If you’re looking to start selling your goods online, you’ll want to consider whether setting up a website of your own or selling on Etsy will be the best option for you. Take a closer look at what each offer and how they differ so that you can make the most informed decision on selling on your own website vs Etsy.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Etsy.
There are obviously pros and cons to any platform and Etsy is no exception. Let’s talk about both the pros and cons to selling on Etsy.
- Ease of use: You can upload some photos to Etsy and be selling there within an hour. Nothing beats Etsy as far as how easy it is to set up and move on.
- Volume of traffic: Etsy had 90 million buyers in 2022 and is growing every single year. And unlike social media platforms, the people that come to Etsy are ready to purchase a product when they log in.
- No monthly fees: Etsy has no required monthly fees. Instead, you pay to list your products and pay Etsy fees when you make a sale.
- Lack of customization: You are limited to what you can customize as far as your shop and listing pages go on Etsy. You aren’t able to change home page or listing design or formatting for example.
- Higher fees per transaction: Etsy charges around 10% per sale in transaction and processing fees.
- High competition: One of the largest cons of selling on Etsy is that you have thousands and thousands of sellers competing for each search by done by potential buyers.
Pros and Cons of Selling on Your own Website.
- Can sell any products: To sell on Etsy, your listings must be handmade, vintage, or a supply. You can’t sell products that don’t fit these categories including gift boxes that contain items that don’t fit these descriptions. On your own website, however, you can sell whatever you’d like to.
- More branding opportunities: When you sell on your own website, you have a lot of chances to brand your website and listing pages with your logo and brand colors.
- Can take a very long time to set up: Sometimes having too many options is a bad thing. Setting up your own website can take days or weeks depending on your platform.
- Lower conversion rates are possible: Little things on a website can tank your conversion rate. I’ve seen sellers who had a website with the cart button on the wrong side of the page. This seller had their website done by a professional developer who changed this one button, and their conversion rate sky-rocketed. But it’s hard to test these small design changes when you don’t have any experience designing websites.
- Higher monthly fees: While the transaction fees are lower on your own website, the monthly fees are significantly higher.
- Need to rely more on social media marketing or ads: Without a built in buyer base coming to your platform, you will need to rely on your social media marketing and/or paid ads to drive all of your traffic as search engine optimization for your own website takes significantly longer than it does on Etsy.
How to Decide.
In the end, there are pros and cons to every selling platform. You want to weight what pros are most important to you and what cons you can overcome the most. For me, the ease of use of Etsy and the high amounts of traffic (and therefore sales) you can get from the platform fairly quickly are more important to me than the lack of customization and the competition on the platform. It can be very difficult to get the type of traffic you need to make consistent sales from your own website no matter what platform you run it on, especially if you don’t have experience with website design or e-commerce yet.