There are numerous e-commerce platforms where sellers can sell their products, but Etsy is the most popular e-commerce platform that specializes in selling handmade items and has an established audience.
In this article, we'll take a look at how to sell on Etsy and the pros and cons of selling on Etsy to help you decide if it's right for your business.
What is Etsy?
Etsy is an online marketplace like Amazon or eBay, but unlike those platforms where you can sell just about anything, on Etsy you can only sell handmade items, vintage items (objects over 20 years old), or craft supplies.
While handmade products should be made by you; You can sell items made by others as long as they belong to the vintage category or craft supplies. So you do n't need to be a craftsman to sell on Etsy .
You can also sell these products on the platform by cooperating with distributors of handicraft materials, or you can buy old clothes, decorative objects or accessories at places such as flea markets and sell them on Etsy. However, every item listed in the 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 vintage and craft supplies categories.
Etsy vs Amazon: How Big Is Etsy?
Etsy has more than 4.3 million registered sellers and 81.9 active buyers as of 2020, and the site's average daily traffic figures are quite high. According to Ahrefs, Etsy is currently the 110th most traded site in the US, with over 67 million monthly visits .
Etsy's market share is quite small compared to giants like Amazon, but still, in 2020 the platform generated $1.7 billion in revenue. By comparison, Amazon generated $386.1 billion and eBay $10.271 billion in revenue.
Etsy represents only a small fraction of the e-commerce market share alongside Amazon and even eBay. However, it has a very different target audience. With Etsy, the vast majority of buyers look specifically for handmade and vintage items.
Due to the authenticity of the audience on Etsy, you cannot expect a lot of sales from your Etsy store compared to other giant platforms.
What Are the Advantages and Disadvantages of Selling on Etsy?
Selling on a platform like Etsy is a great way to start or expand your ecommerce business, but is opening an Etsy shop the best option for you?
You can make up your mind by taking a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages of selling on Etsy below.
What Can You Sell on Etsy?
If you want to list an item on Etsy, it must be handmade, vintage or handcrafted. Therefore, you cannot import and manufacture on Etsy as sellers do with their private label products on platforms like Amazon or eBay. However, you can produce your product through a manufacturer, but it must be your own design.
Handmade items must be designed or made by the seller.
There are two types of handmade items on Etsy: those designed and made by the seller, and those designed and made only by the seller and made by someone else.
For the first type, sellers are called “makers”. Under this category, you need to be involved in the process of making items with your own hands (or tools) in order to list them on Etsy.
You should also include every person involved in the making and design of the item in the "About" section and use your own photos when listing your products.
For the second type, vendors are called "designers". Designers come up with an original design, pattern or prototype, but not the actual product.
For example, you can design the graphics for a t-shirt, but you don't have to produce it yourself. As a designer, you are allowed to seek help to assist in the production of the item.
Vintage items must be 20 years or older at the time the seller lists them. You cannot list newer items even if they are of an older style. These items do not have to be handmade or functional.
Craft supplies are items shoppers can use to craft. These include tools, materials or supplies.
For example, you can sell tools that sewing people can use to make handmade fabrics, but you cannot sell mass-produced scarves made by a manufacturer.
Finally, to be able to sell on Etsy , you must have at least one product to list at the same time you open the store. Of course, as in other e-commerce platforms, alcohol, weapons, drugs, etc. The sale of products is prohibited.
Seller Fees on Etsy
Etsy is free to sign up for, but there are two main Etsy listing fees you'll encounter every time you list and sell products.
Listing fee: Each time you list a new item, you must pay a $0.20 fee. This is charged each time the item is sold and then offered for sale again, not just the first time you list it.
Transaction fee charged each time you make a sale: Etsy charges 5% of the list price of the item you are selling.
For example, if you sell an item for $20 and shipping costs are $3, Etsy will only charge you 5% of that $20, which is $1. Etsy will not charge you any fees if you do not sell the product.
Then there are other fees and charges that may be charged, such as shipping costs, taxes or advertising, depending on the type of product you are selling.
Should You Sell On Etsy?
We mentioned above that only craft supplies, handmade or vintage items are sold on Etsy. So if you want to sell more, don't spend all your effort on Etsy. Instead, consider creating your own website first.
If you sell mass-produced products and want to scale, Amazon may be a better fit.
Of course, if you have a unique product to sell and want to build a creative brand, Etsy is definitely the best platform for it.
Another thing to consider is that although there are customization options on Etsy, the design of each online store on this platform is quite limited.
How to Sell on Etsy?
Setting up your Etsy shop is pretty simple. Getting started involves just following a few key steps, and there are plenty of resources directly from Etsy to support new sellers.
1. Set up your store
Go to Etsy.com and click Sell on Etsy , then open your Etsy shop. Follow the onscreen prompts to complete the initial boot information. But first you need to choose your store's language, country and currency.
2. Choose your store name
Next, you need to choose an acceptable store name. Etsy rules require the name to be 4-20 characters long, without any spaces or special characters. Your store name may not contain profanity or be in use. If the name you originally wanted isn't available, Etsy will automatically generate aliases that might work for you.
Related Content: Finding a Brand Name, How to Find a Catchy Brand Name?
3. List your products
Go to Shop Manager and find the Add a listing option. To start listing products, you need to add photos and select thumbnails that customers can see. You will then need to enter a description, inventory and pricing as well as shipping information.
In Etsy's handy seller guides, you can find lots of information about the type and size of photos required, guidelines for making descriptions searchable, and other important details to help customers find your products easily.
4. Add payment methods
In this step, you need to add information about how to get paid. In the US, you can get paid using Etsy Payments, and you may also need to link a credit card as a form of authentication.
Note that you should also check all billing and fee details about selling on Etsy.
5. Open your store to start selling on Etsy
After following all the steps, you can click Open your shop to make your store visible to everyone.
In summary, we can say that Etsy is an e-commerce platform with a specific target audience, so it is not suitable for everyone. As your only store or in addition to other marketplaces, it's a good platform to sell if your products fit the description.
However, as we mentioned before, don't settle for Etsy, especially if you are aiming to grow. Etsy can help you increase your income, but you shouldn't just stick to Etsy.