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Why Etsy doesn't allow you to sell with your full potential

Written by Michael Villeneuve
Create your store
May 30 2019 (Mis à jour le 4 July 2022)
5 min

Etsy wants to defend artisans and creators by offering them a sales page on their site at low cost. But a big loss of sales and profits is hiding behind that.

We explain why in this article.

Don’t have your own online store yet ? Open an account on our easy-to-build e-commerce platform!

Etsy a giant thanks to the work of the little ones

Etsy, a New York company listed on the NASDAQ, is a marketplace where artisans and sellers from around the world register to sell their products to a local target.

How much does it cost to sell with Etsy?

Marketplace usage costs $ 0.20 USD / item every 4 months to display the products on a Etsy page.

For each sale, Etsy will charge 5% plus 4% and $ 0.25 CAD of transaction fees for their Etsy Payment service.

For sales of $ 2500 / month, the use of Etsy (with a simple sales page) will cost you $ 256 (registration fee, sales percentage, etc.), more than double your online store with Panierdachat that will cost you $ 142 (payment processor fees included).

We have detailed in this article, the best online stores platform to pay the less fees. Take a look at it to compare the costs of both solutions.

Why Etsy does not allow you to sell as much as you should?

With Etsy, you have a small place on a huge market with millions of merchants. This involves many disadvantages to grow and prosper your business.

You will NEVER be referenced on Google

According to a recent survey of the very good agency Wolfgang, in 2018, 43% of e-commerce traffic came from Google. And 38% of their income came from the famous search engine.

Unfortunately, you can do away with 38% of your potential sales with Etsy. The SEO of its “shop pages” is not optimized at all.

For example : You sell recycled watches.
For the majority of the time, a woman will go on Google to search “women’s watches recycled”.

In this query, Google references the most relevant shops according to its algorithm. And no Etsy shop will stand out.

Here is the shop of Chikiboom (using the Panierdachat platform) which is referenced to the, much desired, first position. Chikiboom also has an Etsy page but it is not indexed by Google on this query at all.

Panierdachat online store in first result of Google
Chikiboom online store is first, the same category on Etsy with all merchants is 4th. And the Chikiboom Etsy page is not in the first Google results pages.

Etsy has in its marketplace the category “Recycled watches” which is placed in the same query as previously in 4th position. Far from the first results that collect almost all clicks.

In addition, this page is a mix of all Etsy shops selling recycled watches… it will arrive in the first results and attract attention to have a chance to be bought by a young parent! (example: pay advertising to be seen in the first results on Etsy)

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You will always be competing against other sellers

Due to the fact that your “shop page” will never be referenced, users searching on Etsy or having found the category of products targeted via Google will face a list of products of dozen artisans like you.

This is where you will have to stand out from a very strong competition.

In addition, for the most competitive searches and categories, the first line (and every second line) will be paid advertisements paid by other merchants.

Strong competition and the best places are ads.
Strong competition and the best places are ads.

You are then active on Instagram and Facebook to remedy this lack of visibility

Etsy does not bring you new customers with the main lever of online sales, you set up a communication strategy on Instagram (and Facebook).

Before spending the majority of your time on social networks, here are the 2018 official survey Cefrio know about the use of social networks in Quebec and the figures of the survey of Wolfgang Digital:

  • Only 24% of Quebec adults have an Instagram account
  • Only 2% of e-commerce sales come from social networks (Surprise!)

Etsy in your communication strategy

As we explained in this article, selling online on Etsy is a waste of money with significant selling costs and no opportunity for SEO positioning. This deprives you of a majority of buyers.

If you sell only with a Facebook store or Instagram posts we would say the same thing: You are not selling to your full potential!

We will always advise you to be active on social networks, to build loyalty and increase your visibility. Even if the majority of your sales go through Google, creating a community that says the good of your business on the web is paramount in 2019.

It’s the same on Etsy, it’s a good way of communicating that brings you benefits that are always good to take especially at the launch of an online store.

  • Make yourself known by local artisans
  • Create partnerships with other artisans
  • Support yourself on social networks
  • Reach buyers seeking only by Etsy

But these benefits are too small to propel your sales and the only way to reveal your real potential will be to open your own online store!

What can we conclude?

It is much easier to make a beautiful photo of a product to users on Instagram than to make them germinate in their minds the desire to buy this product.

Online shopping is becoming more and more popular, 96% of Quebecers have an Internet connection and according to a Canada Post survey, 80% of Canadians buy online.

According to Canada Post, the number of frequent buyers (more than 7 online purchases per year) increased from 43% in 2016 to 58% in 2018 and is expected to continue to grow in 2019.

If you’re an Etsy merchant, consider adding a professional online store to your assets and do not miss out on your real sales potential, playing in Google’s big yard and reaching all of its new online shoppers.

Start an amazing experience.
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