TLDR : No. Don’t.
Some of the reasons that I’ve been able to think of why selling on Etsy is a bad idea for your brand and business :
You, your shop, your brand and your livelihood is at the mercy of Etsy’s Algorithm. If they decide to de-incentivize the category of products under which you’re selling, how are you going to battle that? You simply cannot. It is similar to the complaint most of us have with the Instagram Algorithm : Organic Reach is at an all-time low and we can do absolutely nothing to change it except buy Instagram ads. But Etsy makes you pay for a listing even before you have experience with their algorithm. So you pay for the listing, you pay 5% of each sale and you still need to buy promotional ad space on the Etsy platform? Fuck off.
Your Business or Etsy’s Business?
Are you trying to grow your own business or are you trying to contribute to Etsy’s shareholders? You are the product that Etsy is selling to it’s shareholder and YOU STILL HAVE TO PAY TO BE ON THE PLATFORM.
What are you selling? Art / Commodity?
If it is a commodity, you could even think of selling it via Amazon. Why stop at Etsy? If, however, you are attempting to build a brand ( which is a long-term process ), why would you dilute your brand’s value by listing it on another platform? You’re selling Art, not decorative items. There’s a difference.
Starting your shop on Etsy first means that that’s where you send all Internet Search traffic. If you do decide to shut down your shop a few months / years down the line and launch an online shop on your own domain, Internet Search is still going to take people first to Etsy where they are bound to get distracted. Own your brand and domain from the get-go.
Decision-making ownership : what if Etsy shuts down?
What happens to all the work you put into Etsy if Etsy shuts down? Yes every platform faces that inevitability – heck, even the entire Internet might shut down some day ( which would probably mean that the existence of this planet might be in question! ). Are you going to make brand decisions based on what Etsy is going through or are you going to make decisions based on what’s ideal for your own brand?
Short-term vs. Long-term
If you teach yourself the skills to run your own shop on your own domain and tie in all the elements of your supply chain, it will serve you better in the long run. You will learn more and you will not need to depend on any one platform for the success and growth of your brand.
The Financial Angle
- $0.20 to make a listing. ( You can make as many listings as you want, on your own shop. This money that’s you’re paying Etsy is even before you’ve made any money selling on their platform. If you’re going to pay them prior to making any money yourself, I would suggest you much rather invest that money in creating Instagram / Facebook ads that bring curious visitors to your own shop directly. )
- 5% of each sale. ( For doing what exactly? Use Instamojo.com instead : they charge 3% of each sale, are specific to India so you can use Credit Cards, NetBanking, UPI etc. AND they will set you up with an excellent shipping partner as well. )
Limitations on Images / Video
You can do literally whatever you like for the product listing page on your own store – you do not have that option when listing with Etsy. Etsy’s platform has various restrictions, not just limited to the dimensions of images / videos.
Far too many reason to not be on Etsy. I really do not see any reason to be on the platform – at least my own KhaosPhilos Art Label will never be seen on Etsy. There is only one place where my art is available to buy : on my online shop.