Etsy sellers are closing their shops at an alarming rate, but why is that? Many Etsy sellers (new and old) are frustrated and fed up due to poor decisions on Etsy's part.
I sold on Etsy for one year. Within that one year, I had close to 12,000 sales and made close to $20,000. Not bad for a new Etsy seller. However, things started changing on Etsy which directly effected my sales. At that point I had no other option than to close my shop and look elsewhere. Fortunately, I had my own website Walking Mombie Designto fall back on and I just recently found a brand new handmade only online marketplace called Craftrina Handmade. They charge $0.15 per product listing fee, that's it! So, there are definitely other options out there other than Etsy.
If you're considering opening an Etsy shop, you might think otherwise after reading this article. Take a look below to find some of the most common complaints from Etsy sellers.
Common Complaints from Etsy Sellers
Site Functionality-Etsy likes to fix things that aren’t broken such as the shop manager, shop analytics and search algorithms.
Etsy provides very little transparency to sellers when it comes to search algorithms. This can have major consequences to sellers such as major decreases in sales and not having the knowledge to change their selling strategies to counteract the decrease in sales.
From a buyers stand point, looking for flamingo invitations, you want to see all the options available for flamingo invitations.
Unfortunately, Etsy search ends up also displaying a ton of none related flamingo items. Sometimes you’ll even find some very bizarre search results.
Some sellers even feel that Etsy is manipulating their search results to suppress some popular handmade goods and shops. They suppress them by using features such as their ‘Share the Love’ feature, this leaves no incentive for sellers to try to do a good job.
Etsy Direct Checkout
Etsy changed how sellers can accept Paypal payments (no Paypal only sales). With Etsy Direct Checkout enabled, you’re required to connect your bank account. Many sellers either aren’t comfortable with attaching their existing account information or simply don’t want to open a bank account.
The Biggest Complaint-Copyright Infringement and Mass Produced Items
Copy Right Infringement
Simply entering the search term ‘Stranger Things’ returns 12,917 (as of July 7, 2018) results! You can find t-shirts, invitations, cupcake toppers, and even feminine reusable cloth sanitary napkins with the Stranger Things logo on them. Etsy does absolutely nothing about sellers committing copyright infringement unless they receive a DMCA take down notice from the copyright holder (so they don’t get sued).
Competing With Mass Produced Items
Sellers are really unhappy about the amount of junk that’s being sold on Etsy now a day. Yet again, Etsy does absolutely nothing about the mass produced items being sold on their site. Instead of doing the right thing, they ended up including these mass producing sellers as ‘manufactures’ making it even more difficult for the real handmade artisans to get noticed in the Etsy search results.
After all, why would they? The answer is simple—because they’re making money off those mass produced, low quality items. It also helps to remember that Etsy is a public company whose main priority is providing value to its shareholders.
The mass produced, non-handmade items are being sold at such a low cost, and the actual handmade sellers have to continually decrease the price of their items to keep up. In some instances, the profit margin is so low, their almost nonexistent. This essentially drowns out the true handmade sellers.
Mass produced products create issues for buyers as well because they can’t differentiate between true handmade items and mass produced ones. The general Etsy buyer attitude used to be understanding, appreciative, and patient regarding product turnaround times. After all, you’re buying a handmade good for the craftsmanship and high-quality. However, since the Etsy Marketplace has been flooded with mass-produced cheap products customers have become unreasonable and rude. Some customers even have the nerve to demand their made-to-order good be in their hands within 48 hours or threaten to purchase from another Etsy.
Etsy is supposed to be a handmade marketplace for goodness sake (however, no longer true). That kind of rude customer behavior shouldn’t be tolerated. If you want to purchase something and have it within 24 hours or less, take your money Amazon.
Etsy’s high-end/high-quality vibe is sadly a thing of the past. Buyers went to Etsy looking specifically for high-quality handmade goods from artisans who are experts in their niche. Now, if you search Etsy you might get confused and think you’re on Walmart’s site.
Handmade goods and craft skills are about sustainability. While mass produced products create more sales for Etsy, customers are most likely going to stop buying appropriately priced handmade items. This in turn stops supporting legitimate small businesses instead supporting overseas factories pretending to be independent artisan sellers.
It’s No Longer about the Sellers
Etsy used to be all about its sellers, unfortunately, now they’re about the buyers. Don’t believe it? Then take a look at this article from Business Wire discussing how Etsy hired interior decorators to decorate their commons area, employee yoga classes, catered lunches, etc.
In other words, Etsy tried to get too big too fast, resulting in alienating independent handmade shops. If they could have been satisfied with simply being a mid-sized company, things may have worked out in their favor. Unfortunately, online sales and e-commerce doesn’t come with much patience anymore.
Increasing Seller Fee’s
Etsy Fees Breakdown
-Product listing fee $0.20 USD
-Product renewal fee $0.20 USD
-The 3.5% Etsy transaction fee charged when you make a sale is increasing to 5% and now applies to the cost of shipping) goes into effect July 16th, 2018.
-Square manual fee $0.20 USD per transaction
-Square Swiped sales 2.75% fee per transaction
-Manually entered Square sales 3.5% fee plus $0.15 USD per transaction
If you list items in a currency other than your bank account's currency, Etsy converts your funds from Etsy Payments to your bank's currency on your behalf.
- 2.5% added to market rates when currency conversion is required.
Fees for Etsy Payments Depending on the Location of your Bank Account (% of total sale price + flat fee per order)
Sending special offers to shoppers (Targeted Offers)
Using the Etsy Sales and Coupons manager in your shop, you can automatically send special offer emails to shoppers interested in your items.
- $0.10 per offer email sent.
Is It Even Worth It To Open An Etsy Shop Right Now?
In my honest opinion, absolutely not! Sadly, Etsy has deeply hurt the entire handmade industry.
We want to hear from you! Are you a present sellers fed up with Etsy or a seller who either closed their shop or had their shop closed by Etsy? If so, let us know by leaving a comment below. We always love hearing from you!