This post is for people who are thinking about opening an Etsy shop. This is NOT for those of you who are long time sellers on Etsy already. This is for people who have no attachment to the “old Etsy.” You have heard me talk on both side of the coin regarding Etsy, and I’m settled in a mindset now where Etsy is tool, and I’m choosing to use it because I see the benefits of it. And I think people with no previous experience there can go into Etsy shop ownership with a different perspective than veteran sellers can when it comes to approaching Etsy in 2015 as compared to 2010. Okay? Okay. And if you are that familiar with the old Etsy, I do suggest you consider it might be time to establish your own branded site!
For those of you long time Etsy sellers, you might be looking to move on or diversify, and for you I have my post about 15 Reasons I LOVE Selling Handmade on Shopify.
Okay, great, so now for those of you who are Etsy Curious….
2015 might just be *the* best year yet to start selling on Etsy. Here’s why I’m thinking it’s possible:
1. Etsy is in the news a lot
When I attended the training at Etsy HQ (a small invite only seminar aimed at teaching sellers how to teach other sellers how to sell on Etsy) one of the things we talked about was “what to do when Etsy is in the news.” Things have changed some since then, but generally the idea is still the same: when Etsy is in the news, the site gets more traffic. Plain and simple, and pretty obvious, right? Of course anytime the brand is getting buzz, traffic on-site will be up. Well, Etsy has been getting a crap ton of buzz recently because of it’s IPO.
It doesn’t necessarily matter if the press is good or bad – we know this – people hear something over and over they go and check it out. That’s kinda how it works. (Think: Britney Spears, 2007.)
So what do you do when Etsy is in the news? List more, renew, work on listings… just be there, basically. Whatever the case may be, show up and do something to leverage the traffic.
2. and will be in the news a lot
Again, because: IPO. You’re basically guaranteed Etsy mentions in all the major news outlets at least a few more times this year. Along with that comes an expanded brand awareness.
3. You can leave your offsite link now
It used to be a big no-no to mention your other sites on Etsy. It was seen as a form of “fee avoidance” to send people who had found you through Etsy to buy elsewhere. You still can’t say “come over to my site where everything is 70% cheaper!” or anything like that, but you *can* leave your link in listings, your shop announcement or elsewhere. In fact, there is even a preset place to leave it on your about page. Pretty swell, huh?
4. You can start for free
If you just want to try it out, you can get your first 40 listings free right here. That’s not something that was happening when I started on Etsy. It’s not a HUGE dollar amount, but it gives you a risk free chance to play around and see what you can do with listings and see the features behind the scenes. Test drive, basically. So you can list 40 things for free, if they don’t sell, you’ve lost nothing, if they do, then you gained!
5. It’s still low cost
Not necessarily specific to this year, but lots of new sites have popped up and Etsy is still just about the cheapest of the commission based sites. Etsy provides an affordable platform to start with until you are ready to branch out and sell on your own site – or as we say in the business world – build capitol.
6. You don’t have to know anything technical or web developer-y and glitches are deferrable.
When apps and mobile shopping became the big thing, Etsy was on it. Shops got upgraded to include a mobile version and shop owners didn’t have to do a damn thing. You’ll never have to build or code a page. Etsy is plug and play all the way hey hey hey. Technology changes so quickly now, it’s nice to know that Etsy has a lot riding on their ability to adjust and make-nice with the technology of the times.
Additionally, glitches are deferrable. Look, glitches are going to happen. It’s inevitable. No site is perfect – – at least on Etsy, they have to deal with it, not you. And they have a whole team of people to fix things when they go wrong, the same cannot usually be said about people like me who – if their site glitches out – have to take care of it on their own. #SweatFest
7. Shop comes ready to handle shipping + taxes
Now that VAT tax is a thing, a new layer of tax hell has been added for those of us selling digital files on our sites. Long story short: Etsy is going to deal with this so that you don’t need to drive yourself nuts figuring it out. So sweet of them, right?
And even though Etsy shops have been online-shipping friendly for some time now, it’s worth repeating because it’s still a huge plus to not have to handwrite envelopes or go to the post office. #NoThankYou
And bonus 8. Personalized help available
This year I can help you set up a strong foundation for selling on Etsy and teach you the best practices, little known tricks, and the exact things you need to do to get found more often on Etsy, increase your traffic, get more sales and leverage more opportunities. This is the first year I’m really offering these types of services – and I’ve made a huge shift in my product business in order to do it. I’m so excited because I LOVE this sort of stuff and I want to help you generate income from your work – and as you know, I think Etsy is a tool you can use to do that.
If you’ve been thinking about setting up an Etsy shop, those are the reasons I say “hey, why the heck not?” especially considering you can stock a new shop for free. Fully agree with all of you who are thinking “Etsy is not the same as it used to be.” Totally – it’s not at all – that doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a viable selling platform, albeit different than the sort of platform it was six years ago.
So go forth and conquer – or at least test drive.