Why You Shouldn’t Shop on Etsy

Now, I’m not someone to bash on things but here me out. Etsy is the worst for small, semi-established, businesses.

Now I know that’s a big claim but note my caveat - ‘semi-established’. 

If you’re not familiar, Etsy is a maker marketplace, somewhere where you can find unique and homemade items online instead of having to rely on in-person events or brick & mortar stores.

Etsy is a wonderful platform for those just getting started. They make set up, product listings, checkout, and all the other fixings soooo easy. They set all of that for you which makes getting your idea off the ground all the much faster. At the beginning you just need a place to start, to get the idea off the ground. But as you grow, you learn. And you learn just how much Etsy is taking out of your sales and who is offering a better deal. What is Etsy taking? Here’s just a couple examples. 

First, and I think the most important, you’re shopping on Etsy. For makers, brand recognition and customer retention is so important. You want customers knowing how to shop again and how to connect in the future. When someone shops on Etsy where do they say they got it? Etsy. More often than not they say they got the item on Etsy - not mentioning the company name nor their website. That’s a loss right there.

Of course, this is great for Etsy. They want people coming back & shopping on their site. But if the true mission of this maker platform is to support makers then they’re falling short. After a purchase, direct them to the brands website if they have one or minimally their social media. That is such an easy way to support a brand. 

But it doesn’t stop there.

Fees. So many fees. 

Listing fee, transaction fee, shipping fee, so many fees. Depending on your product you can lose money purely because of the fees. This is the main reason I no longer sell on Etsy. The number just didn’t make sense. (I never saw much success on Etsy but that’s neither here nor there). Etsy takes 5% of the sale and then on top of that 5% of the shipping costs. It adds up and at the end of the day it’s hurting sellers.

Now let’s talk ads. (Not getting better right?)

On Etsy, ads are mandatory - you can’t even opt out! Now advertising is important, everyone knows that but on Etsy they pick the product, they choose the ads run time, and if someone purchases from one of these ads the percentage Etsy takes is higher. Think 15% higher. Again that adds up and sellers lose more money. 

Etsy is a great resource and has become a go to place for many shoppers but it’s not great and over these last few years the fees are slowly increasing.

So what can shoppers do?

  1. When you find a maker research their website and purchase directly from them
  2. Follow them on social media
  3. Sign up for their email list if they have one

All of these are SO easy. Do they take a couple extra minutes? Yes, but they’ll make the world of difference to independent makers. 

So there it is. Why you shouldn’t shop on Etsy. Now, I’m not saying to not support makers. There are some who don’t have their own website and Etsy is their only resource. So let’s support them and shop directly with the others, yeah? Yeah. 

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1 comment

Despite opening my Etsy shop last year, I always try to research a makers website and purchase directly from them whenever possible

Kate Frances

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