Why I No Longer Sell on Etsy
You may have noticed lately that I am no longer using Etsy. I’ve been asked a few times “why not” and there are several reasons behind the decision, but ultimately, Etsy will not allow me to use their service any longer. Let me explain.
I started using Etsy back in 2013. I took a business class on how to run a successful Etsy shop, spent hours trying to take decent photos, and put in a lot of work to my shop and it just didn’t take off. The fees for adding listings got to be too much when I was having no sales, so I stopped using my shop for a few years.
In 2020 I decided took the plunge re-open my shop and it took off immediately. I was using my Facebook and Instagram page to promote my shop and Etsy was bringing in several shop visits as well. Everyone knows and trusts Etsy by now. If you are looking for handmade products, that’s the place you go! Everything was going great. I was making a lot of new contacts and selling to customers all over the globe. The listing fees still applied, but I was making up for the cost in orders. Once I started using Etsy Ads my views and shop visits blew up! But it wasn’t long until I was in the same situation as 2013 and the fees were too much compared to the profit.
I was asked by a friend I had made shirts for previously to custom design an idea she saw online. Sure! I love custom orders! I thought the design was so cute, I decided to put the photo of the actual product as the thumbnail image (rather than my logo like I usually do for custom orders) hoping someone else would think it was cute too!
A few days later I received an email that I had products with intellectual property right infringements. Etsy was permanently suspending my account. The phrase “Girl Dad” was trademarked?! What does that even mean?!
After lots of research and phone calls to trademark lawyers, I was advised that yes, this was within the rights of the trademark owner and I now need to investigate every single phrase I am using to see if it is registered already. How was I supposed to know?
I completed the appeal process and received the notice back that Etsy was no longer going to allow me to be a shop owner and if I started a new shop under a different name, they would find it and shut that down too. Pure panic set it. I thought about giving up; throwing in the towel and being done trying to open my own business doing what I LOVE to do. I only let that thought last for a second. There must be other websites I can use. Etsy did not define my business. It was merely a tool and I could find another.
I scrambled and spent 4 solid days creating my own website on Shopify to get my stuff back out there. There are many things I enjoy about Shopify vs. Etsy. The options are much more customizable and its all MINE. No ads for other shops. No suggestions to leave my page. No more page clutter. No more hidden fees that outweigh my profits.
The problem is driving the traffic to my site. Etsy was doing that work for me (and charging me a pretty penny to do it) and now I need to do all of that on my own. I have continued to use my Facebook and Instagram pages as well as creating pins on Pinterest that link to my website to spread the word. I have had a few sales on my new website, but the traffic is not as good as I would like it to be.
Why am I telling you this super long story? Because I want you to see that I am still making the same quality products, just on a new site. Please don’t let it scare you that this isn’t a “reputable site” such as Etsy. I promise if you give this a chance, you will see this website is so much more user friendly and has more fraud safety protocols than Etsy ever did. I know I will never convince you not to shop on Etsy any longer, nor would I want to! But do keep in mind that Etsy does not support its shop owners in times of crisis and they are charging them hella fees to put their work out there for you to see.
I hope you will give my new website a chance and continue to contact me for any custom orders because I am still here, still working, and still committed to my work now more than ever!
Feel free to share this blog post and continue to like and share on Facebook and Instagram and help me grow my site exposure!