I had a conversation last week with a friend who asked me, “So how is Etsy?” People ask me that a lot, so it wasn’t an odd question overall. What was odd though, is that she was waiting to hear all of my woes about a marketplace gone bad.
Etsy is not perfect…for sure! Even with all of its flaws, however, I still make more sales on Etsy than any other platform.
In fact, I happen to think Etsy is more relevant than ever in the world of handmade selling, and if you are starting an online craft business (or bringing your craft business online), you should start with Etsy.
Why You Should Use Etsy When Starting An Online Craft Business
- Etsy has traffic. In 2017, Etsy had 28.6 million buyers. And guess what! They were all shopping for handmade goods. This means that when customers arrive at your Etsy storefront, they ready to purchase exactly what you are selling.
- Etsy is easy to set up. You only really need to have a store name and some photos of a product you are selling. You don’t have to buy hosting or set up a website. You don’t have to pack up your wares and sell them at a craft show. You just need to fill out a couple of fields online.
- Etsy SEO is easy to learn. SEO stands for search engine optimization. When you have an effective SEO strategy, potential customers are able to find your products when they type the right keywords into the Etsy search bar. Etsy SEO is pretty straightforward (for now) when compared to Google SEO, for example.
- Etsy is fairly inexpensive. When starting an online craft business, Etsy costs only 20 cents per listing. As you sell items, you will also be charged transaction and selling fees. While the fees can be a bummer, selling on Etsy costs less than selling on Amazon Handmade and other marketplaces. Plus, those fees work for you by bringing the right traffic to your shop.
- Shipping is simple on Etsy. Etsy makes it easy to purchase discounted shipping (both domestic and international) directly from them. I’ve also found that setting up shipping profiles is simpler on Etsy than it is on Amazon, Shopify, or WooCommerce. Another bonus is that Etsy makes it easy to set up calculated shipping costs, meaning the buyer pays exactly what your product will cost to ship.
- Etsy is low risk. When you are just starting your handmade business, Etsy is a low-risk venture. 20 cents is not going to break you. If things go well, you can build your business up from the solid foundation you have started on Etsy. If you find that the handmade world isn’t for you, you can simply close shop.
- People know Etsy. Etsy has built a reputation that most customers trust. When you sell on Etsy, customers know what to expect, and they feel comfortable using the platform. It’s also nice to be able to talk about your Etsy store when you are discussing your handmade business with craft show attendees, friends, market organizers, and retail shops.
- Influencers search Etsy first. Whenever I am publicly featured, it’s because someone found me on Etsy. Sure it’s great to have your own website, but if you aren’t on Etsy, people with influence may not find you!
So if you’re thinking about starting an online craft business, consider Etsy first. It’s probably not going to be your last stop on this business journey, but it will help you gain footing and move forward.