Do you have amazing collectible vintage items, or do you make the best-scented candles in town, and want to make extra income from selling them? Are you thinking if Etsy is the right platform to start?
If this seems like you, you definitely came to the right place! I’m going to show you 18 pros and cons of Etsy that will help you to decide if you should start your business on Etsy!
At a glance: Selling on Etsy pros and cons
1. Easy, quick to set up and maintain
2. Built-in customer base
3. Trusted platform
4. Affordable listing fee
5. Perfect testing ground
6. Easy to use Etsy SEO
7. Seller education hub
8. Etsy community
9. Digital products on Etsy
1. High competition
2. Your products can be easily copied
3. Lack of customer loyalty
4. Brand image issues
5. Harder to build your email list
7. Handmade items only
8. You’re a renter on Etsy
9. Saturated market
DISCLAIMER: The links on this page may be affiliate links, from which I earn a small commission if you click on them, AT NO EXTRA COST to you. Hope you find the information here useful. Thanks!
Note: 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.
Now, let’s take a detailed look at the advantages and disadvantages of Etsy.
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Pros and Cons of Etsy – What Are The Pros?
- Easy, Quick Set-Up & Maintenance
Etsy is straightforward to set up & maintain. This is a big bonus if technical know-how isn’t your thing. You can set up your shop on Etsy quickly without needing to learn any technical skills. That’s how easy it is!
If you’re thinking about how to sell on Etsy when you’re new, there are many videos on Youtube that show you how it’s done step-by-step.
That doesn’t mean you don’t have to do anything AT ALL. You still need to register, create a listing, and do a whole lot of other things that you need to do to make your shop open for business.
Besides, it’s easy to maintain because Etsy will take care of everything to make sure that their website is running smoothly and provide support when any problem arises which makes the platform suitable for beginners.
- Built-In Customer Base
Etsy comes with a built-in audience for you! You don’t have to worry about getting customers when you’re a new business. How amazing it is!
It’s a renowned, established platform with a pool of customers who trust and buy from it regularly. They have a total number of active users of 96.3 million worldwide! That’s more than enough people to be your customer on an e-commerce platform.
This shows that millions of people are always looking for the types of products that you’re going to sell. It lessens your burden of getting your products out there to be noticed by people.
- Trusted Platform
Etsy has gained millions of customers’ trust since it was founded. So, you don’t need to do anything to build your potential customers’ confidence & trust in your products.
Normally, it’ll take a longer time to build your customer’s trust if you’re a new business because you’re new and you need to prove that your business is legit.
People buy from Etsy because it’s a large, well-known website with millions of buyers. Etsy’s purchase protection policy helps its buyers to shop confidently knowing that their rights are protected and they can get the help they need if something goes wrong.
- Affordable Listing Fee
If you’re wondering what a listing is, it’s all the items that you’re putting up for sale. For every item you’re publishing on your Etsy shop, you’re required to pay a flat fee of USD 0.20.
The fee is for the first 4 months regardless of whether you make a sale, or not. The listing can be renewed after 4 months.
There aren’t many platforms that offer a low price like this. Let’s take Amazon as an example, you need to pay USD 0.99 to USD 39.99 to Amazon every time you make a sale on that platform.
This is the difference between selling on Etsy vs Amazon. It shows that the Etsy fee is still reasonable, and affordable if you’re just starting.
- Perfect Testing Ground
Etsy can be a great start for you to test, and see if you’re products have the market that you’re looking for before investing more time, and money into it.
There’s just so much to learn and do when you’re starting as a small business owner. You can use Etsy as a testing ground to test out your products/services.
You can first start by building your unique brand, getting to know your customers, what the market needs, etc. Everything that you learn from selling on Etsy will equip you with a lot of knowledge about running a business online.
Picture Credit: Pexels
- Simple Etsy Seo
Etsy has a powerful algorithm that manages listing according to its own SEO. It compares your listing with the other relevant listings in the same category from different sellers to choose the best to display on the first page.
That means when customers search for that particular product they will be seeing the sellers and their products that are ranking on the first page of their search.
Typically, you have to wait 3-6 months to rank and get sales but if you understand Etsy SEO well and do it correctly, you can rank on the first page of its search results.
You will learn how to sell on Etsy when you master their SEO strategy. This helps you to increase the chances of your shop’s visibility, attract new customers, and make more sales.
Besides, you can download your shop’s sales and financial statistics to review your shop’s performance in the month, or year to see how can you improve your SEO strategy in the future.
If you want to understand SEO better, my favorite tool for finding good keywords is Sale Samurai. It’s a powerful Etsy keyword tool that will help you find high-volume and useful keywords to grow your Etsy traffic.
If you really want to level up your SEO knowledge, sign up for my SEO course. I share a step-by-step plan that will help you get thousands of organic traffic!
You can also read my article for some SEO tips that will skyrocket your Etsy sales!
- Seller Education Hub
Etsy has put a lot of effort into educating its customers on various matters that they may come across as a seller. They have educational videos, seller handbooks, etc.
