Personally, I don’t have an Etsy Shop, nor a shop on Artfire or most of the other group shop (although, I am actively involved with Meylah – but that is a different story …). I have always had my own websites, and honestly, had not heard much about these other platforms at the time I set up my own websites!
I love Meylah! But I would NEVER replace my own site with Meylah or any other selling platform. Why, you ask? Here are a few reasons:
- You don’t own a shop on these platforms – the company does!
- You don’t have much control over outside platforms – the company does!
- You can get lost on outside platforms amongst all the other ‘stores’!
- You cannot use your own URL on outside platforms!
Despite all the reasons above, I found a better reason why you need your own website in ADDITION to an Etsy, Artfire or even a Meylah site. Tim Adams from Handmadeology recently posted an article I would like to share:
…I replied to the suspension email as calmly as I could, begging for them to tell me what had happened. I still had no idea what I had done wrong! I frantically started searching for a phone number that I could call; I wanted to square things away as fast as possible. I found a corporate listing for Etsy’s Brooklyn office through an internet search, but it went straight to voicemail stating that they don’t respond to phone calls….
…The point of this story is not to bash Etsy as a selling platform. This was a wake-up call for me, and I wanted to turn it into a friendly warning for you. I thought I owned my small business, but by having my only presence on Etsy, it turns out that I didn’t. Etsy owns the shops they host, and they reserve the right to manage them however they choose.
An interesting, but sad story of how quickly your situation can change with an outside platform for selling your products.
But, thankfully, Lisa,the author, goes on to offer some suggestions if you find yourself in this situation. Better, suggestions to do BEFORE you find yourself with a closed account:
- Buy a Domain Name. (Domain names as fairly cheap. We use Go Daddy, but there are many places where you can buy your own domain name.)
- Keep a copy of your testimonials. If you only sell on Etsy and your site is removed, how much credibility would you lose? … You have worked hard to build your credibility, so keep a hard copy of your testimonials on file.
- Keep a folder of item pictures. I restock (renew) previous listings often, and each time I do, I appreciate that I don’t have to take pictures and build descriptions. … I’ve spent hundreds of hours on my listings and photography, when suddenly, they vanished….
- Have an emergency exit strategy. Have a back-up plan, just in case. Because I want my business to expand, I had the feeling I might outgrow Etsy. I’m always willing to have a look at e-commerce sites to see what they have to offer, and I love to check out other sellers’ independently-owned websites.
For a simple site, you can build your website on a WordPress platform and purchase an inexpensive shopping cart such as Get DPD to sell your products. Or for an excellent ecommerce website platform, check out 3DCart. Seeing how easy it is to build your own website, I, honestly, don’t understand sellers who only feature their products on Etsy or other platforms.
If you want to take control of your products and your website and don’t know where to start, I will be happy to consult with you on the subject. You can contact me at GiftRepSandy@gmail.com. Add the following subject to your email: Help me build my own website. I’ll get back to you within 24-48 hours.
More articles on Etsy: