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Using an etsy store?

I’m considering setting up an etsy store to link off my website, in
order to sell “stock” pieces of my horse hair jewelry (most of my
work is custom ordered). I’m wondering whether this will be easier,
and less expensive than adding an e-commerce section to my website.

I would appreciate feedback on the pros and cons of each format from
those who do sell online, that is “easy” vs. “e-commerce”.

Thanks in advance for any input.

Linda in central FL

I have a regular website a gallery page, events page, and a contacts
page. It cost $9 per month. My website directly links to ‘shop
online’ which goes to etsy. I really enjoy it. My customers love it
too. Etsy is inexpensive and easy to use. Etsy’s only downfall
especially for jewelers is its so huge. If you are interested in
actually being found on etsy by strangers you have to do a little
research on ‘relevancy’ and key words in all of your descriptions
including your shop title. I wish I would have known what I know now
when I started. I would have named my shop differently to come up in
a search easier.

Anyway I really feel that etsy does a lot of work for you for a
reasonable amount of money. You get a snappy email to tell you to
ship a sold item and that it’s paid for. I have not yet had a problem
customer or a return. I have had some obvious crooks that were
scamming and they got ejected from the site. I even have some very
good customers that now contact me directly that I met on etsy. I
have shipped to almost every continent in the world with the
exception of Antarctica and I am just a nobody in the middle of
nowhere. I could not do that from my individual website. Loading a
store on there would be a waste of time. A good example is shop
statics: traffic on my etsy shop is roughly 6,000 hits from etsy
random shoppers. Hits on my etsy shop from my website or blog is
roughly 200 hits from people I know. That tells it all.

I also use and accounting program that links to etsy and takes care
of the accounting end of it automatically. That is called - Use the paid account not the free account - makes end
of year super simple.

Just my experience - enjoy creating :wink: joy kruse wild prairie silver


I have no e-commerce experience, but plenty of Etsy experience. If
you are just wanting a place that you can send already interested
customers to than Etsy is pretty simple and cheap. $0.20 to list the
item and expires after 6 mo (or so don’t quote me!) Plus fees on any
sales etc. HOWEVER if you are trying to get exposure via Etsy, then
it’s a ton of work! Jewelry is the number one type of sales on there.
Currently about 2.7 Million pieces which means every time you list an
item you are off the front page within minutes! Here are a few tips I
have learned over the years to help drive interest and sales: picture
need to be perfect, descriptions excellent, tags need to be relevant,
you need to be active in Etsy forums and teams so that your items get
put in more treasuries and therefore drives exposure, you need to re
list items at least 5 a day or so, and you need to keep at minimum of
100 items in your shop. Plus you need to find a way to connect with
those that are interested in your shop some other place other than
Etsy (AKA Facebook). This way you can keep in touch with them easier,
and they just go to your Etsy store to buy.

Hope these tips help. Best of luck!

etsy has a large number of folk, and allows commercial shops. i do
not do business with them, i consider them to be unethical. i had an
etsy shop and sold nothing in three years. then theyletin the
cvommercial shops and i closed my shop. you might want to look at

that is where i have a shop now

I'm wondering whether this will be easier, and less expensive than
adding an e-commerce section to my website. 

In my personal experience, having done both, ecommerce on your own
site is easier to maintain. Etsy is helpful in finding customers. If
you already have customers, perhaps you don’t need that.


I would avoid etsy,

I am actually banned for life from etsy, and a lot of that has to do
with a total lack of customer support, and the fact that their
customer support team is a bunch of interns in their late teens.

I had over 1000 positive feedback, and had 2 negatives, and one
neutral. Some lunatic started a rumor about me online, and they shut
my shop down with no justification…


I would suggest artfire, they use a fixed price model, it’s 10 a
month, un-limited sales. their SEO is better, and there customer
support is excellent.

Keep in mind, if you use a website, like your current website, and
then link it over to your e-commerce section, your sale is done. Like
if you are going to use word of mouth to sell your stuff, then you
really want to sell it as cheaply as possible, as in have to give as
few people a cut as possible.

My artfire shop is:

and the eCommerce site I have made is:

I really think artfire shops look really professional, and if you
where to want some help with an artfire shop, or a custom E-commerce
site, I could help you with either, or answer any questions you have.


I think the advantage is that Etsy is pretty well-known so many
people come to it. The disadvantage is that there are thousands of
Etsy stores. But it is easy to set one up, and if you pay attention
and use the marketing tools available, it can be a good thing. I set
up mine but I have not paid attention to it so my sales are
miniscule. But I think that’s my fault.


I have a shop on Ruby Lane with almost 300 pieces, artisan, vintage,
antique jewelry and antiques. I started with them when they had only
280 shops back in 1999. I ended up with 5 separate individual shops
and closed them in 2004 when I moved the farm. My sales were great,
and I learned a great deal about how the Internet works, how to
list, and how SEO’s work. I just couldn’t keep up with the listings,
getting new inventory, taking classes, and moving all the animals
and furniture to the new farm. I moved everything in my horse
trailer, with the help of two friends, which took 4 days, so trying
to keep up with everything was just too much.