You can also learn how to sell on Etsy as a beginner, these resources are coming directly from Etsy. This is amazing because you don’t have to struggle to find out everything on your own as Etsy is sharing its resources with you.
If you need more guidance, you can do the extra work through research, and reaching out to other Etsy sellers.
- Etsy Community
In addition to the seller education hub, Etsy is providing a good community for its sellers. Etsy Forums is a platform that connects sellers to seek advice and share knowledge.
Apart from that, there are also communities available outside of Etsy, like blogs, websites, youtube channels, etc for you to learn, and grow your business.
You can understand the techniques, or methods that worked the best for others and test what will work for you.
In addition to this, Etsy shop critique is available for sellers to give and receive advice on a lot of things to help them with their businesses.
Picture Credit: Pexels
- Digital Products On Etsy
The last advantage of Etsy is, you can sell digital products besides creating your products every day. You can have some days off without making your own products and still earn money passively from your digital products.
There are many digital products that you could sell on Etsy, and you can find some ideas for digital products to help you get started.
Listing your digital products is not different from listing physical products, you can find out all the steps in Etsy’s seller handbook.
If you’re thinking, is Etsy worth selling on? I hope these 9 benefits of Etsy have managed to give you some insights about the platform.
Picture Credit: Pexels
Pros and Cons of Etsy – What Are The Cons?
Now I’m going to tell you why Etsy is bad, or in other words, the cons of Etsy.
- High Competition
Remember when I mentioned that Etsy has a pool of customers? Well, they also have a pool of sellers as well. The competition is really high because there are a lot of sellers selling almost the same products as yours in every niche.
The most sold items on Etsy are jewelry, wedding items, accessories, and many more. If you look at these most purchased Etsy items, there are sellers selling products in abundance in the same categories at different prices.
This makes it difficult to get customers and recurring sales. It’s hard to keep your customers as yours only because they are constantly distracted by the other sellers and the lower price options.
You really need to stand out, and compete with the other sellers to get loyal customers.
- Your Products Can Be Easily Copied
Copycats can imitate your products, and sell them for attractive prices. This is bad, I know, but it can happen!
As buyers, people are more inclined to go for the cheaper price, and this could be a reason to disrupt your business. You might wonder now, is Etsy safe? What if my products are copied by another seller?
This is a tough situation to prevent because often there are many of them, and you’d not have the time to go after each one of them. However, if you find you’ve been copied, you can find out the steps to protect your brand.
The best thing you can do is, to create your products in a way that sets you apart from all these duplicates and make it difficult for copycats to imitate.
- Lack Of Customer Loyalty
Retaining customers’ loyalty is every business’s goal. However, on Etsy, the customers come for Etsy not for you.
For example, if I bought a candle from your shop as a birthday gift for my friend, and my friend liked it so much because it smells so good.
She wants to buy some for her family, so she asks, “Where did you buy this candle”?I’d say, “I bought it from Etsy”.
Typically, if I buy something from an E-Commerce platform like Etsy, I’d say the name of the platform instead of the exact shop’s name.
This is what I meant when I said you don’t get to build customer loyalty for your brand. In reality, customers will search for the products, and choose the cheapest, fastest shipping option, ratings, etc from the pool of options presented in front of them.
You’ve got to do more work to get customers’ attention to YOUR brand which can be quite challenging.
- Brand Image Issues
You cannot design your Etsy store like a website. Etsy only gives you control of certain controls for your store. That means you can’t design your store as you like.
If you take a look at the stores on Etsy, they are all very similar in terms of their fonts, layout, colors, etc. It’s hard to create your brand’s image that tells your audience what sets you apart.
So, basically on Etsy, there are high chances for you to struggle with your brand image regardless of how high-end your products are. You’d struggle to make the differences obvious because you, and your competitors share the same features on the platform.
- Harder To Build Your Email List
Email marketing is so important for small business owners because you get to build a strong relationship with your customers, and build credibility as a business.
Growing your own email list will help to keep you and your business in the minds of your customers.
On Etsy, it can be quite challenging because you as the shop owner have no control over how, and where can you place the email list’s URL strategically.
You can still grow your email list, by adding the URL link on your description, shop’s banner, and other ways.
However, it’ll be an additional step for your customers to do. Getting your customers to sign up for your email list is a big task itself, so imagine if you’re making them take the extra effort to do it.
Picture Credit: Pexels
- Fees Will Add Up On Etsy
On Etsy, you’re not charged monthly, you’re charged a fee for each listing that you make in your shop. Additionally, they have other fees such as shipping, transaction, advertising, etc.
The fees are not unreasonable if you look at them separately, however, over time, they do add up! This makes sense because Etsy is not free, and the fees are for their services.
So, you need to keep in mind that Etsy comes at a cost. Before deciding to open your shop, consider these fees, and how much they’d eat up your profit margin. It will help you a lot when it comes to the pricing strategy of your products.
Picture Credit: Pexels
- It Has To Be Handmade, Vintage Items, Or Craft Supplies Only
Earlier I mentioned that you could sell digital products on the platform. However, you can’t sell digital products only in your shop.
