Generating an additional stream of income or quitting your 9-5 for self-employment are two of the biggest reasons people think of starting an Etsy store. However, after a few hard months of trying to sell handcrafted or digital products on Etsy, many Etsy sellers realize one thing. The dream of generating the extra income that they had dreamed of getting on Etsy was not as easy as they had thought and these are the top ten reasons why. If you are an Etsy seller and you want to increase your income without having to drop your prices or offer free shipping then this article is for you.
Top 10 reasons why Etsy is the worst place to make money online in 2022
To understand this you need to know the journey of Etsy. Etsy was founded in 2005, in Brooklyn New York. At that time Etsy was only for handmade and handcrafted items.
1. Etsy’ policies
In 2019 Etsy changed it’s policies to be: Everything listed for sale on Etsy must be handmade by you, vintage, or a craft supply. and whilst you may think that this is very clear, it only takes a quick scroll through Etsy alongside Chinese websites like Aliexpress and Alibaba to realise that Etsy has become the hidden birth ground of Underground Dropshippers central. Whilst this is against Etsy rules, Etsy is going to make more money with Etsy shops like these as they have higher turn voer, which means more money from Etsy with Etsy’s fee structure.
2. Etsy is Underground Dropshipper Central
What is Dropshipping?
Dropshipping is the term given for business owners who buy a product at a considererably low price and then resell it at a higher value. Whilst dropshipping has it’s place in the e-commerce marketplace, it shouldnt be on Etsy as like Etsy’sown polices state, Etsy is for handmade, vintage or craft supplies. So why has Etsy turned an obvious blind eye ot this Underground ecomm fracking?
3. Etsy sellers must offer Free shipping to remain visible in search results
Probably for the same reason that Etsy brought in another policy in 2019 stating that Etsy sellers that offer FREE shipping to Etsy buyers will get prioritized in search results. A clever Etsy seller may have though, I know I will just raise my prices to include that fee. However if you do that Etsy will alert you that your prices are higher than other Etsy sellers which automatically decreases your Etsy shop in search results! So the only solution is offer your product at the same price with FREE shipping and make less profit.
4. Etsy dropshippers cannot be beaten on price
Whilst this may not seem a big deal, it is when you have Etsy shops jam packed full of Chinese products that have been mass produced in China for a cheaper price than what any other country outside of China could do. So how can you compete? In a word, if you stay selling on Etsy, you can’t. The only way is to sell direct to consumer and that has a host of benefits that Etsy can not give you. But I will dive into that a little later on.
5. Copycat City
Another Famous Flaw In The Etsy Marketplace Is The Evidence Of Copy Cat Products. It Is Highly Unusual To Actually Find Anything Original On Etsy Anymore. And That Is Because It Is Full Of Copy Cats. Professional Entrepreneurs Use Etsy As A Commonground To Research What Is Selling The Most By Using Spy Tools Like Erank And Marmalade – These Tools Are Ctaully Promoted By Etsy Themselves! Those Entrepreneurs Have Teams Of Graphic Designs And Product Branders Who Simply Reproduce The Best Selling Products With A Slight Alteration And Offer It At A Cheaper Price. So If You Were A Buyer, What Would You Do?
6. Etsy Fees
Listing A Product In Etsy Costs About $0.20 But When You Sell An Item On Etsy You Have 13 Different Fees That Are Dedicated From Your Sale Before Etsy Even Hand Over Anyprofits To You. You Can Read About This In The Case Study In This Sell Direct, Free Online Automated Business Guide.
But The Main Point In That Case Study Is That Etsy Take Almost 50% Now Of The Etsy Sale Within The Thirteen Fees, Which Leaves Etsy Sellers With Very Little Profit.
It Is Almost I Possible To Grow A Brand On Etsy. When Etsy Sellers Refer To Their Shop On Etsy, Most Sellers Say Oh Shop In My Etsy Store. So All The Time Etsy Sellers Are Just Building The Brand Of Etsy Not Their Own. This Is A Big Mistake And A Lost Opportunity For So Many Etsy Sellers.
8. Hidden Client Data
Etsy Encourage All Etsy Sellers To Run Etsy Ads. However Esty Ads Are Just Ads On Social Media Platforms Like Facebook And Instagram And On Search Engines Like Google And Pinterest. Whilst Etsy Sellers Think That They Are Getting The Opportunity To Grow Their Business On Etsy, Again All Esty Sellers Are Doing Is Growing The Etsy Brand And Etsy Business Because Etsy Never Share The Data That Is Gathered From Those Ads Which Is Crucial For Retargetting To Get More Sales. Most Esty Sellers Are Quite Naive So They Will Not Be Aware Of This But Any Small Business Owner That Has Run Facebook Ads Will Know That This Data Is How You Make Youare Ads Work. You Can Find Out More About This Here, It Is Called The Meta Pixel. Buy Basically The Function Of The Meta Pixel Is A Piece Of Code That Collects Information About The Actons People Are Taking When They Engage In Your Ads And A Whole Lot Of Other Information.
9. Forced Advertising
Once Etsy Sellers Start Making 10K A Year On Etsy, It Is Mandatory To Use Etsy Ads. YOu Have No Choice And If You Refuse You Risk Having Your Etsy Shop Closed By Etsy. As Etsy Retain The All Important Information From Etsy Ads Themselves And Do Not Share It With Etsy Sellers, It Is Even Worse When Advertisgint With Etsy Becomes A Mandatory Action.
One Of The Biggest Issues Etsy Sellers Have Shared OnPlatforms Like Quora And Reddit And Even In Facebook Groups Is How Etsy Shut Down Theri Shop For No Reason. Etsy Never Explain And Yu Cannot Ever Talk To Anyone About This Either. YOu Can Only Send A Ticket And More Than Likely A Bot Willr Eply. Now Imagine If Your Entire Livelihood Depended On This As It Has Done For So Many People Only To Login One Day And Find All Your Etsy Listings Deactivated And Your ETsy Shop Closed!
Well Believe Me It Is More Common Than You Think And A Simple Dive In To The Above Mentioned Groups And Forums Will Qualify That.
The Sell Direct Not Etsy Roadmap
So with all that in mind, what can Etsy sellers do to sell more online. Follow this simple roadmap from Etsy Seller to Direct Seller.
- If you already have an Etsy shop reduce the amount of listings to ten.
- Optimise every listing.
- In every item sold via Etsy include a discount code for your own website.
- Create a Lead Magnet.
- Develop strong branding for your products
- Create a simple website with WordPress and Woocommerce (because Google is going to be your best friend and Google gates Facebook, Tik Tok and Instagram shops)
- Create a digital product related to the niche of your Etsy store.
- Open a Stan Store.
- On all your social Media use your Stan Store as your link in bio.
- Write one blog post per week.
- Use our Contentpreneur Hack here to get traffic from Google and Pinterest to your website.
If you need any help with the above we have created a simple Etsypreneur course here to help you do all the above, including setting up your own website. This short course will show you how to use Etsy as a lead magnet to generate sales on your own website.
RInse and Repeat
Once you have put the steps above into action, it is as simple as creating a listing on your own website and writing a blog post each week. Once you feel ready to grow, simply start running facebook ads which The Content Coach teaches in the Content Vault found here.