Sunday , 21 April 2019
This article may surprise a few of my long-time readers, as it's no secret, Etsy and I don't always get along. <- That links to my infamous shop suspension story, and it's also the article that's gotten me interviewed by both the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.

31 Days to Build a Creative Business: Why Sell on Etsy? {Day 10}

31 Days to Build a Creative Business: Why Sell on Etsy? {Day 10}

Welcome back for Day 10 of the Build a Creative Business 31 Day Series! Today we’re going to discuss Etsy, and why you should consider using that marketplace.

You can find all the 31 Days articles HERE.

This article may surprise a few of my long-time readers, as it’s no secret, Etsy and I don’t always get along. <- That links to my infamous shop suspension story, and it’s also the article that’s gotten me interviewed by both the Wall Street Journal and Time Magazine.

Nevertheless, I still sell on Etsy, and I regularly encourage other creative businesses to create an online storefront there as well. Why?

Etsy is a recognizable website

And that makes customers trust it. While many people are still unfamiliar with (my own) Energy Shop Jewelry, millions are familiar with Etsy.com. With all of the creative businesses popping up online every day, selling on Etsy adds an extra dose of reputation and accountability to your site.

People aren’t sure who to trust online, but when they shop sites like Etsy, Ebay, or Amazon, they know they have a place to report fraud, non-delivery, and offer feedback. When you’re building a brand from scratch, selling on a recognizable website adds instant credibility.

Etsy is well-organized

Well, it’s well-organized for a new business with low inventory, anyway. It’s clean, simple, and does its job in showcasing your products, brand, and reputation (i.e. your feedback, previous sales, and admirers). Sometimes new creative business owners think they’ll do better off on their own rather than lumped in an already-crowded marketplace. The problem with this is that your site will lack uniformity, and you need your customers to make sense of who you are and what you’re selling upon arrival.

It offers simple set-up

If you have a product and a few good pictures of it, you can create an online storefront for free and open shop today. Etsy is extremely user-friendly, and it will take even the most technically-challenged individual less than an hour to start their own creative business.

Once open, Etsy has more user-friendly shop tools that will help you keep watch of your site’s views, sales, and income earned. It also provides tracking information, allowing you to see the sources of your traffic and keywords used. These stats help you to identify which of your marketing efforts are working and what your customers are looking for – invaluable research for a budding creative business.

It has tools that make selling easier for the beginner

One of my favorite aspects of selling on Etsy has always been the seller apps they offer to help with the running and marketing of your business. There are nine pages (and counting) of tools that connect and enhance your selling experience, and those apps are created to add ease and function to your new shop. Which leads me to my next point …

Etsy is a starter home

For me, it was like a gateway drug to the world of creative entrepreneurship. It’s a brand- and reputation-builder. It’s made as a place for creatives to build, but it’s very possible to outgrow its 26-pages of rules that are ever-evolving, but limiting (and sometimes vague) all the same.

When it comes down to it, one look at Etsy’s home page will tell you whether this website is or isn’t for you. It’s fresh, clean, organic, and artsy. If that’s your style, it’s going to be a perfect start for your creative business. That does it for Day 10, but before we go, please share:

Why do YOU sell on Etsy?

P.S. Tim and I mean business when it comes to helping you build yours.  In fact, we’re launching a course to help you do just that: Build a Better Creative Business. Join us in this live classroom where proven experts in the field will show you how to stand out in a crowded marketplace and gain more customers for your shop. Click here to learn more.

31 Days

Get registered for the webinar with Lisa HERE. 

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27 comments

  1. I do have an Etsy shop and I am working on my own stand-alone shop. I choose to maintain an Etsy shop particularly for custom orders and for items not sold in craft shows. I especially like to use it for custom orders because its easier to track the transactions and I feel it makes the customer (especially one met at craft shows/fairs) more willing to make a purchase if they don’t know you personally. I feel better about it too.

  2. I had my own home based business for many years before branching out to Etsy. I love being on Etsy because instead of being limited to selling locally, now I sell my items to customers all over the world. It’s an amazing feeling to know that the hidden rod pocket valance designs that I came up with, are now hanging in homes, in so many places.
    Etsy is set up in a way that makes it easy for anyone to start or expand a business.

  3. I sell on Etsy because it works!

  4. I have been selling on etsy for over three years and have had success because it is run like a business, not a hobby. I am constantly adding new designs, creating treasury’s and “faving” other sellers designs and/or products. Each customer receives my jewelry in a wrapped gift box, giving them a few seconds of anticipation before opening! Return customer’s is the greatest compliment to any shop…

  5. I do not know what I need to do to get more looks on Etsy & to make more sales. I have only sold 1 pr.of wedding glasses since I joined. A lot of my products,like the painted tile backsplashes are very labor intensive….also, I would like to know if it’s okay to post my own things on Pineterest?
    Regards,
    Marjorie

    • We’ll cover a lot of things you can tweak if you’re not getting sales throughout this 31-day series, Marjorie. As far as Pinterest, let me preface by saying: I’m not studied up on the rules, but I absolutely pin my own items occasionally. We’re also talking about that more later in the series. Thanks for your comment!