You need to have handmade, vintage items or craft supplies as a part of the products sold in your shop. Remember, this is a platform that provides a marketplace for crafters, collectors, and artists to sell their handmade supplies.
So, that’s why you need to have products that fall into the category. If you’re someone who has only digital items as your main service, this may not be the right platform for you.
- You’re A Renter On Etsy
When you sell on Esty, you’re renting space on their marketplace. You’re required to comply with the rules as the sellers no matter how you feel about it and live by their terms.
They can decide to shut down your business if you don’t follow their rules. Etsy owns the platform, and it can bring in any rules, and regulations that are deemed to be necessary, and suitable for the business.
So, it’s hard to make your online business dreams come true if you don’t have full control over your own business. You have very little control over what can you do as a shop owner because ultimately it’s their business.
- Saturated Market
The next point is about the saturated Etsy market. Even if you think that your shop is unique and authentic, soon you’ll have an imitator, and they might sell their products for a cheaper price than what you’re offering!
This makes it hard for new sellers to make their brands seen. If you’re a new brand, you need to focus on marketing off of Etsy to find success.
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How Can You Sell On Etsy Outside Of The Us?
Can you sell on Etsy if you’re not from the US? The answer is YES! All you have to do is manage your international shipping rates when you set up your shipping profiles.
You can go to “shop manager”, then use the sidebar navigation to select “settings”, and then “shipping settings”, and then click on “ add a shipping profile”.
You can set the shipping rates for both local & international orders. Etsy’s help center has more information on this that you can check out!
Alternatively, you can mention your international shipping rates for each country on each listing. This way, you can choose the countries that you want to ship to by adding locations and filling in the costs.
If you need more help with this, watch this video for a better understanding.
If you’re wondering if Etsy is reliable, there are many successful Etsy sellers from outside of the US selling their products to a vast variety of audiences worldwide!
Is Etsy Better As A Part-Time Or Full-Time Gig?
So, you went through all the pros and cons of Etsy. Now, you really need to weigh them well to see if it suits you. It’s because the platform is the host for millions of sellers who are selling the same products as yours.
Hence, you really need to have your own unique selling proposition, that sets you apart from your competitors, so customers buy from you more.
There are many things that you need to consider before investing time, and money on Etsy. If you have a big plan for your business, use Etsy as a starting point, but not the only one.
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Faqs On The Pros And Cons Of Etsy.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Etsy?
Wondering what are the benefits of using Etsy? Learn more about each advantage below to determine if Etsy is the right marketplace for your brand:
- Easy, quick set-up & maintenance
- Built-in buyer pool
- Shows commitment to seller’s success
- Etsy’s marketing tools
- Provides opportunities for growth
- Etsy’s low listing fees
- Etsy’s tools
- Etsy’s impact strategy
What Are The Disadvantages Of Etsy?
So, what are the disadvantages of Etsy? Now let’s take a look at some of the “cons” that you might encounter.
- Etsy’s loyalty and brand image issues
- High competition
- Etsy’s marketing expectations
- Etsy’s SEO expectations
- Fees will add up
- All Etsy products are not handmade
- Price competitions
- No control over your shop
Is It Worth It To Sell On Etsy?
Yes, it is worth it to sell on Etsy! Selling on Etsy is worth it because it’s easy and quick to set up. It’s one of the best ways to introduce your handmade products to the masses online. It’s definitely a low-risk option compared to building a website.
Does Etsy Charge A Monthly Fee?
So, does Etsy charge a monthly fee? Yes, if you’re subscribed to their paid plan Etsy Plus. In Etsy’s standard plan, sellers are charged USD 0.20 per listing, transaction, and other fees when they make a sale. Sellers can sign up for a monthly subscription( Etsy Plus) that costs $10 USD per month.
Is Etsy Trustworthy to Buy From?
Wondering if is Etsy trustworthy to buy from? Yes, Etsy is legit. It’s a billion-dollar company that has been around since 2005 with millions of active users worldwide. Rest assured if you’re buying from Etsy because their payment system is secured, and they side with their customers when there are any problems with their purchases.
Do Etsy Sellers Make Good Money?
So, do Etsy sellers make good money? Some people make a steady $50 per month, while others make a full-time income and quit their jobs to sell on Etsy. It depends on the amount of effort you put in, your unique selling proposition, the demand for your products, and the marketing of the products.
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Pros and Cons of Etsy
Now that you have all the information on the Pros and Cons of Etsy in your hand I hope you can draw your own conclusion.
I’m not going to say Etsy is good or bad. I want you to go through all the pros and cons of selling on Etsy, and decide if it’s suitable to sell YOUR type of products.
There’s no denying that it’s a wonderful platform for beginners wanting to learn about the online selling world. There are success stories from people who started selling on Etsy part-time and now earning a full-time income.
Understanding Etsy better will help you weather the storm in your business. All the best in setting up your store on Etsy! Don’t worry if you have not figured out everything yet, you will learn along the way.
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