Hi ho art friends.
I’ve had an Etsy shop since 2007 when I was engaged in many crafts: jewelry, card-making, spinning yarn and knitting. My shop has never been a major money-maker but it has provided a way for me to inexpensively set up an online shop with a mostly easy-to-use platform.
I’ve seen a lot of changes over the years. Most of them were good changes: adding Treasuries, local events, categories, banners, shipping profiles. Other changes were more controversial: removing Treasuries, changing the algorithm for hearts, thus eliminating a source of free promotion by other Etsy shop owners. The lengths team members have to go through to promote each other now is nuts.
I knew going in that Etsy can change their terms at any time. Working through a site like Etsy is equivalent to renting shop space or putting work in galleries. Standard practice for galleries is to take anywhere from 20-30% commission on sales.
A quick google search shows Etsy made 1.7 billion US dollars in 2020. That is amazing when you consider the average product costs $30. Not bad for listing and commission fees, opt-in advertising and subscription fees.
The two recent changes caused me to reconsider whether or not to continue my Etsy shop. The line in the sand for me has always been fees.
That’s what set Etsy apart from the other platforms: $0.20 per listing per quarter (with an auto renew feature) 5% commission fee. Plus bank transaction fees, which no one can escape. Etsy handed out credit card readers, which was great for craft fairs and impromptu off-site sales.
Recently, Etsy implemented two marketing strategies. They automatically enrolled all shops in offsite advertising program and started targeted marketing campaigns. Shop owners could opt out of the former; however, those shops are automatically dropped to the bottom of search listings. Hm… that stinks. I’m not sure why someone would opt out of this option but to each their own.
There is no way to opt out of the targeted marketing, which charges all shop owners commission of 12-15%, depending on your annual sales.
If Etsy was bringing in new customers, then I’d be fine with the larger commission fee because Etsy is doing the marketing for me. But they are targeting existing customers; therefore, directly competing with me and my marketing efforts.
To help me decide if I should close my shop, I reviewed my stats and found 3/4 of my views come from this site and my social media sites. Nearly all of my sales were from craft fairs.
I can’t ignore these numbers and have decided to close my Etsy shop. By August 3, 2021, my current listings will expire.
Fortunately, wordpress.com has solutions for me to continue to offer my products online. My customer base is small so I am starting with a simple shop right here on this site.
It is not a robust shopping cart experience. Customers can purchase 1 item at a time and pay through PayPal. If, for example, one wanted to buy 3 different products, they’d purchase and check out 3 times. Kinda scrappy, to be sure, but nearly all of my customers buy individual items.
This simple shop only costs me Paypal fees on sales and my current annual plan. Should sales reach a critical mass, I’ll upgrade plans and add a cart experience.
To start, I’m adding the products currently listed in my Etsy shop. After that, I’ll expand my offerings.
As you know, I’m focused on the Takashima project. I have not investigated my publishing options for Takashima but am considering adding a subscription or donation option on this site to help fund publishing should I go that route. I’m planning to create and sell digital kits.
Stay tuned and check the shop regularly for new items.
Thanks for supporting art and happy creating!