Etsy Shop or Your Own Website?

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:

 Etsy Shop Suspended! What You Need to Know

In the last two years, my Energy Shop on Etsy has evolved from a hobby into a second income for my family. It’s been a great success, and because it’s an important part of my livelihood I have always been careful to honor Etsy’s terms of use. However, last week and without warning, my shop was suspended by Etsy’s administration. …

…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.

READ THE REST OF THE STORY

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:

  1. 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.)
  2. 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.
  3. 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….
  4. 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 3DCartSeeing 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:

Sell Wholesale on Etsy

Etsy Wholesale Update

Etsy Wholesale Update #2

Business Tips from Etsy Empire

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8 comments for “Etsy Shop or Your Own Website?

  1. Alixandra Cunningham
    July 7, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Why did ETSY close the shop?

  2. July 7, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Click on the following link to read the rest of the story: http://www.handmadeology.com/etsy-shop-suspended-what-you-need-to-know/

  3. July 8, 2013 at 8:34 pm

    I have both my own websites (one retail and 2 wholesale) and sell on a multitude of sites like Etsy. My own site gives me more control and is better for brand building. However, it takes forever to get to the point where people can actually find you. That is where the benefit of being on another platform such as Etsy, ecrater, craftshowcase etc. comes in. I can get sales from those sites while continuing to move up the rankings with my own site.

  4. July 9, 2013 at 9:36 am

    Sharon, that is a great plan! May I also suggest that you set up a Facebook Fan page for your candle business and drive traffic to your website and/or Etsy (and others). Also add your URL to all your business correspondence, business cards, and literature, if you haven’t already. Will help your site rankings.

  5. Bridget
    July 13, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Great advice. I’m at the point of getting online and didn’t know what platform to choose. Had not heard of DPD so will definitely look into that.

  6. January 23, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Ya Gift Rep Sandy,

    I saw your comment over at Create Hype and popped over to see you. I too have heard stories about marketplaces closing stores without notice, which is so unprofessional to say the least.

    The worst thing is they know these places are peoples lively hoods and still that does not make them change their ways. Having your own website is the best thing you can do to have full control over your business.

    Like you when i started online i never knew of these places. Actually if they were not so widely advertised more people would either create their own site or not go into business at all.

    In terms of a shopping carts for your own website pay pal is free. O.k you pay a small fee when you sell but that is really small compared to a monthly fee, especially when you are just starting and your sales are low.

    Plus some wordpress themes also have a e-commerce shopping cart facility that can be added to theme. I can think of woothemes.com with a e-commerce add on and the themes for selling are actually free, all you need to do is sign up.

    I am now going to have a browse around your site.

    Blessings Janet
    Janet´s last blog post ..Start Something New 20 Ideas to Jump Start the Process

  7. January 23, 2014 at 4:02 pm

    Thanks for your feedback Janet. I was not familiar with woothemes.com. I’ll have to check that out.

    Personally, I like DPD for digital products and 3DCart for physical products

  8. February 29, 2016 at 11:05 am

    Another sad story from a producer who lost her Etsy site unexpectedly: http://www.handmadeology.com/etsy-shop-suspended-what-you-need-to-know/

    Sandy

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