If you sell and design your own unique hand-made items, Etsy can present a tremendous opportunity for you to build your business . Etsy has a tremendous membership base, which can translate into substantial sales opportunities for your crafts business. However, as with any business decision, it makes sense to consider both the pros and cons of setting up shop on Etsy.
What we’ve done below is taken some of the pros and cons that we’ve been made aware of through interviews and conversations with Etsy store owners and presented them to you in one simplified blog post. We’re going to start with some of the most common reasons that craft businesses develop a presence on Etsy and we’ll follow those points up with a few alternate angles as to why you might want to build your craft business without Etsy.
Expands Your Reach
The internet is a wonderful and legitimate way for a stay at home mom or entrepreneur to earn a comfortable living or just some extra cash. An Etsy craft business is particularly helpful for those that live in low population areas to reach a wider affluent audience.
The Right Kind of Buyers
Another nice thing about Etsy that makes it a great place to do business is that unlike selling your items on a general marketplace, like Ebay, buyers on Etsy are looking for something unique.
Ready Made Ecommerce System
If you were to open up your own online store, you’d have to worry about a lot more than making products that your customers will love. Some of the things you’d have to address would be:
- Payment processing
- Freight tracking
- Web design
- Website traffic
Protect Your Inventory
Unfortunately, the internet has its share of unscrupulous or even just careless shoppers. An Etsy craft business gets its fair share of both. So, if contacted to send free samples and promised a large order in return, be careful.
Try to avoid sending out merchandise or samples until it has been paid for. Since Etsy’s payment options include bank transfers, it’s always a good idea to make sure that payment has cleared your bank before shipping orders.
Substantial Competition from Other Shop Owners
Another thing about Etsy that’s different than running your own crafts store is that there’s so much competition on Etsy. This is undoubtedly due to Etsy’s low barrier to entry.
No Reset Button
In the event that you were ever to lose access to your Etsy shop there is no quick-fix for getting your old clientele back. This means that it could prove difficult to re-establish your store elsewhere. This is a risk that you take not just with Etsy but when you open a shop anywhere where you’re using someone else’s infrastructure.
In closing, as with any business, opening an Etsy storefront will require an adjustment period. You’ll have to learn what works for your crafts or applique business versus what doesn’t. At the end of the day, it’s ultimately your decision on whether or not to use Etsy to grow your crafts business. However, we hope that being aware of the pros and cons make this decision a little bit easier for you.
Is there anything that we left out or do you have any points that you’d like to share with us? Drop us a comment and let us know.