I started taking classes for my artisan jewelry, built a huge
website on dial up (which took a year) and had to learn code and FP.
It was marginally successful, only because I had belonged to several
jewelry groups (about 1800 people internationally), and am still
very active in research with these groups. I have attended the
conventions every two years since 2001, and because of the
networking and group activities (which are FREE), and being able to
find what people want to buy (mostly dealers and collectors, and
authors of books on vintage and antique jewelry), my artisan jewelry
was noticed, and have made great sales and connections.

In 2010, Ruby Lane sent letters out announcing a FREE site called
Ruby Plaza. I figured, why not, it’s free. At the time I had 200
pieces in there, and all of the sales were to dealers through my
on-line groups, again networking and active participation is
crucial. I added items and kept the stock fresh for 6 or 7 months,
but without the same push to SEO’s and the advertising availability
that RL has, it has pretty much been a bust, plus it is for new
items, and most of us have the feeling, it’s like an updated Etsy,
too many shops, not enough advertising.

In Aug of 2011 they had a reduced set up fee for Ruby Lane and I
opened a shop. I’m very happy there, and have had great success.
It’s more expensive, but their SEO and advertising and presence on
the web are established and if you can keep adding items with great
pictures, good descriptions, and keep up with the ever changing
ideas of Google, using Analytics, etc., you’ll do well. I’m selling
more overseas, and more variety of items than ever before.
Interestingly enough, my biggest sales ($500 up) have been old
established collectors, who Don’t like PayPal, or the Internet, and
send cashier’s checks. Conversation with the buyers, and some
judicious research with references, can help to establish good
customers. The Internet is still a ‘new thing’ to many of these old
established collectors and buyers.

As with joining up with any site, or building your own, it takes
about 6 months to get your name and product out there, on average.
It takes work, adding items every week, rotating stock, good photos,
good descriptions, and networking. If you don’t work on getting
yourself noticed, advertising, keeping up with trends, networking
with groups that will be interested in your stock, you can easily
get lost in the millions of people who sell on the Internet.

You get what you pay for.

I wouldn’t sell on Etsy, difficult to navigate through the way too
many shops, lack of standards, a bit pedestrian in the way they have
formatted the pages, and in my opinion, just not geared towards the
seller, especially in the area of customer support, as much as the
older established sites like Ruby Lane, Tias, Trocadero, Art Fire.

I’ve had many friends who opened an Etsy store, eventually closing
it for much the same reasons, Chris. I think because many of us kind
of ‘grew up’ with RL when it first started, and 'learned on the run’
with them, their brand has become well known, and established.
Having forums for the shop owners and interaction with RL helped in
the early years to learn and toss around ideas which became
standards of the site was invaluable. Tias used to have that as
well. It’s all a learning curve.

There is no substitution for mileage, experiences, a learning curve
and good hard work, and patience - if you want to be successful in
any business.

This is just my perspective.


I have an Etsy store, and it only works if you drive traffic directly
to it from somewhere else. There are simply too many vendors on it
for a search-only shopper to ever find your items.

The only thing that sells regularly from my Etsy store is a knitting
pattern I wrote for a beaded knitted necklace, probably because
Ravelry users like it and share their photos and comments.

I have not tried selling directly from my site; I think I need a web
programmer to set it up for me.


As I am getting ready to re-launch my web presence, I’ve been doing
some research into whether I want to revisit Etsy or do my own
ecommerce site as well. A few years ago, I had an Etsy store for a
short time. When I set it up, I did a lot of reading of their FAQs,
etc. and what I discovered was that it was going to take a lot of
time to keep my store visible in the listings. Now I understand that
marketing takes time but I’d rather spend the time driving traffic to
my own site, not to Etsy. In the research I’ve done recently, I found
that a lot of sellers have become unhappy with Etsy because of policy
changes and their refusal to police sellers that violate Etsy policy.

Another concern I have is their fee structure. Depending upon your
price points, their cut adds up pretty quickly. Since you already
have your own website, you’re already paying for hosting. Even if you
have to upgrade your hosting, that will still probably work out to
less cost per month than to give Etsy 3.5% of every sale. And even
with Etsy you’re still paying a merchant account fee or Paypal fees
to accept payments, which you’ll also have with your own site. So in
essence, you’re paying Etsy very expensive rent if you do any kind of
sales from there.

Lastly, I don’t like that you have to create an account to buy. If
you’re directing new customers there from your website, that step may
put them off. I know it does me. If I’m interested in buying
something online and I have to create an account to purchase, I
reconsider whether I really want to do business on that site.

In contrast to Etsy, Artfire charges a nominal flat monthly fee, has
no listing fees, has no transaction fees, listings don’t expire, and
accounts aren’t required for purchasers. For me, I’ve deep-sixed the
idea of an Etsy store altogether. If I don’t do my own ecommerce
site, I’ll open an Artfire store instead.

