Monday, June 16, 2008

How Much Does It Cost to Sell on Etsy?

From time to time, in response to a complaint about Etsy's customer service, we'll see a cheerleader point out that Etsy is a great deal for sellers, or that it's the cheapest place around to sell your handmade goods. Clearly these people are lacking some fundamental math skills.

Let's think about a hypothetical high volume supply seller (I know, we're supposed to pretend they don't exist, but humor me here). Say this seller lists and sells 1500 items a month, which is about the level some of our top supply sellers do (I know this because I used to look at Etsy Tools before the site was hounded out of existence). If those items sell for $5 each, that seller pays $300 in listing fees and $262.50 in final value fees. That totals $562.50 per month, or $6750 per year. That's a shitload of money to pay for an ecommerce store that doesn't even have an integrated shopping cart function. For seven thousand dollars, you could buy yourself a lovely independent website and advertise it pretty well, couldn't you?

What about the more typical low volume seller of handmade goods? Let's say you make beaded jewelry and add your work to the HALF MILLION jewelry items listed on Etsy. If you've got 20 items in your shop, and by renewing something 3 times a day in the desperate hope that someone will notice your stuff during the few seconds it appears at the top of the category, you manage to sell 10 pieces at $15 each (which seems to be the average Etsy price), what do you pay for your $150 in sales? $4 in listing fees. $18 in relisting fees. $5.25 in final value fees. You get to spend a whopping 18% of your gross sales, or $27.25 - at that rate, assuming your sales are consistent, you're paying Etsy $327 a year for the privilege of floundering in the sea of jewelry on the site. And that's before your PayPal fees.

But for that money, you get the exposure that comes with being part of this beautiful collection of handmade goods, right? Well, if someone can find your pieces among 500,000 others, that's great. But Etsy will help you get some exposure by promoting itself and your shop for you, right? Oh, no, I forgot - admin are constantly telling us to get out there and spread the word OURSELVES about Etsy's handmade goodness. You should buy a tote bag from the labs with a funky picture that in some cryptic way tells the world about Etsy, and once the people passing us on the street notice it, they'll rush right over to the site and spend a couple of hours fighting with a useless search function to dig through the huge jewelry category and buy a pair of earrings from your shop. Or not. You could pay another $15 for one day's worth of showcase exposure - do that twice and you've more than doubled your monthly fees. I don't think there's a business advisor out there who would tell you that spending 15 to 30 percent of your sales on advertising is reasonable (but remember that business school is so un-hip, and it's not the Etsy way).

So maybe you spend that advertising money elsewhere in the hope that you'll get some traffic to your shop. And then you can look at your views and see whether your advertising expenditure has been worth it.

Oh, no, sorry, your views are being reset, so you can't figure that out, either.

Etsy. What a bargain!


Start To Finish Supplies said...

I love you. My thoughts exactly. They paint a pretty picture, but when you actually look below the surface it is a much uglier reality.

impetuous said...

"For seven thousand dollars, you could buy yourself a lovely independent website and advertise it pretty well, couldn't you?"

Considering Etsy does not actively engage in major advertising and you are 100% responsible for bringing customers to YOUR store, then yeah. Absolutely.*

*provided you don't need to hire someone to maintain the site and you do not have your own payment terminal but just stick with paypal.

ebbandflo said...

thank you! this is just the maths, stats and break downs that (certain) sellers on Etsy need to see before they shoot their mouths off about how cheap it is to sell on this venue and how we should all be 'terribly grateful' constantly.

The Cranky One said...

Not to mention that Ebay ADVERTISES. EVERYWHERE.

Google adwords (which etsy should do), banner ads, buses and billboards etc. They don't advertise a select band of sellers who were quicker on the draw, the advertise EVERYTHING, and EVERYONE.

Sure ebay my cost more to list on, but you are getting the benefit of that advertisement, and they just don't put a single ad in a lame fashion magazine for 20-something hippie city folks.

impetuous said...

fuckin hippies man.

sleepwalker said...

