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HOT TOPIC The Etsy MEGA Thread... Best Practices, Use, Etc.

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becks22

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Good Morning everyone,

While perusing the forum, I've seen a few smaller threads that mention Etsy but not a specific Etsy thread. I didn't know how many of you are selling on Etsy or use it at all. I thought this might be a good place to post any tips for Etsy for sellers and any other feedback that buyers can offer.

I personally do not have an Etsy shop but my mom does. I do all the backend stuff for her since she just figured out how to use email about 2 months ago. I take the photos, put up the listings, and do pretty much everything besides the actual sewing of the products. My mom only uses it as a hobby in conjunction with doing craft fairs around Christmas time so she isn't looking to sell a ton especially since she only can sew so much at one time but I figured they are people on here are do use Etsy as a business? Prints, digital downloads, pattterns, etc can all be scaleable and sold on Etsy so I just thought I would start a thread to learn more. Etsy also might be a good place to sell if you're just starting off and are flipping items as vintage items are pretty popular on Etsy.

Etsy is much like Amazon where you don't have control but you do have the ability of being a little bit more creative as compared to Amazon's storefront.

I've tried Etsy's version of PPC and haven't had a ton of luck with it. Has anyone tried their selling features for advertising or uses Pattern?
 

WellWallet

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Hey there - great post and topic for discussion! So cool of you to help your mom out like that. I don't use Etsy as a seller at the moment, but I do have an eBay store. Can't contribute too much on the selling side, but I do have a few friends who have had success using affiliate links on their websites to other Etsy stores.

What's your average monthly revenue? Do you have plans to scale up?

Thanks again for starting the thread!
xWBW
 

becks22

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Her revenue is pretty much slim to none. She sells a few thousand dollars over the year-- it's more of a hobby. My mom isn't interested in making money plus she can spend upwards of 20-30 hours on some of her more intricate quilts.

We're not looking to scale her store right now but we are looking to improve her listings and get more sales if possible. I've played around with the storefront but haven't seen too much in results as of yet.
 

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I've changed the thread title, hope to see this thread blow up with some great tips!

It is absolutely awful.

Of course it is, ETSY is now a public company.

You, the customer, is now the 4th stakeholder. Its shareholders are now the #1 top dog, and that means squeezing out every dime of profit from you, the customer. Ironically, they were able to grow and go public by putting customers FIRST. Now that this customer first philosophy has achieved its purpose, you are demoted to #4 where you will be used once again, this time for profit maximization.
 

broswoodwork

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Did anyone get switched over to the new Etsy ad platform?

When it was announced, we were talking about it and @1step was joking that it couldn't get worse, but it did.

It is absolutely awful.
They haven't forced me to switch over yet. When they do, I'll test it briefly, and then likely pull ad spending.

*oops... spoke too soon. Just got switched.

Such a shame. I was getting like a 1300% roi. At least promoted listings was only 25% of my sales on platform.

Screenshot_20190910-104325.png
 

1step

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So now for PPC you can no longer set your bid per click? Now you just set your daily budget and then etsy spends it how they see fit with CPC that they see fit? No thanks, I am good

It was already bad enough that they wouldn't allow you to choose keywords... Now you can't choose keywords or the bid.. Who in the hell thought that was a good idea?
 

broswoodwork

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So now for PPC you can no longer set your bid per click? Now you just set your daily budget and then etsy spends it how they see fit with CPC that they see fit? No thanks, I am good

It was already bad enough that they wouldn't allow you to choose keywords... Now you can't choose keywords or the bid.. Who in the hell thought that was a good idea?
They're stealthily getting us to pay for their national advertising by pushing as many of our promoted listing ad dollars as possible onto low roi Google shopping ads.
 

1step

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They're stealthily getting us to pay for their national advertising by pushing as many of our promoted listing ad dollars as possible onto low roi Google shopping ads.

Quite a genius way to lower their customer acquisition cost. I am sure shareholders will be pleased. How long will etsy sellers allow this to happen?

Based on how poor stats/analytics are on etsy there's no way they have the capabilities to run ads for everyone profitably. I would possibly give Amazon or Google the benefit of the doubt in regards to this but not etsy, there's just no way this is profitable for sellers.
 

broswoodwork

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Quite a genius way to lower their customer acquisition cost. I am sure shareholders will be pleased. How long will etsy sellers allow this to happen?

