Is Etsy the best way to start selling your handmade products?
Should you sell on Etsy or on your own website? I know, right? That’s a question that everyone is asking, and there’s never a right or wrong answer to this problem.
Today, I want to do things a little bit differently and instead of listening the pros and cons of Etsy versus your own website, I want to challenge you to answer 4 questions that I believe are going to help you decide what the best plan of action for your handmade business and your specific situation is.
You can watch the video, or read the post below.
I also have a really cool, free download for you that’s going to help you visualise the process and help you see logically what the next question you should ask yourself is. It’s a decision-tre and you can access it in the free resource library for makers and handmade entrepreneurs, right here!
The big picture
The first question is: What’s the big picture? What’s the 10-year plan? Are you trying to generate a side income? Or do you want to build a handmade empire and turn your shop into a full time job and business?
If you’re doing this as a side project, then starting on Etsy is probably the best solution. Etsy already has traffic, it’s super easy and quick to set up, meaning you can start selling your products really quickly.
If you’re trying to build a long-term, viable business from your handmade skills, I would recommend you move on to question two.
How quickly do you need to get sales?
How quickly do you need to get sales? Do you have another job that pays the bills at the moment or maybe even a little bit of savings and money aside? Or do you need to get the ball rolling and generate sales ASAP?
If you really need to make sales, right here, right now, then I would recommend you start on Etsy, simply because it’s the fastest way to get set up and start selling your products. You can always change your mind and grow beyond Etsy later on, but if money is really something important right now, then starting on Etsy is the quickest road.
If money isn’t a pressing issue and you have a bit more time, then you need to move on to question three.
Budget and Skills
Do you have a budget for getting a professional to help you design your brand and set up your website? If not, do you have, yourself, the skills to do it or are you willing to take some time to learn and do it yourself?
If you don’t have a budget for it and you don’t have any skills or you’re not willing to take some time to learn how to do it, then I would recommend starting on Etsy because Etsy has all of that done for you. You don’t need to set up a website because it’s all hosted by the platform which makes it a great place to start in your situation.
If you do have a budget for it, or if you have the skills to do it yourself and time to learn how to do it, then you need to move on to the fourth and final question.
Marketing and sales
The last question is all about marketing and sales strategy: How comfortable are you with investing time to learn how to get traffic to your store and implement marketing and sales strategies?
Pick a number from zero to ten.
Zero is “No, thank you, I do not want to have to spend so much time doing that, I want to start a business to create products, not to become a marketer.”
Ten is “yes please, I’m excited to learn and experiment with the marketing aspect of my business”.
If your number is between zero and five, I would recommend you start on Etsy. If your number is between five and ten, then it looks like you are ready to open your online store.
Now, just a disclaimer here, opening an Etsy store does not mean that you will not have to make any marketing effort or spend time learning what works. There is work involved, and you will have to spend time doing doing it to really leverage the platform and make sure that the Etsy traffic is actually converting into sales on your store. There is definitely more of a learning curve if you decide to go the online store road and set up a store on your own website, which is why the scale is there.
Should you still look at the pros and cons of Etsy versus your own website? Of course.
But I believe that by answering those four questions, you already understood things that the pros and cons sometimes aren’t showing you.
I really hope this helped you in making the right decision for your handmade business. And don’t forget to claim your FREE access to the resource library for makers and handmade shop owners below.