The Downside To Selling On Etsy

Etsy is usually the first go-to place for anybody to sell handmade items. The biggest question is whether or not it is as easy to sell on there as everyone makes out and is it worth your time and money? There’s actually a lot of cons to selling on the Etsy platform. A few of them can actually kill your business…

The cost - The basic fees are 20 cents per item listed and 3.5% of the selling price when an item sells. This may not sound like much, but think of it like this. If you are making $10,000 monthly on Etsy, you are losing 3.5% of your actual revenue to Etsy. Those fees could be used on advertising your brand or importing new materials.

Platform - When you are selling on Etsy, you are selling on their platform. This means that for any reason, Etsy can decide to ban you from their platform and kill your business. Let’s say you sell handmade watches on Etsy. Etsy can update their policy tomorrow and prohibit the sale of watches. That is a huge downside to selling on another platform.

Swamped - You’re not the only one selling handmade watches on Etsy. There are thousands of other competing with you. 90% of the Etsy sellers do not sell anymore than 30 products a month. This isn’t because they don’t have a great product, it’s just a competitive platform.

No freedom - Have an awesome marketing plan for your new wooden watch? Unfortunately, Etsy does not allow you to install third party plugins in within your shop. You can change a banner (woo!), but you can’t edit the layout. You can’t capture your audience’s email and you cannot shoot them last minute offers. Ecommerce sellers that aren’t using cart abandonment prevention tools are losing 35% of their potential business. Yikes!!

Related items - As your business becomes more and more popular, there will be more and more competitors. Having competitors can be good, but having competitors that produce fake alternatives to your product can be bad. These “fake items” can go for a quarter of your actual price and appear in the same search category. That can get pretty scary.

Here is an example of someone that have been an Etsy jewelry seller since 2010

“To be honest Etsy did work for me in the beginning in 2010 when I started my business. In the last two years or so it hasn’t worked as good for me. I just launched my new website and hoping for better results than Etsy. Jewelry is a saturated market and it is hard to be found on there. That being said the fees aren’t an issue because I believe that cost is part of running a business.”

Overall, I believe that Etsy is a good place to start. It’s easy, it’s relatively cheap, and you don’t have to supply all of your own buyers. It has it’s SEO advantage and has a well known platform, but if you are looking to build your own business and make a living out of it, then you should look at alternatives.

At Shoprocket, we believe that ecommerce should be easy and straight forward. With Shoprocket, you could add eCommerce to your existing website in 5 minutes (or less) and start earning profits right away. We have everything you need in one place with complete design freedom.

If you’re ready to give things a try, check out