Etsy- Yay or nay?

This is another follow up post to the business topics I have previously written about. To view the last one, click here.
Etsy, is one of the biggest and well known on-line shopping sites, and growing more in numbers, and members constantly. If you ask most folks in they have heard of Etsy, they will probably say yes. Ask an independent craft or artisan if they have a shop on-line, and many will answer, yes, on Etsy.
I have had a shop on Etsy myself for nearly 5 years now. I have followed all the “rules” and “recommendations” for good business. I have tried all the techniques great sellers have used to grow their business. I belong to Etsy teams, I participate. I do the whole “social networking thing”.
What can I say has come of all this time and work on-line? About one sale every couple of months. Not enough to call it a profitable business, or one that I could quit my day job from.
The jewelry category is just too oversaturated. Sorry, but this is the truth. I don’t know how many shops on Etsy are of jewelry, but I’m sure the number is staggering. And as I’ve said before, I’ve tried every technique to gain more business. There are a few great jewelry designers and shops that have found their niche, and constantly have sales and a large following. What are they doing? What is the great mystery? I’m not sure there is one “magical” answer to that. I’ve asked many jewelry artists at shows, how they do on Etsy, and there is no new or special formula.
I don’t have a crystal ball to look into for answers. And I’m sorry to report, that if you make and sell jewelry, and have an Etsy shop, best of luck and best wishes to you, because it is not as simple as you may think to make a living, or even make some money selling jewelry on Etsy.
It may be a good landing place to have an on-line presence. It may be a good place to network with others, make friends and learn from others. But my personal feeling is that if you want to make it a business, where there is actual monthly income, you must do more- outside of the internet.
I’ve recently talked about time, and crunching numbers, (you can read that post here) and like many folks, I have discovered that I spend too much time working towards a growing on-line business. The money is just not there- for me anyway.
I will continue to keep my Etsy shop active, but it is not my main focus. Others have recommended that you should have your own website, apart from Etsy, to send customers to. I agree, and do have that as well, (see here). But once again, it is not the final answer to sales.
I hope my thoughts have been helpful to anyone reading this, and please feel free to add your own personal experiences in the comments.

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The jewelry category is definitely overwhelming. You're right about having both an online and offline presence. You do several shows a year and I bet people loving seeing your beautiful work in person :)
Anonymous said…
Your jewelry is beautiful. And you sure are right about the market being saturated. I'm just enjoying it as a hobby, since I'm obviously not in great demand! lol!
Curator Violet said…
I love Etsy but I've never been a seller, only a "Stalker". I find it so interesting to hear about people's experiences there, so thank you for writing it up. Off to check out your shop!

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