Why ETSY? The Pros and Cons - Choosing the Right E-Commerce Site for Your Business
The Pros and Cons
Choosing the Right E-Commerce Site for Your Business
There has been an incredible about of buzz around Etsy in this past year. Celebrities angered over their images and lyrics being sold without their permission, people selling things that aren't necessarily "handmade". Etsy made some changes to their seller policies and began allowing shops to use "outside" manufacturers as long as they were honest about it and disclosed who it was that they were using and what was being manufactured. Yes, to those of us that actually make our items by hand, it was a rub. But, it is absolutely the right of Etsy to make their policies whatever they choose. They have to compete with other E-commerce sites, just as we have to compete with other artisans. I don't believe that mass produced items impact my sales any. When someone is looking for something handmade, they aren't going to buy those items, they are going to come looking for mine. From what I have seen so far, it is pretty obvious which ones are using manufacturers. Now, in saying that, on to the subject at hand. Some people see this as a Con on the part of Etsy. To me, your other options for selling handmade and vintage items, slim, dismal, can I think of words that will make this sound more bleak?
The Etsy difference.
I still run into people in the street that don't really know what Etsy is. It still has room to grow and IS growing daily. The more people want to buy local, handmade and sustainable items, the more traffic Etsy is and will get. What makes them different then other sites, they aren't a typical E-Commerce Platform. Yes, you sign in, you create a shop, you put items in and you sell them. But, with other platforms, that is all you do. I have heard numerous people tell me that they did not have success on Etsy. When I dig into their process, they listed their items and left. That, you cannot do.
Etsy is a community, like no other. Once you get the ins and outs of setting up your shop figured out, or even before, if you need help, you start meeting other Etsy sellers. You search the blog, you read the Sellers Handbook (Which you should do before you even open your shop, but we will get to that in another posting), and you join groups. In these groups, you meet other people and take those relationships outside of Etsy, onto other parts of the internet. You develop friendships, maybe, and oftentimes in real life. You support and promote each other on Twitter and Facebook and all other forms of Social Media. This is where the sense of community really pays off. You write about each other in your blogs. You even buy from each other on holidays. This sense of community is one that you do not get anywhere else that you can sell.
There are people who do not like the fact that with Etsy you cannot pick up a phone and call someone if you have a problem. They don't have that option available. However, in the almost 4 years that I have been selling on Etsy, I have not once had the need to do so. I have one time needed to contact them and I did so by email, they replied immediately. I have not had any money, shipping or listing issues. Being a part of a group gives you the ability to find a seasoned seller that is able to answer any questions you may have pertaining to any issues that come up.
In my opinion, if you have a craft, art or vintage business and you want to take it online, Etsy is the way to go, for sure. However, don't be like the people I have spoken with that have given up on it. There are very specific things that you must do to make your shop and your business a success. In the weeks to come, I am going to be breaking down these things and providing you with as many real life, simple explanations of how to accomplish these things. I am going to try and do it in such a way that it won't be too overwhelming. I will provide you with all the free resources that I have used and do use.
If you have a business online or are thinking of starting one, begin today listening to the Web.Search.Social Podcast, start at Episode One and work your way through them. I have learned more about how to run my business online from them than all the things I have read or listened to combined. Great Resource, Great People...
Please take the time to stop by Trampleedesigns and see what is new in the shop this week.
Until then, KEEP CALM and LOVE ON...