It isn't perfect, but it's better than eBay. Sure, the things I sold there were easier to find -- or should I say were easier to find, since eBay 'fixed' visibility for everyone with Worst Match -- but between their constantly rising fees and PreyPal's seemingly arbitrary fees, there were a few times I barely broke even. The good outweighed the bad, sure, but not to the point where I felt it was worth it. People seem able to find my things on Etsy, though I don't know how -- maybe I'm good with tags?

Etsy definitely needs to break out of the rut of being 'hip' and start advertising and I certainly agree that too many users seem weirdly devoted to it and have this blind faith that doing all the hard work themselves will pay out lavishly one day, which I find ridiculous. I only sell there as a between-shows venue (I'd have to pay someone to build and maintain a personal site for me because I'm tech-stupid), so it's the better of two evils for me. . .at least for the moment.

forum rubbernecker said...

Thank you, you have inspired me to get off my duff and work on my own website, which I already own and pay for. I have a full ecommerce site and no competition from sellers of crap. That being said, I do believe in the original mission of Etsy, but I fear it has become too much like Ebay and the amount of fraud and stuff-that-should-not-be-here has just become overwhelming and cannot be fixed.

impetuous said...

"because I'm tech-stupid"

The term is techtarded. Patent pending.

carry on.

Foxglove Studios said...

It's also interesting how many experienced internet sellers come to Etsy and say, "I haven't sold much here but my personal site sales are good." Hmmm...

We do get some level of protection from selling through a venue but it doesn't seem worth it when you crunch the numbers. If I can sell double what I do on Etsy via my own site, I recoup all the listing and final value fees which not only covers the cost of my site (and I'm already paying for one anyway!) it probably covers any losses I may incur due to fraudulent buyers. I can and will do my own design and maintenance so no additional cost there. Thankfully I've been using my own domain name!

I think you've convinced this felter to go it alone and see what happens. Worst case scenario: I come back. What do I really have to lose?

quilter said...

Thank you for being here. I can only hope your site will prompt Etsy to do some worthwhile endeavors. This article was so true, and the comments are so on. I'd love to start my own web site but, alas, I am also techtarded. Other than a search and ending up with whoever/whatever, any suggestions for site designers? Thank you, again, for your site.

Andy Mathis said...

my small original paintings sold far better on ebay than etsy- like 5 to 1.

And because of the renewing/relisting necessary to work with a broken search function, I've spent MORE on Etsy than on Ebay fees also.

I am still spreading the eggs around though various venues.

Poor cheerleaders will one day have to list their pom-poms to pay their etsy fees.

The Righteous One said...

Or sell their cats toys as supplies and take on a phone sex operator job

My best line ever :)

Anyway...there are also FREE webshops out there. That have both paypal and Google checkout fully integrated! You have to do all your advertising but at least you aren't paying for design and domain. (You DO get your own domain like etsy's does). People who come to your shop aren't distracted away to other parts of the site. But visitors to the main site can search and find your products (one way in, no way out type of funnel to shops).

Check out eCrater or BluJay if you're intimidated by the idea of designing your own site.

just bitchy said...

I use an ecommerce solution that has everything you could ever want and more for $50/month with deals for paying quarterly and yearly.

Bulk upload, unlimited products, large storage and bandwidth, packing slips, full payment integration with direct CC gateways, paypal, google and more, multiple photos per item, template based but fully customizable, downloads for google base and shopping sites, inventory control, sales, coupons, gift certificates, automatic discounts, an integrated forum, newsletter, sitemap and on and on.

One etsy seller had a tantrum on the forums saying no such thing exists, that etsy is the best anyone could ever hope for and that they were happy to pay their (shockingly high) etsy fees.


Foxglove Studios said...

Andy Mathis said...
Poor cheerleaders will one day have to list their pom-poms to pay their etsy fees.
Andy, after that comment, I owe you TWO patty melts with extra cheese. I might even do the dishes.

The Incredulous One said...

As a follow up to this, I can suggest BigCartel and Shopify as sites that allow even the techtarded to easily set up an online shop. And those sites even offer things like - hold on to your seats here, Etsy sellers - meaningful shop stats, discount codes, integration with PayPal or Google checkout - can you imagine? And, you know, there are lots of indie tech people out there who can put together a simple database-friendly ecommerce site for you for MUCH less than Etsy costs.

