There are many e-commerce platforms for sellers to sell their wares, but few specialize in selling handcrafted items to the mainstream audience. Etsy is one of them.
In this article, we'll look at the pros and cons of selling on Etsy to help you decide if it's right for your business.
Related reading:Amazon Handmade versus Etsy [Guia 2022]
- What is Etsy?
- How big is Etsy compared to Amazon?
- What are the pros and cons of selling on Etsy?
- What can and cannot be sold on Etsy?
- How much does it cost to have a shop on Etsy?
- Is it worth selling not Etsy?
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace likeamazonasÖEbay, but unlike those platforms where you can sell almost anything, on Etsy you can only sell handmade, vintage (items over 20 years old) or craft materials.
You can make handmade products or sell items made by other people as long as they fall into the category of vintage or handmade items.
So, you don't have to be a crafting genius to sell on Etsy. You can also look for craft supplies retailers and sell them on the platform, or buy old clothes, decor or accessories at flea markets and sell them on Etsy.
But rememberResale in the Handmade category is not allowed.. All products listed in the Etsy Handmade category must be made or designed by you (the seller) or someone who is part of your business.Resale is only allowed in the Antiques and Crafts categories.
etsy vs Amazon: How big is Etsy compared to Amazon?
The Etsy marketplace has over 4.3 million registered sellers and 81.9 active buyers in 2020, and the average daily traffic to the site is staggering. In fact, according to Ahrefs, it's currently the110th most visited websitein the United States with more than 67 million monthly visits.
Etsy's market share is small compared to giants like Amazon. In 2020, the platform generated $1.7 billion in revenue. In contrast, Amazon had $386.1 billion in sales and eBay $10.271 billion. However, Houzz is below that with sales of $253 million in 2020.
Etsy only represents a small part of the e-commerce market next to Amazon or even eBay, but they have very different target groups. With Etsy, you can trust that the vast majority of shoppers are specifically looking for handcrafted and vintage items.
Due to the specific nature of Etsy's audience, you may not expect as many sales from your Etsy store compared to other major platforms.
What are the pros and cons of selling on Etsy?
Selling on other platforms like Etsy is a way to start or grow your e-commerce business, but starting an Etsy store is the best option for you or if you need to use Amazon or like many start your own website withShopify,WooCommerce, or another eCommerce platform?
Here are some of the pros and cons of selling on Etsy:
- Easy to set up and use
- established audience
- Access to a forum for sellers
- Etsy algorithms help with new listings
- The listing fee is cheap.
- Appears in Google searches
- Access to analysis tools
- Access to promotional tools.
- Allows the sale of digital products (printouts, workbooks, digital planners, clipart, SVG and DXF files)
Contras do Etsy
- Market and competitive prices.
- Difficult to rank in Google searches
- The market only focuses on handmade and vintage items and craft supplies.
- presence of imitators
- Bad seller support
- Buyer emails cannot be collected.
- saturated market
- limited brand
- Limited by own production facilities
- Most of the products sold on Etsy are very time consuming for sellers to create. You have to make the product and at the same time own the brand.
- Your inventory depends on the speed of your work
- You have to place the orders yourself.
What can you sell on Etsy?
Etsy is a vintage and craft marketplace and ranks #1 in the most craft businesses category.
Here's the bad news: if you want to list a product on Etsy, it must be handmade, antique, or artisanal. So you can't import and produce on Etsy like sellers on platforms like Amazon or eBay can with their private label products. However, you can make your product through a manufacturer, but it must be your own design.
Check out our free guide
If you're looking for ways to manufacture and import a product from China, check out our guide.How to Find the Right Product to Import from China and Sell on Amazon in 2022.
- handmade productsmust be designed and/or manufactured by Seller.
There are two types of handmade products on Etsy: those designed and made by the seller, and those designed only by the seller but made by someone else.
For the first type, sellers are called "manufacturers". In this category, you must be involved in making the items with your own hands (or tools) to be listed on Etsy.
Also, you should include everyone involved in the item creation and design process in the About section and use your own photos when listing your products.
For the second type, salespeople are called "designers". They propose an original design, sample or prototype, but do not manufacture the actual product.
For example, you can create the graphic for a T-shirt, but you don't have to do it yourself. As a designer, you can request assistance in making the item.
- old productsMust be 20 years or older at time of listing by seller. You cannot post newer items, even if they are in an older style. These items don't have to be handmade or functional.
- craft suppliesThese are items that buyers can use to create crafts. This includes tools, materials or ingredients.
For example, you can sell tools that allow seamstresses to create handcrafted fabrics, but you cannot sell scarves that are mass-produced by a manufacturer.
Finally,To sell on Etsy, you must list at least one product when you open the store.So keep this in mind.
Of course, as with other e-commerce platforms, there are products that areprohibitedsuch as alcohol, weapons, drugs, etc.
Examples of prohibited resale products
- Sell items made or designed by another seller that is not part of your store.
- Sell traditional crafts or fair trade items that you didn't design or make yourself.
- Repackaging commercial items (for example, a gift basket made from non-crafted items).
- Recreate a collection of other people's craft products that you didn't design or make yourself.
Seller Fees on Etsy
Signing up for Etsy is free, but there are two main Etsy listing fees that apply whenever you list an item and make a sale.
- Listing Fee. You will be charged $0.20 each time you publish a new article. This is not just calculated for the first listing, but for each sale and subsequent re-listing of the product.
- transaction fee, which is calculated for each sale. Etsy will deduct 5% from the displayed listing price.
For example, if you sell an item for $20 and the shipping cost is $3, Etsy will only charge you 5% of that $20, which is $1. If you don't sell the item, Etsy won't charge you.
so there issome other fees and chargeswhich may or may not apply depending on the type of product you are selling, such as B. Shipping, tax or advertising costs.
Should you sell on Etsy?
Well, you can start selling on Etsy as an additional sales platform and arobust platform thanAmazon or eBayas your main source of income, but it depends on the type of product you are offering. Keep in mind that you can only sell handmade or vintage items and craft supplies on Etsy.
If you want to make more sales, don't put all your eggs in one basket on Etsy. You should probably think twiceCreate your own website like Shopify or Woocommerce.
If you want to sell products in bulk and at scale, Amazon might be a better fit in that case.
If you have a unique product to sell and want to build a brand out of your creativity, Etsy is definitely the platform for that.
Another thing to keep in mind is that, although there are customization options on Etsy, the design of each online store on this platform is quite limited and you will not be able to show the essence of your products or creations.
Etsy is an ecommerce platform that has a specific audience, so it's not for everyone. If your products match the description, it's a good place to sell, either as your sole business or as a complement to other marketplaces.
But as we mentioned earlier, you should never put all your eggs in one basket, especially when it comes to growth. Etsy can help you increase your income, but you shouldn't rely on it alone.
Do you sell on Etsy? If so, is Etsy your platform's main source of revenue? Let us know in the comments section!
Last updated: January 18, 2023
36 minutes of reading