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Pros and Cons of Etsy: A Guide to Selling on the Platform

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Pros and Cons of Etsy

If you’re into selling unique and rare handicrafts, Etsy should be a big part of your e-commerce strategy. With a large and passionate marketplace, it’s one of the best platforms for small craft businesses to sell in.

But before you open that Etsy store, know that it’s not for everyone. Coming in prepared is critical if you want to succeed in this busy marketplace.

In this post, we’ll talk about selling on Etsy, pros and cons of doing it, and if it’s the right strategy for you.

What is Etsy

Etsy is basically the eBay for unique crafts. It’s a marketplace where merchants can sell unique goods like homemade stuff, arts and crafts, or vintage items. You simply need to pay for a minimal fee when listing your items on the platform, plus a percentage of your sales. In general, it’s relatively inexpensive to sell on Etsy compared to other platforms.

Due to the rare nature of its goods, Etsy is a haven for smaller businesses or even one-person operations. Hence, Opening an Etsy shop is as easy, or sometimes even easier, than most e-commerce platforms on the Internet.

Of course, there are also medium to big-sized companies who sell on Etsy. In fact, they use it as a successful strategy together with their other e-commerce platforms like Amazon.

One of the benefits of Etsy is that it attracts a unique customer base, one that is passionate about finding rare buys and handicraft products. It goes without saying that certain businesses would do well on Etsy, while some are utterly incompatible with the market there.

Things to consider before opening an Etsy store 

Starting an Etsy shop is so easy that many people neglect to properly prepare for it. The fact is that there are some things you need to consider to answer the question, “is having an Etsy shop worth it?”

The first thing you need to do is market research. Search for your niche on Etsy, then list down around 5 – 10 products from that category. Take note of how they market their stuff and what the market thinks about them.

You need to know if there are people who are willing to buy your product in the Etsy marketplace. If there is none, you might think it’s a great opportunity. Unfortunately, it also means it can be an uphill climb to sell to your audience.

On the flip side, if the market is already saturated with your product category, then it might be challenging to stand out. Selling headbands on Etsy , for example, can be a challenge indeed because there are thousands listed there. Unless your product is exceptionally unique, think twice before putting up your store on Etsy.

Success in other platforms doesn’t mean instant success in Etsy. Remember, this is a unique marketplace with a very specific user base. Do your homework first and see if it’s a proper fit with your overall business strategy

Advantages and Disadvantages of Etsy 

There are many pros and cons of Etsy that any potential shop-keeper should be aware of. First, the plusses.

As we mentioned, Etsy has a vast and unique customer base of around 35 million active customers. And because the platform is in a particular niche, you already know what these users are looking for. Organic traffic is fantastic on Etsy, which can add to your overall marketing strategy.

It’s also almost too easy to set up an Etsy store. The best thing is that it’s free, with the option of upgrading to paid features as your store grows.

On the flip side, here are the cons of setting up on Etsy. First, it can be a highly saturated marketplace, especially for specific product niches. You’re also limited to only handmade products on Etsy, which can limit what items you can put in depending on your product line.

Lastly, it will cost you to list your items on Etsy. They also take a percentage (5%) off all your sales on the platform, plus added fees if the customer pays via credit card.

How to Start an Etsy Store

We mentioned before in the pros and cons of Etsy section how easy it is to set up shop, and that’s true. In fact, it only takes a few easy steps.

First, you need to register for an Etsy account. It’s easy and doesn’t have too many requirements apart from the usual name and email address. Once you’re logged in, you can now click on “Open Your Etsy Shop” to begin the process.

Here, you’ll be given the option to name your store, as well as your branding images. You can also let Etsy know your shop preferences. You can also set payment options, shipping fees, and billing.

Finally, you can add items to your store.  Each listing would need to have a unique description, the pricing, and high-quality photos of your products.

Finalize the process by clicking on “Open Your Shop” to get the unique URL for your Etsy store.


Etsy can be a very lucrative platform for craft businesses, but you shouldn’t enter unprepared. You should consider financing from L3 to boost your production and anticipate the sudden surge in sales. Contact us today to find out more.