Now, the catch with all of those options is that you'll need to drive traffic to your site in order to make sales. But you tell me how much of that Etsy does for you. Hmm...

just bitchy said...

p.s. I also get as part of my monthly fee full, complete, detailed stats with more information than I know what to do with.

Go figure!

curious said...

Just bitchy- Care to share??

SewCrazyDogLady said...

Seriously, I'm just about done..I was thinking about this last night.. ALL but two of my sales have been via word of mouth OFF of etsy.. I just made 6 collars over the weekend for people who have never heard of etsy.

If I'm going to promote the heck out of my stuff, then I'm doing it for my own site..

just bitchy said...

If I say I would out myself and I don't want to do that right now.

Just do a search for "ecommerce solutions" on google. There are many to choose from and most have 30 free trials so you can see if you are getting in over your head or if it's a good fit.

Shopify and Bigcartel are very affordable and have tons of features for a low monthly fee. You could be up and running in no time with them.

Be sure to get your own domain URL. Don't ever use a sub-domain like your etsy URL.

Also, be sure to do a 301 redirect which you can on godaddy or see if the ecommerce host you go with can give you a DNS address to use like godaddy allows.

fed UP said...

Ok, if we all expand out eggs out there on the Internet, we must promise to come back to EB once in a while to talk about the old days.

curious said...

JB...I understand the outing yourself thing. You've posted plenty to keep me busy for a few days, thank you for that. :)

ThisOldHenHouse said...

Best. Blog. Ever!

Tottally linking this from my blog - because you are so awesome for saying what I'm pretty sure we're all thinking!


S2 Web Writing said...

I just opened another Etsy shop to sell my latest crafting creation, a soft and fuzzy and WASHABLE cat pillow that my kitty loves that has a refillable catnip pouch inside, and I had a lot of misgivings about it...
I would much rather go off on my own but I'm not sure I'd be able to devote enough time to this "side project" to make it worthwhile to be off on my own....

I have some thinking to do but I would much rather NOT be on Etsy if at all possible.

The Righteous One said...

Well, Etsy is still an option and, if they get their act together, a decent one! It takes time to pull out of such an investment. Throw away a few thousand dollars in fees or try to ride it out minimizing any more costs? The answer is clear to some and why we bitch! lol

BTW, did anyone else notice that thinly veiled promos made their way to EB? (We do appreciate your comments S2, but I had to say it! I's habit lol)

S2 Web Writing said...

Didn't mean that to sound like a promo!

And I specifically didn't mention the shop because I didn't want it to sound like one, guess I shouldn't have mentioned it at all.

Hook It Up! Jewelry said...

And people flip out when I say that I do not feel that renewing is a good use of my money or time....

Thank you for saying what cannot be said in forums without bring the wrath of all etsy down upon oneself.

woolies said...

But I am technotarded. And I work a full job too. But I am so not making money on Etsy,because everytime I sell anything I plunk the profit back into renewing/advertising/renewing - and I need to be making money. I think this is a plea for somebody else to start a new site that I can ride on your coat-tails.....

Rascallion said...

Wow, thanks for posting this. I just started a SECOND shop for my vintage goods. After one week and 2 sales and looking at my Etsy bill, wow am I ever in the hole! What was I thinking?

Lori Anderson Designs said... is the best ecommerce site I've ever used, and it's cheap. Great support, too!

radcow said...

I guess I'll never understand. I dont have a problem with 20 cent listing fees. what, do you want? 10 cent listing fees? etsy to pay you? Maby my pom poms are lodged so far up my ass my brain is broken, but I really cant fugure out why its not working for you guys. I make between 500-and 1000 bucks a month on etsy, and I spend maby 20 bucks for fees. that seems like a pretty fair ratio to me.

radcow said...

oh, and good luck rounding up a customer base with your own web site. power in numbers, people.
I Love you bitches.

The Righteous One said...

S2, it's ok...just had to rib you :)

So much bitching makes actual craft talk start to look foreign ;)

lessa said...

I don't think anyone is saying that .20 per listing isn't a fair price, but that is not the end all be all cost. Fees add up and in the end its not really that cheap, but more around average for what is out there. So for that average cost I expect the same things the other guys are offering.

The Malevolent One said...

