In our opinion, yes, selling on Etsy is worth it in 2021 for many reasons! Although, you should consider your own situation to determine if Etsy is the best platform for you.
Why selling on Etsy may be a lucrative online hustle in 2021
E-commerce has been a very hot topic the last decade or so and it’s only gaining momentum as technology continues to advance and more people become less interested in the brick and mortar shopping experience. The idea of running your own online business from the comfort of your home is a tempting one for many.
With so many different avenues and opportunities, however, sometimes we can get stuck in the “paralysis by analysis” phase and give up before we even start. The questions often asked by those curious about beginning there own e-commerce business tend to sound like, “What would I even sell?”, “How much money could I make?”, “How do I reach people to sell to?”, “Should I also sell at things like markets or trade shows in addition to online?”, “Which selling platform is the best for what I want to sell?” These are all totally viable questions and ones that should be thoroughly considered before diving into the world of online selling.
There are many selling platforms to choose from when deciding where you want to sell, and many, like most things, have a decent balance of pros and cons, depending on your specific selling needs. Etsy is an ever-growing and evolving e-commerce platform that focuses on handmade, craft supplies, and vintage items. Many wonder if they should create a shop to sell on Etsy, or have their own website.
The answer could very well be – do both!
Etsy Pros and Cons
|Easy access to lots of organic traffic
|Can be difficult to make a good living, but it’s possible
|Good for selling handmade or vintage items
|Etsy’s fee system can be a bit confusing
Etsy and Organic Traffic
The main reason Etsy is a valuable platform is because of it’s massive amount of organic traffic (44.8 million buyers in 2019 to be exact!), meaning the amount of people who use Etsy as a search engine to find and buy things they’re interested in. Etsy sellers can use Etsy/Google ads, social media, and a host of other ways to drive traffic to their Etsy shops, but with a little search engine optimization knowledge, you can pretty much build a booming shop from Etsy’s organic traffic alone.
In terms of creating your own website, the biggest issue many sellers face, that most fail to consider before buying their own domain, is where will the traffic be coming from? If you have an advertising budget and some technical know-how, you can certainly drive traffic from Facebook ads. You could also be using social media, such as Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook to reach people and direct them to your website, but this takes continual, consistent work, a solid social media strategy and usually quite a bit of time.
Many sellers have found the combination of an Etsy shop and also their own website to be a great way to sell and to not put all your eggs in one basket, so to speak, by relying solely on Etsy as your only source of income. Having your own website can help eliminate the risk of what may happen if you run into issues on Etsy or have your shop suspended for whatever reason. All that being said, there is not much that compares to the beauty of free traffic, and that is what makes Etsy worth it for many online sellers in the handmade, craft, or vintage categories.
One of the most important places a person who is deciding whether to use Etsy or not can look is at other users’ experiences and the simple facts surrounding Etsy. There are so many blogs with the goal to convince you rather than simply present the facts and let you decide for yourself.
Average Etsy Earnings
According to smartmoneymamas, the average Etsy seller makes $291 profit per month. Many individuals online state that they’re making six figures a year through their Etsy shop and make it sound easy. While this is true for some, you will need to get comfortable with that $291, or less average profit per month for awhile while you grow your shop.
Etsy Profit Margin
An aspect that isn’t normally talked about is profit margin. This is one of the many reasons why your Etsy shop should be run just like a real business: because it is. This is how much you earn, subtracted from how much it cost you to get the materials for your items. The average profit margin is 40%, however, many users state that theirs is less than this. Etsy will only be worth it for you if you can manage your profit margin.
Etsy is known for charging a few different types of fees across the site that many users can become frustrated with. For example, their listing fee is $0.20 per item and their transaction fee is 5%. In addition to these, you also have the option to pay extra for advertising and higher subscription tiers. Knowing that you’ll need to deal with these different fees when selling on Etsy can help you decide if Etsy is a good choice for you.
Read more about how much it costs to sell on Etsy
Looking at user experiences of Etsy is usually a great first place to look and see if the site would be a good fit for you. Reddit and other forums are a wonderful tool to see the behind-the-scenes of selling on Etsy.
Reddit user frozenchosun wrote an in-depth post of what they found helped them reach 4-figures each month of selling on Etsy. Obviously, for them, all the different aspects that you need to learn in order to be successful were totally worth it in the end.
Your personal experience on Etsy also depends on the item you’re selling and if it is handmade. This helpful Reddit thread has many long-term sellers (over 5+ years) describing their experiences and if it was ultimately worth it for them after a long time of selling.
Etsy will be worth it if you are willing to put the effort in and learn how to work the algorithm through choosing an appropriate niche, working with SEO, providing a quality experience for your customers, leveraging your costs of business, and providing a unique product. Etsy being a “worth it” endeavor for someone might not mean that it is a worthy endeavor for you. Users report that it takes lots of time and learning in order to find their own personal definition of worth through the site.