Doing your due diligence to find the best platform to sell on is one of the first steps to becoming a successful eCommerce business owner. Each eCommerce platform has its own theme and character. The best one for you is the one – or ones! – that match your store and product.
Today we are looking at Etsy, to go-to online marketplace for vintage items and handmade goods. Etsy has been around for 11 years and hosts over a million sellers from all over the world. They currently boast over 21 million active shoppers with a sales total of more than 2 billion and great prospects for 2017. The Etsy mission is to build a marketplace that focuses on authenticity and the human side of eCommerce. If you are selling crafts and other artisanal items, Etsy might just be the marketplace for you.
Benefits of Selling on Etsy
Etsy is a niche marketplace where people can find craft items and homemade products. It makes the hobby of collecting vintage knickknacks and various hobby items easy. Instead of having to find and travel to fairs, shows and garage sales, customers can visit Etsy. Below are more specific benefits of opening a store on Etsy:
You will be showing your products to a targeted customer base right off the bat. People go to Etsy to find items that are not easy to find on the usual online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay or Walmart. The shoppers on Etsy are looking for unique items like original artwork and handmade novelties that they know they won’t be able to find elsewhere.
Points for Originality
Platforms like Amazon appreciate a product that stands out from the rest. Platforms like eBay undoubtedly have their fair share of unusual items. But not every marketplace will truly celebrate an original work of art. Etsy is that special place online where the artistic can flourish.
Etsy allows smaller sellers to combine their products in one store. Some sellers have only a few items to sell and are not interested in producing these items in large quantities. If you are happy having a few items for sale at a time, combining with similar sellers can help you achieve that big store effect without having to let it take over your life. Just find a trusted shopkeeper to handle payments and disbursements and you’re home free.
Retail and Wholesale
Most Etsy sellers are smaller retailers who what to showcase their special products. The site does, however, host bigger store run by bulk manufacturers. For a one-time fee of a hundred US dollars and a 3.5% cut of total sales, sellers can access Etsy’s wholesale buyers. These buyers are always on the lookout for interesting items that they can put on the shelves of their own stores. Wholesale standards are upheld by the marketplace, so seller must first qualify and follow the rules to gain access.
Most if not all online platforms have their forums, and Etsy is no exception. The community feel that this marketplace promotes, however, makes the forums a much friendlier place. The mission of Etsy to make a better world is reflected in the seller teams that form to provide valuable mutual assistance. Active participation the Etsy community is a great advantage for any seller. The community feel even extends outside of the platform. Sellers gather annually in a collective effort to reach out to less fortunate creatives and help them start their own eCommerce stores.
Etsy opened a crowdfunding campaign for US sellers in June of 2015. This pilot campaign ran for about 14 months, and Etsy is currently gathering feedback from customers and sellers. This campaign allowed sellers to appeal to their customers to help fund new products that are in the making. Customers were able to support the new ideas of their favorite sellers and be a part of bringing these crafts to life. The program highlights the community-centric theme of the platform, and a continuation would be a great advantage to sellers who are looking at options for expanding their inventory.
Getting Started on Etsy
If you think that Etsy might just be the marketplace you have been searching for, you can sign up to sell quite easily. Etsy is such a helpful environment, they even provide a list of guidelines for what you need to have prepared to make your store launch go as smoothly as possible.