Radcow, with all due respect, there are only 29 pages of leather belts on Etsy. Try selling in a crowded category with actual competition and then see how Etsy works for you.

muchacha K and SPEAKEASY BOUTIQUE said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
TheSneakyOne said...

Wow! I'd better stop selling jewelry and start making leather belts!

Hook It Up! Jewelry said...

I think that point was that, if you are a decent amount of money each month, while the fees to eat into profits (not as much running a B&M, admittedly), you can still do ok on Etsy.

However, for the sellers who are not making very much, ever penny counts. You have to be more careful of how and where you spend your money and evaluate the cost-effectiveness of every relist.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

radcow...bad service is expensive no matter what you're paying. That, for me is what makes the difference. Makes me think of shopping with my grandmother from a clearance rack:

Me: Look, it's only $10!
G-ma: Is that thing lined? If it's not, it's not a deal.

If Etsy's going to give people crappy service, then that 20 cents and 3.5% commission is no deal.

Looking at those numbers in relation to what I sell through Etsy and other avenues makes me realize that indeed, my money will be better spent with the Plan B that I'm in the process of implementing right now: taking out a small business loan to upgrade and advertise my personal website.

I am already able to design and maintain things myself on my personal site--just need to iron out the shopping cart issue and it looks like I'm on my way to Etsy free living.

Thanks for the inspiration bitches, as always!

June 16, 2008 5:18 PM

impetuous said...

"Maby my pom poms are lodged so far up my ass my brain is broken"

Maybe your brain is in your head and your head is up your ass. Ever think of that?

TheSneakyOne said...

Now, now impetuous. No flame wars today.

The Incredulous One said...

Radcow, I think you must be using that new math or something.

If you sell $1000 on Etsy, you pay $35 in transaction fees plus whatever your 20 cent listings add up to. I assume those listing fees are the $20 you're talking about. So for your $55 a month, most ecommerce sites will offer you at least some basic shop stats.

I have no issue with paying Etsy for services - I'd just like to have services that work and that are comparable to what I can get elsewhere for the price.

dis little piggy said...

"Me: Look, it's only $10!
G-ma: Is that thing lined? If it's not, it's not a deal."

I love your grandma.

I think Etsy should hire some savvy grandmas to whip the place into shape.

Paw & Claw Designs said...

serial renewing is a BAD marketing strategy IMHO.

waste of time and money, that could be better spent.

impetuous said...

sorry, I just thought my idea made more sense.

Ladies Auxilliary said...

Yeah! Etsy needs more g-ma's! The Etsy Grandma's Task Force (this is no job for a Street Team, it requires something more...).

Thanks, great plan piggy...

I am SO the boss of you said...

I love ya because you tell it like it is. God bless people with common sense and math skills!

just bitchy said...

Good point about the math.

I don't pay commission on my sales, just a monthly $50 flat fee for a FULL SERVICE FULLY integrated shopping cart, fantastic customer service, the ear of the main tech guy when I have trouble (yes, he answers my numbered support tickets that I log in through a closed support system so my questions don't fly off into the email cyberspace void *hint* *hint* personally) and tons of USEFUL bells and whistles and business tools and systems, not crap flash toys.

I would venture a guess that most medium and large sellers could actually afford to hire someone to make and/or maintain a standalone website for what they pay etsy.

That is NOT a good way to run a business, especially since etsy is still shutting people down and there are more and more reports of people answering etsy emails repeatedly and etsy never receiving those communications.

Etsy is russian roulette if you are only using your etsy URL and not a good use of your money compared to other options.

S2 said...

So what would it take, I wonder, to put a minimal site together? It can't be that tough, right? A collection of blogs of indie sellers, as long as the blogs support HTML everyone could put their own paypal buttons on their own blogs and sell their own stuff... but it would be better if there were a way to link them all together under one umbrella. A Ning network maybe?
I don't know. Just random thoughts.
But the more I see how Etsy operates the more I think if those morons can find a way then someone else can find a way to rig something up where sellers can work and promote together but handle their own sales on their own sites.

just bitchy said...

Selling sites have built in competition. Many people would be better off with a standalone site as their main focus while also using places like etsy and ebay to supplement and as a inexpensive advertising vehicle.