Hope this helps,

I'm considering setting up an etsy store to link off my website 

Hi Linda. The beauty of Etsy is that it gets your stuff in front of
people all around the world, people who might never find your
website. Yes, you do have to manage it- you can’t just let it lie
there. But it’s all business you’re leaving on the table right now.
E-commerce will be cheaper and easier, but it won’t have a global
reach. But there’s no reason you couldn’t do both!


Hello Linda

I think that your product would have a nice niche market on Etsy.
You already have a good story and an unusual jewelry line. Etsy is
easy to set up, very generous with as to how to do
photos, how to write up your profile and product description, how to
use keywords so that your jewelry will be found and it costs very
little to list a product. Of course they take a percent on every sale
and that is why they are so helpful in helping you make a sale.I’m
there - JewelryLois. As always how well the shop works for you
depends on how much effort you put into it. Be careful about what you
do on setting shipping costs (it costs a lot to ship safely and
rapidly) and on pricing your items. Between the cost of materials,
the cost of listing, the percent to Etsy, the percent to PayPal and
the REAL cost of packaging and shipping, one can end up earning
peanuts for ones labor. Give it a try. At the very least it will be
more exposure for you on the net. Lois

Something I notice when I visit Orchid member’s Etsy sites, some
sites have been open since 2008 and have 12 sales, one was open since
2009, it has over 700 sales. The other thing to pay attention to is
to look at a persons current listing, look at the prices, look at
past sales and get a sense of what they have been selling, what they
have been earning. In past sales section, the sales are dated so you
can get a sense of how much was sold in what period of time.

I briefly tried Etsy, was not for me at the time, could not
devotethe time.

One person I noticed was selling cabs, put up a new selection every
two weeks. Looked at past sales, looks like the person was selling
30-40 cabs in a day or two, $20-30 per cab.

There is also which tracks all the
top sellers on Etsy.

If anyone wants to reply, I would be curious to know how many people
who use eEtsy to sell knew about ,
and if that info was of any help.

Richard Hart G.G.
Denver, Co.

etsy shop and using google analytics/search revelancy to get

You pretty much have to do this to be successful on etsy because of
etsy’s size. Etsy uses the same search computer model as google to
pull items up that are ‘relevant.’ You need to read up on how a
goggle search uses key words and what key words (for your
stuff-specifically) and how the key words are organized for people to
find your shop. (It’s not that complicated.) This sounds kinda crazy
but it really is just computer code for search engines. You need to
read D’Etsy Code’ and if you follow the instructions your shop will
have traffic. No one will find you if you just do your own thing with
your own name unless you are already famous. It’s the same on the web
as a whole. Shoppers online might have the patience to scroll through
the first 3 pages of content. After the first 3 pages of content they
lose interest and look at something else or try a different ‘search’
word to find what they are looking for. The Shopper is not going to
scroll through 489 pages of say ‘Garnet Earrings.’ Your key words
have to have more than that. Your goal is to get on those first 3
search engine pages.Examples: It starts with even your shop name and
shop description: ‘Handmade Gemstone Jewelry’ This would be an ideal
shop name on Etsy. Why??? People looking for exactly that, would type
that in as a key phrase/words and it’s the name of the shop…
relevancy level is high. My shop name, is my name — that is
completely useless in a search unless the FBI is looking for me. Had
I know what I know now I would have had a relevant shop name: like
’Handmade Sterling Stone Jewelry’ or ‘One of a Kind Agate Sterling
Jewelry’ See what I mean? Just examples.Within your item description
and the title you need to list the key words every 7 - 10 words so
the search engine scans the text and pulls up the shops with every
7-10 words being: Jewelry, handmade, Gemstones, sterling, Gold.
(whatever it is that you do) So if you are a jeweler: every 7th word
on your etsy site needs to be the word JEWELRY. This is revalancy.
The search engine computer is smart enough to see copies of text so
you cannot copy and paste a description. It has to be naturally
written. Example would be: “I hand make all of my beautiful, one of a
kind pieces of jewelry. Each piece of jewelry is genuine gemstones
and sterling silver. These garnet earrings would be a beautiful
addition to your jewelry collection to last a lifetime.” This item
description sofar has the word JEWELRY in it three times and I would
not be done writing that yet. This kind of text increases
revalancy.Crazy huh… It makes sense though. Your jewelry not
selling online whether it’s Etsy or just your website has nothing to
do with the quality or like-ability of your wor= k. It’s a
mathematically written equation in a computer analog getting you
viewed or not viewed. Follow the code written for the computer and
you will have hits with sales. Wish I had more hits and sales~trying
my best :slight_smile:

joy kruse

It's a mathematically written equation in a computer analog getting
you viewed or not viewed. Follow the code written for the computer
and you will have hits with sales. 

Excellent post Joy, you just hit the nail on the head for sales on
the internet in 2012. Understanding how the search engines work.