Are you thinking of opening an online shop and wondering which platform might be right for you? Or are you wondering if opening an online shop is even worth it at all? Read on to get the scoop on whether opening a shop on Etsy is worth it these days.
Is Selling on Etsy Worth it in 2021?
Yes! Opening an Etsy store is absolutely worth it and can be a great way to earn extra cash or replace your income completely. Read below to go more in depth.
Why Sell on Etsy
The World is Going Digital
With the current state of the world it seems that selling online is the only profitable way to make money from hobbies and crafts anymore.
Craft fairs are closing their doors and businesses aren’t able to accommodate the foot traffic they once could. Leaving the door wide open for online shops to pop up and fill the market.
Even if shops and craft fairs are able to return to normal in the near future, more people will continue to shop online. Consider this: the people that were already shopping online will continue to do so, that number won’t change. However, out of the people that previously didn’t shop online, there will be those that have been converted to primarily online shoppers and those that want to get back in the stores to buy things in person. Leaving more people buying online than ever before.
While opening a store on Etsy can open a whole new world of challenges, it can also open a ton of new doors that lead to endless opportunity.
Etsy is Accessible & Affordable
It’s simple to start an Etsy shop and get your listings up. All you need to do is make an account, pick a store name, and set your shop policies, which Etsy makes fairly easy and walks you through the whole process.
Each listing costs $0.20 USD and Esty takes a 5% commission from each sale. Which is incredibly affordable, especially compared to some other options. For comparisons sake, Amazon charges $40/month plus a 15% commission per sale.
Sure you could start your own website and keep all of the profits for yourself, but I can pretty much guarantee that you are going to spend more than 5% of your profits on ads to get customers to you website (unless you already have a following on social media or a large email list.)
Etsy comes with an established marketplace and millions of monthly visitors.
According to Statistica.com Etsy received 2.5 million monthly visitors in 2019. Though the statistics are not yet available for 2020, the number has consistently gone up year after year and it’s a pretty safe bet that 2020 stuck to that upward trend.
Multiple Selling Options
There are tons of products that you could sell on Etsy. From vintage items to handmade crafts to stickers and wall art to digital downloads. You could pick one type of product to sell in your store or sell multiple different things. You could even open multiple shops if you wanted to keep each shop niched down.
Need ideas? Read this list of 20 Etsy Shop Ideas.
The Sky is the Limit!
When it comes to selling on Etsy, the sky is the limit!
Whether you pick a single niche to stick to or open multiple shops, you have unlimited potential.
There isn’t a limit to how many products you can have listed in your Etsy shop and no maximum number of sales, so you could have as few as one product or as many as thousands. It’s all up to you and how far you want to push it.
Etsy is Beginner Friendly
Even if you have never sold anything before or you don’t know what you would even sell, Etsy is a great place to learn the ropes. With Etsy’s handbook, YouTube, and ton of communities online to join that offer help and advice, there is a plethora of resources out there to help you learn.
Even if you are a complete beginner, you can start to see success selling on Etsy relatively quickly if you take advantage of the resources out there and take the time to learn.
The Competition is Manageable
There are over 2 million shops on Etsy worldwide. Which at first glance seems like a lot! But let’s break it down.
A good chunk of those shops are not active, from sellers that opened a shop only to abandon it a week later or people that have just altogether moved on from selling on Etsy to people that discovered it just wasn’t for them. It’s impossible to say how many of these shops there are out there, but the number is probably pretty high as it’s pretty common human behavior for people to start something only to get halfway done and give up for one reason or another.
Now let’s think about niche. Even after discounting the inactive shops, there may still be well over a million sellers on Etsy, but they are not all selling the same thing. There are tons of vintage sellers, tons of crystal sellers, tons of sewers, knitters, crocheters, dog collar makers, print on demanders, digital print designers, weavers, sticker makers, t-shirt printers, etc etc. The list goes on and on!
You are not in direct competition with every single seller on Etsy. Making that 2 million number shrink even more.
There are going to be sellers that are selling the same thing as you. There may be hundreds, thousands, or potentially even tens or hundreds of thousands of other sellers that your products will directly compete against. That’s where keyword research and SEO comes in.
SEO is search engine optimization, and you may not realize it at first, but Etsy is a search engine. So when you are listing your products think of relevant keywords and phrases that your target customers would be typing into the search bar and include those words in your titles and tags.
SEO and keyword research still dumbfounds most sellers on Etsy, so if you can understand even just the basics of it you will be many steps ahead. Shrinking that big 2 million sellers number even smaller.
The Cons to Selling on Etsy
Overall, selling on Etsy is absolutely worth it and is a great opportunity for anyone looking to generate income online. However, the platform does come with its downsides. Let’s dive deeper.
Etsy is in Charge
Though you do own your own business, you are doing it on Etsy’s platform. And if you do anything that Etsy is not okay with, you could get banned. Just like that, without warning, all of your hard work could be gone.
This has happened to many sellers on Etsy and sometimes through no fault of their own.
Takes Time and Effort
It is hard work to build a successful Etsy shop! Don’t think for one second that you are just going to throw a few products up there and start making sales just like that. It’s not going to happen.
It takes time to put your listings up, to market them, to communicate back and forth with customers, and to learn proper Etsy SEO.
Most sellers give up before they ever see a glimpse of success on Etsy.
Copycats are all over the internet looking to make a quick buck and Etsy is no exception. Honestly, if you are going to sell products online, this is something that you are going to come up against no matter which platform you choose.
Just be aware that it happens every day. It’s best to consult with a legal advisor on how to proceed if it happens to you.
How Much Money can you make on Etsy?
As stated above, the sky is the limit to how much money you can make on Etsy.
However, the reality is that most Etsy sellers make next to no money. That number is also skewed by those that give up in the first few days, weeks, and even months.
If you take a look at the top sellers on Etsy there are tons of them making over six figures and some are even grossing over a million dollars a year. (Gross profit does not include expenses.)
It also depends on what you are selling. If you are selling handmade products, you are likely limited to how much you can produce. Whereas if you are selling digital downloads you can sell an unlimited amount of each and every listing.
If you are a brand new shop without tons of listings, it’s great to be making 1-2 sales per week. From there you can scale up.
Hopefully, this has cleared things up for you and now you see the potential that comes with opening up an Etsy store.
It is definitely worth selling on Etsy in 2021! So long as you take the time to learn the ropes and realize that it is not a get rich quick scheme. It takes time to build your shop and to figure out what works.
Want more information about selling on Etsy? Click here for our catalog of Etsy articles.
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