I am SO the boss of you said...

Amen Bitchy.

A lot of these hobbyists/crafters (no one serious about their business uses Etsy alone) will act as if Etsy is doing them a favor, when all Etsyis really doing is lining their pockets and biding their time until their site is sold to the highest bidder.

.20¢ is a lot, when you add it up, for crappy customer service, bad attitudes by way of Admin, useless features that don't mean squat to bringing in dollars, no advertising because that's YOUR job to do it for them AND they can close your shop any fricken time they want and offer an empty excuse or none at all.

.20¢ brings them a whole lot of power and none for you the seller.
To me, the cheerleaders kiss quite a bit of Etsy booty because after all, we all know Etsy rewards their cheerleaders with favoritism. Did anyone notice that until people in the forum pointed out that last week Treasury picks had a HIGH percentage of certain sellers OVER and OVER? I know I noticed it.

just bitchy said...

Things that make you go ummmm......

I've heard a rumor that some "popular" sellers are "rewarding" their "minions" and "groupies" for
featuring them in treasuries.

That would explain some of the the repetition of some names.

That's all I can say about it right now.

*cue mysterious music*

I am SO the boss of you said...

The sad thing is, I can totally believe that's going on. lol

I know I saw someone on there so many times it had my head spinning. lol

lessa said...

There are approximately 1,803,684 items currently listed on Etsy. That is $360,736.80 in income from that alone.

This doesn't include fvf's, relisting and showcases, or nice big investor checks.

Yet, they don't have the basic functions that are available at most e-commerce sites.

Sgt Bunny said...

My fees are still reasonable as I don't subscribe to renewal frenzy like some.

I don't do showcases. I don't bump items to "get them to the front pages".

People still find me in the relatively crowded jewelery category and I still have consistent sales without breaking the bank.

In the selling price, I did count for one or two renewals and final fees, but most of my items don't get to the renewal stage.

If you're bumping your items like a maniac, it's a no win game. But try telling people that joining the item renewal frenzy is silly, they don't believe you.

if everyone's doing it, I don't see how it's going to work with everyone bumping over top each other.

While I don't feel I'm a cheerleader, I do find etsy useful for this time and place in my business, and the fee issue in some aspects, is a self-made issue.

would like to see checkout simplified and the communications issues fixed. no more flash toys, please.

Littleput said...

It would be awesome to see more means of being seen, in lieu of sending pie and dry ice. (ps I've not been featured seller so I guess I sent the wrong pie).

There were a few months last year where my bill was jaw dropping.

Listing and Renewing are still the only valuable means of getting seen on Etsy and really if your product isn't popular, you're wasting your money unless you renew when the right person is looking.

I'd love to see Etsy do more to increase visibility for all sellers, especially the ones that can't afford to renew with abandon but I have no idea what they could/should do.

Getting sales helps you get more sales so once you figure out how to sell you get a lot of free advertising. Its getting the ball rolling that is hard for so many.

just bitchy said...

Etsy should only be an additional selling option, not the main focus if you are serious about creating and maintaining an actual business.

If you just want to sell as a hobby or do it for a couple of years and don't have to worry about expenses or making a profit or P&L issues then etsy is probably fine.

Etsy should be a part of a business plan, not the whole business plan.

impetuous said...

littleput says:
It would be awesome to see more means of being seen, in lieu of sending pie and dry ice.

What good is it to be "seen" by the Etsy staff?
All they did was brag about getting pie in the forums.

just bitchy said...

Well, the only benefit I can think of for making sure that you are "seen" by the staff is that it may prevent you from being shut down "accidentally" on a Friday night.

Or maybe, if they don't receive the 10 emails you've sent, they might recognize you and not "accidentally" shut you down on a Friday night.

But then, you need to keep sending "gifts" because you never know when they will add a new employee who won't know you by name and they then may shut you down on a Friday night.

If the only way to know that your business is secure is to be in contact directly with employees of a company, well, that's just crazy.

If they don't have rules and procedures to prevent mistakes and Friday night closures then they have more problems than can be fixed with "how can we communicate better" topics.

Honestly, it's insane the way they run things. I've worked for and dealt with some bizarre companies, but etsy takes the grand prize.