Based on how poor stats/analytics are on etsy there's no way they have the capabilities to run ads for everyone profitably. I would possibly give Amazon or Google the benefit of the doubt in regards to this but not etsy, there's just no way this is profitable for sellers.
It's all got me thinking though... Is there a Google shopping ad guy on here?

Rather then dumping a bunch of fuel on etsy's fire, for zero return, running my own google shopping campaign for my site with controlled bids, locations, and run times may be the next move.
 

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OOOOOH, I somehow missed this thread! I've been selling on Etsy for a number of years, but I've not fast laned any aspect of it. Always working on ways to do that, though. I used to sell handmade wedding stuff but the brides--AAAAUUUGGGGH! I have found success flipping vintage stuff on there, though, so I mainly do that now.

The new ad system is wretched, and I won't be using it. Anyway, looking forward to see what others have to say.
 

AnneC

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My shop on Etsy is really just for marketing, so I'm going to keep running it and see what happens.

However, I just opened a second shop last week, and was thinking about starting another. I might need to reconsider.

And just a caveat, if you're going to turn off ads or lower your budget... This might mess with your maximum advertising budget cap. At least in the past, this number was based on a trailing average. I once turned off my PPC and had to start over from the base limit. It could be different now.
 

AnneC

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How does this work, if you have a minute to answer?

Currently, I make most of my sales on Amazon. On Etsy, I target the same audience, but I sell digital products (no hard costs). So, an example would be if I were to sell a rice cooker on Amazon, then I could sell rice cooker recipe cookbooks on Etsy.

I do this solely to collect email addresses on Etsy. One of these days, I’ll do something useful with that email list.
 

broswoodwork

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collect email addresses
See, I'm not a very good business person yet, but I'm learning as I go.

I neglected filing buyer's email addresses for the first 3 years, and decided when Etsy was going to start coercing free shipping that I should probably have those... They make it really hard to dig them out efficiently, and this guy here made the only tool I could find to speedup the process:


It still only let's you scrape about 30 at a time, but that was better than going page by page for each individual one 600 times.

Hopefully others who happen upon this thread may find it useful. :)
 

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The forced free shipping thing is really really shitty.
 

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I've debated whether I should use Etsy for my company, Lienka Frames. I originally wanted to launch on Facebook, but I would have to promote it via ads. With Etsy, people are already in the art searching mood. I figured they would stumble upon my page easily. I heard with the Etsy Plus being 10/month, you can opt for ads and stuff that eventually bring the price down to $2/monthly. Is this true? What are your thoughts on where to start a new arts and craft company for a unique product. Here is a sample of what I am selling.
Lienka Frames
 

broswoodwork

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I've debated whether I should use Etsy for my company, Lienka Frames. I originally wanted to launch on Facebook, but I would have to promote it via ads. With Etsy, people are already in the art searching mood. I figured they would stumble upon my page easily. I heard with the Etsy Plus being 10/month, you can opt for ads and stuff that eventually bring the price down to $2/monthly. Is this true? What are your thoughts on where to start a new arts and craft company for a unique product. Here is a sample of what I am selling.
Lienka Frames
If you're already making them, you only have $.20/ every 3 months to lose by listing them on etsy. Definitely worth the trial. I personally haven't messed with etsy plus yet, though I did intend to try it out originally.

If you've got your tags set properly for what people are searching when they want to buy your exact item, and your first 140 characters of item description does the same, you'll get found; additionally, despite the new wonky advertising system they've implemented to push us onto Google shopping, the price per clicks are staying consistent and fair. Still <$.10/ per click on my end, so if you set a modest daily budget, you should get some traction there.

How much does it cost to ship your item clear across the country, and can you pack that expense directly into your product price without scaring people away?
 
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AnneC

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I heard with the Etsy Plus being 10/month, you can opt for ads and stuff that eventually bring the price down to $2/monthly.

I haven’t tried Plus, but Etsy has stated that it doesn’t help with rankings. It sounds like you get $5 worth of advertising and 15 listings ($.20 each = $3). There looks to be some other minor perks, and I noticed a beta “notify when out of stock” option that I believe they will switch to Plus.

As @broswoodwork said, there’s really no major downside to trying Etsy. It costs you 20 cents to list something, and it’s really easy. Also, you are getting your products in front of an audience of women shoppers, who are looking to buy something. On Facebook, people aren’t necessarily going to be in the buying mood while browsing.
 

