Introducing Etsy

15.07.2016 |

Episode #9 of the course Guide to choosing an eCommerce platform by Adam Bastock


Like eBay, Etsy is an online marketplace. It started in 2005, has grown exceptionally, and has taken craft and creative industries into the mainstream. The core focus is on the handmade and the unique, offering a place for small businesses such as local artists to sell globally.


Ease of Use

Etsy is not for medium to large businesses, though I am sure some have started on there.

As a platform, it is built around individuals and their stories. For this reason, it’s important to make sure your product is the right fit for the community. While there’s a huge variety of products on Etsy, it is not as broad as eBay and is curated by Etsy staff to ensure it meets their guidelines.

The administration of orders is made easy with orders, reviews, and conversations clearly displayed. Listing products is a single page with a lot of guidance on how best to optimize your listings to gain sales. Shop profiles can be customized to give more information on the store’s story.

They also recently launched “Pattern,” which allows you to turn your Etsy store into your own dedicated website. The designs are basic and limited, but this is a strong alternative to something like SquareSpace if you have an existing store.

However, exporting to a shopping cart may be more difficult. It is possible to download a CSV file with all the info, but there are likely to be gaps in information.


Associated Costs

Unlike eBay, Etsy has a very simple and clear pricing structure.

For example, based on an item selling at $40, there is a 3.5% ($1.40) transaction fee, a $0.20 listing fee, and 4% ($1.60) + $0.25 payment processing fee for a total of $3.45.

They also offer the ability to promote certain listings based on an auction model. Costs will vary depending on product range.

You can sign up now with 40 free listings here.


Use Applications

Etsy is aimed at individuals who want to start their own business making handmade items. It provides an easy-to-use and relatively cheap platform to sell on. If you’re considering whether to start a business selling items, then it’s a great place to test out ideas and products without investing too much time or money.

It connects well with Pinterest and Facebook, making social marketing straightforward to manage at a low cost. Etsy also pays for Google ads, meaning there’s little stress in setting up your own campaigns.



My first successful business was on Etsy, and I have fond memories of the adrenaline rush when the “cha-ching” notification noise came through on my phone. It allowed me to grow easily, without worrying about payments or hosting, giving me time to focus on selling my product to the community.

Etsy’s biggest drawback, somewhat ironically, is that there is a wide range of high-quality products there. Standing out from the crowd is critical. However, it is a very easy platform to use for individuals starting out with their own businesses.


Recommended book

“Ecommerce: The Ultimate Guide to Making Money Selling Products Online” by Raman Shahi


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