WTH is this new COO doing? Or has she left already?

Simone said...

The listing fee in itself isn't the problem - it's the way the whole site is set up to force people to list constantly. It remains by far the most successful way to be visible on Etsy (short of being an admin favourite of course!), especially for those in very large categories.

So reducing the actual fee won't make a scrap of difference. Changing how Etsy works is what's needed, especially given that the big categories effectively broke down under the pressure of relisting last Christmas and will be worse again for the next one. But of course those relisting fees now make up a huge chunk of Etsy's overall income.

As for other sites, my main shop uses Shopify and I can vouch for it being excellent. For fees which are generally lower than my Etsy fees I get a site that works about a million times better than Etsy and that I have full control over (no 'simonewalsh's Shop Announcement' stupidity, for instance!). Shopify actually know how to build drag and drop functionality without needing pages to be refreshed and without it failing half the time, they pop up a message in every seller's control panel to apologise profusely for a *15 minute* downtime and explain why it happened, the stats are useful, the site integrates with Google analytics for even more useful stats, I get discount codes, etc. etc.. I know who I'm happier paying the money to!

But for now I'm paying it to both. I do still sell well enough on Etsy to keep going. Having done a lot of hard work to establish myself there, it's still paying off, so I'm still there. And I still do want to see Etsy work as an idea.

Littleput said...

impetuous said...
littleput says:
It would be awesome to see more means of being seen, in lieu of sending pie and dry ice.

What good is it to be "seen" by the Etsy staff?
All they did was brag about getting pie in the forums.

Not by Admin by buyers. It was implicated that my sending pie landed me on the front page a few times so if that is true then I guess pie has use after all.



The Righteous One said...

Thanks for clarifying Littleput, I knew what you meant. And we appreciate you coming by despite the shit being thrown your way for baked goods.

The whole point is to be seen by buyers and thus the reason renewing is done, etc. Which is where the problem lies...I hope that's clear now.

Being seen by admin shouldn't even be a consideration since there are 150,000 shops. Even if we all have three (which is my hunch based on some quick and dirty calculations) that still leaves 50,000 in earth could they know all or even half! If being seen by admin was something to strive for, we'd all be screwed.

Yes, it's true, some sellers/members are known by the admin and it can be an issue in terms of favoritism...but it SHOULDN'T be. That's the other point some try to make. But not necessarily of this topic.

littleput said...

The Righteous One Said... Yes, it's true, some sellers/members are known by the admin and it can be an issue in terms of favoritism...but it SHOULDN'T be. That's the other point some try to make. But not necessarily of this topic.

Except and I am on your side here, being seen is what makes sales on Etsy. If admin knows me or you or whomever our chances of being picked for a gift guide or a Martha/Etsy show are significantly greater than admin having never even noticed what you make. And it doesn't take pie to be noticed, you can be chronically mad at Etsy and still get props (as noted by a recent Featured seller who was always complaining on the forums) The only way to sell on etsy is to be seen, in one form or another.

I don't believe that etsy or any business should work that way but by the same token I am a lot more likely to link my blog to one that I am familiar with, over one that I am not. It is networking, which is an important and accepted aspect of business.

I know the issue here is the expense of being seen by shoppers and I have issues with it too, as the site grows in number of sellers it will be an impossibility to use listing and renewing to be seen or, eat our earnings entirely on 20c exposure(s).

I'd like to see more exposure for all sellers but I honestly have no idea how etsy could offer that to everyone. I hope they are thinking about it though.

The Righteous One said...

I should've been more clear, my last two statements weren't directed at you Littleput :)

interloper said...

I agree fully, My etsy bill is usually about 500 dollars a month, and after a while I just start to wonder, where is this go to? Am I paying someone to promote yarting? (which to me sounds like sharting)
I think that etsy needs to wake up and start running there business like a business. Because right now, I run a full time business based off there business, and it keeps me up at night.

impetuous said...

littleput, I'm not trying to be snarky but it sounds like you sent pie to admin as a way to be noticed by admin and only then by buyers through possible favors admin might extend to you.

Were you surprised that you received nothing for your efforts? Or are you saying you did in fact get a feature because of it? I am a little confused by your posts.

bananacreampie said...

