Tuesday , 27 July 2021
One of the great things about Etsy is its community atmosphere. It's unlike any other website I have been a registered member of.

STOP Trying to Sell to Sellers | Focus on Off Etsy Marketing


French Binoculars Jumelle Marine Vintage in original leather case

French Binoculars Jumelle Marine Vintage in original leather case by: wwvintage

One of the great things about Etsy is its community atmosphere. It’s unlike any other website I have been a registered member of. This can also come with a bit of a downside, as the members of this community are also there to sell their handmade products and/or vintage items. It’s tempting to try to sell to one another, considering how often your are around one another in the virtual sense.

Granted, I buy from other Etsy shops all of the time. I’m addicted to shopping on the website! With all of its neat stuff, it’s impossible to find a comparable marketplace in my own neighborhood. Even so, I think that one does a disservice to one’s own shop when too much time and promotion is being dedicated to attracting other sellers to buy your stuff.

Generally, other sellers are not your target audience. Unless, of course, you sell graphic design or supplies – in which case other sellers ARE the group you should be aiming at. But if not, it may be time to do some strategy shifting. Perhaps, rather then trying to spend so much time in your Etsy teams and in the Etsy forums, try joining other forums and groups on other websites. Pick groups that share a common interest of yours that is NOT selling handmade items. For example, if you sell children’s clothing, join a mommy-blogger group. If you sell aprons, join a or a recipe sharing club. If you sell geekery accessories, participate in a video-game forum. By making virtual friends with persons not a part of the Etsy “club” you can introduce them to etsy -and your shop- as BUYERS, not competitors.

By dedicating more time into building up your Facebook fan page and Twitter following with more non-etsy sellers, you’ll be able to market to people who AREN’T waiting for their next sale before they can buy anything. Something to consider anyway, before you spend all day making treasuries for you treasury team and posting new listings in all of those promotional new listing threads hardly anyone browses through anyway.

This post was originally published in my blog, Megan’s Creative Design.


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  1. Thank you so much for this article! One that I have been praying for. I will begin to change my way do to your information.Thanks again, Michael and Patty

  2. Caveat: One person’s “off-Etsy marketing” may be another person’s SPAM.

    • Absolutely! One has to be very tactful about how you bring up your products and shop. It has to come naturally and as part of the conversation. For example, I won’t start a thread on a wedding forum to let people know I sell headbands, but I might bring it up is a bride starts a thread asking for suggestions on where to get one.

      I also make sure to participate in many discussions on these forums without EVER bringing up my items, by first becoming a helpful member of the community you will gain trust of the other members.

  3. THANK YOU! Today is a new day for me thanks to your words!

  4. bobbi helms (fatdogbeads)

    don’t overlook Pinterest. YOu can be too blatant or pushy about your products, but you can certainly pin some of them, some of the time. I’ve got click thrus from Pinterest. Good way to reach new people.

  5. It’s a great idea, participating in groups that are off-Etsy, but I worry about seeming pushy or spammy when mentioning my shows and Etsy store. I guess there is a balance there, somewhere. I’m still figuring Pinterest out, but there’s got to be good potential there.

    • Just be sure to hang out in these forums and participate in discussions without trying to sell your items. Only bring them up if it comes naturally, and most of time having your links in your signature is enough for people to go and check them out!

  6. I’m a member of several Teams on Etsy, but rarely ever post new listings, for this very reason. I also don’t do the BNR’s or BNS’s; I think those are a waste of time. (As I undertand to exist, to increase sales numbers for a shop as you actively participate in a selling ‘ring’. Just don’t agree with the concept.)

    So refreshing to hear someone say publicly that you have to engage those who aren’t trying to sell you something, too! Completely agree!

  7. So true, great advice, thanks for sharing!

  8. Such great advice & for some reason, so hard to remember! Thank you for the reminder, I think this is one of my bigger issues. I get views & hearts on Etsy, but little comes in from outside the site…

  9. I noticed that whenever I used the promote tool on Etsy to tweet a new listing, I would immediately get a bunch of views to the item. But oddly, no click-throughs from Twitter when I tweeted links to my blog. I suspect I was mostly getting other Etsy sellers clicking my product tweets out of curiosity. For now, I’ve stopped promoting my items directly on Twitter and am focusing on linking to my blog and other great content. I now feel like I have a more accurate view of my “views” – ha! – not inflated numbers.

  10. Great post! It’s beneficial to network with other handmade artists, but that’s not where you need to be spending the majority of your time or marketing efforts.

    If you don’t know where to go offline- try talking to other successful artists who share your target market and have been around the block a few times. Or – visit those Etsy forums (the relevant ones) and ask your team members for recommendations!

  11. Thank you thank you thank you! Soooo appreciated! Sometimes I get so bogged down with what tools are the best ways to promote, where to spend my time in that regard. There are so many choices & each of them yell CHOOSE ME that it makes my head spin! You just reminded me of what my little voice had been trying to tell me! THANK YOU!

  12. So true! Thank you for sharing this, you have the right point. I sometimes feel a little lost in the Etsy community. It’s great to be there, but it is also time comsuming.


    I’ve been asked sometimes why I don’t participate in team chat pages…. well it’s because i’d spend all my time chatting and none selling or properly promoting. Teams for me are primarily for helping each other out with business advice when you need it.
    Great blog post.

  14. So true! Great tips!

  15. I couldn’t agree more. I had been feeling guilty about keeping out of teams so I tried to get into one I thought fit well with my needs. The problem is, I only have so much time to devote to social media, marketing, etc. I do not need to be bogged down with tasks, duties, commitments that don’t result in sales. Views alone do not pay the bills, so you need to pay attention to your ratio of sales to views. If I spend a couple hours spreading links to off Etsy sites I get more sales than if I spend that time faving and saving other teamies stuff.

    The other thing I feel is important is that the followers I have on other social media sites seem to share my taste, if I have to save everyone’s listings on a team (requirement for the team I tried) they don’t all represent things I would save. I would much rather post and promote items that truly match my style. The things I post, mine and others all contribute to my brand. I don’t want to include items that don’t fit.

    I do however buy plenty from fellow Etsians, primarily supplies ;)

  16. Point well taken. I have been struglling with the same notion even on my “off etsy” website. Alot of my traffic comes from people who do exactly what I do, thrift shop and upcycle. I generally do not buy from fellow upcyclers because I can do it cheaper myself and have more fun. I have toyed with the idea of selling supplies that I would buy myself and start searching for ways to entice people who are looking to decorate their home on a budget.

    • Not a bad idea Lisa! I know I get a lot of traffic from fellow beaders, so I choose to take advantage of that and sell patterns and tutorials right along with my finished products. They are going to be stopping by anyway, so why not carry some items they might purchase too?

  17. This is something many of us who have worked in the art world understand all too well. Your opening night is filled with other artists. They love and appreciate your work but are in the very mentality you suggest – would love to have that – but need to make a sale of my own before I can.

    Being part of a community is a wonderful thing – but to truly thrive you need to reach out to many communities.

    Thank you for articulating this!

    • Exactly Christine. Networking is hugely beneficial, but in order to really start selling your handmade items at profitable levels, you have to market to your target audience, and that doesn’t usually consist of other handmade sellers.

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