I’ve been on Etsy for about 4 years now. So far, it has allowed my hobby to do well, but usually only around Christmas. Since I’ve been doing it part time up until now…I was ok with that. Now that I’ve moved and graduated, I want to see about making it full time, but with the sporadic sales at Etsy that I’ve previously experienced, I realize I can’t have all my beads in one basket. As a result of my desire to expand, I’ve begun researching other suggestions for alternative places to sell crafts online.
None of them have the traffic so far that Etsy has garnered over 10 years since they opened up.
I’ve got a website which links to my Etsy shop, but my audience is not large enough to sustain shopping at the website alone. If you can’t drive traffic to your website, regardless of offering a free standing eCommerce cart on it or linking to your Etsy shop, having a website alone still won’t guarantee success unless your brand becomes very popular and your SEO is amazing. Usually, artisans rely on blogs, social media, YouTube channel and craft shops such as Etsy to point to their website if they even have one. Many times successful artisans have their website with a shopping cart feature as their main sales presence, but still open Etsy shops due to the popularity of that site and the exposure that could be gained by pointing from their shop to their website.
Until someone mimics the success of Yardsellr which used to run as a marketplace app selling via Facebook, that will truly put the pressure on artisans as to how many marketplaces to try and fail vs. craft fairs or Etsy. Yardsellr did better for me in the 6 months I was there than in the entire 4 years I’ve been with Etsy. They had a great formula for tying in the social experience to get your items seen via people seeing your item intermittently when they logged into Facebook. Then, you could choose to pay ads and as Yardsellr got more popular, they started messing up by creating games to earn ad credits which led to chaos and an abrupt shutdown.