As an artist or maker, you have a lot on your plate. You’re not only working to get your shop up and running, but you’re also dedicating time to improve your goods, increase your back stock and test new items.
Because you literally are. your. shop.
So when first starting out, it can be hard to decide whether to go it alone or join a more established marketplace, like Etsy. While this particular option is only for handmade or vintage goods, the thought-process could also apply to other marketplace sites.
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6 Reasons Why You Should Start an Etsy Shop
1. Trusted Platform
Instant.Trust. – This is huge! As a peer-to-peer based eCommerce site with over 1.5M active sellers and 21.7M active buyers (yes, really! I was surprised too – via Etsy), most customers are at least aware of the site; which makes them more comfortable with making a purchase.
Buyers know their financial + personal information is secure as all Etsy transactions are encrypted using SSL technology, secure member log-in, and was awarded TRUSTe’s Privacy Seal which means their practices have been reviewed and comply for “transparency, accountability and choice regarding the collection and use of your personal information.” (cite)
2. Active Customers
One of the biggest problems new shop owners face is getting customers. Using a site, like Etsy, allows you to join a larger marketplace that customers are already actively seeking out and searching through to find unique goods. Take advantage of all the marketing and branding work that Etsy has done and make it work for you!
3. Easy to Set Up
It really could not be easier to get started. Register a free Etsy account, scroll to the bottom and click “Open a Shop”.
- Select your language and currency.
- Name your shop…
- and then boom! Start adding listings.
After selecting payment methods and billing information so you can get paid, you’re essentially ready to go, save a lot of smaller steps that should be taken to improve your customer experience.
4. Low Start-up Cost
On Etsy, there are no hosting or domain costs and no membership fees to join. It costs $0.20 to list an item for up to 4 months (or until it sells). Upon sale, Etsy collects a 3.5% fee based on sales price. While that can add up as your business grows, the start-up cost is incredibly low for setting up a fully functioning business.
5. Joining a Community of Like-Minded Sellers
As a member, you’re part of a huge community of like-minded sellers and shop owners. Etsy has “teams” you can join based on shared interests or location. They also support different forums so you can learn from others going through similar issues which is incredibly helpful when starting out.
6. Product Testing
So you think you got your product down, you’re excited to get started, but you know you can’t keep up with your entire product line. So how do you choose? Before you invest a lot of time (and possibly dolla bills) into creating a website and branding, test on Etsy!
While there will still be work to promote your product, you’re setting it up in an environment where people are already actively searching and where one-of-a-kind items may even be preferred! So go ahead, create your dream product line, see what’s catching their eye, and then grow from there into a clean, focused site of your own.
You can even quickly get started today by selling physical products on Etsy with Printful! It’s a passive way to generate extra income – Printful takes care of production, printing, packs + ships! You just need to set up your designs, choose your products, and market! Learn more here.
Shop Talk: What do you think about Etsy?
I’d love to hear about your experiences either as the shop owner or a shopper!
And while I don’t think you’re a dummy 🙂 if you want some advice from Etsy veterans, check out two OTHER Kate’s book, Starting an Etsy Business for Dummies.
Kate Shoup is the author of numerous crafting books, including Not Your Mama’s Beading, and Rubbish: Reuse Your Refuse. Kate Gatski is an artisan, an entrepreneur, an educator, a veteran Etsy seller, and a member of the Full Time Etsy Crafters Team an exclusive group for full-time or high-volume Etsy sellers.