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Is it worth trying to sell on Etsy in 2021?

Find out if Etsy is worth your effort as a seller in 2021. Can you get found and make money?
Find out if Etsy is worth your effort as a seller in 2021. Can you get found and make money? Your creative small business needs good search engine optimization to get found. Is this still even possible in Etsy. #bloomsolopreneur

From a seller’s perspective, is Etsy worth it in 2021? Well, you can ask the same question for any marketplace, and the answer is two-fold. 

1. Does the marketplace attract your ideal customer

2. Do you have a product that sells?

Many new, similar market places are popping up all the time. But if they don’t have YOUR audience, you still won’t get seen or get sales.

The 4th largest e-commerce site in the US by the number of visits is Etsy. And it is in the top 5 e-commerce site in the UK. So it certainly has the numbers and indeed covers most audiences types. But while it has the audience numbers, it also has the competition. So you are back to the same issue; you might not get seen.

If you want to enter any creative marketplace, you need to do your research. Compare the audience to the competition and work out whether it is worth the gamble. 

But as a safe guide, follow your customer base. If your perfect customer shops on the marketplace, then you should be there also.

Is your product good enough?

The potential of any marketplace is very much limited to the product you are selling.

You need to have a product that someone in the audience needs to buy. Or if they don’t NEED it, they WANT it.

Turning your product from need to want is where the magic happens. And that is where the answer lies to the question, is ‘Etsy worth it in 2021?’.

In my opinion, for 20 cents to get your product out there on Etsy, it is worth a try.

But the problem with Etsy is that it is so big now, getting found is THE number 1 challenge. You can’t just put your product out there and think that is all you need to do, and it will sell. That isn’t going to happen no matter how good your product.

You need to make your product listing look the best it can. 

How does Etsy compare to other market places?

Because Etsy is so big, it also attracts a lot of sellers. A lot of these sellers, let’s be honest here, use some rubbish pictures.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Etsy. And the opportunities are there. But because anyone can take a punt, the quality of a lot of the listings are poor. Unfortunately, this reflects on the quality of everyone else’s listings.

Compare it to Not on the High Street (NOTHS), which is a similar marketplace in the UK. NOTHS appears better presented (in my opinion) to Etsy, even though you’ll find the majority of the sellers on NOTHS on Etsy.

The reason is NOTHS has an initial charge to become a seller, and then they vet your photos for all products listed. So only those with the right aesthetic makes the cut. They also limit the product range, so it doesn’t display too many of the same products. 

With these two actions, they effectively limit the competition. But because they make sure your product is presented well, chances are you will get sales. Sometimes being more exclusive is worth paying that bit extra for.

Personally, I would always start my search for gifts on NOTHS and then see if the same seller is on Etsy (they usually are). If I started on Etsy, the chances are that I would’ve given up looking before I ever found them. And that says a lot about where Etsy is right now.

And it’s not just Etsy. 

All marketplaces have different aesthetics. You need to balance having the audience, getting found, and presenting your listing for each marketplace.

Will your product be found?

If I do the same search “Knitting Kit” on both sites. NOTHS brings back 512 matches, as opposed to Etsy, which returns 197,007

I don’t know about you, but I think your 20 cents is working hard for you if you get found on the first page of nearly 200000 results!

Being found on Etsy is like a needle in a haystack. It is so cheap to enter the market, you get a lot of competition. The customer has to trail through the many thousands of listings. So if you are not near the top of their search, you won’t be found. This means you have to put more effort into getting found (SEO) and standing out (good quality pictures).

Photos, Descriptions and SEO are the 3 main things you need to work on. Once these are in place, you need to do your own marketing.

And this is my main point.

Wherever you decide to market your products, you have to market the heck out of them yourself if you want to be successful. It is only by doing this that you get a bit of control over getting seen. 

Bringing your own traffic to your product will have a ripple effect on search placement. And as a bonus, if you can generate your own traffic, it really doesn’t matter what marketplace you are on, even your own site, you will make the profits you desire.

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Hi there lovely

I’m Nicola, lover of all things colourful and a garden obsessed planning addict!

My main goal is to help overwhelmed creative solopreneurs gain confidence, business skills and a whole heap of motivation so that they can set forth on their creative adventures with all of the tools they need to build a profitable online business.

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