I have wanted to share a post like this for a while. I had been with Etsy since 2015 when I opened my first shop selling digital printable planners for bloggers. Slowly I have moved over to Shopify. I do have a full video with all of this information but thought I would share a round up of the information on here as well.
PROS OF ETSY :
- Good starting platform. If you are a new store with a brand new following, Etsy is great because it’s a marketplace, your items and store are showcased along with other shops, but it gets your items out there and in-front of people.
- Etsy is completely free to set up. There are twos subscription plans available now, the free basic plan and Etsy Plus, but for my personal shop, what you got as extra wasn’t worth it. That is just personal preference though. But the basic tier that I used whilst on Etsy was the free plan and it had everything I needed.
- Setting up a shop is easy. You just choose a name, design a header and fill in all your information and create a style of listing photos to suit your brand.
- Advertising is easy. You can opt in for paid ads, you can set a monthly amount you want to spend on ads and then Etsy advertise for you, however there is a con to this as well.
CONS OF ETSY :
- Every store is the same sort of layout and look, and if you want a different type of banner such as a slide header, you have to pay extra by subscribing to the Etsy Plus plan I mentioned.
- ADS over a certain amount are mandatory. If you earn over $10,000 in the previous 12 months, Etsy will automatically advertise your items on your behalf. However, any item sold through that ad, whether it be instantly or a saved product and purchased in 30 days time, a 15% fee would be taken from that product. Personally for me this was the last straw and I’ll get onto that later.
- Communication sucked. Customer service from Etsy is absolutely appalling. Sometimes I wouldn’t hear back for 3-4 days, sometimes I never heard back at all. Terrible customer service for such a huge platform. When running a business you need to have good customer service, and the shops on Etsy are relying on Etsy to help should they need it, and from my experience as a seller, I always struggled.
- The fees are extortionate. I will do a comparison later.
- They aren’t always fair. They changed their order to show all ‘free delivery’ items first. So they were trying to encourage shops to offer free delivery but it’s not always worth it. For my items, if I offered free delivery on a full kit to America, my profit would be so small, it wouldn’t be worth it. This meant all other listings without free delivery were shown much later on.
- People take advantage. Because you're on a platform, Etsy have the final say. I've heard numerous stories from artists I follow about their work being stolen. Someone would purchase their artwork, download the artwork, then the buyer would go to Etsy and say they were hacked and never made that purchase and then Etsy would refund them. Then the buyer has gotten the artwork for free. Most of the time, Etsy takes thee buyers side.
PROS OF SHOPIFY :
- You can design your store exactly how you want. You can buy a theme to create your perfect store, but the free ones are amazing. You can personalise them so much that two shops can have the same theme and you wouldn’t even know. If you’re good with coding, you can change the themes even more.
- So many different perks. You can add all sorts of apps to your store such as a wishlist, rewards scheme, currency converter. Etsy do have some of these but it's great that you still have the options on Shopify. Some apps you have to pay for, others you don’t, it’s just a case of doing a bit of research.
- Communication from Shopify is the best. It’s honestly the best I’ve experienced. You have instant chat where they can help you instantly, and if they can’t, they contact you via email to sort any issues you have. They are so helpful and it was such a nice perk after experiencing Etsy’s shocking customer service.
- You can buy your own domain. Buying your own domain is so easy on Shopify as you have the option to do it with them when you sign up. My domain is £14.99 a year. On Etsy I think you had to do it all yourself and reroute your Etsy store. But it is now available on their Etsy Plus plan which is £7.60 (excl vat) a month.
CONS OF SHOPIFY :
- There’s a subscription fee. It’s $29 a month for the basic plan which I have and does everything I need. But I will share a more in depth look at the fees later on in the video.
- It’s harder to be noticed. It’s your own website therefore all your advertising and marketing falls to you. If you are already established, then this won’t be an issue as people will just go to where you are now selling.
- Takes a bit of getting used to. Everything is a lot more in-depth. You get a free trial of 14 days so I used this time to set my store up, get used to listing items, finding my way around things and then once I had gotten used to it a good amount, my subscription started and I could open my shop whenever I was ready.
THE FEES :
Listing fee : £0.20 on every item.
Transaction fee : 5% on every item you sell.
Shipping fee : 5% on every order that requires shipping.
Subscription : Zero on basic plan. £7.60 (excluding VAT) on Etsy Plus,
Listing fee : Zero
Transaction fee : 2.2% +20p on card payments OR if they pay with PayPal it’s different for every country but fees vary between 2 - 5% +20p depending on where in the world the customer is.
Subscription : $29.00 a month for the basic plan.
Example of fees from Etsy and Shopify.
On Etsy I had an order for £75 including shipping, my fees totalled £3.20
On Shopify I had two sales that totalled £74 and my fees were £2.03.
A small difference but if you save that much on 99 other others, you’re saving a lot!
Even with all the fees added up and my monthly subscription and app subscriptions, my fees are still A LOT lower than my Etsy fees.
WHY DID I LEAVE ETSY?
The fees. I felt they were constantly upping their fees but not offering anything in return. There was never any benefit to me but my fees were slowly hiking up. The final straw came when the mandatory ads were going to be introduced. I never advertised on Etsy, I didn’t need to as I did all my own advertising on my Instagram as that’s where the planning community is so it wasn’t needed. I would then have to pay a 15% fee on any items I sold that Etsy advertised on my behalf and I didn’t have a choice to opt out. If you advertise on Etsy, it may be ok for you, but for someone who never advertised, it gave me that push I needed to leave.
I announced that I would be leaving so people would know I was planning on moving from Etsy. I then opened my store on Shopify and had them both for a couple of months. I had planned to leave after they said they were upping their prices and giving priority listing to ‘free delivery’ listings. But once they brought in the other mandatory ad fees, I decided that was it and I closed my Etsy before it was introduced.
I changed my banner to say were my shop had moved to so my customers or any potential customers could find me and I set it to permanent holiday mode.
HAVE I NOTICED A CHANGE?
I never noticed a drop in my revenue. To start with the main shop was very quite as people were still on Etsy, but once that was closed, my Shopify has been amazing. I have definitely noticed the difference from not paying so much in fees.I would say my fees have been cut in half.
WHO WOULD I CHOOSE?
If I were to do it all over again I would still start with Etsy. It's a great way to get your brand or name out there and then once you've built it up a bit, move over to somewhere else. If you are already established, I would say go straight to Shopify.
I hope you have found this post helpful! Please leave any questions in the comments below and I will be sure to get back to you.
Thank you so much for stopping by,