If you're considering starting an online shop, you've probably considered using Etsy. Etsy is a popular eCommerce platform that focuses on handmade, vintage, and unique items. It's an excellent option for creative entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online.
However, before opening an Etsy shop, it's essential to understand the pros and cons. In this article, we'll discuss the pros and cons of selling on Etsy, so you can decide whether it's the right platform for your business.
What Is Etsy, And What Are Its Benefits As A Selling Platform?
Etsy is an eCommerce platform that focuses on handmade, vintage, and unique items. It's an excellent option for creative entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online. Etsy has a large customer base and offers a wide range of features to help you run your business, such as:
- A built-in payment system
- Robust shipping tools
- The ability to offer custom items
- Detailed seller stats
- Promoted listings (advertisements)
There are many benefits to selling on Etsy, but it's essential to understand the platform's fees and guidelines before you start.
Related: Is Etsy Worth It?
How Do You Start An Etsy Store, And What Are The Costs Involved?
Starting an Etsy store is easy and doesn't require any coding or design skills. You can sign up for a free Etsy account and start listing your products within minutes.
There are three main costs associated with selling on Etsy:
Listing fees: Etsy charges a $0.20 per listing fee, which is charged when you list an item for sale. This fee is charged per listing, regardless of whether the item sells.
Transaction fees: Etsy charges a 3.5% transaction fee on every item you sell.
Payment processing fees: If you use Etsy's built-in payment system, there is a 2% + $0.30 payment processing fee on every transaction.
In addition to the above fees, you will need to pay for shipping costs and any taxes that apply to your products.
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Starting An Etsy Store Compared To Other Selling Platforms?
Etsy is a popular platform for selling handmade, vintage, or unique items. However, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of using Etsy before you open a shop.
Pros of Selling on Etsy
A large customer base: With over 30 million active buyers, Etsy is an excellent platform for reaching a broad audience.
Wide range of features: Etsy offers a variety of features to help you run your business, such as built-in payment processing, shipping tools, and seller stats.
Support for custom items: Etsy allows you to offer custom-made items, which can be a great way to stand out from the competition.
Cons of Selling on Etsy
Fees: Etsy charges listing, transaction, and payment processing fees. These fees can eat into your profits, so it's important to factor them into your pricing.
Competition: With over 2 million active sellers, competition on Etsy can be fierce. It's essential to make sure your products stand out from the crowd.
Guidelines: Etsy has strict guidelines you need to follow to list your products. This can be challenging if you're not familiar with the platform.
Etsy is an excellent option for creative entrepreneurs who want to sell their products online. However, it's essential to understand the platform's fees and guidelines before you start.
How Do You Make Your Etsy Shop Stand Out From The Competition
There are a few key things you can do to make your Etsy shop stand out from the competition:
Use High-Quality Product Photos
Product photos are one of the most important things buyers consider when purchasing. Ensure your images are well-lit and showcase your products in the best possible light.
Write Detailed Product Descriptions
In addition to photos, buyers will also read your product descriptions before making a purchase. Make sure your explanations are clear, concise, and informative.
Offer Unique Items
One of the best ways to stand out on Etsy is to offer unique items that can't be found anywhere else. This should be easy to do if you're selling handmade or vintage items.
Use Keywords Wisely
When buyers search for products on Etsy, they use keywords. Ensure your titles and descriptions include relevant keywords, so your products appear in search results.
In addition to making your shop stand out, you'll also need to use marketing strategies to attract buyers. Some effective marketing strategies for Etsy shops include:
Social media: Use social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook to promote your Etsy shop. Make sure to use relevant hashtags so that your posts show up in search results.
Etsy Ads: Pay for advertising on Etsy to get your products in front of potential buyers.
Blogging: Write blog posts about topics related to your products and include links to your Etsy shop. This will help drive traffic to your shop from other websites.
How Does Shipping Work On Etsy
Etsy has a built-in shipping tool that makes it easy to calculate and print shipping labels for your orders. When you create a listing, you'll be able to enter your shipping costs and delivery times. Etsy also has a set of guidelines that you need to follow when shipping items internationally.
Some of the things you need to keep in mind when shipping internationally include:
1. Ensure your items are adequately packaged: Items that are inadequately packaged can be damaged during shipping, which could lead to a return or refund.
2. Include a customs form: When you ship an item internationally, you must include a customs form. This form will list your package's contents and each item's value.
3. Use tracked shipping: Etsy requires sellers to use tracked shipping for all international orders. This helps ensure that both buyers and sellers have a record of the shipment in case of any problems.
Related: How Long Does Etsy Take To Deliver Orders?
Common Problems Sellers Experience On Etsy, And How Can You Avoid Them
There are a few common problems that sellers experience on Etsy:
Account suspension: Etsy may suspend your account if you violate their guidelines. This can be a significant problem if you rely on Etsy for your income.
Payment issues: There have been some reports of payment issues, such as buyers being unable to use specific payment methods or sellers not receiving payments on time.
Shipping problems: Shipping problems can occur if you don't package items correctly or if you don't use tracked shipping for international orders.
To avoid these problems, familiarize yourself with Etsy's guidelines and policies. Additionally, stay up-to-date on any changes that Etsy makes to its platform. By following these tips, you can minimize the chances of having problems with your Etsy shop.
So, should you start an Etsy store? It really depends on your specific business and what you hope to achieve. If you're looking for a creative outlet and want to share your handmade products with the world, go for it! But if you're expecting overnight success or are counting on Etsy to be your only sales channel, you may be in for a disappointment. With careful planning and execution, however, starting an Etsy store can be a great way to build your brand and reach new customers. Need help getting started? Simpl Fulfillment is here to help. We offer fulfillment services for small businesses of all sizes, so contact us today to get started!
Recommended: How to Choose Between Etsy and Amazon Homemade