The movement on Etsy at the moment is not positive. So let’s evaluate: Should I sell on Etsy in 2023 or are there any Etsy Alteratives? Etsy has long held a prominent position. However, as we step into 2023, it’s crucial to reassess Etsy’s platform’s value for sellers. After extensive research and careful evaluation, it appears that Etsy might not be the ideal platform for sellers in 2023.
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Understanding the Pitfalls of ” should I sell on Etsy”
1. Burdensome Transaction and Listing Fees
Etsy charges sellers a listing fee of $0.20 USD and a transaction fee of 6.5% on each sale. This means that for a $100 sale, you’d be handing over a minimum of $6.70 to Etsy. And that’s not the end of it.
Etsy also charges various other fees, including:
- Advertising and Promotional Fees
- Etsy Ads Fees
- Offsite Ads Fees
- Subscription Fees
- In-Person Selling Fees
- Payment Processing Fees
- Delivery Fees
- Regulatory Operating Fees
- Pattern Fees
- Currency Conversion
The myriad of fees can be overwhelming for small business owners and may eat into your profits.
2. The Pressure to Offer Free Shipping
Etsy encourages its sellers to offer free shipping, which could be a major blow to your business’s bottom line. Shipping costs can be particularly high for bulky or fragile items such as ceramics or candles. If you’re not pricing your products to cover shipping costs, your profits may take a hit.
3. Limited Branding Opportunities
On Etsy, your ability to brand your store is limited. While you can create a shop banner and logo, you’re still operating within Etsy’s platform. This means your customers are shopping on Etsy, not necessarily with you. This can make it challenging to build a loyal customer base.
4. Lack of Ownership Over Customer Data
When a purchase is made on Etsy, Etsy owns the customer’s data. This means you can’t build your email list or directly contact your customers. If you want to market to your customers, you have to do it through Etsy’s messaging system, which is far from ideal.
5. Intense Competition and Copycats
The vast number of sellers on Etsy means you’re constantly competing for visibility and sales. This competition is further intensified by the presence of copycats and manufacturers who may steal your ideas and sell identical items at lower prices.
6. Difficulty in Scaling Your Business
Scaling your business on Etsy can be quite challenging. The high fees and competition make it difficult to justify expansion. Moreover, Etsy lacks the apps and tools that could help automate your business operations.
7. Less Credibility for Etsy Stores
Despite being around since 2005 and having over 7.5 million active sellers, Etsy is often perceived as less professional than platforms like Amazon or independent websites on Shopify or Wix. This perception can affect your ability to attract customers and build a trustworthy brand.
8. Challenges in Ranking on Search Engines
Etsy’s search algorithm can be hard to understand, making it difficult to optimize your listings for search. Moreover, ranking well on search engines like Google is often more important than ranking well on Etsy’s search algorithm. Platforms like Wix and Shopify can offer significant advantages over Etsy in this regard.
9. Flaws in the Star Seller Program
Etsy’s Star Seller Program, intended to reward high-performing sellers, has been criticized for being non-transparent and unfair. Many sellers have reported being removed from the program without explanation, causing a significant impact on their sales.
10. Absolute Dependence on Etsy
When selling on Etsy, you’re at the complete mercy of the platform. Any changes in Etsy’s policies or algorithms can drastically impact your business. Moreover, if Etsy were to shut down, you’d lose contact with your customers and the ability to sell your products.
Exploring Etsy Alternatives
Given the concerns with Etsy, it’s wise to consider alternatives. Shopify and Wix stand out as excellent options due to their array of benefits that Etsy doesn’t offer.
Advantages of Switching to Wix or Shopify
1. Enhanced Brand Control
With Wix and Shopify, you can create a unique brand identity, build a loyal customer base, and grow your email list.
These platforms offer more scalability, allowing you to adjust your profit margins and grow your business over time.
3. Lower Fees
While Wix and Shopify do have associated costs, they are generally lower than Etsy’s transaction and listing fees.
4. Ownership Over Customer Data
With your own website, you own your customer data, giving you the ability to directly contact your customers and build your email list.
While Etsy has been a popular platform for sellers of handmade goods, it might not be the best choice in 2023. The high fees, intense competition, and lack of control over your brand and customer base can hinder your business growth. Alternatives like Wix and Shopify offer more control, scalability, and opportunities to build a successful online business.