Should Etsy Sellers also build a website with 3dcart?
About six months ago, I wanted to run a “daily deal” styled promotion of a product for sale in my Etsy shop, but obviously, Etsy does not provide a tool like a countdown timer to show when the deal expires, a place to easily highlight the % off the sales price, and does not provide a way to link all of that to social media . . . so I started exploring how I might get this type of feature and I found not only a way to do everything I wanted, but a whole lot more. . .
I accidentally stumbled into the awesomeness that is 3dcart!
3dcart is a tool that allows you to easily build your own website and storefront. I had heard of them before as an alternative ecommerce platform, but I had not really looked at all the features they provided in detail.
I signed up for a free trial.
I was contacted by them almost immediately by phone and email with their offer of assistance. Talk about a good first impression!
Over the next couple of weeks, I started playing around with the features. It was easy. I was building my own website and storefront! I had ZERO experience doing this before. I liked it.
I signed up with 3dcart for the basic plan.
Customer support was still awesome. Real contact with real people and great online tutorials and how to blog FAQ.
Of course, I had my hiccups to face. Like one day, I worked for about 3 hours customizing the site just to my liking, but I got stumped. . . I then got a bit frustrated . . . ok, a lot frustrated! I wanted someone that I could contact right away during my intensive learning phase to be able to answer my questions on the fly.
I was able to get help immediately through a chat feature they offered. I asked a question. They answered it. I got my website exactly how I wanted it! Simple.
So to sum up my overall experience with 3dcart . . . I love it!
Why do I love it.
I’m in control of everything! Not Etsy.
Letterpress Journal by PressaRussa
Recently, I was a random “test” subject on Etsy for a new layout of my Etsy shop. In fact, I saw everybody’s shop in this new format. A few things were awesome and a few features I thought seriously hurt the way my shop appeared to customers. Now, of course, Etsy has a large audience to please and has to arrive at the lowest common denominator of shop layout and design, but with 3dcart, I’m in complete control of the layout.
I have total control of my template, what colors I use, how big my pictures are, etc. I also own the domain name. My 3dcart shop can’t be accidently shut down or put on hold for any arbitrary reason – and that is comforting since I rely upon my Etsy shop as do most of you for some monthly income.
Don’t get me wrong. I don’t think one Etsy seller should shut down their Etsy shop and sell only with 3dcart. Etsy is the first and most awesome place to sell your handmade, vintage, and supplies online, but it shouldn’t be your only place . . . at least not for the long-term. That’s too many eggs in one basket.
I recommend every Etsy seller diversify their revenue streams and sell in many places with many selling venues . . . including their own website and ecommerce platform using 3dcart.
Insanely good customer support.
Setting up shop with Etsy is really easy. I love that. It creates a low barrier of entry for beginning entrepreneurs. 3dcart is just not as simple. There are just way more variables that you can tweak and control.
All the buttons and features and capabilities were a bit intimidating when I first started out, but 3dcart helped me overcome this intimidation with step by step help. The phone calls, the emails, the helpful step-by-step articles, the live help chat feature I used for a short time, and the 3dcart community answering questions just shows you how insanely awesome 3dcart customer SUPPORT is.
Notice I said SUPPORT and not customer SERVICE. I really felt supported by 3dcart to make the website work as I wanted.
After a short time, I was cruising through 3dcart in the same way I cruise through managing my Etsy shop.
Awesome Features that help my business.
On top of this all, I started salivating about what I could now do with my business with all these new tools.
Build a blog. Write about what was going on with my products and promote that and have my item for sale right next to it. One place for my potential customers to go!
I had the power to run a daily deal on my products. HELPFUL TIP!!!! People love daily deals with a countdown timer . . . your business needs to be running them or you are missing out.
I could design where I wanted the buy button to be, what they would look like, how big the price would be, what font colors were used, etc. When a person is about to make a sale, these things make a difference.
I could put video wherever I wanted it. HELPFUL TIP 2!!!! Videos sell products! They do. Simple as that. I’ve had a great video for my bookkeeping spreadsheet, but I can’t show it on Etsy. On Etsy, my creative solution was to do something like this:
This is an ok alternative, but I really wish my potential customers did not have to manually type in the hyperlink to watch my video. With 3dcart, I was able to put the video right in where it could play while they were on my product page – inches away from the buy it now button.
There are also lots of features that don’t apply to me . . . I simply ignore these.
I could go on and on about the features (future blog articles), but I’ll stop for now since you probably get the gist.
An appropriate cost for what you receive.
We all pay Etsy fees. They are reasonably priced. Business has a cost. No problem.
3dcart is a fixed price per month. The lowest priced package is $19.99. On top of this, you will need to purchase your domain name that you want the site to be on (maybe another $20 a year). Put this another way . . . you can have your own website/online store for about $260 per year! For the benefits you receive and opportunities 3dcart opens up that is a smoking good deal that you should be able to reap the benefits from once you invest the time to build your website.
How many times in the past year were your Etsy fees were greater than $19.99? Sometimes more, sometimes less . . . I get it – I’m a typical Etsy seller just like you and I don’t blink twice at the $19.99 per month price. Even if I don’t make one sale on my 3dcart site, it gives me peace of mind that my Etsy shop has a backup plan. I think of it like a form of insurance. The capabilities and opportunities my business gains for the $19.99 per month I believe is a good deal.
Also, 3dcart does not charge any per transaction fees. That means if you are a higher volume seller, you don’t have to pay 20 cents every time you post or renew something and you don’t have to pay 3.5% selling fees. That is called saving some dough! J
Geez – this blog post was supposed to be a lot shorter, but I guess I got excited about it all. . . oh well.
Etsy sellers, check out 3dcart as the next place to go after starting your online business on Etsy.
You can sign up here.
Hello, I’m Jason Malinak, a CPA that loves Etsy! I’ve been helping Etsy sellers thrive since 2007. In my Etsy shop, JJMFinance, I offer bookkeeping, tax, legal, and financial know-how and tools. I have two published books: Etsy-preneurship and Finding Your Inner Etsy-preneur. Check out my blog Etsy-preneurship.com. I love connecting with small business owners, so feel free to reach out to me with any questions. I enjoy family time, football, reading, and learning. I value passion, excellence, and trust.