    • Marjorie, I am like you. I started out on Etsy, but had no luck. One sale in a year, and it was to a friend of a friend, so the sale didn’t come from Etsy. It seemed to me that unless you listed it in the last few hours, your item is buried back so far in the listings that no one will ever find it. I finally gave up and went to Artfire. They rely on SEO, so it took me a long time to get going there, but I am finally just now getting several hundered item views per day. Hopefully it will keep increasing. It’s been a long, hard road and if I knew what the secret was I would have to spend all my time in these forums researching it!

  6. LindaLMartinArtist

    I dont sell a lot on Etsy but I love the easy way it is to show off my work. It is really interactive with a lot of different venues and Ive met and networked with a lot of awesome people. I wonder if I have too many ideas. One of my friends has figured out her “one special thing” And she is taking orders through her etsy store like crazy. She is booked up through the Second week of October.

    Truth is every time etsy(or any selling venue) rolls out a new change I don’t have time to study up on it. I wish there was a way to stream line those rules like they have their listing features. I love their listing features.
    :)

    Maybe if I could figure out how to do a wedding cake topper with one of my MADC paintings. Somehow I don’t think paint would taste very good in the icing. ;)

  7. I sell on Etsy for many reasons you stated. It’s very easy to create listings. My stuff sells well. I love it! I could definitely see a day when I might outgrow it. There are things I wish Etsy did/allowed and they don’t, things that would help my business in the long run. I’ve had over 1000 sales since opening in Sept of 2011 (including a very slow first year) so I cannot complain!

  8. I sell on Etsy because I love it :-) I think it’s the best place to sell your handmade, eco-friendly, up-cycled items which is perfect for me. I sell at Flea Markets, too. The whole point of Etsy is to enable artisans and craftspeople to connect with buyers. I don’t do wholesale but I’ve worked with a few boutiques in 1,5 year, they found me on Etsy. I get really great messsages about my stuff and made some fellow Etsy friends.

  9. I continue to have an Etsy shop for the reasons you mentioned. It’s fairly simple and is a trusted marketplace. I am working a full time day job and don’t have the time it would take to market myself enough selling through a private website so I appreciate the traffic Etsy brings. As my inventory grows (and because I don’t make a lot of the same item over and over), I sometimes get frustrated with the limitations of Etsy’s environment. I would love to have items listed in multiple sections instead of just one. Hope to have decent success some day instead of just existing.

  10. ETSY is great! Its user friendly, reputable and like others have said, there are big names/brands scouting for artians everyday for new ideas/concepts etc. Works for me.

    http://www.etsy.com/shop/accessoriesbyabiye

    • So true! That reminds me of Pixiebell! She’s the top-selling knitter on Etsy, and at the time we talked, she was getting some big features on TV … she said everyone simply found her on Etsy :) Thanks, Abiye.

  11. I love etsy for the ease of setting up your own shop in a very affordable and professional way. And the community spirit and help of the teams, and constant advice Etsy shares to help beginners succeed! I’ve built my shop in about 3 years to full time and was able to quit my “real” job to do what I love!

  12. Selling on Etsy has offered me the opportunity to incorporate the new ideas and lessons into my shop. The learning curve to earning a PHD in Micro Biz Entrepreneur is not a curve, but more like a straight line to Mars and the rocket leaves daily.

  13. I have been on Etsy for years but only started taking the shop seriously this May. I have been working to add listings, refine tags, photos etc. but to be honest the sales aren’t there although the views, likes,favorites, etc. are. I feel like people come to the shop and then it stops. I need to figure out what is wrong in my shop. Very frustrated… I sell mostly through friends and outside sales.

  14. And of course I forgot to leave my shop link: http://www.etsy.com/shop/mamapicturethis

    Any thoughts MORE than welcome. I feel like if I can figure out what’s stopping folks once they enter the shop, I could do well.

  15. I sell on Etsy because of all the reasons you mentioned, plus the camaraderie I have found there in the teams. I create primitive and folk art felt items for women, and my peers seems to be all women, and are incredibly supportive. I’m on several teams, and two in particular have been extremely helpful to me. Additionally, I have health problems and a disabled adult child I care for, and Etsy works around my needs perfectly. My items are available at any time of the day or night whether I’m having a good day or not. Life goes on around me, and that makes me feel like I’m being successful!

    My shop is at https://www.etsy.com/shop/JylMilnerCreates?ref=hdr_shop_menu

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