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How much does it cost to ship your item clear across the country, and can you pack that expense directly into your product price without scaring people away?
Looks like ranging from small to large 7 to 11 dollars. This is what I've been debating. Mailing just the art portion without the frame would probably be significantly cheaper since its just cardboard and cloth materials.
As @broswoodwork said, there’s really no major downside to trying Etsy. It costs you 20 cents to list something, and it’s really easy. Also, you are getting your products in front of an audience of women shoppers, who are looking to buy something. On Facebook, people aren’t necessarily going to be in the buying mood while browsing.
I will probably go through this way since the cost is minimal. I just don't know if I should offer the complete framed product or just the art piece. The company namesake says keep the frame but shipping and convenience says only the art work.
 

broswoodwork

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The company namesake says keep the frame but shipping and convenience says only the art work.
Offer both at different price points. More listings is more opportunities to be seen for minimal cost. Also, if the artwork avails itself to digital download, you can actually "fastlane" it right out of the gate over there.
 

foodiepersecond

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Offer both at different price points. More listings is more opportunities to be seen for minimal cost. Also, if the artwork avails itself to digital download, you can actually "fastlane" it right out of the gate over there.
I wish. Seeing the different layers, patterns, textures, etc make the art work unique. Definitely a more tangible item than digital. Always open on fastlane ideas though.
 

broswoodwork

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I wish. Seeing the different layers, patterns, textures, etc make the art work unique. Definitely a more tangible item than digital. Always open on fastlane ideas though.
Have some friends and relatives get the ball rolling with a few purchases and 5 star reviews.

Etsy also allows you to link off site in the announcements of your shop (they'll probably eliminate this eventually) if you have a gallery online somewhere.
 

cieddss

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They haven't forced me to switch over yet. When they do, I'll test it briefly, and then likely pull ad spending.

*oops... spoke too soon. Just got switched.

Such a shame. I was getting like a 1300% roi. At least promoted listings was only 25% of my sales on platform.

View attachment 27318

What do you sell? Do you only market/ advertise on Etsy or do you have other platforms with followers that are redirected to your Etsy?
 

broswoodwork

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What do you sell? Do you only market/ advertise on Etsy or do you have other platforms with followers that are redirected to your Etsy?
Hi @cieddss

I sell furniture. Originally, I was almost 100% Etsy, but now I'm about 30% on etsy and mostly on my own channel that I drive traffic to with Facebook, offerup, and word of mouth.

Etsy keeps forcing changes that aren't particularly suited to my business, and there's another huge one in the pipe that I'm under NDA about, so I'm trying to move as much business as possible off of there. Although, I'd like to move some new business on there (and elsewhere) that plays a bit nicer with the direction they're forcing the marketplace.
 

AnneC

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In case there are other Etsy sellers still watching this thread, check your emails for another Etsy ads overhaul.

I think the phrase “so you’ll be required to participate” is a controversial choice of words.

This comes when I finally got my ad spend down to a reasonable ACoS. Guess we’ll see how the new system pans out.
 

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I think the phrase “so you’ll be required to participate” is a controversial choice of words.

I just saw this email as well and thought the same thing about the one line! Interested to see how many sales will come with the new ads set up. They also claimed 15% of sales this year from this new overhaul...
 
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Is there any way at all to create a second store? I've tried a couple of times after my first store, many years ago, got suspended. They always know it's me and soon suspend the account though. I like Etsy as a search engine, it's a good way to sell stuff organically
 

becks22

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Is there any way at all to create a second store? I've tried a couple of times after my first store, many years ago, got suspended. They always know it's me and soon suspend the account though. I like Etsy as a search engine, it's a good way to sell stuff organically

I know people how have two stores so there is a way. They even link them in their profiles.

Quick Google Search brings up:
 

AnneC

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I've tried a couple of times after my first store, many years ago, got suspended.

If you’ve been suspended, it’s doubtful. They definitely track names and addresses... probably IPs, too.

I had an Etsy shop with a friend. She bought me out, but we forgot to remove my name and address in one of the account settings. A year later, when her shop was suspended, my new Etsy shop was too. Fortunately, it was just because her credit card expired, so the payment didn’t go through. So, it was quickly resolved, and I was able to show that I was no longer associated with that Etsy shop. But they’re definitely watching.
 

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