Tuesday, 2 February 2021

My Products For Sale - Please Try Not To Use Etsy

My income is not huge. My wife is the bread winner of the family, that's not going to change anytime soon, but what I earn is essential to what we do and how we live as family. 

I do multiple things to earn a living, one of the main ones I do is to sell garden and homestead type products online. Up until now that has mainly been through Etsy, but last night it felt like I got shafted from Etsy. 

Apparently I crossed a threshold of sales, I should add that this is turnover not profit. My profit is quite low as every sale basically has £10 postage on it due to it's size. But I work it all out to earn an hourly rate, taking into account Etsy's commission. 


Up until now that commission has been around 8%. But suddenly I have been put into their offsite advertising program which I can't opt out of. This means that any sales that result from one of their clicks (or a sale up to 30 days later if they have clicked) then costs me a further 12% commission. 

Now this makes it hard for me to work out my costs. Basically I need to put 20% (8% + 12%) on to cover Etsy's fees in case they decide that the sale comes from one of their ads - and I have to trust them on this as well.

This seems unfair to both me and my customers. I don't want more advertising, currently I struggle to keep up with the sales I have. 

Unlike many sellers on their I make all my items. I don't buy in from underpaid workers from elsewhere or any mass produced products. Each one is made by me in my workshop, alone. Maybe this is the mistake I'm making. Someone has already told me to get them made elsewhere and sell them on, but that's not what I want to be about. I like my children seeing me make and sell things and the fact that they can see that people want the things I make. This, to me, is just as important as the money it brings in. 

I will be keeping my Etsy shop but also advertising on another site called NuMonday which just charges me a yearly fee. 


I'm fine with paying to use a service, but I want it to be clear from the start and not to move the goal posts. Unfortunately it seems Etsy is more concerned about it's shareholders than anyone else, certainly not it's artists and makers, and not it's customers. 

Many companies follow this set up, they give good terms, destroy the opposition then control the market and do what they want. 

I shouldn't be surprised. A capitalist economy is an economy controlled by those that have the capital. Don't be fooled into thinking it's anything else. 

I'll be posting some of my products on here over the next week and links of how to buy them in the hope that they come higher in searches. I'll also update my homestead shop page soon as well. Either that or send me an email and I'll deal with you directly. 

The world is full of people thinking they deserve a cut for someone else's sweat, ideas, creativity or ingenuity.

Sorry this is not my usual upbeat tone! Back to normal tomorrow! 

11 comments:

  1. I understand and agree with you, the online market is flooded with cheap overseas mass produced hand made tat, I look forward to seeing your items, and hope you get sales from them.

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  2. Keep doing what you are doing, how you prefer to do it and when you want to.

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  3. Good on you. No one should be forced to participate in a scheme not of their choosing. I do agree with paying for the services that we expect to get by joining a site like etsy or ebay, but they shouldn't be allowed to force on you charges for services you don't want, or can't afford. I hope all your alternatives thrive and you can ditch them completely.

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  4. My daughter sells her handcrafted items through NuMonday and has been very happy with it.She ditched Etsy altogether, so the change is working for her.

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  5. Kev, thanks for the heads up. I really have no insight into what the fee structure is and no, changing the rules mid game is not really a fair or great idea. Will check out the new site!

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  6. Kev, thank you for highlighting this. Totally agree with you stick to your own integrity it will see you through by doing that. It has to work for you. Keep up the good work. I had not heard of NuMonday but will have a look. Perhaps if more people get to know about it you will be able to attract more work through them. Take care. Pattypan

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  7. Etsy has changed considerably from what it originally was. It's so sad to see that when power and money take over, ethics go out the door.

    If more people, especially those with the power (power is becoming a nasty word), would remain true to basic values and honesty we would have a much happier and better world for ourselves and children. You do that and need offer no excuses for this post.

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  8. Why not just start up your own online store? I have one for my furniture restoration supplies. It isn't hard to do, and I use Paypal for my payment system. It accepts any credit card and even e-checks, plus of course Paypal payments. Letting somebody else have a lion's share just for 'being there' isn't my idea of fun, either! Good on you.

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  9. Hi Kev, I have been thinking of selling our craft items on Folksy.com. Might be worth a look.
    Kathy

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  10. I think Tim above has a good idea, yes, start up your own online store.

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  11. Gosh I wish I wasn’t across the pond. I understand about Etsy, it started as all about makers, and now it’s all about fees. It’s sad.

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