I have now owned an Etsy shop for just over a month. So here some of my comments on it’s progress so far.
I’ll start with the positives (as one always should).
- Increase in new customers – By far the best thing about my Etsy shop is the number of new customers have filtered through to my main shop. I was expecting a modest rise in new customers for my main shop as a result of my Etsy shop, but not this many!
- Increased visibility on the web – Etsy always shows up higher in the web searches so if you carefully link all of your websites/blogs/shops together it is a lot easier for visitors to find you. So for instance if someone new clicks on my Etsy shop (which I gave the same name as my main shop and blog) it won’t be long before they discover my main shop…
- Community – The Etsy community is huge and members can participate at so many different levels from just buying stuff on etsy to setting up groups/teams etc. Members can get seriously involved with al sorts of Etsy community stuff and the more you put in the more visibility in the Etsy community you will receive, but to be honest I personally don’t have the time to spare.
…and the not so postive…
- The copy-cats – Before I set up my Etsy shop I was pretty much aware that copying goes on in the craft world online. Now I have my own Etsy shop I of course have more of a vested interest in the copying that goes on with in Etsy. And IMHO it is worse within Etsy than is is outside of it. I was copied within 2 weeks and I know of sellers who’s top selling items have been copied and then undersold by copyists. I’m personally not bitter about it, after all I sell supplies so it hurts less than when someone copies your design and reproduces it. Also I’m sure my philosophical and calm outlook is partly a result of my not relying on my Etsy shop for my main income. I am dismayed by the lack of soul and morals that copyists have, but I firmly believe in moving on and always striving to be head and shoulders above them. However, I’m aware that I do have the luxury of simply turning the other cheek. I do feel for others who have tried their hardest to offer beautiful and unique items only to have some lazy s**thead come along and swipe their designs.
Conclusion (this is all sounding like an essay)
I still think that having and Etsy shop is very worthwhile because of the sheer number of new customers you can potentially attract and Etsy is important for search engine searches, but I think (if you can manage it) you need other selling venues besides Etsy (such as your own website, other Etsy style shops and how about your own blog – more about that in a minute). Take the time to link all of your selling venues together. Sprinkle the links of your various sites within each other regularly. You MAY want to consider selling your more sensitive/special items outside of Etsy if you are concerned about copyists.
I am going to be selling my own patterns on my other blog. Do you remember I spoke a while back about E-Junkie? Well I am going to be using them and the juicy discount code for 3 months FREE remains active indefinitely. Check it out for yourselves if you like.