My Experiences With Other Selling Platforms
I’ve been in eCommerce and internet marketing (particularly search engine marketing) since I was 17. This has given me the opportunity to try various selling platforms when dealing with various types of business. I also spent the year dabbling but never really launching an art shop anywhere. Initially I started with Woo Commerce which is a plugin for WordPress. I love WordPress. I’ll tell you why I love WordPress in a different post. I also have experience with Shopify, Amazon, Ebay, Wix, Squarespace, and recently Society6 and Etsy.
My Fears with Etsy
Borrowing My Ideas
Naturally I dislike when people take my ideas. I mean detail by detail take my idea. I can deal with being influenced by my ideas but not it just being completely copied. Being part of various art groups a recent trend that seemed to emerge was people using other people’s art as their own and selling it on platforms like Etsy (How to Deal With Someone Stealing Your Art). Eh, eventually I got over that when it became apparent that passion is what drives successful people… and a Jay Z song “I heard motherfuckers sayin’ they made Hov / Made Hov say, “Okay, so, make another Hov.”. Plus, it’s best to mind YOUR business in business. The most I can do is stay focused on me and do what makes my soul feel full.
Distraction from My Art
Second, I didn’t want people interested in my art to get hit with the “similar items you might like”. They don’t do that there. If someone clicks on your item they show them your other items. That fear was nipped rather quickly when looking at jewelry I really likes recently.
Once those fears were out the way these were a few of the main reasons I chose Etsy as the platform to sell my art:
People Go There Searching for Art & Hand Crafts
This is my number one reason for choosing Etsy as my selling platform. I’ve gone to Etsy looking for stuff. I’ve purchased stuff from there before. I have noticed a few things they pass off as handmade are from aliexpress but in general it’s full of hand made artisan products and tons of people go there looking for arts and crafts. Plus, there are other artists on there. Artist tend to appreciate other artists art. Why not give myself the upper hand with my new store that gets little traffic and would take months to rank organically? It seemed like a smarter direction to take by using a popular platform like Etsy to sell my art and craft projects.
Financially Made Sense
Art and crafting is a hobby for me. One of the things I like doing. I spend most of my money adulting, hair dye, kid toys, food, and craft supply. I want to put my art out there but I don’t necessarily want to invest too much to put it out there. I got my website last year from GoDaddy for $2. I already have my own hosting servers I use for marketing clients, so they practically pay for my server. Art isn’t something you just roll over and become successful with. Hell, I can spend $300 on art and make $100 starting out. I can spend $300 to publish and market a book on the proper form of squatting and make $2000. Art is a hard market and I don’t want to invest much outside of the tools I need to create art. Etsy only charges .20 cents per posting and it stays up for 4 months. They also have lower than average payment processing fees. I have 18 post that cost me $3.60. Cost effective.
I seriously don’t have to do much. Most shops you don’t have to do much but I just keyword spam my title with relevant words, add product details, tags, and minor relevant information. I can make shipping labels at a discount and it doesn’t cost me to have that feature. They keep track of my stock although everything is made to order. They even have a really cost effective ad marketing program that helped me make my first sell in 48 hours and have a decent profit. I didn’t have to optimize my ads which is daunting if you’ve ever used Google Adwords, Facebook Ads or Instagram Ads.
Helpful App Integrations
I actually just learned they have various apps which integrates with them that can help you be more productive with your store. They have various companies which do drop-shipping of art prints and gear, split testing of your images, help you manage Etsy & other selling platforms from one central location, automated social media sharing and so much more. Most aren’t free but this is something I loved about Shopify and think made Shopify unique. The Etsy apps aren’t all amazing but there are a few that really give you an edge if you like the business side of selling your art and crafts. I love business.
I’m ultimately satisfied in my decision to use Etsy to sell my work. I think it’s a great platform for creators and if you’re starting out you should give it a try. If you already have your store set up you should consider promoting it on Etsy in addition to your established store. There are apps which will help you keep track of stock & orders from all your stores in one central location. I’d definitely recommend Etsy for artist.