It seems like it's an epidemic the last few weeks, I log into Facebook and in every.single.group I belong to that is meant to help small business owners and someone is asking why they aren't getting sales. They built their shop on Etsy because that is what they think you are suppose to do to start (I know, I did it too).
I try to help. I ask very pointed questions to get to the issue as soon as I can. But it's always the same.
Here is why I always advise handmade business owners to be on their own platform and sites:
- You are driving traffic to a site you do not own when you are on Etsy. This means your shop can be shut down for any reason and at any time and you have no rights or recourse to get it back. What happens if Etsy goes under and that is the only way someone knows how to find you? You don't have your own domain so you've lost all traffic and you have to start 100% over again.
- All SEO and google recognition is to a site you may not use in the future. Everything is being driven to a domain you don't own. Instead of the seo being for your own URL or domain, it is for etsy's. You are helping their brand advance instead of your own.
- Etsy is expensive. To game the system you have to continue to relist your products daily plus have a large inventory. When compared to the amount you could be spending on a simple shop on another platform, Etsy is grossly over priced.
- Etsy allows for comparison shopping and for devaluing artistic work. People like a deal. When they want something specific, such as handmade baby shoes, they are going to look around on the platform since it is large and they know they are going to find multiple options. It aids and helps the person search for the cheapest option. Etsy places its value on making sure Makers are not paying themselves what they are worth and turning a profit.
- Etsy encourages Maker laziness with the "if you build it they will come" mentality. See the point above with comparison shopping. Markers think because they can be found on Etsy that they don't have to drive traffic to their shop, be marketing, sending out newsletters, and so on. But, that puts you right back into the Etsy cycle of driving traffic to something you do not own.
There you have it. Here are just a few of the reasons why I firmly believe handmade businesses need to be on their own sites and on domains they own. Do you need help on deciding on which platform is best for your small business? Join us over on the Successful Makers Society!