Hell, if I was making $90,000 a year-thats what the sales add up to on your figure, I wouldn't mind paying those fees, they are tax deductable after all...but I do see your point for getting your own estore.
ps I like this place :)

just bitchy said...

The thing is, total sales is just one number.

You might bring in, for example, $50,000 per year, but you have to back out expenses to get a real idea of what your profit is.

If you have $25,000 in expenses and operating costs and advertising, etc. then you are really only making $25,000 profit.

Then you have to look at how many hours you put into it. For example, you can get a 40 hour per week job with insurance making $25,000 and go home and have fun at night and on weekends.

Are you only working 40 hours on your own business? Can you afford to buy your own insurance?

Clearly getting a business going takes time and you may be more than willing to work 80+ hours per week or more and do without insurance. That's fine. That's your decision. However, you should come to that decision with full knowledge.

I just think that too many people only look at the money they bring in and don't factor in expenses to get a true picture.

There have been several forum posts from people who sat down and did the math and realized they were breaking even (or losing money!) for all their effort. They were completely shocked.

You really have to approach this as either a business or a hobby and then deal with the reality of either of those situations.

If you want to create your own business you need to do the math to see if it's worth it for you.

Etsy is selling a dream without giving you the business tools you need to see if your efforts are paying off in the ways you want them to pay off.

Alorinna said...

I love this blog :D

I'm focusing more on getting into more galleries and getting my website up and running.

Thankfully, I have had my own domain for years, which I had redirected via a link in the past. Going to invest my money away from Etsy.

One thing I will say is that Etsy does help with search engine exposure, so I don't mind having items there. But that's it.

littleput (the pie sending one) said...

impetuous said...
littleput, I'm not trying to be snarky but it sounds like you sent pie to admin as a way to be noticed by admin and only then by buyers through possible favors admin might extend to you.
I was noticed by buyers long before the pie.
And I do actually like most of the Etsy staff. I sent the pie after/during the "great revision" of '07 when the site was down and they were knee high in data drama. Does it help to have them know who I am? Of course.

Were you surprised that you received nothing for your efforts? Or are you saying you did in fact get a feature because of it? I am a little confused by your posts.

None of the above. I am saying that in order for admin to be of any use to your shop they need to know you exist, whether that is through forums posts, chronic relisting, taking treasury worthy photos or any other effort you see fit.

I am pretty sure had I not sent the pie I would have been asked to write pieces for the storque and such, they notice me because of my Etsy bill more than anything else I can do :)

impetuous said...

LP: I sent the pie after/during the "great revision" of '07 when the site was down and they were knee high in data drama.

IMP: So you sent the pie as a way to say "Etsy we love you faults and all" not in order to be noticed.

LP: I am saying that in order for admin to be of any use to your shop they need to know you exist, whether that is through forums posts, chronic relisting, taking treasury worthy photos or any other effort you see fit.

IMP: So you did send the pie to be noticed? I am so confused.

LP:I am pretty sure had I not sent the pie I would have been asked to write pieces for the storque and such.

IMP: So you feel sending the pie kept you from being asked to do storque articles? I can't make heads or tails of the pie sending really. I hope you at least got a thank you.

That's all from the roving pie reporter.

The Righteous One said...

Well I hope they said thank you too! Oh wait, they did, it's the forum thread that started the whole running joke about pies :p I don't think journalism is your strong suit Imp lol

impetuous said...

I report wearing my steampunk helmet.

huh said...

So you want Etsy to attract attention to you shop. Well why should they attract attention to yours, and not to everybody else's?

They can't ... any advertising they do will benefit the other shops as well as your own. Which means you get a VERY VERY SMALL PIECE OF THE PIE.

Do your own advertising, and stop expecting it from the mothership. Consider it as practice for when you're running your own shop.

impetuous said...

excuse me huh, but do you really think people are under the impression Etsy marketing it's own company and own brand is going to direct people to their specific shop?

You better re-read this chapter and try doing your homework again.

Brianna said...

I love reading your blog.and all these comments.
Omnomnom,I'm literally eating popcorn while reading these remarks.
Though I now have second thoughts about creating an easy shop...

Anonymous said...

P.s. I agree with "huh"