When I created my Etsy shop in September 2019, I did it to give myself something to do. I didn’t think that much would come of it, and frankly I never saw it as becoming a full time job.
It wasn’t until October that I got my first sale. It came as a complete surprise for me. I hadn’t been posting about it a lot, I hadn’t been talking about it a lot, and I definitely hadn’t been advertising anything. In November, I had another two sales. One from a friend, and another from a stranger. It was at this point that I decided that I wanted to try and push myself further out there.
My husband and I talked about it more and more, and he said that he was willing to support me through being in the negative. That if I wanted to do advertisements I should, if I needed new items we could get them. I was extremely fortunate to be able to do this. So, in December I turned on advertisements.
That first month, was insane to me. I knew that it was Christmas time, and that people would be far less willing to buy from a small shop with only four sales. Yet still, the orders came in. In my first month, I did 59 orders. I was on top of the world!
Over the next few months, my shop continued to grow and I continued to put items up. I quickly hit 500 sales, then 1000, then 2000, and at the point of writing this, I’m sitting just under 3000. However, from the moment I started to take it serious, I knew that Etsy was never going to be my home. I knew that it is where I would start, build my brand for selling items and eventually, bring it into the umbrella that is Anendeth.
As I had a twitch channel before this, and the name was already created, I knew that eventually I would want my shop as well as everything Anendeth in one place. This, as well as other reasons I’ll get into, are why I am no longer focusing on Etsy.
Through the past year, there have been many things that have made me question staying on Etsy at all. I would be lying to say that I would prefer to close my shop and have a banner that points only to this site. But I know that I don’t have the following for that, and my monthly income would greatly suffer. So despite what I would like, the logical choice is to continue to sell my items on Etsy.
The first issue, are the fees. I understand that there are fees with many things. My domain name costs a certain amount, my hosting costs a certain amount, my payment processor will charge me a fee. Those I understand, those are laid out and explained. Etsy, on the other hand does not lay out their fees well. There is the payment processing fee, then there is an Etsy fee, and then there is a fee if your link was found through off site advertisements. While I can calculate those fees, at their maximum, into my pricing it makes my profit margins that much lower. To stay competitive and at a fair price, I have to under pay myself and my time. This is something that doesn’t sit well with me. Here, I can charge less for my items, yet still take home the same that I would on Etsy (were I to choose to do so).
The second was the rollout of their Order Dissatisfaction Rate (ODR). ODR must be kept below 1%. This means that for every 200 items that I sell, I can have 1 customer so upset that they rate me poorly and open a case against me. This hits 1%. If any other customer rates me below 3 stars, it counts against me. If your ODR is left at more than 1% for 2 months you get a warning, if it isn’t on track by the next month they can shut your shop down. All for potentially 1 or 2 upset customers in 200 sales.
Now, I do realize that Etsy said that they would hold off on punishment for ODR due to COVID and the rapid influx of people purchasing online. However, COVID will end, and with no way of knowing what Etsy will do with ODR, I’m simply uncomfortable leaving my entire business in their hands.
The third is unpredictability. As Etsy is a large corporation, and I have agreed to their rules, I am at their whim. The off site advertisement fees, I do not get to opt out of. Though I don’t want to opt out of them, it is more so the principle that I can not. If they so will, they can roll out new fees, new rules, anything that they want. Where as, with my own site, my own shop, I don’t have to worry about the constant what ifs.
For now, I still intend to leave most of my items on my Etsy page. There will be some that I remove, some that I tweak. But I will lessen my advertisement budget until I’m at a comfortable position, while also directing people here. Either with lower prices, or by changing my banners and my information tags.
To all of those that have found this little slice of internet, welcome! I’m so glad that you could be here to continue to follow me on my journey and I look forward to showing you what’s coming next!