Etsy has changed a lot over the years
For the existing sellers out there, you’re very familiar with the changes that Etsy has made over the last few years, including the controversial ones like the forced opt-in on external ads. Well, is Etsy still worth it? Or is it worth considering another platform.
Etsy is still a good platform
Let’s start with the positives. Etsy still drives traffic. If your audience is generally found on Etsy, you’re still in good shape. Etsy is easy to use and its set up in a way to not overcomplicate your shop.
Let’s look at the positives…
No coding required
The audience is there already there
It’s easy to get started without buying a domain (but you should anyways)
The community is strong, off of the platform
If your margins are high or you can handle volume, you can make money
Easy to add, revise and optimize your listings if they’re not budging (SEO)
Easy to use reporting tools
Great for digital downloads (design & embroidery files, cards & wall art)
So what’s wrong with Etsy?
Etsy has been faced with a ton of scrutiny lately. It can be as expensive as setting up your own site when you factor in the additional ad budget that they’re encouraging you to buy. Between premium packages, ads (on and off the platform) and the increasing fees, it is becoming a pay-to-play platform.
Here are some of the reasons why Etsy isn’t as good as it used to be
- Fees went up a LOT, and even higher as of April, 2022
- There is a lot of dropshipping shops that are not handmade items
- Those communities mentioned above, can be toxic AF
- You can spend almost 20% in fees when you sell an item (factoring in ads)
- It’s difficult to stay connected with your buyers within the platform
Would Etsy still work for you?
Being on the Etsy platform for several years now, I’ve seen the negatives come through with a forced opt-in with offline ads for high volume sellers ($10k+ in revenue) and increased fees. I’ve also seen some positives in their reporting and seeing their platform becoming even easier to use.
All of these changes just mean that the prices become inflated and the buyers end up paying more. If you can afford to sell your products and still turn a profit, Etsy is still a fantastic platform. The good news is, the past is the past and for new sellers on Etsy, you won’t know how good it was, so ignorance is bliss! I still plan on staying on Etsy, and I’ll probably share my tips on how to optimize your keywords and to help create a well-oiled machine (If my input means anything lol).
If you haven’t signed up for Etsy yet, and you’d like to get started for free along with 40 free listings, click my referral link. Getting signed up from one of these is the most risk-free way to get rolling.
Click here to sign up for Etsy with 40 free listings to get you selling.
If you’re not sold on Etsy
For those who are challenged with the Etsy model and you think you can do it better, I have faith in you! Whether you’re selling a product that doesn’t fit the mold of the Etsy shopper or you know how to create your own online store with complete control over your own digital marketing. Go for it! You’ll need a longer list of things to get started. I chose Woocommerce over Shopify since I have several websites, so I save a lot per month combining a lot of the services required. If you’re starting with one simply shop, I DO recommend Shopify. If you are a bit savvier with web things, I suggest my route. Here’s what I use (any of the links below will save you money if you decide to use them):
- WordPress/Woocommerce with the Divi paid theme – the support is great and worth the investment (lifetime plan)
- Square payment processing – easy to use for online/offline transactions
- Siteground web hosting – I use the Grow Big plan as I have multiple websites, no hidden fees and works super well
If you’re about to start a shop, Etsy is still the lowest cost of entry to get started. As you learn, grow and see what else is out there, it wouldn’t hurt to explore another avenue.
That said, if your products don’t exactly fit within Etsy’s community guidelines or you’re a computer whiz with some big goals in mind, you should start off with your own website.