…building a business: to etsy or not to etsy

Yesterday I decided to shut down my Etsy account. There are a few reasons why I decided to do this. The number one reason, however, is a little thing called shipping. If you are on Etsy, you ship. And shipping, in my opinion, is painful. Especially shipping furniture for the past 4 years.

There are pros and cons to joining & selling on Etsy, an open marketplace for artisans. It’s an amazing forum that allows customers all over the world to buy handmade or vintage products. Individuals can use Paypal or credit cards and that is an element that you don’t have to deal with on your own site. When one of your pieces sells, you receive an email with the customer information so you can contact him/her and then ship the item the purchased.

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I have sold many, many pieces via Etsy and have shipped them all over the country using USHIP. It’s alot of coordination and negotiation and most of the time it works out great. There can be little glitches with drivers, but most of all it is time consuming to find a situation that works for the end client and the shipper…and me!

I am also a customer on Etsy and have had a great experience finding interesting & unique products. If your product is small, you can put it in a box with a label and get it to your customer. Most Etsy Shops estimate the shipping cost and post it under the cost. I have had the experience that if I overpay, the Shop will reimburse me. Most transactions are done via Paypal.

Here are some awesome finds I’ve found:

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You may overpay with the shipping element, but you also get to shop vintage from the comfort of your home without getting your hands dirty in an old barn! Course I love the latter.

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I’ve also purchased hand knitted sweaters, art, vintage postcards to frame, curtains, etc. If you own your own business creating something that people will appreciate and use, then Etsy is a wonderful idea for you. It is easy to set up your own shop online. Check it out.

I don’t feel like I have the time to keep up with my Etsy shop at the moment. But, the good thing about being an adult is that you can always go back and change your mind :)!

 

Comments

  1. Christine says:

    I was paid the ultimate compliment the other day! I said I was thinking of trying to repaint/ chalk paint my furniture this weekend, did my friend who does this regularly have any suggestions!!! She exclaims with great delight … You remind me so much of blue egg brown nest!!! You ( with blond hair) and your four kids, and dog etc are just like her!!! At the time I didn’t know anything about you but spent the weekend discovering your website and created my first piece of painted furniture!! Thanks for all the amazing tips on your You Tube videos… Ps if you ever need a stand in my friend exclaims we have the same laid back personality too!

  2. I can understand your frustration! We started our home based furniture business on Etsy and have shipped our tables all across the country. Luckily, as we’ve grown, we’ve found more local ways to sell. It would take us hours to wrap, pack and ship a table…that’s time we weren’t factoring into the cost! In addition to the extra material that went into our packages to make sure they got to their destination in one piece.

    We will definitely continue to sell smaller items on Etsy and it’s the first place I go when I want a unique gift.

    Love your building a business series…it’s so helpful!

    Jessi

  3. The day after I opened an Etsy shop for furniture I had an email that someone on the opposite side of the country had purchased a large glass top coffee table. Yikes! I decided right then and there that I would not ship, (too much coordinating and I have 3 toddlers). Now, I have a little ‘Please Note’ message in each item description that simply states I do not ship, pick-up only. It’s amazing how much business I continue to get from my Etsy shop! I am in Northern Virginia as well and have had Etsy clients driving from all corners of VA, MD, WV, and recently, Massachusetts. I was doubtful that Etsy would continue to be worth it after I added my no shipping policy, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised. Just a thought for anyone else trying to decide to Etsy or not to Etsy.:)

    • Thanks for posting your reply, Chelsea! I am currently at this same crossroad and have been contemplating Etsy, but have been a little reluctant b/c most of what I sell is furniture. I too have been struggling with the furniture shipping issue, but I’m looking to continue to gain exposure in other areas. You’ve given me an option to seriously think about!

      • No problem, Denise; I’ve found my Etsy shop to be a great place to gain exposure with little time or effort. Once I post a new piece, it’s done. I don’t have to keep updating my listings or anything. And with the ‘Please Note, no shipping’ message in each item’s description, transactions have been smooth and easy. I can coordinate a time that works for both my schedule and the buyer to come pick up their piece. I’ve had a great experience selling on Etsy with a ‘no shipping’ policy, personally.

  4. I couldn’t agree more…I’ve come to hate the whole issue of shipping….I wish there were other venues to get your items seen.

  5. I am so relieved to hear a professional like yourself say that you are closing Etsy, I haven’t been on it long and find most of my day co ordinating shipping costs and emailing. I have to consider it. You are a true inspiration, and it is because of you I am now painting with ASCP and painting any furniture I see(well almost).

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