If you’re a maker you’re told to go and sell on Etsy. But what if you’re not sure whether it’s right for you? What if you have a more high-end product? Is Etsy still the right place to set up shop?

In this very first guest spot, Rebekah Ann from Rebekah Ann Jewellery tells us what changed her mind about selling on Etsy.

Rebekah Ann of Rebekah Ann Jewellery

Hands up who’s shied away from Etsy? I did! When I first opened my Etsy shop, I closed it within just 6 weeks. I felt my customers weren’t there, but boy was I wrong. 

At first glance it looks like I haven’t sold a huge amount via my Etsy shop. But for me, Etsy has been so much more than just a selling platform. I now see it as an incredible marketing platform. To me a sale is an added bonus.

Etsy is an established online selling platform that buyers and search engines truly trust. Right there, it already has one up (a huge one up) on your standalone website you might have. The number of likes, shop favourites and repeat business I get from Etsy shows me it’s the place to be and it’s one of the contributing factors for my business growth outside of Etsy. It took my business international without me having to do anything extra. Higher-priced items will sell less on Etsy, but people will see you, they will find you and they will come back to you when the time is right. Etsy customers truly get handmade. 

I must admit I wouldn’t have re-joined if a friend of mine hadn’t encouraged me (or should I say basically told me to do it!)

She has a very successful international business because of Etsy and she really believed it could work for me. And I’m so pleased I eventually listened, reopened my shop and held my nerve. But changing the way I viewed Etsy was the REAL game-changer – it’s a brilliant market research tool!

If something gets lots of likes on Etsy I know I’ve made something good, and that people are interested. My price points are higher than many other makers (I use solid gold, 100% handmade to order and my delivery is longer so I don’t get the sale volumes that some people do). However, because of the likes, views and favourites I’ve received, Etsy has shared my work in both their Spring and Summer Look books. This is all free publicity and brings in lots of new customers and followers.

There are fees attached to Etsy but they are some of the lowest dropping shipping fees I have found. At the moment, it’s free to open your shop, then 19p to list an item and then selling fees of between 9% and 15% depending on how your product was found i.e. from a search or from an external Etsy ad (yep Etsy advertise your work for no extra upfront fees. (You can also opt-out if you wish) 

Then there are the Etsy teams. You can join your local Etsy selling team, where you’ll meet other makers and get lots of help, advice and support. 

Etsy does take some work, you need to get your head around the keywords and tags, you need to be an active user – updating your products, your page etc – and then your work will be seen more. But there are simple ways of doing this, like using their marketing tool on the app to add an update to your shop, updating your announcements section and adding a new product. And I promise it’s all worth it (and not even as much work as you think).

If a customer contacts me directly in/on Etsy I always do the sale in/on Etsy, creating a custom listing if required. You see, Etsy allows you to link your own website and social media platforms and so some people will reach out outside of it. But my rule of thumb is if someone contacts me in Etsy first they remain an Etsy-based customer. It’s only right when Etsy has brought that person to you. I would never direct them to my personal site to finish the transaction. Etsy is helping me grow my business, so it’s only right they get the commission for that sale.

I personally use Etsy for everything since I opened my shop. Birthday gifts, Christmas gifts, supplies for my business, treats for me, baby gifts, new mum gifts, cards and let’s not forget everything for our wedding! Yep, Etsy is now a go-to for me.

Rebekah Ann in her studio (right)

So if you’ve been thinking about Etsy or have tried in the past and removed yourself, I say go for it. Flip how you view the platform and view a sale as an added bonus rather than the goal and see if it can help transform your business too. 

You can find Rebekah Ann’s Etsy shop here.

Do you sell on Etsy? What do you think of the platform? Share your views in the comments box below.

If you have a story or viewpoint you’d like with share with the making and creative community, why not apply to write a guest spot, like Rebekah Ann? Just pop an email to victoria@thevictoriabrown to pitch your idea.